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Former Cavalry Barracks
A photo of the back of the renovated Cavalry Barracks, a white building with a red roof and old fashion light posts.
The only horses seen today in the Presidio are ridden by the U.S. Park Police mounted patrol. But in the early 20th century the cavalry trained here before shipping out to the Philippines. Building 682, on the wooded hillside above the stables at Crissy Field, was their barracks.
 
Though the cavalry has been gone since the end of World War II, much of the building’s historic fabric remains intact. The interior features ornate pressed metal ceilings, an unusual system of supporting beams, detailed cast-iron columns, fireplaces with mantels, and a staircase and railings.
 
 In the last decade, several local schools found temporary classroom space here while their permanent facilities were under construction. In 2009, the Presidio Trust began a full rehabilitation to prepare Building 682 for a new use.
 
“We modernized it and brought it up to current standards so it’s capable of supporting contemporary uses while maintaining its historic nature,” says Robert Wallace, Presidio Trust architect. “It’s a wonderful, rich building with a lot of character.”
 
“The historic rehabilitation was done with great care for the environment, and the U.S. Green Building Council has certified it with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating,” says Eddie Chan, Trust construction manager. “The sustainable features make this one of the most interesting projects I have worked on here.”
 
Did You Know?
 
Building 682 might feel familiar to those who have visited Fort Baker across the bay. Its original barracks design is identical to the restaurant and conference building at Cavallo Point, an historic preservation project led by the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy that transformed that former Army post into a lodge and environmental center.
 
In the 1920s, the Army constructed a latrine inside the former cavalry barrack’s courtyard. The small structure has been re-imagined as a conference room with a “living roof” featuring four types of sedums. These low-growing succulents help insulate the building and reduce storm water runoff.
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