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California: Development of the Presidio Trust Implementation Plan, Presidio of San Francisco

Agency: Presidio Trust

Criteria for ACHP Involvement:

  • Development of the proposed plan will chart the future for a large portion of the Presidio of San Francisco, a National Historic Landmark district (Criterion 1).

  • There is considerable public interest and debate over the proposed plan (Criterion 3).

Recent Developments

In an effort to update the 1994 General Management Plan for the Presidio of San Francisco, the Presidio Trust has developed a draft set of alternatives for future management of the complex. The draft, known as the Presidio Trust Implementation Plan (PTIP) has been circulated for public review and an initial round of comments. (The plan is available at

Currently, ACHP is involved in consultation to develop a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that addresses the Section 106 implications of the management decisions included in the PTIP, as well as daily operation and maintenance activities at the Presidio.

As currently written, the draft PA sets up a process for ACHP, the California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the National Park Service (NPS), and the public to take part in the subsequent formulation of smaller and more detailed area-specific plans that meet the requirements of the planning principles set forth in the PTIP. Further meetings with the consulting parties are scheduled to discuss proposed revisions to the PA.

On a related note, the Presidio Trust also recently responded to the formal comments of ACHP regarding the proposed construction of the Letterman Digital Arts Center. The Presidio Trust pledged to continue working with LucasFilm, Ltd. to ensure that a good faith effort is made to address the concerns articulated in ACHP’s comments in the final design of the digital arts complex. (For further information on ACHP’s comments, see the Winter 2001 report on this case.

Presidio of San Francisco, California, with the Golden Gate Bridge



Presidio of San Francisco, California, with the Golden Gate Bridge (staff photo)




The Presidio of San Francisco is a property of unique natural and cultural importance that has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Established as a Spanish military post, it became the oldest American military post in continuous operation. It contains historic structures from every major military construction period since 1848. Under the terms of the Base Closure and Realignment Act, the Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service in 1994.

In July 1998, administration of the non-coastal portion of the Presidio of San Francisco (known as Area B) was transferred from NPS to the Presidio Trust, a Federal Government corporation created by Congress. Although the Presidio Trust is responsible for the management, including environmental compliance, of approximately 80 per cent of the Presidio, the complex in its entirety remains part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The challenge before the Presidio Trust is to manage Area B of the Presidio in a manner that allows it to become financially self-sufficient by 2013 while still remaining a unit of the National Park System. (For more information on the Presidio, visit www.

In 1994, the NPS approved a General Management Plan (GMP) for the operation and
administration of the Presidio. Since assuming the management of most of the installation in 1998, the Presidio Trust recognized the need to review and update this plan in accordance with the goals and objectives set forth in its enabling legislation, the Presidio Trust Act.

Beginning in July 2000, the Presidio Trust embarked on a planning process that seeks to determine what elements of the 1994 GMP should remain the same and what provisions need to be amended. The Presidio Trust initiated several public scoping meetings to evaluate the goals of the GMP, and has had separate discussions with NPS, the California SHPO, and ACHP.

As part of the PTIP, the Presidio Trust hopes to develop a fresh vision statement for the management of the NHL that will include specific planning principles, goals, and objectives for treating Area B of the Presidio.

Staff contact: Jane Crisler

Updated June 6, 2002

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