Opening caps a 20 year restoration of the waterfront.
SAN FRANCISCO (July 16, 2022) – Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with San Francisco community leaders and Partnership for the Presidio representatives celebrated a ribbon-cutting to officially open
Presidio Tunnel Tops. This highly anticipated national park space is now open to the public, after a 20-year transformation of the Presidio’s waterfront. Presidio Tunnel Tops adds 14 acres to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, building a national park space over concrete tunnels connecting San Francisco to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and bringing national park experiences closer to people across the Bay Area and visitors from around the world.
“Today is a day of joy and celebration for all San Franciscans, as our city prepares to open a majestic new public space,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Those of us who worked for decades to transform the Presidio from Post to Park are thrilled with the Presidio Tunnel Tops, which will serve as a beautiful beacon of recreation, education and community in our city. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Presidio Trust, National Park Service, and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the immense generosity of many supporters and volunteers, families in the Bay Area and beyond will benefit from this magnificent new park – now and for generations to come.”
Presidio Tunnel Tops opens to the public on July 17, kicking off an opening season of free family-friendly events and activities that will take place through October. The programming was led by the Partnership for the Presidio and the Presidio Activator Council—community leaders, advocates, and artists representing the talent and energy of people across the Bay Area.
“We’re thrilled Presidio Tunnel Tops will offer even more green space for relaxation, for reflection, and especially for play,” says Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “We’ve added an amazing nature play area, many more picnic benches, food trucks, carts, and tents, rangers with campfire talks, and so much more.”
Chris Lehnertz, president and CEO of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy extended a special thanks to donors who supported our nation’s newest national park space: “We’re grateful to our dedicated Presidio Tunnel Tops campaign committee, led by Lynne Benioff, Mark Buell, and Randi Fisher, and the many other families and individuals who helped deliver on the vision of this great park. These extraordinary contributions help transform concrete and Highway 101 into the nation’s newest park space.”
Says Carey Feierabend, acting superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area: “The unique outdoor recreation and exploration space of the Presidio Tunnel Tops may be the first introduction to the national park system for many visitors. We’re delighted to welcome them to this community-crafted space, especially as we look toward celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area this fall.”
The opening season includes an art installation by local artist Favianna Rodriguez titled,
Ancestral Futurism: Looking Back to Repair the Future, several large-scale festivals, ongoing activities during the
Sunday Afternoons series, which will take place every first Sunday of the month, the Presidio Pop Up mobile food program, and reservable picnics places with grills.
For more information on the Presidio Tunnel Tops, visit
In 1993, Bay Area leaders, urban planners, and citizens were faced with the need to replace the seismically unsafe Doyle Drive, which cut the Presidio in two as it led to the Golden Gate Bridge. A vision to construct the highway into tunnels and reconnect the park by creating new land over their tops was put forth and the Presidio Tunnel Tops project was born. Hundreds of hours of community engagement with more than 10,000 participants helped shape the final design of the site. James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s
High Line, was selected as the design partner. This exciting new site allows the Partnership for the Presidio to provide more national park experiences to people in the Bay Area and serves as a gateway to the greater Golden Gate National Recreation Area and broader National Park System. Led by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Presidio Tunnel Tops campaign raised over $98 million of the $118 million project. It was built by Swinerton Builders.
Two federal agencies manage the Presidio: the
Presidio Trust and the
National Park Service with support from the nonprofit
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Together, the Partnership sustains the Presidio’s natural beauty, preserves its history, maintains its funding, and creates inspiring national park experiences for all.