History of the Presidio Trust
Long the Army's premier West Coast installation, the Presidio's strategic significance began to decline in the late 20th century. In 1972, legislation creating the new Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Northern California indicated that the Presidio would join that park should the Army choose to depart the post.
In 1989, as the Cold War drew to an end, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission deemed the Presidio to be excess to the military's needs. The U.S. Army left in 1994 and, as anticipated, the Presidio was turned over to the National Park Service.
Creating the Presidio Trust
The costs and management challenges of converting a military post to a national park site were significant. In 1996, in a demonstration of innovative thinking and bipartisan collaboration, Congress created the Presidio Trust to tackle this challenge and transferred jurisdiction of 80 percent of the Presidio to this new federal agency (the National Park Service manages the 300 coastal acres).
To ensure this costly “post to park” transformation didn’t overburden taxpayers or drain scarce resources from other national parks, the Trust was required to ultimately steward the park with funds it earned, or the Presidio would be sold. The Presidio Trust began covering its basic annual operating costs in 2013.
Over the course of more than two decades, the Presidio Trust has reimagined this “city within a city” to be a welcoming place, working with our partners at the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Our work has evolved through several chapters as we’ve responded to the changing needs of the park and the public over time.
One of America’ Most Visited National Park Sites
Today, the Presidio is now one of America’s most visited national park sites, with millions enjoying its beauty, nature, and history each year. Yet the work of stewarding the Presidio is never done. New opportunities are arising – and serious challenges remain. Having made a wonderful park, we must now keep it thriving and relevant for our time.
Sustaining the Presidio Forever, For Everyone
Accordingly, the Trust is now focused on our next chapter – sustaining the Presidio as a place where all people are welcome, where nature flourishes, and where new approaches for making the world a better place are tested, from how we restore wetlands to how we support inclusive public spaces.
To achieve this, we will ensure we are an efficient and focused organization, with the capabilities and funding necessary to keep the park in great shape and meaningful for our children and grandchildren. We are committed to our triple bottom line vision of people, planet, and performance, and excited for what the next era will bring.