Presidio of San Francisco (September 4, 2008) - Using audio available via cell phone, a new interactive experience along the Presidio's oldest footpath allows visitors to travel back in time with the sounds of soldiers, missionaries, and even the wildlife that used the area for two centuries. The self-guided walking tour, entitled A Lovers' Line, is available along the Lovers' Lane trail at the Presidio through October 31. It launches this Saturday, September 6, with a free guided walk by the creator, San Francisco artist and professor Jeannene Przyblyski.
For more than two centuries, people have made their way to and from the Presidio and San Francisco along the scenic, romantic path. "A Lovers' Line gives you the pieces of several stories about the Presidio and asks you to put them together in your own mind as you walk the lane," said Przyblyski. "Think of it as a way of meditating on history."
The stories overlap and intermingle with a cast of characters including the soldier, the military wife, the translator, the dreamer, the hawk and the dove, the wayward trees, and the springs of the Tennessee Hollow watershed.
A Lovers' Line offers participants more than just a two-dimensional history. Each person who walks the trail can compare their own position in time and space with someone or something that went before them, straddling the boundary between the past and the present.
"Working in the national parks around San Francisco is a great pleasure and a great challenge," said Przyblyski. "My work isn't about giving people one story about how these places came to be, but rather asking them to make connections between the many stories still living in the landscape and the present day."
A Lovers' Line runs from September 6 through October 31. Participants can begin their journey either at the top of Lovers' Lane at the interpretive sign near West Pacific Avenue or at the bottom of the trail at the brick foot bridge near MacArthur Avenue. Maps are available at the Visitor Center in the Presidio's Officers' Club or online atwww.ban5.org. For more information call (415) 561-5418 or visitwww.presidio.gov/calendar.
Jeannene Przyblyski is a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute and executive director of the San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets, a visual arts and urbanism think tank that promotes art in city life. Last year she created a similar experience at Lands End that used the Coastal Trail as a backdrop to explore the ever-changing history, geology and sociology along San Francisco's western edge.
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."