Presidio is a neighborhood within San Francisco's 7-mile by 7-mile city limits. It is located in the Northwestern corner of the city on the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay and is mostly steep hilly terrain. The adjoining neighborhoods are Marina and Pacific Heights to the West, Presidio Heights and Richmond to the South, and the Seacliff area of Richmond to the Southwest. These fairly dense surrounding residential neighborhoods use the Presidio as a park since it is less of a neighborhood and more of a large greenspace; much of it is covered in forests and native shrubs rather than development. The entire neighborhood is actually one of the properties of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service. Before it was transferred to the National Park Service in 1994, it was a military base and a majority of the Presidio's development dates from that era, especially the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The remaining historic architecture has been dutifully preserved and adapted for new uses, including facilities for park operations and leased offices for non-profit organizations. Historic military housing has also been rehabilitated and occupied; there are residents living in this park, so that it can be called a neighborhood even if the population is relatively sparse.
This thread will focus on the features of the interior of the Presidio, located a short distance from the coastline, while another thread will focus on the coastline: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=204706
Letterman Digital Arts Center:
The only major buildings to be built in the Presidio since it became a National Recreation Area are these five connected buildings from 2005, located on the edge of the neighborhood adjacent to the Marina neighborhood. They were built on the site of a former military healthcare facility, the Letterman Hospital. Together they are the home of several of the entertainment companies that film producer George Lucas founded (and were recently purchased by The Walt Disney Company): Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and Industrial Light and Magic. The buildings surround a park designed by Lawrence Halprin and are a modern interpretation of the historic style of nearby existing former military structures. The only evidence of the film company's presence are some bronze statues of pioneers of the moving image and one that depicts one of the company's characters from its Star Wars films, Yoda!
This is one of the historic gates into the former military base.
Small modern shelters feature maps and information for visitors around the park.
Letterman District Buildings:
The core of the former military post is a large quadrangle of historic buildings surrounding the Main Parade Ground. Many of the buildings were built around the time of the turn of the 20th century, which was perhaps the base's most contributory period when it was the staging post for nearly all U.S. troops departing for the Phillipines during the Spanish-American War.
El Presidio de San Francisco:
One small area of the main post has a few buildings with walls or excavations nearby that show evidence of the history that predates U.S. or Mexican ownership of the area. When the Spanish claimed the area they established a military fort here in 1776.
Montgomery Street Barracks:
One side of the Main Parade Ground in the Main Post is framed by a series of identical barracks from 1895 that have been restored. One features galleries for special exhibits.
The Walt Disney Family Museum:
Another one of the Montgomery Street Barracks is occupied by this excellent small but oddly-sited museum. Rather than being located where the man was born (Missouri) or where he made his name in film production (Southern California), it is located closer to the region where his immediate heirs live. It is run by a foundation started by his family, not by the entertainment corporation that bears his name.
Main Post Buildings:
Many more historic buildings have been refurbished to house non-profit organizations or park support organizations around the Main Parade Ground, while a few structures are used for their original purposes (houses and chapels and a theater).
San Francisco National Cemetary:
Near the Main Post is this military cemetary.
National Cemetary Overlook:
On a hill above the cemetary is this pedestrian viewpoint in a grove of eucalyptus.
In another grove of eucalyptus in the Southeastern corner of the Presidio is a piece of landscape art by Andy Goldsworthy.
Presidio Golf Course:
This large scenic recreational area is surrounded by the forests of Monterey cypresses and Monterey pines that dominate the interior of the Presidio.
Fort Winfield Scott:
Another cluster of former military buildings sits on a hill near the Golden Gate.
Many rows of former military houses are occupied and form the permanent population of the neighborhood in pockets scattered around the hills.
Several historic buildings of the former Public Health Service Hospital near the Southern boundary of the Presidio have been converted into an apartment complex.
Lobos Valley Overlook:
Marine Cemetary Vista:
Another Andy Goldsworthy installation in the Presidio.
Inspiration Point Overlook:
An expansive view of the bay and landscape is the reward for visitors to stop here, near the highest elevation in the park.
All photographs taken in 2012 (except several from 2007-2011) by geomorph.