Presidio of San Francisco Tour

This tour explores the center of San Francisco's Presidio, a former military base that is now administered by the National Park Service and home to museums, inns, tech companies, and various other enterprises. The tour concludes at the location of the former military prison where prisoners launched a protest during the Vietnam War known as the Presidio Mutiny.

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El Polín Spring
When the Spanish established Mission Dolores and the Presidio (fort) in 1776, they relied on freshwater springs to supply their settlement. One of these, El Polín Spring, is the site of one of the Presidio's first non-military settlements and the home of the extended Briones family from 1810-1850. Archaeological excavations between 2003 and 2015 revealed the green Serpentine stone foundation of an adobe house belonging to Marcos Briones, early nineteenth century terra-cotta roof tiles, a kiln, and refuse deposits, as well as landform modification associated with the Briones family. Both colonial and Native American artifacts have been found at the site, the former represented by both imported and local ceramics, glass container fragments, and metal, and the latter represented by worked shell and stone. During and following the archaeological investigations at El Polín Spring, the Presidio Trust worked to restore the area's habitat, which soil studies had shown to vary between marshes, small streams, sand dunes, and hills. A series of small ponds and sunken spillways are now interspersed with wetlands, and the area is a hot spot for bird watching.
Inn at the Presidio, Pershing Hall (Former Bachelor Officer's Quarters)
Built by the U. S. Army as quarters for unmarried officers in 1903, the Georgian Revival-style Pershing Hall was named for General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing (1886-1924), who served at the Presidio of San Francisco beginning in 1913. As a fire precaution, Pershing Hall was constructed as three separate wings, and later served as Visiting Officers' Quarters until the Army turned the Presidio over to the National Park Service in 1994. Now, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks and has been converted into an inn, each wing of which is named for a general who once lived in the building.
Lucasfilm headquarters Yoda Fountain
The 26″ life-sized Yoda statue is sitting on top of a fountain located at the entrance of the Lucasfilm headquarters. Lucasfilm headquarters is part of a large compound called the Letterman Digital Arts Center. LDAC is a 23-acre campus, that includes public park space that features statues of Bay Area movie makers.
Tides Thoreau Center San Francisco
The original (1898-1902) U. S. Army (Letterman) General Hospital building (a National Historic Landmark), along with eleven other Presidio buildings, house the Thoreau Center for Sustainability. The Center's renovation of the hospital buildings began in 1995, and combined historic preservation with green building principles. The Thoreau Center houses over 60 non-profit organizations in 150,000 square feet, as well as the Whole Earth Library, two art galleries, and a cafe. Some of the Center's tenants include the World Wildlife Fund, Art Seed, Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, Community Clinics Initiative, Door Dog Music Productions, Friends of the Urban Forest, Lawyers for Clean Water, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers. The free-admission China Brotsky Art Gallery, named after the Tides senior vice president, is housed in one of the Letterman Hospital windowed corridors and is dedicated to environmentally-themed works.
First Women in the Army: U.S. Army Nurse Corps Historic Marker
The members of the Nurse Corps were the first women to be recognized members of the United States Army on February 2, 1901. On that date, the Army Nurse Corps became a permanent part of the Army Medical Department under the Army Reorganization Act. This historical marker commemorates the history of the women who served in the Corps at the U.S. Army General Hospital of the Presidio, the very first military facility to employ Corps nurses. Two buildings were constructed in 1915 and 1916 to house the San Francisco Nurse Corps; one of these was later named Thompson Hall in honor Dora E. Thompson. In addition to being one of the first and longest-serving members of the Corps, Thompson achieved the rank of captain and served from 1902-1932.
Society of California Pioneers
The Society of California Pioneers, established the same year California became a state in 1850, is headquartered at the former U. S. Army's Montgomery Street Barracks in the Presidio of San Francisco. The Pioneer House contains the extensive historical collections of the Society, as well as a free museum and non-circulating library which are accessible to the public. Guided tours and school programs are also available. The Society's collections include over 10,000 documents related to California's history from the Spanish and Mexican eras to World War II, as well as historic photographs, music, artwork, and historic artifacts.
The Presidio and the Spanish-American War
This 1776 Spanish fortification and surrounding land was used as an encampment, training grounds, and staging point for the invasion of the Philippines during the Spanish-American War (1898-1906). Some units stationed here, such as the famed 10th Calvary, "Buffalo Soldiers", an all-black unit, would be shipped to Cuba to fight alongside Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. After Cuba, The Presidio was home again as the 10th Calvary prepared for the Philippines.
Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum was established by the Disney family to honor and preserve the legacy of Walt for future generations. It opened in 2009 at the Presidio in San Francisco, a historic former military post. Through a series of interactive galleries, the museum explores the life of Walt Disney and his influence on American society. The museum works to educate the public through a series of lectures, classes, field trips, and workshops on art and animation for people of all ages. It also contains a movie theater, gift shop, and café.
San Francisco National Cemetery
Colonel George P. Andrews petitioned for the West Coast's first National Cemetery, which was designated on December 12, 1884, originally consisting of less than ten acres of land. The first interments at the San Francisco National Cemetery, aside from the graves already present from the post cemetery years, were re-interred from abandoned military cemeteries at forts and camps along the coast and the Western frontier. In 1932, the National Cemetery expanded to 28.34 acres (its current size).The San Francisco National Cemetery houses approximately 30,000 burials, all veterans and the families of veterans. Among its interments are Buffalo Soldiers, Union spy Pauline Cushman Fryer, Sarah Bowman (who volunteered medical aid to Zachary Taylor's troops during the Mexican-American War), and many Medal of Honor recipients.
Presidio Park Archives and Records Center
Housed in one of the Presidio's historic 1914 brick cavalry stable buildings is the Park Archives and Records Center (PARC). PARC is managed by the National Park Service, and its collection of over five million documents, artifacts, oral histories, maps, and historic images are accessible to the public during walk-in research hours or by appointment. The archives contain records related to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including the Presidio, from the Spanish colonial period to the present, though the majority of PARC's records are from the United States Army era of the Presidio's history.
Presidio Mutiny
The Presidio Mutiny was a protest held by imprisoned soldiers during the Vietnam War at the Presidio Stockade. Soldiers who did not abide by orders or went AWOL during the Vietnam War were sent to the Presidio Stockade to serve imprisonment sentences. The conditions were awful within the stockade and led to one of the soldiers, Richard Bunch, being killed. This ensued an all out riot. Later 4 AWOL men, Linden Blake, Keith Mather, Walter Pawlowski, and Randy Rowland decided to march in the protest parade to the stockade and were too imprisoned.They created a plan for the prisoners to turn to a peaceful method of protest. 28 men broke formation and sat together in the grass of the stockade yard and sang, "We Shall Overcome."

This tour was created by Clio Admin on 11/29/16 .

This tour has been taken 540 times within the past year.

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