Skip to Content

Green Building Rehabilitation

We’re rehabilitating historic buildings to preserve history and protect the environment.

It’s been said that the greenest building is one that already exists. So, we’re “recycling” the Presidio’s historic structures through adaptive reuse.

When the U.S. Army decommissioned the Presidio in 1994, they left behind what amounts to a small town, including hundreds of historic buildings originally built to be barracks, quarters, warehouses, hangars, and gun batteries.

Over more than two decades, the Presidio Trust and our partners have brought these beautiful structures back to life through adaptive reuse – often using them for something other than what they were designed for.

As we do this work, we apply green building practices, honoring the park’s legacy while reducing our environmental impact. The Presidio is now at the forefront of combining historic preservation and green building.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)

We require Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all building rehabilitation projects in this national park site. LEED is the most widely used rating system that measures how buildings are designed or repaired to reduce environmental impacts and promote quality of life.

We adopted LEED standards for all large rehabilitation projects in 2010. Since then, 28 projects have been certified, with several more in the works.

We also incorporate green building practices in our day-to-day maintenance. We reduce the amount of waste we create and use environmentally friendly products whenever possible.

Case Study 1: Public Health Service District

The Presidio’s Public Health Service District was the first neighborhood in the United States to receive LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certification. This mixed-use district serves office, childcare, and residential tenants. Its centerpiece is a 110-unit apartment building – a former Public Health Service hospital completed in 1932.

Historic image of the Marine Hospital taken in 1935.
The Public Health Service Hospital in 1935. Image courtesy OpenSFHistory.
Public Health Service Hospital prior to rehabilitation.
The Public Health Service Hospital was in great need of rehabilitation.
Public Health Service Hospital as seen in 2023.
Rehabilitation of the building was completed in 2010. It’s now the Presidio Landmark residences.
New and old Public Health Service Hospital buildings, circa 1931
The new Public Health Service Hospital under construction, circa 1931. Nearly all buildings have been adaptively reused.
Exterior of the Wyman Avenue residences in the Public Health Service District.
The Wyman Avenue neighborhood residences were rehabilitated in 2010.

Case Study 2: Presidio Lodging

The Inn at the Presidio and Lodge at the Presidio offer 64 hotel rooms in rehabilitated soldiers’ housing. These LEED-certified, award-winning rehabilitation projects have received recognition for their green building practices, including the 2022 Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion Award.

Exterior of the Inn at the Presidio.
The Inn at the Presidio opened in 2012.
Bachelor Officers’ Quarters, circa 1981.
The Bachelor Officer’s Quarters, circa 1981.
Lodge at the Presidio exterior, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
The Lodge at the Presidio opened in 2018.
Historic photo of a horse and wagon in front of the Montgomery Street Barracks.
Barracks and Army supply wagon as seen circa 1913.

Case Study 3: Historic Wood Window Frame Rehabilitation

Our maintenance teams have developed an innovative method for preserving and reusing the Presidio’s thousands of wood frame windows, some of which are more than 100 years old, while making them energy efficient and environmentally safe.

Two workers repair historic windows in a white Presidio building.
Historic window rehabilitation extends the life of these windows, keeping them out of landfills.
Worker repairs a historic Presidio window.
A technician repairs a historic wood window sash.
Worker repairs a historic sash rope.
A technician conducts a historic window sash rope and weight repair.
Historic photo from 1937 of two workers repairing a window in a Presidio home.
Repairing wood window frames in 1937. Image courtesy NARA.

Case Study 4: Presidio Tunnel Tops – The Field Station and Crissy Field Center

Presidio Tunnel Tops (this includes buildings 601, 602, and 603) was recently awarded LEED Gold Certification. This award is given to sustainably designed buildings and represents a huge milestone in the completion of Presidio Tunnel Tops. Building 603 is the former Commissary and Warehouse built in 1939 and contributes to the National Historic Landmark District. The reuse of this building counted towards the amount of recycled materials used in the overall Tunnel Tops project, and the upgrades to the mechanical systems further improved the building’s performance. Buildings 601 and 602 are new, and although they were designed using the same goals of sustainability, they were also sensitively designed to be compatible within the historic setting. Today, the buildings serve the park function as the Field Station and Crissy Field Center.

Building 603, circa 1981
Building 603, circa 1981.
Doyle Drive, with building 603 on the right, in 1950
Doyle Drive, with building 603 on the right, in 1950.
Buildings 601 and 602 in the early stages of construction, adjacent to building 603
Buildings 601 and 602 in the early stages of construction, adjacent to building 603.
The Crissy Field Center and Field Station, recently completed
The Crissy Field Center and Field Station, recently completed.
Building 603 welcoming visitors in a new park landscape
Building 603 welcoming visitors in a new park landscape.

Contact Us

If you have questions about historic preservation at the Presidio, reach out to Rob Thomson, Federal Preservation Officer, at

Montgomery Street Barracks and lawn, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.