This past year, the Presidio Trust completed the rehabilitation of the Presidio’s historic neighborhood landscapes, which represent a century in the evolution of military social and domestic life, from the small-scale Civil War-era Funston Avenue with its quaint Victorians and grander Queen Anne’s to the enlisted men’s housing above Baker Beach that was built in the 1950s and ‘70s. Rare ornamental plantings have been saved and historic gardens have been recreated with a contemporary sensibility, often with drought-tolerant native plants.
Built in the 1860s, Funston Avenue is the oldest streetscape in San Francisco. Its officers’ homes were among the first family homes on a military post. Restored four years ago, their neat lawns, massed shrubs, and border plantings stand modestly adjacent to grand parade grounds. Infantry Terrace officers’ homes were built in 1910 as part of the Presidio’s largest expansion. Their newly restored lawns rise steeply above the contours of Arguello Boulevard and meet the forest on the ridges behind them. In 2006, the Trust introduced a redwood grove in the neighborhood.
The apartments above Baker Beach were the last to be built in the Presidio and displaced acres of dunes. Plans are underway to restore the dunes which will beautify the residential area, and enhance habitat for the endangered San Francisco Lessingia. Community gardens draw neighbors together. In a national park, they also create intimate spaces for the everyday life of our unique community. Inspired by the history of gardens in the Presidio from its earliest days as a Spanish settlement and military post to the Victory Gardens of World War II, the Trust is working with residents and AmeriCorps to create new community gardens. Four gardens have been built and each enjoys full use by residents.