Presidio of San Francisco (March 29, 2010) -- The Walt Disney Family Foundation has been honored for completing one of the Bay Area’s boldest, most challenging, and most creative real estate deals of 2009. Successfully bringing the Walt Disney Family Museum to the Presidio’s Main Post has earned the organization a highly competitive “Real Estate Deal of the Year” award for Best Rehab or Renovation from the San Francisco Business Times.
“I applaud the Walt Disney Family Museum for their commitment to the history of the Park and careful rehabilitation of several key historic buildings,” said Craig Middleton the Trust’s executive director. “The rehabilitated barrack blends seamlessly with its companions and the museum brings vitality to the Main Post—helping transform the Main Post into an active, open space that welcomes a wide range of visitors.”
Built in 1895, the Montgomery Street barracks are among the most iconic buildings in the Presidio. Building 104 is the first of these to be rehabilitated. Adapting the historic barracks for use as a modern, world-class museum was the biggest challenge the project faced. The plan, which took two years to develop, not only had to fit with the Trust’s Management Plan and with its vision for the Main Post, but it also had to meet the Secretary of Interior’s standards for historic preservation.
Housed in three historic buildings on the Main Post, the Walt Disney Family Museum, which opened in October 2009, encompasses more than 77,000 square feet and is the first museum dedicated to the life and work of Walt Disney. The main building, Building 104, is home to the museum’s permanent galleries, a children’s learning center, a small theater, a book store and gift shop and a café. Two other buildings house administrative offices, a special exhibitions gallery and an equipment room.
“Walt Disney made a lasting impact on American culture and entertainment,” says Richard Benefield, the museum’s executive director. “It is exciting for the museum to be a part of the revitalization of the heart of the Presidio, a national park with its own history and legacy.”
For this year’s “Real Estate Deal of the Year” Awards, more than 150 nominees were considered in 27 categories ranging from leases, green buildings and new restaurants and hotels to “Deal Maker of the Year” and an overall “Deal of the Year.” The Trust previously won in 2006 for bringing the Letterman Digital Arts Center to the park.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. 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.