Presidio of San Francisco (April 4, 2013) – The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a true national treasure-- 80,000 acres of trails, paths, breathtaking views, parks and other attractions. As stewards of this vast, ecologically diverse landscape, the Presidio Trust along with the National Park Service (NPS) and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has sought to balance the GGNRA’s natural and cultural history while providing extraordinary public access.
In recognition of their pioneering efforts, the three agencies will each be honored with a Stewardship Excellence Award from the Cultural Landscape Foundation (CLF) on Thursday, April 4 at 6:30pm at the old Federal Reserve building in San Francisco. The CLF is also hosting a daylong excursion through several of the recently completed projects on Saturday, April 6 beginning at 8:00am. Destinations include the Presidio, Crissy Field, the Sutro Baths and lunch at Green’s restaurant in Fort Mason. For more information or to buy tickets to either event visit: http://tclf.org/event.
“Preserving and protecting the Presidio’s natural beauty and cultural resources lies at the very heart of our mission,” says Craig Middleton, the Trust’s executive director. “It is a true honor to have our hard work recognized by the Cultural Landscape Foundation.”
Created in 2001, the Stewardship Excellence Award is given annually to a person, group or agency that embodies the CLF’s mission of “stewardship through education” with the goal of recognizing those whose stories will inform and inspire future generations of cultural landscape stewards.
“The Presidio Trust and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, working with the National Park Service, are national leaders in landscape stewardship,” says CLF founder and president Charles A. Birnbaum. “These stewards, working with many Bay Area practitioners, have skillfully faced the daunting design challenge of balancing nature and culture within the parks.”
From Native Americans and the earliest Spanish settlers to the US Army and its current tenants, people have been calling the Presidio home for well over 200 years. Its varied physical landscape includes rugged coastal bluffs and dunes, a saltwater marsh, three complete watersheds and rare natural areas; while its cultural landscape features ceremonial parade grounds, formal streetscapes, a 300 acre forest, and formal and domestic gardens. In shepherding the Presidio’s transformation from a former military post to a vibrant, 21ST century national park, the Trust has successfully married the preservation of the Presidio’s natural resources and beauty and the celebration of its history with the creation of a contemporary, welcoming visitor destination.
Projects undertaken in each of the park’s seven districts have rehabilitated and repurposed historic buildings, restored natural areas, built and improved trails and overlooks, remediated landfills, reclaimed and preserved cultural resources, replanted forest and gardens and improved connections throughout the park.
The Presidio’s buildings are an essential feature of the park’s landscape and character. From the quaint Victorian and much grander Queen Anne style homes that line Funston Avenue, the oldest of which date to the Civil War, to the enlisted men’s housing above Baker Beach that was built in the 1950’s and ‘70’s, he park’s neighborhoods illustrate the evolution of domestic, military, and social life at the Presidio. In all, the Trust has rehabilitated more than 300 historic buildings going to great lengths to restore the buildings’ original character while incorporating contemporary, sustainable features, with landscape design that complements the historic buildings.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation provides people with the ability to see, understand and value landscape architecture and its practitioners, in the way many people have learned to do with buildings and their designers. Through its Web site, lectures, outreach and publishing, the CLF broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes nationwide to help safeguard our priceless heritage for future generations.
The Presidio Trust is a distinguished federal agency created to save and transform the Presidio of San Francisco, an historic American place steeped in service. The Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio, a former army base and new urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, over 2,700 people live in the park’s former military housing, and more than 200 organizations have located in Presidio buildings, attracted by the Presidio’s beauty and historic significance. Under the Trust’s management, the Presidio has been transformed into a stunning visitor destination with an extensive system of trails and scenic overlooks; rehabilitated historic buildings; programs that teach about the Presidio’s military history and natural resources, and tenants and residents who help to sustain the park. To learn more about the Trust visit: Presidio.gov.