Presidio of San Francisco

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The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or Royal Presidio of San Francisco) is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It has been a fortified location since 1776 when the Spanish made it the military center of their expansion in the area. It passed to Mexico, which in turn passed it to the United States in 1847.[5] As part of a military reduction program, Congress voted in 1989 to end the Presidio's status as an active military installation and on October 1, 1994, it was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years of military use and beginning its next phase of mixed commercial and public use.[6] In 1996, the United States Congress created the Presidio Trust to oversee and manage the interior 80% of the park's lands, with the National Park Service managing the coastal 20%.[7] In a first-of-its-kind structure, Congress mandated that the Presidio Trust make the Presidio financially self-sufficient by 2013, something it achieved 8 years early.[8]

The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.[3]


Presidio Visitor Centers

The visitor centers are operated by the National Park Service:

  • Presidio Visitor Center — offers changing exhibits about the Presidio, information about activities and sights in the park and books.
  • Battery Chamberlin — seacoast defense museum and artillery display at Baker Beach built in 1904
  • Fort Point — 1861 brick and granite fortification located under the Golden Gate Bridge. The visitor center, open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, offers a video orientations, guided tours, self-guiding materials, exhibits, and books for sale.
  • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center — This center offers hands-on marine life exhibits, and is located in a historic Coast Guard Station at the west end of Crissy Field. The building was used by the Coast Guard from 1890 to 1990.

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