Presidio of San Francisco (May 27, 2011) – The Presidio Trust today signed a cooperative agreement with the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) to rehabilitate an historic warehouse where Japanese Americans were trained in strategic and tactical operations as military linguists for the coming war. The agreement allows for the rehabilitation of building 640 into a Military Intelligences Service (MIS) Historic Learning Center to be operated by the NJAHS.
“I am so pleased to sign the agreement with the NJAHS for the reuse of building 640 as a Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director, “The MIS story is part of the Presidio’s legacy of service. It is fitting that we are celebrating this agreement on Memorial Day; I can’t think of a better way to honor the service of the MIS Veterans.”
The MIS Historic Learning Center will feature exhibits and ongoing public programs devoted to the MIS and their experience. The legacy of MIS – peace and reconciliation – will anchor the center’s educational programs, along with the tenets of patriotism, sacrifice, and tolerance. As the permanent memory of the contributions of the 6,000+ MIS graduates there will be a Wall of Honor displaying their names.
“This is indeed a momentous step forward in our joint effort to give the MIS story its proper place of importance in U.S. history, share important lessons learned, and celebrate the achievements of these truly great Americans,” commented NJAHS Board President Judge Ken Kawaichi (Ret).
The 10,000 square foot facility will also showcase a permanent and rotating exhibition area featuring a mock-up classroom and barracks and displays from a growing Japanese American Military collection of over 10,000 historical artifacts, documents, and objects. This archive will serve as a research conduit for visiting students and university faculty. In addition, the space will feature a bookstore and an audio-visual theater for showcasing films, videos, lectures, and performances.
The MIS Historic Learning Center has received strong support from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein, as well as Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka and Congressman Mike Honda.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is one of the largest and most ambitious historic preservation projects underway in the United States. The Presidio’s historic buildings represent the nation’s most comprehensive collection of military architecture, dating from the Civil War through the Cold War, including homes and barracks that reflect how the military social hierarchy and domestic life evolved in the Presidio. Since 1994, approximately 75 percent of the park’s historic structures have been rehabilitated for new uses. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National Historic Landmark District.