Presidio of San Francisco (April 12, 2004) -- In what will be
the largest historic preservation project to date at the Presidio, the
Presidio Trust Board of Directors has named Forest City Development to
revitalize and convert the 70 year-old Public Health Service Hospital
for residential use.
ForestCity was selected because it is one of the
premier development firms with a specialty in historic preservation
projects. Based in Cleveland, ForestCity has proposed a mix of
affordable and market-rate apartments. The firm has more than 20 years
of experience in San Francisco, and is currently a partner in the
revitalizing of the old Emporium building site on Market Street.
The main Public Health Service Hospital building
borders the 14th and 15th Avenue entrance gates to
the Presidio. The historic core of the building is 173,000 square feet;
non-historic additions or “wings” that flank the main hospital are
another 125,000 square feet.
The district contains approximately 400,000
square feet of buildings, including the hospital, dormitories, offices,
residences, and recreational buildings. In addition to the hospital,
ForestCity has the opportunity to include the rehabilitation of some or
all of the other historic buildings. The project would be developed on a
long-term ground lease.
Presidio Trust Executive Director, Craig
Middleton, said, “This is a great project for the park. It will
revitalize and beautify a corner of the Presidio that has been vacant
for too long.”
First constructed in 1875 as the U.S. Marine
Hospital, the hospital cared for merchant seamen from around the world
for more than 100 years. In 1902, it was renamed the Public Health and
Marine Hospital Service.
By the 1930s, however, the original wooden
complex that overlooked Mountain Lake was demolished and replaced with a
480-bed, seven-story building, designed in Georgian Revival style. In
1952, two seven-story wings and a lobby were added to the front of what
is commonly called Building 1801.
Created by Congress in 1996, the Presidio Trust
is charged with preserving the Presidio’s natural, cultural, scenic, and
recreational resources for public use while achieving financial
self-sufficiency by 2013. Six presidential appointees and the Secretary
of the Interior, or her designee, sit on the Board of Directors and
oversee the management of 80 percent of the Presidio lands.