Presidio of San Francisco (September 1, 2008) -- The nation's largest architecture event will feature several of the Presidio's transformed historic buildings and will discuss new projects proposed for the "heart of the Presidio" on a walking tour scheduled for Tuesday, September 2, at 3 pm. The month-long festival is sponsored by the American Institute of Architects SF and the Center for Architecture + Design.
Since the military post became a national park site more than a decade ago, more than half of the Presidio's historic buildings have been rehabilitated as homes, visitor destinations, and headquarters for a variety of organizations. The Presidio is considered the largest historic preservation effort underway in the United States. Today, more than 3,000 people makes their home in the park, and more than 200 organizations, large and small, are forging new uses in buildings originally designed as Army barracks, warehouses, and hangars.
The tour, entitled "Exploring the Emerging Presidio" will visit several showcase projects including the Thoreau Center for Sustainability, a non-profit center that rehabilitated the 1898 Letterman Hospital using green building principles, and the Bay School of San Francisco, which transformed an Army headquarters building, where the order for the internment of Japanese-Americans was issued during World War II, into a high school serving Bay Area youth. The tour will also visit sites on the Main Post where projects to bring art, culture, and visitor uses to the Presidio are being considered, including a contemporary art museum, a rehabilitated historic theatre, and a park lodge. Information on park projects can be found atwww.presidio.gov.
The tour will be lead by several architects who have spearheaded Presidio projects, including Chandler McCoy, associate director for architecture and design with the Presidio Trust. Registration is required for the tour. Register atwww.aissf.org/archandcity/tours, or by calling (415) 362-7397.
About the Architecture and the City Festival: AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are hosts of the fifth annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation's largest architectural festival showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more. Whether you are looking to become involved with the local architecture and design community or simply want to learn more about the city in which you live, Architecture and the City offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience San Francisco. The festival runs from September 1-30.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to manage the Presidio of San Francisco, a former army base located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains the infrastructure of a small city as well as expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District, making it unlike any other national park. In establishing the Trust, Congress mandated that it make the park financially self-sufficient by 2013. The Trust is the only federal agency with this mandate."