October 26, 2016

From Commissary to culture–a crucial decision for Presidio Trust

Aerial view of former Commissary site, the large gray building to left of center, facing onto Crissy Field. Photo from RFCP.

Aerial view of former Commissary site, the large gray building to left of center, facing onto Crissy Field. Photo from RFCP.

The former Commissary at Crissy Field, currently occupied by Sports Basement, is the Presidio’s “front door” onto San Francisco Bay. This site has long been earmarked in the Presidio Trust Management Plan for eventual reuse as a cultural institution.

As the Trust plans for this conversion, it must adhere to the criteria it listed last November in its Request for Concept Proposals (RFCP), emphasizing compatibility with the natural and cultural resources of the national park. The new use needs to complement current uses and activities in the Presidio, and to integrate well with plans for Crissy Field and the Main Post. Though economic viability is important, it should not be an overriding factor. Nor should an applicant’s celebrity override the Trust’s stated criteria.

Of the 16 diverse proposals submitted in response to the RFCP, after a substantial public-comment process, as an interim step the Trust has narrowed the field to three:

  • Chora/WRNS–The Bridge/Sustainability Institute
  • Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy–Presidio Exchange
  • George Lucas–Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.

A Request for Proposals has been sent to these three finalists to present more fully formed proposals including program ideas, architectural designs, and funding and operations strategies. Final proposals will be due in the fall.

For all those who posted heart-wrenching comments about the potential loss of the Sports Basement, the Trust has reassured the public that it will offer a new Presidio location to this business.

The proposals and comments may be viewed at www.presidio.gov.


The Trust will host public presentations of the three Commissary proposals on Mon., June 17, at 6:30 pm in the Observation Post, the old Burger King, at 211 Lincoln Blvd. (at Graham Street) in San Francisco on the Main Post (directions at http://www.presidio.gov/venues/Pages/observation-post-at-the-presidio-driving-directions.aspx).

Jan Blum


  1. Ruth Ann Dorsey says:

    As a widow of an army officer and user of the Presidio when it was, I’m in favor of the George Lucas art museum. It would be a great “front door” to the city in a beautiful location attracting tourists as well as locals.

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