Presidio of San Francisco (April 29, 2013) – The Presidio Trust has invited three teams, with three very different concepts for new cultural institutions, into the next and final round of competition for the opportunity to redevelop a stunning bayside site at the Golden Gate.
“Each team articulated a powerful idea for creating a place of distinction and national significance,” said Craig Middleton, Executive Director of the Presidio Trust. “The magnificence of the site demands no less.”
The concepts that will advance are:
Each team will be invited to develop their concepts into full proposals, which will be submitted to the Trust in September. In order to benefit from public input as they formulate their proposals, each team will present its concept at a public meeting scheduled for June 17 in San Francisco. Another public meeting, at which the fully-formed proposals will be presented, will be scheduled later this year.
“We want to express our gratitude to all of the teams that will not be moving forward for putting the time and energy into their proposals,” said Nancy Bechtle, the Trust’s board chair. “The decision about whom to advance was difficult – every project had compelling elements and creative ideas. We congratulate the three teams that are advancing and look forward to hearing the public’s feedback during the months ahead.”
The initial concept proposals can be viewed on the Trust website:
The Trust began the process of developing a use for the site of the former Commissary building last November by issuing a “request for concept proposals.” Sixteen teams submitted concepts on March 1, 2013. During the past two months, the Trust board has carefully reviewed the concept proposals and encouraged public comment.
A brief summary of the selected concepts:
The Bridge/Sustainability Institute – The Bridge, an innovative cultural education center, will be focused on the theme of sustainability using the Presidio as a case study. Beyond the place-based public educational functions of The Bridge, there will also be a collaborative research arm, the Sustainability Institute, which will bring together corporate, academic, and educational partners to pursue focused, thematic research based on the theme of sustainability.
Lucas Cultural Arts Museum – The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be a center highlighting populist art from some of the great illustrators of the last 150 years through today’s digital art used to create animated and live-action movies, visual effects, props and sketches.
Presidio Exchange – This new public space at the Commissary site will offer a vibrant visitor experience that reflects the spirit of the Bay Area, the inspiration of the Golden Gate Bridge and the transformative power of parklands… Inside and out, visitors will find an ever-changing variety of exhibits, performances, installations and experiences created in partnership with leading cultural and educational institutions.
The Commissary was built by the US Army in 1989. In the 2002 Presidio Trust Management Plan, the Trust identified the building as the preferred location for a museum or cultural center. Sports Basement, a popular athletic retailer, has occupied the site and plans to relocate to the historic warehouses at the east end of Mason Street in the Presidio.
The Trust engaged with the public both locally and around the country throughout 2011 and 2012 to set the following goals for the project:
- Enhance visitors’ experience of the Presidio
- Provide programmatic offerings that are fresh and vital, that connect to broader themes, and that stimulate imagination and creativity. Offer cross-disciplinary programming that can be effective in advancing knowledge that has broad and lasting relevance
- Be compatible with the natural and cultural setting along Crissy Field and San Francisco Bay and conform to the Trust’s Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines and LEED requirements
- Complement current uses and activity in the Presidio, and integrate well with plans for Crissy Field and the Main Post
- Welcome a broad cross-section of the community in a manner that reflects and reaffirms the public nature of the Presidio. Be transparent and active in engaging the community.
- Be economically viable
The Trust also worked with the public to establish design guidelines for the former Commissary site to ensure that the character of the new cultural facility is compatible with the natural and cultural values of Crissy Field. The Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines were completed in December 2011 and are posted on the Trust’s website:
The Presidio Trust is a distinctive federal agency created to save and transform the Presidio of San Francisco, a 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.