The remains of El Presidio, the original Spanish Colonial site, were gradually covered over and forgotten as the U.S. Army expanded the Presidio. In 1993, as the Army was preparing to permanently leave the post, workers discovered a substantial set of stone foundations beneath the Funston Avenue Officers’ Quarters.
As archaeologists began to follow the extent of these foundations, they discovered that they continued west to Pershing Square and south to the Officers’ Club. An expansive fortified structure measuring approximately 500 feet along one edge was revealed. The footprint of the original El Presidio de San Francisco had been re-discovered. Today, El Presidio is one of the Presidio’s most significant places and the site of ongoing research and public programs.
The Next Decade: Ongoing Research
Over many years, the Presidio Trust will incrementally reveal El Presidio's archaeological features, inviting visitors to witness digs first-hand and talk directly with the experts. When investigations are complete, the buried remains will be marked in the landscape at the surface so people can see how the site was once used by earlier inhabitants. The Trust will continue to collaborate with its academic and professional partners in the excavation and analysis of El Presidio over the next decade.
Archaeology Lab and Officers’ Club
In 2013, the Officers’ Club and Archaeology Lab will open, creating a joint campus on the site of El Presidio. New exhibits and public programs will welcome visitors to understand and actively engage with the history all around them.
Did You Know?
El Presidio de San Francisco is the only one of four Spanish fortifications and twenty-one missions in California located in a national park.