Presidio of San Francisco (November 15, 2011) — Historian and author Michael Corbett recounts the rarely told story of the Port of San Francisco in the Presidio Trust’s annual Redmond Kernan Lecture on Thursday, November 17 at 7 pm at the Golden Gate Club. Admission is free.
Corbett uses historic images to trace the physical development of the port and its central role in San Francisco’s growth and prosperity from the 19th century to World War II. The port’s familiar piers and warehouses, created through monumental works of engineering, are now some of the most desirable urban real estate in the United States. Corbett not only chronicles the heyday of the port as a flourishing hub of shipping and commerce, but places it in a contemporary context as well.
Before his talk, Corbett will be signing copies of his latest book, Port City: The History and Transformation of the Port of San Francisco, 1848-2010, which was released in February. An independent architectural historian who has been writing about San Francisco since 1973, Corbett has authored several books including Splendid Survivors: San Francisco’s Downtown Architectural Heritage (1979), the influential survey that formed the basis of the downtown plan and remains a standard reference on San Francisco architecture.
The lecture, Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City, is the last in the inaugural season of the Presidio Trust’s new series, Contemporary Historians at the Presidio: Voices and Views. The series, which features some of the nation’s pre-eminent historians, explores a wide range of issues, some of which are specific to the Presidio, and others which delve into larger themes in American and world history that help put the Presidio’s extraordinary past into context as a former military post and now an innovative national park.
The Redmond Kernan Lecture is presented annually by the Presidio Trust. It honors the late Redmond Kernan, a former Army officer and long-time Presidio advocate. This year’s lecture, Fundamental San Francisco: The Creation of the Port and the Development of the City, takes place Thursday, November 17 at 7 pm at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop in the Presidio, and will be preceded by a book signing at 6:30 pm. Admission is free.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to oversee the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio was established in 1776 by Spain and is the birthplace of San Francisco. In 1846, it became a United States Army post and eventually was the headquarters for the 13 U.S. Army forts that encircled San Francisco Bay and that today make up the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Presidio was named a National Historic Landmark District in 1962 and it became a national park site in 1994. Today, more than 8,000 people live and work in the park, setting this park apart from other national park sites.”