If you're hiking along the
Bay Area Ridge Trail, you might be surprised to discover a new Presidio landmark of startling grandeur. Standing at 100 feet tall at its tapering peak,
Spire is a sculpture by world-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy. In fact it is the first Presidio piece he was inspired to create after he visited the park in 2006. Since then he has gone on to imagine three more –
Tree Fall, and
Earth Wall – making the Presidio home to the largest collection of his works on public view in North America.
Spire is a powerful symbol of the rejuvenation of the beloved Presidio forest, first planted by the Army in the 1880s.The aging Monterey cypress are now reaching the end of their life and are being slowly replaced with healthy young saplings.
Working closely with the Presidio Trust forestry crew, in 2008 Goldsworthy selected 37 Monterey cypress trunks from trees felled at the site and meticulously fastened them together. Planted around its 15 foot-wide base are young cypress trees that will ultimately grow to obscure the sculpture – a bit like the old forest welcoming the new.
For now, Spire is doing a silent "call and respond" with the other local legends visible from the site – the Transamerica Pyramid, Sutro Tower, and church spires, to name a few.
Goldsworthy's Presidio pieces, most made possible by the non-profit
FOR-SITE Foundation, speak to the forest's meaning in some way. Each installation can be visited individually or explored together via a three-mile hiking loop along the Presidio's trails. View the map in the
Goldsworthy in the Presidio brochure. Guided art hikes are held regularly – check the
Spire is best accessed on foot via the
Bay Area Ridge Trail. The
PresidiGo Shuttle stops nearby at
Inspiration Point, and limited parking is available at the
Presidio Golf Course. If you need to warm up with a cup of coffee, relax with a glass of wine and bite to eat, or just take a comfort break, head to the
Presidio Café at the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse, a very short walk south of
View videos about Andy Goldsworthy's Art in the Presidio >>