Presidio of San Francisco

From Academic Kids

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Parading Ground - Presidio of San Francisco

The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in the City and County of San Francisco. It is operated by the National Park Service of the United States as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

The Presidio was originally a Spanish fort sited by Juan Bautista de Anza on March 28, 1776 built by a party led by Josef Joachin Moraga later that year. Until its closure in 1994, it was the longest continuously operated military base in the United States.

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Presidio of San Francisco

After a hard-fought battle the Presidio averted an auction and came under the management of the Presidio Trust, an executive agency of the U.S. government established by an act of Congress in 1996. The Presidio Trust now manages the park in partnership with the National Park Service. The Trust has jurisdiction over the interior 80 percent of the Presidio, including nearly all of its historic structures. The National Park Service manages coastal areas.

One of main objectives of Presidio Trustís program is achieving financial self-sufficiency by fiscal year 2013. Until then, the Trust continues to receive federal funds to support its operation. Immediately after its inception, the Trust began preparing rehabilation plans for the park. Many areas had to be decontaminated before they could be prepared for public use.

Crissy Field, a former airfield, has undergone extensive restoration and now serves as very popular recreational area. It borders on the San Francisco Marina in the East and on the Golden Gate bridge in the West.

Presidio of San Francisco

The park has a large network of buildings (~ 800), many of them historical. By 2004 about 50% of the buildings on park grounds have been restored and (partially) remodeled. The Trust has contracted commercial real estate management companies to help attract and retain residential and commercial tenants. The total capacity is estimated at 5,000 residents when all buildings have been rehabilitated. The of Presidio of San Francisco is the only U.S. national park with a residential program.

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Presidio of San Francisco

A major financial win for the Trust was a controversial deal signed with Lucas Arts. The company is building its new headquarters of Industrial Light and Magic on the site of the former Letterman hospital. George Lucas won the development rights for 15 acres (61,000 m²) of the Presidio in June 1999 after beating out a number of rival plans ( including a leading proposal by the Shorenstein Company. A massive $300 million development with nearly 900,000 square feet (84,000 m²) of office space and a 150,000 square foot (14,000 m²) underground parking garage with planned capacity of 2,500 employees will replace former ILM headquarters in San Rafael. Lucas Learning Ltd., Lucas Online, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation will also move to the site. Lucas' proposal includes plans for a high-tech Presidio museum and a seven acre (28,000 m²) "Great Lawn" that will be open to the public.

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Presidio of San Francisco

The Trust plans to create a promenade that will link the Lombard gate, the new Lucas Arts campus to the Main Post and ultimately to the Golden Gate Bridge. The promenade is part of a trails expansion plan that will add 24 miles (39 km) of new pathways and eight scenic overlooks throughout the park.

In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Presidio is the location of Starfleet Headquarters.

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