Explore the origins of the Presidio and learn how to experience the history of the park today.
The land at the Golden Gate was the traditional territory of the Yelamu, a local tribe of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Peninsula. It then served as a military outpost for the Spanish Empire, the Mexican Republic, and the United States Army. Today, it’s a national park site and a National Historic Landmark District.
Over nearly three decades, preservation efforts have brought this history to life. Now, visitors can walk through historic sites, explore artifacts and exhibitions, and experience the continuing story of the Presidio.
This land was and is part of the traditional territory of the Yelamu, a local tribe of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples.
Spain establishes the Presidio in order to guard the bay from other European powers and protect the nearby Mission San Francisco de Asís.
Mexico achieves its independence from Spain. The Presidio becomes a Mexican outpost.
During the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the U.S. Army occupies the crumbling Presidio and begins using it as a post.
It gradually grows to be the largest Army post on the Pacific Coast, defending San Francisco and housing troops used in operations in the West.
It is a base for troops sent to the Philippines in the Spanish-American War and Philippine War, as the U.S. projects power across the Pacific.
The Army establishes Letterman General Hospital at the Presidio to treat the sick and injured returning from the Philippines.
After an earthquake, troops enter the city to maintain order and control fires, while medical personnel set up refugee camps and treat injured.
During World War I, the Army uses the post to train officers, organize new artillery and infantry units, and treat wounded men from the front.
The Army operates an air coast defense station at Crissy Field, exploring the role of aviation in coastal defense and reconnaissance.
The Golden Gate Bridge is constructed with access through the Presidio granted by the Army.
During World War II, the Western Defense Command, headquartered at the Presidio, is responsible for the defense of the West Coast.
Letterman General Hospital becomes the principal debarkation hospital for sick and wounded returning from the Pacific theater.
The Presidio is declared a National Historic Landmark District.
Legislation creating the Golden Gate National Recreational Area includes a provision for the Presidio to join it if the Army departs.
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission deems the Presidio to be excess to the military’s needs. Planning to make it a park begins.
The Presidio joins the national park system as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Congress creates the Presidio Trust to manage the Presidio together with NPS and with the support of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service unveil restored open spaces at Crissy Field.
The Presidio Trust Management Plan is published.
The Presidio adopts a plan for creating a trails system, which is built over the next two decades.
Organizations bring new life to the Main Post, the Letterman District, Crissy Field, and the Public Health District.
As required by law, the Presidio Trust begins covering annual operating costs with funds earned primarily through leasing homes and workplaces.
The park’s most historic building, the Presidio Officers’ Club, reopens to the public.
The William Penn Mott, Jr. Presidio Visitor Center opens.
Presidio Tunnel Tops opens.
The Partnership for the Presidio maintains the Presidio as a Forever Park.
The Presidio protects and shares the park’s extraordinary historical record.
We’re rehabilitating this National Historic Landmark District, with hundreds of buildings, artifacts, and landscapes that tell the story of our nation’s past.
We manage more than 30 archaeological areas that reveal the land’s history, from Native Ohlone settlement to U.S. Army occupation. The Presidio is one of the only national park sites with an active archaeological dig.
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The Presidio is among the most ambitious historic preservation projects in the United States. It’s being revitalized with both history and the environment in mind.
Through innovative sustainability practices, we’re reimagining the park’s historic structures and achieving LEED certifications.
The Presidio is perhaps the biggest preservation success story of the 20th century.”
The Presidio Officers’ Club is the park’s most historic building. First established in 1776, it was reimagined many times in its history.
Today, this beautiful, historic destination hosts Colibri Mexican Bistro and is a venue for weddings, celebrations, and meetings. Fridays through Sundays, visitors enjoy free exhibitions tracing the history of the Presidio.
Immerse yourself in history at the Inn at the Presidio and the Lodge at the Presidio. These former Army buildings, which date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, have been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Historic Hotels of America” program for their authenticity and architectural integrity.
The work of maintaining the Presidio as a “forever park” continues every day.
Did you know that businesses inside the Presidio help sustain park operations and restoration efforts? Whether you’re visiting a yoga studio, a café, a golf course, or a historic hotel, there are all kinds of ways to support local businesses while supporting the park.
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