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Presidio's Historic Cavalry Barracks Rehab Earns LEED Gold Rating


Presidio of San Francisco (May 10, 2011) — The Presidio’s historic Cavalry Barracks has been awarded a gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The barracks is just the second registered historic building in San Francisco to be gold certified in the LEED-CS (Core and Shell) category. The first, the former nurses’ dormitory in the Public Health Service District, is also located in the Presidio.

The honor further cements the Presidio Trust’s status as a leader in using green building practices to rehabilitate historic buildings. The barracks is the fourth project in the park to receive LEED certification, all at the gold or platinum level. The Trust expects seven other projects will eventually be LEED certified as well.

“Rehabilitating an historic building is itself a sustainable practice,” says Chandler McCoy, associate director for planning for the Presidio Trust. “After all, the ‘greenest’ building is one that already exists and is given another 50 years of life.”

The Presidio of San Francisco is the largest historic preservation project underway in the nation today. Of the 750 buildings in the Presidio, 469 are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Trust has rehabilitated over half of the historic buildings in the Presidio and has received numerous Preservation Design Awards in recognition for its historic rehabilitation work.

“It’s a natural fit for us,” says Craig Middleton, the Trust’s Executive Director. “Our aim is to transform a centuries-old military post into a national park site distinguished by a track record of using sustainable practices in the redevelopment of historic buildings and infrastructure.”

Built in 1902, the two-story, wood-frame barracks received a complete rehabilitation. The building is not only designed “green,” but looks the part as well with a new “living” roof planted atop a conference room. The outside walls are draped in bougainvillea (though it will be another year before it is fully grown in), which provide an efficient and natural form of insulation.

The building’s interior features ornate, pressed metal ceilings, an unusual system of supporting beams, detailed cast-iron columns, fireplaces and mantels and the original staircase and railings€”all of which were preserved during the rehabilitation, as was its stately façade.

“It’s a wonderful, rich building with a lot of character,” says Rob Wallace, an architect with the Trust. “We modernized the building, brought it up to current standards capable of supporting contemporary uses, yet at the same time we maintained the building’s historic character.”

The 109-year old barracks is unique among Presidio buildings. Perched on a hillside overlooking Crissy Field, it is surrounded by woods. It served as home to the cavalry soldiers who trained at the Presidio in the early part of the century, before they shipped out to fight the war in the Philippines; and later to protect California’s newly created national parks, Yosemite and Kings Canyon.

In the years since the Army left the Presidio, the barracks has served as “swing space” for several San Francisco schools while their permanent buildings were being remodeled or constructed. Its location makes it suitable for a wide range of possible uses from office space for single or multiple tenants to educational purposes.

For leasing information call the Presidio Trust Real Estate office at: (415) 561-5335.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is known for spectacular views, historic forest and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The Presidio also comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District. “

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