Presidio of San Francisco (October 27, 2003) -- Two prominent firms will showcase their plans to revitalize and convert the historic, 70 year-old Public Heath Services Hospital, located on the southwestern edge of the park, for residential uses at a Presidio Trust Board of Trustees meeting, October 29, at 6:30 pm in the Officers' Club. The Presidio Officers' Club is located in the Main Post at 50 Moraga Avenue.
The firms, Forest City Development and a team made up of the John Stewart Company and the Related Companies of California, were selected last summer from a field of nine businesses who responded to a formal Request for Qualifications. The Presidio Trust has sought ideas on ways to reuse the old hospital that has been unoccupied since 1981.
The board will not make any decision on the project at the meeting, but will listen to public comment following the presentation. The public can express their views through November 26. A developer could be selected sometime next spring. Rehabilitating the hospital building for residential use and maintaining the character of the historic complex are the key goals for the site.
The main hospital building, which borders the 14th and 15th Avenue entrance gates, is an historic structure of about 173,000 square feet. Non-historic additions or "wings" total about 125,000 square feet and flank the main hospital.
The hospital district contains a total of 400,000 square feet of buildings, including the hospital, dormitories, offices, residences and recreational buildings. In addition to the hospital, the firms have the opportunity to include the rehabilitation of some or all of the other historic buildings in their proposals.
The public health hospital had been the U.S. Marine Hospital, and for a century cared for merchant seaman from around the world. It was first built in 1875, overlooking MountainLake. In 1902 it was renamed the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service.
By the 1930s, however, the original wooden complex was demolished and replaced with a 480-bed, seven-story building, designed in Georgian Revival style. In 1952, two seven-story wings and a lobby were added to the front of what is commonly called Building 1801.
Created by Congress in 1996, the Presidio Trust is charged with preserving the Presidio's natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources while achieving financially self-sufficiency by 2013. Six presidential appointees and the Secretary of the Interior, or her designee, sit on the Board of Directors and oversee the management of 80 percent of the Presidio lands.