In 1994, Congress turned over the Presidio military base to the National Park Servicein San Francisco after more than 200 years of military use.
The transfer was part of a realignment effort kicked off in 1989 to reduce the number of military bases. A lot has happened at the Presidio of San Francisco since then. Clement Lau, a Los Angeles County planner, recently toured the park, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is on both the state and national registry of landmarks.
After the transfer, Congress authorized the creation of a trust in 1996 to ensure the park’s management and mandated that the Presidio be financially self-supporting by 2013. Self-sufficiency was achieved ahead of schedule, notes Lau.
“Over the last decade, the Trust has developed major areas of the Presidio into public parkland; redeveloped and preserved hundreds of historic buildings; recruited over 200 organizations to become part of the park and its programs; and raised over a billion dollars in non-federal funds for the park. Perhaps most importantly, the Presidio has become financially self-sufficient.”
Lau showcases the major accomplishments of the Presidio base-to-park conversion, which is ongoing.