Presidio of San Francisco (August 8, 2007) — The Presidio Trust today announced the release of a Request for Proposals, or RFP, for cultural institutions to be located at the Presidio’s Main Post. The proposal includes the opportunity for a new building south of the Parade Ground, the Main Post’s principle open space. Two of the 19th century red-brick barracks buildings that flank the Parade Ground are also included in the offering.
The Trust is working with Philadelphia-based Olin Partnership to create a design for the Parade Ground that revitalizes it as a spectacular public open space. With sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate framed by historic buildings and forested ridgetops, the Main Parade will be one of the grandest open spaces at the Presidio — a place that invites public activity and interest.
The RFP follows an offer from Doris and Donald Fisher, co-founders of the Gap, to build a public museum in the Presidio to display their collection of contemporary art, which includes works by such 20th century masters as: Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra and others. The Fishers would pay for the construction and operations of the museum. Fisher was a founding board member of the Presidio Trust.
“The presence of a major cultural institution, such as the one proposed by the Fishers, would be an important catalyst for attracting other vibrant, public-serving uses to the Main Post,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “The Trust envisions the Main Post, once the ceremonial and administrative center for a military community, as the cultural and civic center for this unique national park.”
“Don was an early leader in the fight to save the Presidio,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Don and Doris’s proposal to build a museum at the Presidio shows the lasting commitment that they have both to the Presidio and to the City of San Francisco, and exemplifies the kind of public-private parternship that has been critical to the creation and success of this urban park.”
The Trust is required to undertake reasonable competition for opportunities in the Presidio. When a proposal of merit is submitted, the Trust offers an RFP for the proposed use or site so that others may compete for it and so that the public understands what is being proposed and what actions the Presidio Trust may take.
“The Fisher proposal is very exciting. It would be great for the Presidio and great for the City,” said David Grubb, Chairman of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors.
In addition to the new construction site, the Presidio Trust has identified two of the historic Montgomery Street Barracks for this opportunity. Proposals for one or all of the sites would be considered. The proposed uses must respect the Presidio’s important history and its spectacular setting and contribute to making the Presidio a great and unique national park. Proposals received by November 9, 2007 will receive first consideration. The selection process will include presentations to the public. The RFP will be widely distributed to cultural organizations and related entities and is available from the Presidio Trust upon request.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to manage the Presidio of San Francisco, a former army base located at the southern anchor of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains the infrastructure of a small city as well as expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic buildings that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District.”