CONTENTS 1 • Welcome to the Presidio Exchange 5 • Program and Visitor Experience 25 • Facility Design and Relationship to Context: Crissy Field and Main Post 41 • Organizational Capacity and Implementation Strategy 55 • Summary
TO THE PRESIDIO EXCHANGE
M ilitary post. National park . C ontemporary A merican landmark . Through time, the Presidio has been a place of exchange of cultures, missions, and people. Now, with the reinvention of the Commissary site and the addition of surrounding parklands, the Presidio is poised to become an iconic and innovative visitor destination, taking its place among the best urban parks and public spaces in the world. To fulfill this promise, the Presidio needs to look to the future. What are the defining features of trend-setting cultural institutions? How will people best connect to the history, culture, and nature of the Presidio? How can the Presidio further spark engagement and innovation given the diverse and changing demographics in America? The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancyâ€™s proposal for the Presidio Exchange (PX) presents a fresh and modern approach to cultural programming in the Presidio. Participatory, spontaneous, dynamic, and rooted to this special place, the PX supports the Presidioâ€™s emergence as a destination of distinction. WHAT IS THE PRESIDIO EXCHANGE? The Presidio Exchange is a new civic space that curates and creates unique visitor experiences at the Presidio. It serves as a program hub and gathering place for the public and a gateway to the remarkable assets of the entire Presidio.
PROGRAM AND VISITOR EXPERIENCE At the heart of the PX is a dynamic mix of public programs that are Presidio-themed, participatory, and cross-disciplinary. This program framework is informed not only by recent park-based research, but also national studies about current trends in museums, cultural institutions, and parks. The PX will feature four types of programming: exhibits and installations, events and programs, residencies, and daily offerings. The majority of PX programs will be free and accessible to all, and content will be ever-changing, co-created, and audience-drivenâ€”the hallmarks of successful contemporary cultural institutions and public spaces. Program partners will play a key role at the PX, bringing passion, expertise, and relevance to the Presidio. More than 30 organizations, including nationally prominent entities such as National Geographic, California Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute, Walker Art Center, and Stanfordâ€™s Bill Lane Center for the American West, have expressed their intention to partner with the PX. The PX will complement other visitor offerings at the Presidio, including those of the Presidio Trust, National Park Service (NPS), and tenant organizations. BUILDING AND LANDSCAPE The PX is slated to be a 97,000 square-foot, two-story facility combining reuse of a portion of the existing Commissary building with new construction to the east and south. It meets all of the Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines, and importantly, emphasizes and facilitates visitor movement from Crissy Field to the Main Post. Built around a unique X-shaped public gathering area, the PX seamlessly blends indoor spaces and outdoor spaces, showcases views, and bridges the distinctive design characteristics of Crissy Field and the Main Post. Special interior features such as the Spiral, an interactive digital centerpiece; the Presidio Wall, a multimedia display focused on parks and World Heritage Sites; and Park Place, a permanent space featuring the work of Andy Goldsworthy and other place-based artists, enhance the contemporary look and feel of the facility. Designed for sustainability, the PX is anticipated to achieve LEED Platinum status and incorporates guidelines found in the Living Building Challenge.
A P l ace
D i st i nct ion
The Presidio Exchange (PX) provides an incredible opportunity for the Presidio and the city of San Francisco. With its vision and creativity, the PX will put the Presidio on the map as a destination of local, national, and international appeal—and a place of true distinction. As a genuine reflection of the Presidio’s beauty and history, and the vibrant Bay Area community, the PX is an innovative proposal at the nexus of cultural centers and public spaces. Just as the imagination of the High Line in New York City has transformed a place, embraced the local community, and attracted people from around the world, I am confident that the PX will achieve the same extraordinary public benefits. —ROBERT HAMMOND, CO-FOUNDER, FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE, NEW YORK CITY
The Parks Conservancy plans to construct the PX in two phases. This strategy, often recommended for new cultural facilities, enables the Conservancy to learn from the early years of audience response to the PX programs and facilities and adjust future plans accordingly. Phase I includes all major programmatic and visitor service functions. Phase II will entail additional built and landscape features, allowing the PX to offer large-scale events and performances and provide dedicated workspace for a Residency program that will connect innovative thinkers and makers with the public. CAPACITY AND IMPLEMENTATION The Parks Conservancy is ideally suited to developing and operating the PX. Its leadership, staff, and consultancy team have an exemplary track record in running successful capital campaigns, building award-winning facilities, managing profitable park-based businesses, delivering programs that teach and inspire, and collaborating with its agency partners, the Presidio Trust and the NPS. As a key player in the post-to-park conversion of the Presidio and the driving force behind the transformation of Crissy Field, the Parks Conservancy has earned the trust of the community to enhance this national park site and protect its best attributes. And, with its demonstrated ability to generate more than $300 million in support for the Golden Gate National Parks over the last three decades, and the enthusiastic and growing support for the PX from civic leaders and park supporters, the Conservancy has the experience and expertise to make the PX a reality. The financial model for the PX calls for a phased capital campaign to raise approximately $76 million for Phase I from a deep network of dedicated park supporters. The operations plan is based on multiple earned-revenue streams that will cover the PX annual budget. The partner-driven approach to programming will enable the PX to deliver high-quality programs at relatively modest costs.
WHY SELECT THE PARKS CONSERVANCY The PX is the only proposal for the Commissary site that speaks directly to the mission, values, and themes of the Presidio itself. It honors and illuminates the physical and cultural landscape of this American treasure.
The PX has broad and diverse public appeal. It is intentionally designed to appeal to audiences from a range of backgrounds, interests, cultures, and ages—now and in the future. Most programs are free and open to the public.
The PX fulfills all of the goals outlined by the Presidio Trust and embraces the Presidio’s current plans, policies, and guidelines. In a coherent fashion, the PX adds to and builds upon current and future Presidio visitor facilities and programs.
The Conservancy is a highly effective fundraiser, park builder, and program provider. It has provided $300 million in support to the Golden Gate National Parks, including more than $100 million for the Presidio. It transformed Crissy Field and many other park sites into beloved visitor destinations. It designed and successfully operates visitor programs and services in eight park locations.
The Conservancy embraces the input and participation of the Bay Area community and the engagement of partners throughout our region and across the country. In fact, the PX is built upon this philosophy—making its programs inclusive, vibrant, and connected to multiple audiences and themes.
The Conservancy welcomes the Presidio Trust’s participation, whether in governance, program delivery, or other areas the Trust might suggest. Such collaboration ensures that the PX is directly linked to other Presidio programs and venues and further bolsters this highly collaborative partnership.
The PX exemplifies the Presidio Trust’s visionary thinking about parks and cultural institutions. The addition of the PX strengthens the Presidio Trust’s reputation as an innovator and further establishes the Presidio as a model for great urban parks around the world.
PROGRAM AND VISITOR EXPERIENCE
PX Entryway, highlighting the Presidio Wall, Café, Trailhead, and Spiral in the distance
Meet Me at the PX The Presidio Exchange is a park-based cultural center that creates, curates, and hosts unique public experiences at the Presidio—reflecting the heritage of this national park and the creativity of the Bay Area while connecting to the larger world. By drawing inspiration from a variety of disciplines (history, art, science, technology, recreation, food, health, and ecology), the PX illuminates the many values and stories of the Presidio through an ever-changing array of imaginative programs. As a result of this lively exchange of ideas, experiences, and themes, PX events and activities reflect the Golden Gate—a timeless portal of interchange and dialogue between cultures, natural and built environments, historical periods, and artistic expressions.
We are excited about participating as a program partner of the Presidio Exchange. With our mission to “inspire people to care about the planet,” National Geographic would welcome opportunities to connect the Presidio and the Golden Gate National Parks to the broader world of explorers, scientists, conservationists, national parks, and World Heritage Sites—and to the people working to understand and care for these treasured places. We admire the creative thinking and vision of the PX and believe that a world-class site in a national park at the Golden Gate merits such a bold vision. —JOHN FRANCIS, VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH, CONSERVATION, AND EXPLORATION, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
A Program Hub and Gathering Place The PX serves as a Program Hub of the Presidio, offering experiences in its myriad venue spaces (headlined by the large-scale, multi-purpose Open Space) and also bringing cutting-edge programs to the nearby parklands at Crissy Field, on the new tunnel top parklands created by the Presidio Parkway, on the Main Parade—and wherever nature and culture can bring public enjoyment and engagement to the Presidio. The PX will not only reveal this historic landmark, but also connect it to the themes of the Golden Gate National Parks as well as the creative and intellectual capital of the Bay Area. Through program partners near and far, the PX will link the Presidio to the broader world and offer experiences and programs attracting both the local community and visitors. At the same time, the PX is a Public Gathering Place for new experiences at a national park in an iconic setting. The PX fulfills a major need at Crissy Field for a convivial and accessible space for visitors. In the Living Room and other welcoming spaces of the PX, the public can find relief from the elements, enjoy food and refreshments, spend time with loved ones, and exchange inspiration and creative expression.
Through its indoor and outdoor spaces, the PX encourages the public to both enjoy the park and play a creative part in telling its story. The majority of PX programs and spaces will be free and open to the public seven days a week (8 am–5 pm), with extended hours on select evenings to further expand accessibility of the facility. Occasionally, the PX will host private events and special ticketed programs. Whether visitors are seeking the best view in town, shelter from the wind, or dynamic and participatory public programming, they will find their place in the park at the PX.
PX Intellectual Framework: A 21st Century Concept The PX is an idea grounded in its park location; informed by extensive research on museums, cultural institutions, and parks; and based on a keen understanding of Presidio visitor needs and desires. In conceiving of the PX, the Conservancy reached out to experts and practitioners throughout the Bay Area and across the country to gather the best and latest thinking in public programming. In addition, the Conservancy carefully studied literature on macro-level trends and best practices. National studies—by entities such as the Institute for the Future of Museums and the James Irvine Foundation—focus on America’s rapidly changing demographics and the need for a more interactive and engaging programmatic mix. These reports conclude that the way to attract younger and more diverse audiences to cultural institutions is through programs that are more participatory, dynamic, spontaneous, and audience-focused. According to a 2013 article, “The Learning Museum: New Trends in Museums of the 21st Century,” this type of “participation is useful shorthand for opening up museums to a range of voices.”
The PX: Survey and Research Supported Research conducted by the Trust, the Conservancy, and National Park Service—in the form of qualitative and quantitative surveys and informal interviews of current Presidio users—
suggests ways to better serve and attract visitors. In these studies, people expressed a desire for more drop-in spots, improved amenities and food service, larger event and program venues, shelter from the wind and fog, more interpretive and cultural programs connecting to the Presidio, and more participatory programs. Visitor use studies conducted in the Presidio in 2008 show that the thing people liked least—and most—about Crissy Field is the weather. Most wanted additional amenities, more indoor space and exhibits (61%), more food choices, and more restrooms. Significantly, there was an overwhelming interest in more programming related to the Presidio’s natural elements (75%) and history (66%). A majority of respondents also wanted opportunities to attend more events, festivals, and concerts (69%), as well as evening programs (63%). Furthermore, 63% wanted more general site information and 42% more information about volunteer opportunities. Notably, there was a statistically significant increased interest in this type of programming from respondents of diverse cultural backgrounds and lower income levels, indicating that such programs may bring new audiences to the Presidio. Social trends in travel support the idea that parks are an increasingly popular destination and more frequent reason for travel. With more than half the world’s population living in cities, more people are retreating to nature to escape the pressures, noise, pollution, and other stressors of the city. According to “Travel: Changing Course,” an article in JWTIntelligence: “this urge will be manifest in other ways too, from an embrace of natural organic elements in décor to ever more nature-themed entertainment programming.” Fortunately, the PX exists in a constellation of well-known and highly visited national park sites and landmarks in the Bay Area that will bring it visibility and visitors. These include the Golden Gate Bridge and nearby parklands, the 2nd-most visited destination in the City; Alcatraz, the 5th-most visited destination; and the Presidio, 10th, according to SF Visitor Profile Research by the SFTA in February 2011. (See Appendix for Bibliography.)
The PX: Core Program Principles Equipped with this knowledge of current trends, the Conservancy established a programmatic philosophy appropriate for a 21st century cultural institution. In this intellectual framework of five core principles, PX programs: 1. Respond to place 2. Spark participation 3. Create community 4. Engage diverse perspectives 5. Reflect park values 1. PX Programs Respond to Place Public programming related to a specific place is relevant, authentic, and compelling to today’s audiences. From its buildings to its programs, the PX celebrates the spectacular beauty and spirit of this place on the western edge of North America—at the intersections of a national park, the City of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, and the Pacific Ocean. Fundamentally, the PX honors—and resonates with—the power of place, prominently identified as a key driver for the Commissary site in the Presidio Trust’s Request for Proposals. Through its curated programs and its interlinked physical spaces, the PX connects visitors to the nested meanings of the Presidio, the national park environment, and the ethos of conservation and protected areas around the world.
International Orange, a FOR-SITE Foundation exhibition at Fort Point in 2012, featured art installations inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge
“When it is done right, public programming hits things that are universal with people, like how they connect with each other, how they learn things, how they feel, a sense of self and identity,” says Danya Sherman, former Director of Public Programs, Friends of the High Line. “And a lot of that is connected to place.” 2. PX Programs Spark Participation Current research emphasizes the importance of collaboration and co-creation as essential elements in the creative process. Further, studies of learning and participation in informal settings such as museums and other cultural organizations suggest that participation is crucial for engaging visitors and maintaining relevancy in a rapidly changing world.
The PX introduces diverse audiences to the natural and historic import of national parklands around the Bay Area, as well as the significance of the region as a gateway to the West. It is by emphasizing these place-rooted themes that the PX expresses its uniqueness. It is truly a cultural institution that could exist no place else.
The PX moves away from the active expert/passive audience dichotomy at traditional cultural institutions to an approach that assumes that visitors always have some way of shaping, participating in, and expressing themselves through PX spaces and programs. By bringing people together to exchange ideas about the Presidio, its national park values, its place in the world, and its role in cultural creation, the PX provides a space for new and personal experiences for a broad diversity of audiences.
National research documents the public’s mounting interest in visiting natural and historic areas, experiencing places in more depth through original programs, and enjoying places where people of all ages play together. Studies by cultural organizations show that visitors rate highly their experiences behind the scenes—something that many of the Presidio’s programs and buildings can offer.
Museums and cultural institutions around the country are making seismic shifts toward more participatory programming. Nina Simon, museum innovator, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and author of The Participatory Museum, defines this participatory cultural institution as “... a place where visitors can create, share, and connect with each other around content. ‘Create’ means
that visitors contribute their own ideas, objects, and creative expression to the institution and to each other. ‘Share’ means that people discuss, take home, remix, and redistribute both what they see and what they make during their visit. ‘Connect’ means that visitors socialize with other people—staff and visitors—who share their particular interests. ‘Around content’ means that visitors’ conversations and creations focus on the evidence, objects, and ideas most important to the institution in question… people use the institution as a meeting grounds for dialogue around the content presented.” This trend toward active engagement is writ large in broader society across the “participation economy.” As noted by Alexa Arena, a Vice President with Forest City in San Francisco: “this shift is about more than just technology. People are thinking about the experience of culture differently than in the past, placing value on a more immersive and interactive “Make a Salad,” an Earth Day performance by artist experience than is Alison Knowles on New York’s High Line, engaged the possible through public in its creation, exemplifying participatory art (Photo by Liz Ligon) mere observation. From the resurgence of knitting circles to the growing legions of rusty musicians and aspiring storytellers, Americans are activating their own creativity in new and unusual ways. This phenomenon is not limited to culture, but part of a larger ‘participation economy’ in which social connection eclipses consumption. Increasingly, Americans want to meet the people who make our products, share in the work of the makers, and make things ourselves.”
3. PX Programs Create Community A growing body of research shows that the most successful and sustainable cultural institutions are those that offer social learning environments, collaborative and social explorations, behind -the-scenes learning opportunities, and constantly changing content that brings people together to explore new ideas. As noted by Elizabeth Olson of the New York Times earlier in 2013: “Art museums, seeking the repeat and committed visitor, are experimenting with new ways to cultivate a closer relationship with the public—and, in essence, to become a welcoming extension of the living room, rather than a stiff, Sunday-best excursion.” In The Great, Good Place, urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg writes about the power of informal common places like pubs and taverns, where everyone in the community is welcomed.
Successful “third places” are free or inexpensive to access, and open and accommodating to friends old and new. Many offer food and drink, and have a playful, convivial mood where conversation is one of the main activities. The PX offers a “third place” on Crissy Field, welcoming visitors with freely accessible warm indoor spaces, wind-sheltered outdoor space, good food to eat, and interesting things to see and do—a lively mix of interactive exhibits, poetry slams, makers’ workshops, cooking classes, discussion groups, and more. A key concept is the conviviality of these places. And what is a convivial museum? According to Kathleen McLean and Wendy Pollock, authors of The Convivial Museum, such an institution does more than just bring people together to chat and socialize: “Convivial museums deepen the conversation and foster a genuine meeting of minds by offering up some ‘third thing’ as a focus of common interest and concern. The third thing could be an inspiring object or work of art, a program about a pressing local issue, an intriguing phenomenon, a provocative story. Sharing these experiences with others and grappling with what they mean transforms a museum visit into a convivial experience that opens the way to engagement.” 4. PX Programs Engage Diverse Perspectives As disciplines converge, media proliferate, and society diversifies across cultural, social, economic, ethnic, religious, and geographic lines, institutions must adapt to and embrace a multiplicity of perspectives, interests, and learning styles.
The “Living Room” at Seattle Central Library, with its spacious gathering and reading areas and soaring 50-foot glass ceiling, embodies the “third place” philosophy
Oldenburg sees these places as vital to communities, providing a simple way for people to connect to and understand each other. His celebration of the “third place”—not home or workplace, but “our” place—has captured the imagination of many Americans (ThirdPlaceCommons.org).
Currently visitors to most museums and national parks are overwhelmingly white and affluent. But this is not representative of the demographics of the Bay Area and the nation. According to 2010 U.S. Census Data, between 2000 and 2010 Latino populations grew by 43%, Asian populations grew to 5% of the national population (over 30% in San Francisco) and non-white populations grew by at least 20% in every U.S. region (Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change, a report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in 2011). Given demographic trends, it is imperative that the 21st century cultural institution reaches across perceived geographical, cultural, generational, and class boundaries. As noted
PX partner Outdoor Afro, dedicated to connecting African Americans with natural spaces, holds events at national parks across the Bay Area, including the Presidio
by Holly Sidford in 2011 in Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change: “art-making reflects a society’s current demographic features as well as its intellectual, spiritual, emotional and material histories. Both the products and the processes of the arts evolve in tandem with the profile of a people. This fact makes addressing our country’s changing demographics fundamental to effective philanthropy in arts and culture today.” At the heart of the PX’s programming concept is a commitment to working with local, regional, and national institutions and organizations that can serve as co-presenters and co-creators offering culturally and ethnically relevant programming. Additionally, the PX’s flexible and changeable nature allows future generations to refresh or reinvent the PX to meet the needs of ever-changing communities. When it comes to reaching diverse audiences, the Parks Conservancy has been a leader and innovating force. Bay Area and national organizations recognize the Conservancy’s commitment and success in this endeavor. “Once again, I am delighted to collaborate with the Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, and Presidio Trust to help amplify our shared goals of access, inclusion, fun, and stewardship of our natural heritage,” says Rue Mapp, Founder and Executive Director of Outdoor Afro. “The Presidio Exchange project is an innovative outcome of these values that will surely enhance the park experience for everyone.”
5. PX Programs Reflect Park Values There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of the great human principle. —President Franklin D. Roosevelt The fundamental democracy of America’s national parks has long been recognized: they belong to us all. This breakthrough American concept was heralded a century ago when James Bryce, the British ambassador to the United States, declared the national parks as “America’s Best Idea.” Parks and open spaces, particularly in urban areas, reflect and embody the best values of democratic societies: they are societal expressions of hope for and commitment to the future, and they are free and special places designated for self-expression.
a single company—meet many public needs and desires,” in the words of Peter Harnik, Director of the Center for City Park Excellence, The Trust for Public Land, in a 2008 article “Urban Parks are Making a Comeback.” And the innovative programming proposed by the PX can make the difference in connecting people to their parks. Sarah Schultz, Director of Education and Curator of Public Practice of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, sees potential in Crissy Field and the former Commissary site as places that can bring people together. “Public space is vital to our ability to be able to thrive as individuals and communities,” Schultz says. “The Presidio Exchange is an opportunity to create and imagine a space that is collectively held and beloved by people. National parks are already beloved spaces and this is an opportunity to do that in a really new and profound way.”
Program Partners Fuel the Exchange An extensive network of Bay Area cultural, educational, environmental, and community organizations—as well as national and international program partners—will work with the PX to co-create and host programs at the site, bringing new audiences and vitality to the Presidio. Program partners have been selected for their:
The Power of Place Charrette In July 2013, the Parks Conservancy hosted a two-day charrette where program experts from the Bay Area joined innovators in site-specific and participatory programs from public parks and cultural institutions across the country, including the High Line, Park Avenue Armory, and MoMA (New York), Millennium Park (Chicago), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). These thought leaders shared best practices and lessons learned from their experiences at their leading-edge organizations, and also pledged further support in developing PX programs in the future. Universally, they endorsed the PX as a viable and exciting idea for the Presidio, expressing enthusiasm for the potential of the site. “There are few places on this earth that are like diamonds, pushing themselves to the surface, waiting for the right time to be discovered and built or formed into something that every person desires to have,” said Lucas Cowan, curator for Chicago’s Millennium Park. “The PX is one of these rare occasions.”
• Relevance to the PX mission • Ability to enrich the themes of the Presidio and connect them to broader societal issues, interests, trends, and audiences • Potential to add value to the Conservancy’s talents, resources, and background • Experience in participatory programming • Reputation for program excellence, leadership, and vision Over 35,000 community members volunteer in the Presidio and across the Golden Gate National Parks each year
A multitude of studies show that parks offer a host of personal and community benefits—enhancing physical and mental health, boosting social integration and cohesion, and strengthening commitments to place and between people. The PX takes this promise of parks and activates it in an innovative and grassroots fashion—“letting the energy and ingenuity of individual innovators and park users—rather than
To date, over 50 institutions and advisors have joined the PX family—helping to inform this proposal, designing program collaborations, and establishing the groundwork for potential partnership. While some of these entities will serve as long-term and ongoing advisors and programmers, others will participate in Presidio-based programming on a more periodic basis. Some partners are selected to help develop programs on a specific theme of the PX, the Presidio, and the Golden Gate National Parks (e.g., Bill Lane Center for the American West
Charrette participants share insights during the public forum
and California Academy of Sciences); some are selected to bring programs to national and international audiences (e.g., National Geographic, Aspen Institute, and FOR-SITE Foundation); and some are chosen to inject a dose of Bay Area-style creativity (IDEO, Innovation Hangar). See full list of advisors on page 42, list of partners on page 44, and partner endorsement letters in the Appendix.
PX Program Facilities The PX offers a set of interconnected indoor and outdoor facilities, designed to accommodate a wide range of programs and activities. In Phase I, the interior of the PX provides nine distinct spaces and features, with two more major elements slated for Phase II. • Open Space: A vibrant, large, and adaptable venue for PX programs, with views to the Golden Gate • Living Room: The park gathering place providing orientation, relaxation, exhibits, and smaller-scale programs • Park Place: Exhibit space for art about place • Café: Featuring a “Food for the Parks” menu with breakfast and walk-up service • Restaurant: Serving lunch and dinner (including full bar), embracing latest standards in sustainable and healthy food • Demonstration Kitchen: Space for culinary arts and cooking demonstrations • workSHOP: Retail store with items made and co-created on-site, as well as products related to the themes of the park and PX • Lower Gathering Space: Flexible area for programs, meetings, and events • Upper Gathering Space: Flexible area for programs, meetings, and events • World Stage: (Phase II) Major event venue • Park Lab: (Phase II) Spaces for PX Residency program
The PX’s outdoor spaces, walkways, rooftop terrace, and viewing areas further enliven this new park zone and provide additional programmatic opportunities. See page 34 for a landscape plan. • Entry Plaza: A dramatic main entrance connecting to Crissy Field and inviting visitors into the PX • Bridgeway: A dynamic passageway to the tunnel top parklands and Main Post, with expansive views, seating areas, and multimedia installations • Amphitheater: A welcoming and wind-protected area for an array of events and programs, with Golden Gate views • Crissy Commons: A warm and sheltered plaza space for events and programs • East Lawn: Flexible green space for visitor use, programs, and events • Picnic Pavilion: Shelter for outdoor events or enjoying a classic park activity—open-air dining • Rooftop Terrace: Space featuring dramatic vistas and connecting the Restaurant to the Bridgeway • West Meadow: Flexible green space for events, installations, programs, and picnics
Sampling of Program Themes
PX Programs and Activities The breadth of PX programming has the potential to break new ground in both national parks and cultural institutions, and contribute to the Presidio’s emergence as San Francisco’s next great visitor destination. A creative mix of daily and seasonal programs—covering a wide spectrum of fields including arts, history, technology, science, food, and environmental topics—will animate history, nature, and culture in the Presidio. During the year, each season will showcase a different park-related theme around which many exhibits, events, performances, and lectures will be oriented. Major exhibitions and festivities can be scheduled to coincide with periods of peak park visitation, such as the summer tourist season or the winter holidays. Aside from an emphasis on programs that are participatory, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative (through relationships with the Presidio Trust, partner institutions, and community members), program themes are limited only by the imagination. Programs will take place indoors and outdoors, creating a unified cultural commons in the Presidio’s most open and accessible space and thematically bridging the Commissary site, Crissy Field, the new tunnel top parklands, the Main Post, and the network of Presidio trails. The range of PX cultural activities will be further extended through off-site programs in collaboration with local partners, as well as the PX Digital Exchange (PXDX), an open technology-enabled platform that allows the public to engage with the PX community before, during, and after a visit (see Appendix for details).
Further refinements and in-depth audience analysis and program-testing will be undertaken in collaboration with consultants Wolf Brown Associates, Contemporánea, and IDEO.
1. Installations and Exhibits This category includes installations, permanent exhibits, and temporary displays and curated experiences. Installations Place-based iconic works by world-renowned artists provide an extraordinary opportunity to consider human presence in the landscape and contemplate environmental elements—a rumination perfectly suited to Crissy Field. Indoor and outdoor installations will become must-see and must-experience icons synonymous with the PX, the Presidio, and San Francisco. In partnership with the FOR-SITE Foundation, the PX would potentially commission artists such as: • Ned Kahn Kahn is an environmental artist internationally renowned for his work that taps into elemental and experiential components of place. His piece might incorporate water, fog, and fire and could shift and change according to the passage of the seasons. • James Turrell Turrell, widely known for his environments that incorporate light as it affects our perception, might create a series of “viewing rooms” that would populate the bluff and Bridgeway—opening up new ways of experiencing light from the Main Post to Crissy Field.
There are four program categories: 1. Installations and Exhibits Objects, sounds, and activities that materially enrich the PX experience 2. Events and Programs Weekly, monthly, and seasonal activities including participatory events and programs, performances, conferences, lectures, and more 3. Residencies Innovators working across disciplines, specially invited to the PX to create projects with the public 4. Daily Offerings Open spaces, amenities, and activities
Knight Rise, a skyscape by James Turrell at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Photo by Sean Deckert)
• Comings and Goings through the Golden Gate Ruminations on passages in time and space focusing on the iconic gateway to the park and the Bay Area • Time & Tides Unwrapping layers of history along the bayshore connecting to personal narratives • Batteries Included Explorations of coastal batteries and the Presidio’s military history, mixed with innovations in alternative energy-powered exploration and travel • Up in the Air Focusing on birds, planes, and daredevil pilots reflecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Presidio • Local to Global Exploring how the Bay Area’s innovation and identity is connected to worldwide issues and policy choices • Obsolescence, Disruption, Conversion, and Innovation Reflections on the Presidio’s reinvention as a national park, as a microcosm of the world, economy, and ever-evolving technology • Recycled Places and Landscapes Examinations of how engineers, designers, planners, and artists are working to transform former military posts, industrial centers, and contaminated open spaces into new public places
Permanent Exhibits Various permanent exhibits will bring the core themes and values of the PX and the Presidio to life for all visitors. • The Spiral The centerpiece of the Living Room, the Spiral is a two-story interactive “exhibit” that changes based on a visitor’s interests. For example, a visitor who expresses an interest in military history would see historic images and facts about the barracks and officers’ quarters on the Spiral’s displays. A movie buff would see clips of famous films shot in the Presidio. The Spiral is a dynamic display that incorporates the public’s many interests to create an ever-evolving experience (see rendering on page 31). • The Presidio Wall A major orientation display at the entrance, this “Wall” is a digital canvas that features data visualizations of real-time phenomena in the Presidio, video footage from Presidio events and activities, and connections to national parks and World Heritage Sites across the globe. Both the Spiral and Wall make use of the PXDX digital platform, which harnesses real-time data and user inputs to customize the on-site PX experience and deepen visitors’ connections with the environment and each other.
• Park Place This component of the PX would highlight the work of artists and others who have created pieces in the Presidio and Golden Gate National Parks. Park Place is a permanent space in the PX dedicated to showcasing and interpreting the relationship of art with the natural and cultural environment. It functions as both a home for the working documents of artists who have worked in the Presidio, as well as an orientation point for visitors wanting to experience the art pieces in the park. The content curation of Park Place would be managed by the FOR-SITE Foundation, an organization dedicated to art about place and the idea that art can inspire fresh thinking and important dialogue about the environment. Temporary Displays and Curated Experiences Curated by PX staff in consultation with partner institutions and leaders and makers from a wide range of disciplines (artists, scientists, historians), these exhibits and experiences would change with each season’s themes. The following artists and experts could potentially animate different spaces in the PX and illuminate new ways of understanding park-related topics. • Hong-Kai Wang might enliven the PX by installing sounds of the Presidio—including birds, water, and wind—that visitors can access via earphones in the Living Room or buttons above the sinks in the restrooms. • Camille Utterback, a new media artist, could create a work for PXDX that projects animations of park flora and fauna, triggered by visitors’ movements through space. • Dr. Randolph Delehanty, a Presidio historian, might curate an interactive exhibit on The Power of Place, leveraging local examples like the Golden Gate National Parks to illustrate broader conservation themes through history and across the globe. • Mark Dion, known for interpreting fieldwork using elements of biology, archeology, and the history of science, might craft a series of interactive objects that would be scattered throughout the Living Room and Restaurant. • The Bill Lane Center for the American West could partner with the PX to develop a temporary exhibition on the significance and global influence of national parks of the western U.S. (the cradle of “America’s Best Idea”), or a major
program focusing on the 75th anniversary of World War II and its impact on the American West. • Stephanie Syjuco, a mixed media conceptual artist, could work with historians, naturalists, and other local artists to produce products for a “store within a store” in the PX workSHOP—stimulating discussion on commodifying nature and culture. • David Liittschwager, a National Geographic photographer, might prepare a series of photographs in partnership with California Academy of Sciences, examining the multiple layers of the natural Presidio. The photos would be displayed in provocative ways: on walls, on free-standing kiosks, through the PXDX, and even as coffee table overlays in the Living Room. • In partnership with the National Park Service, a National Parks Mini Golf Course could give artists, historians, and designers a collaborative opportunity to create 18 holes, each interpreting a different national park site, on the West Meadow of the PX.
2. Events and Programs Special Events Mixing themes across culture, nature, and community, these special events will be perhaps the most visibly marketed and highest profile activities at the PX. They will be made possible through a wide variety of local and national partners. Potential events include a BioBlitz hosted in partnership with National Geographic and California Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, a United Nations Foundation Global Environmental Youth Leadership Summit, Stanford’s d.school Environmental Sustainability Project, a Presidio Bike Festival in partnership with Bay Area bicycling organizations, and Open Field—an annual project with the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) to establish a zone of community creative expression across the entire PX site. To honor and reflect the diversity of cultures in the Bay Area, community-based organizations will also be invited to hold their festivals and events at the PX, which might include New Year’s festivities for the Chinese American community, an African American Legacy in National Parks Day in partnership
with Outdoor Afro, and a Mission to the Presidio celebration of Latino/a heritage. Monthly Programs Monthly programs will consistently draw a variety of key audiences to the PX. Like Art Murmur and First Thursdays, these programs will become fixtures in Bay Area culture and on community calendars. • First Saturday: Recycle, Reuse, and Barter Day In the Open Space, the public is invited to recycle their belongings and share their talents—exchanging goods, skills, and services without currency. • Second Sunday: Presidio Performers PX indoor and outdoor spaces become a colorful canvas, connecting the best in Bay Area arts and culture to the Presidio and the parks, and showcasing them for the visiting public. • Third Thursday: Good Cause Exchange A nonprofit organization, selected by online voting, hosts a fundraising event that raises awareness of its work in the community. • Last Friday: Community Campout The public is invited to camp at the PX, Crissy Field, and the Presidio Main Post. The PX provides music, storytelling, late-night food trucks, and movies as well as first aid, security, and restrooms. Weekly Programs Small- and medium-scale programs will be offered on a weekly basis. Potential programs include: • Monday: Explorers Club, in which PX program partners and volunteers curate multi-sensory, multimedia activities to explore the Presidio. • Tuesday: Special lunch programs during which visitors interact with PX Residents (artists, entrepreneurs, historians, biologists, and more). • Wednesday: Morning meditation and afternoon art workshops in partnership with local arts organizations. • Thursday: Cooking classes in partnership with La Cocina. • Friday: Friday Night Starlights, stargazing parties. • Saturday: Community picnics. • Sunday: Block Party, during which an Off the Grid event at the Main Post is enhanced with music and dance.
The first floor Living Room, with a BioBlitz event in the Open Space (at left) and Park Place exhibits (at right)
3. Residencies Making History Present: An Example of a Potential PX Resident I would be honored and delighted to do a Residency at the PX. I can imagine a series of public events inspired by various elements of the Presidio’s rich military history, including themes of food and convenience at the Commissary site and flight at Crissy Field. The events could include interactive installations, public conversations, hands-on workshops, and other forms of exchange. By exploring the relationship between craft and war through a rich set of activities and objects, this collaborative form of history in the making has been a pivotal focus of my work. I investigate themes of conflict and creative democracy by creating various forms of public gathering such as battle reenactments, peddlers’ markets, quilting bees, military musters, parades, and craft fair. In the Presidio, a park that is so steeped in history and enlivened by public transformation, the possibilities for this work are endless. —Allison Smith Allison Smith has exhibited her work and led participatory public projects at major museums around the world, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/Museum of Modern Art, Palais de Tokyo, Public Art Fund, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Tang Museum. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Saatchi Gallery London, and other public and private collections worldwide.
Artists, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers, historians, philosophers, poets, scientists, and other innovative thinkers and makers— from all stages in their careers—will be invited to develop and host activities that stir public imagination, incite conversation, and spark co-creation throughout the year. The diversity of disciplines will be unprecedented in residency programs at any single cultural institution, and will distinguish the PX as an institution with constant cultural relevance in the Bay Area—and dynamic appeal to visitors from far and wide. Over periods of two to 10 weeks, Residents will create—in collaboration with PX staff—new projects that engender public participation. Residents will be encouraged to collaborate with each other, park staff, and community members; engage new audiences; mentor students from Bay Area universities; and informally interact with the public during meals. Partner organizations such as Headlands Center for the Arts, Bill Lane Center for the American West, and California Academy of Sciences will help identify and select Residents and offer additional opportunities for them to give programs at other public spaces and institutions.
4. Daily Offerings
• The Library This will feature a rotating collection aligned with PX themes and curated by PX Residents, librarians, archivists, historians, and staff of partners such as California Historical Society and Heyday Books. Play Date Similar to the Toronto Public Library’s Human Library project, the PX will provide an online platform for daily meet-ups with featured thought leaders and experts—or any community member who proposes an activity in the park. Visitors can have a meal and take a walk with a leading Bay Area thought leader, get out and tour Presidio batteries with an Army veteran, or meet a new friend who shares a love of art. Café An informal grab-and-go café will offer a menu of delicious, healthful, sustainably sourced, and affordable food items that change with the seasons. Accessible from Crissy Field and the Bridgeway and opening right onto the Living Room, the café will feature exhibits about the farms that provide its food, food policy issues, and communal exchange opportunities such as a recipe swap.
Within the PX there are many spaces for visitors to come in from the weather, enjoy food and beverages, relax, and gather with friends and loved ones.
Restaurant With one of San Francisco’s premier views of the Golden Gate, the restaurant will offer fantastic food prepared by rotating expert chefs, and locally sourced alcoholic beverages. The kitchen will have capacity for major catered events.
Living Room A flexible, comfortable, and aesthetically stunning space, the Living Room is the lively heart of the PX, perfect for reflection, conversation, and play. In addition to moveable furniture and rotating exhibits, the Living Room will provide three key resources for visitors:
DIY Bike Shop In response to the 1.2 million bikes counted annually on the Presidio’s Bay Trail, the PX will partner with bike organizations to offer a space with free tools to check out, stands, and instructions for bike repair. This space will also host workshops on “do-it-yourself” bike safety and repair.
• National Parks Information Center At one of America’s iconic locales, visitors will be able to gather maps, apps, and tips on exploring some of the country’s other natural and historic treasures—across the entire national park system.
Participatory art event at San Francisco City Hall led by Allison Smith
visitors to create their own experiences at the PX, both indoors and outdoors. Visitors can check out anything from binoculars to a croquet set, watercolors to picnic blankets for on-site use.
• The Tool Shed Curated through a communal design brainstorm led by the Walker Art Center and local partners, the Tool Shed will provide a set of objects for
PX workSHOP This exceptional retail space offers books, products, and multimedia items—as well as the programmatic opportunity to engage in the creation of art. The PX workSHOP will include a working artist’s studio, a pop-up shop, and inventive retail programs and collections that encourage the exchange of ideas through art and commerce (see Appendix for details).
Community Campout, a monthly PX program hosted in the indoor spaces of the Living Room and Open Space, as well as outdoor areas on Crissy Field and the Main Parade Ground
Partners Bringing Programs to Life: Four Examples
At the Presidio Exchange, the FOR-SITE Foundation will collaborate as a partner in a variety of ways, bringing the inspiration and creativity of artists to the Presidio’s many setting, themes, and stories. Potential program, exhibit, and event collaborations include:
Four program partnerships (two national and two Bay Area) exemplify how the Presidio Exchange can deliver dynamic programming for the visiting public.
Window to the World National Geographic Society For 125 years, the National Geographic Society has been documenting the world and inspiring generations to seek out a greater understanding of the planet. National Geographic has global connections to the world’s natural and cultural treasures—and is committed to communicating the role people can play in actively conserving our Earth. National Geographic also has had a long association with America’s national parks, advancing their preservation and discovery for over a century. As a partner to the Presidio Exchange, the National Geographic Society can help connect this national park and national landmark to the broader world. The Society’s worldwide connections to explorers, scientists, conservationists, national parks, World Heritage Sites—and people working to understand and care for these treasured places—can be brought to the world-class location of the PX. As a PX partner, many program, exhibit, and event collaborations with National Geographic are possible, including: • A Presidio/Park BioBlitz Already being planned by National Geographic in partnership with the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust for 2014 within the Golden Gate National Parks, this 24-hour, participatory event will engage teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms in the parks as possible. The BioBlitz effort could live on at the PX in an ongoing commitment to citizen science programming—inspiring everyone to participate in discovering, documenting and caring for the park’s natural and cultural resources.
A conceptual sketch for an interactive display, created in partnership with National Geographic, connecting parks and World Heritage Sites
• Window to the World: Exhibitions and Media Wall With its amazing collection of images, stories, and explorers and its extensive repository of photography, videos, and adventures worldwide, National Geographic could work with the PX to host elegant exhibitions and create a permanent or temporary media wall of national parks and World Heritage Sites that connect the Presidio to its global soul mates. This platform could inspire many public programs and, through live feeds and video streaming, also could serve as a way to engage school groups in real-time experiences with people and places in other parts of the world. • National Parks, Explorers, Scientists: Lecture and Films National Geographic Live is a rich program of speakers, concerts, and films presenting explorers, scientists, adventurers, filmmakers, writers, and photographers who cover the globe. The PX could be a hosting location, and could also develop participatory experiences for audiences interested in learning how to bring out their own sense of adventure, exploration, discovery, and conservation.
• Permanent and Temporary Installations: The FOR-SITE Foundation will be an important partner in developing and securing artistic installations that fulfill the vision of “art about place.” These installations may reside in outdoor settings in the Presidio as well as within the PX itself. FORSITE staff will serve as advisors recommending and recruiting artists and helping guide curation and program coordination to ensure that the PX programming is a vibrant mix of visual and performance art. • Park Place: Within the PX, Park Place will be an indoor home for archiving and interpreting the relationship of art and our natural and cultural environment. For artists involved with the Presidio, Park Place will be a resource for learning about past and current art installations in the park. Park Place will encourage the park visitor to engage with and explore their own artistic expressions of place, and also host dialogues about the natural and cultural environment. • Residencies: The PX envisions Residencies as a way to bring dynamic and creative programming to the facility and the Presidio. FOR-SITE can be an active partner in identifying and securing a diverse array of artists.
Art About Place FOR-SITE Foundation The FOR-SITE Foundation advances art about place. At the Presidio, FOR-SITE has engaged more than 30 artists in interpreting this national park and national landmark. Artistic installations have represented the Presidio’s natural heritage (Presidio Habitats: 2010-2011), its human history (International Orange: 2012) and its historic forest (Goldsworthy’s Spire, Wood Line, and Tree Fall: ongoing). The FOR-SITE Foundation is dedicated to the idea that art can inspire fresh thinking and important dialogue about our natural and cultural environment.
Andy Goldsworthy’s dramatic Spire in the Presidio, commissioned by the FOR-SITE Foundation
Views of the American West The Bill Lane Center for the American West The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University is dedicated to advancing scholarly and public understanding of the past, present, and future of western North America. The Center supports research, teaching, and reporting about western land and life in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Presidio, with its rich history, iconic geographic positioning at the Golden Gate, and central location in the dynamic Bay Area, is a wonderful thematic platform for a partnership between the Bill Lane Center and the Presidio Exchange. As a partner to the Presidio Exchange, the Bill Lane Center can help connect this national park and national landmark to the stories, issues, future opportunities, and challenges of the American West—offering reflections on the past and future. Potential program, exhibit, and event collaborations with the Bill Lane Center include: • World War II and the American West Currently being conceived for the 75th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the war, this collaboration would use the authentic setting of the Presidio to host various public events, such as lectures, exhibits, and a potential WWII film festival. Presidio audiences would be encouraged to explore WWII-era buildings
The authentic settings of the Presidio (such as Crissy Field, shown here in 1941) serve to illuminate World War II history in the American West
and locations—and come to their own understandings of the past, how that history shaped the West, and how those stories will reverberate into the future. A social media outreach program could invite World War II veterans, their families, children, and grandchildren to share their memories with the visiting public at the Presidio. • National Parks and the American West: Along with others, historian and writer Wallace Stegner called the national parks “America’s Best Idea.” How have national parks shaped the identity of the West? What is “America’s Best Idea” now? How do the lessons of the parks apply to the broader world? Through a program collaboration, visitors to the PX could begin their own exploration about national parks, the West, conservation, and “best ideas.”
“The American Lawn, and Ways to Cut It,” a series of participatory events on Open Field at the Walker Art Center, actively engaged community members in cultural programming
• Research Projects: Bill Lane Center scholars and students embark on research projects and public events. Some have devoted fellowships to national parks. The Presidio and the PX offer one more opportunity for them.
Open Field at the Presidio Exchange Walker Art Center Open Field is an ongoing experiment in public space and place at the Walker Art Center, a multidisciplinary art center in Minneapolis. Occurring on a green space adjacent to the museum, Open Field invites everyone to bring their best creative self forward as a producer or a participant. It is a platform for informal creative activity and community gathering and a place where artists and makers from different disciplines can produce exciting new projects with the public as collaborators. As part of the development of the PX, a team of Open Field curators and programmers will partner with the PX team to prototype and generate programs that build on several successful Open Field programming and curatorial models and also seed and incite new networks, collaborations, programs, and events at the PX and the Bay Area. Open Field will work across the full range of PX offerings of exhibits, events, Residencies, and daily offerings. Possible collaborations include:
• Brainstorming and Capacity Building A “Public Exchange Camp” would invite local partners and artists for an intensive week to explore new models of public and civic participation, cultural programming, and social learning. This would include developing the PX Tool Shed and new partnerships for weekly programming. • Pilot Programs This would entail hosting site-specific adaptations of Open Field’s most successful collective platforms over an intensive three-week period (such as a daily “Drawing Club” in the Living Room and a weekly “Acoustic Campfire”); experimenting with site-specific versions of other smaller programs such as “Reading Room,” “Love Letters to Strangers,” and “Plein Air Painting;” and creating new programs with local collaborators. • Special Projects Larger-scale demonstration projects would also be created. For example: 1. The PX and the Walker would commission and produce a site-specific, large-scale, participatory artist project on Crissy Field, drawing attention to the Presidio and the work of the PX, and highlighting the power of urban parks as creative catalysts. 2. World (Internet) Stage: Building off of the surprising success of the Walker’s “Internet Cat Video Festival,” the partners would collaborate on a crowd-sourced Internet video festival about the joys of visiting the national parks—creating experiences for visitors on-site and online.
The PX at Your Service: Primary Audiences Targeted PX Audiences The PX will focus on attracting five core audiences. A description of these audiences is provided below, followed by illustrative vignettes that show that there is no “typical day” at the PX, and no one way to enjoy its amenities and programs. • Loyal Parkers Representing more than 80% of current users of Crissy Field and the Presidio, these frequent park visitors generally live nearby, are highly educated, have discretionary income, enjoy spending time with family and friends, and seek more information on the Presidio and the parklands. • Multigenerational Families/Groups Intergenerational travel, outings, and museum and park experiences constitute a key trend in the industry. A recent survey by the American Automobile Association found that one-third of respondents planned to take a multigenerational trip within the next 12 months, and 25% of those are groups of three generations (Leisure Travel Summit 2013). And, according to the U.S. Travel Association, 40% of all leisure travelers went on at least one multigenerational trip in 2011, and 37% of all grandparents who traveled went on a trip with grandchildren (Y Partnership National Leisure Travel Monitor 2012). These diverse families and groups tend to seek learning opportunities that are social, informal, and flexible. • Millennials Nearly one-third of the Bay Area population is made up of young people, ages 17 to 32. Frequent patrons of cultural programming, the Millennials are diverse, interested in social causes, digitally oriented, and like to be entertained while learning new things. These cultural pacesetters represent the future constituency for the parks. • Tourists Vital to the Bay Area economy, tourists already demonstrate an interest in seeing the park, with almost half visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and a quarter visiting Alcatraz. Many come in multigenerational groups and are interested in activities that are social and include all ages.
• Corporate/Public/Nonprofit/Private Groups With its location, scale, and variety of spaces, the PX fills an unmet demand for large and flexible venues in scenic locales. Revenue generated from space rentals will be fundamental to underwriting the PX’s daily operations and public programming. Overall, there will be an emphasis on services and programs that are desired by and relevant to people from a variety of cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Projected Annual Attendance at the PX
With the dramatic park improvements on the horizon for the Presidio—including the new tunnel top parklands; the opening of the Visitor Center and Heritage Center; and the introduction of more programs, visitor services, event spaces, and food and restaurant opportunities—the PX will open in an era of growing visibility and attendance to the Presidio. To determine the PX’s forecasted attendance and specific targeted segments of the general public, the following factors were considered: • The wisdom of conservative attendance goals in the early years of operation of a new cultural center • The Presidio Trust’s goal to welcome a broad cross-section of the community
• The need to respond to trends in travel, museum, and cultural institution attendance • The desire to build a future audience for the Presidio and the parks Groups 60,000 13%
Multigenerational Families/Groups 100,000 22%
Annual Attendance at the Presidio and San Francisco Museums PRESIDIO
Loyal Parkers 150,000 33%
Total = 460,000
Forecasting PX Attendance An important issue for new and revitalized cultural institutions is forecasting attendance. Often, attendance goals are overly optimistic, creating disappointment for the host institutions and possible threats to financial viability. Because of this, the annual PX attendance for early years of operation is projected conservatively at 460,000. The attendance goals for the PX have been modestly derived by looking at comparable cultural institutions (see accompanying chart).
Golden Gate Bridge
Presidio Bay Trail
Warming Hut Café at Crissy Field
Fort Point – International Orange Exhibit (over six months in 2012)
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUMS De Young
California Academy of Sciences
Exploratorium (first year projection)
As an organization that envisions a future where equity and diversity and the environment are inextricably linked and where these values are integrated into everything we do as a society, CDE is excited to support PX, bringing our own innovative and groundbreaking programs to the hub and working hand-in-hand with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the diverse array of partners to co-create new, fresh, and relevant solutions for all. —MARCELO BONTA, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR DIVERSITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
PXperiences: Many “Typical Days” at the PX • Loyal Parkers A middle-aged Presidio resident, who regularly comes to windsurf and jog at Crissy Field, makes a special point of coming to the opening of a new James Turrell art piece. Afterward, while enjoying a sandwich (and some fresh air) in the Picnic Pavilion, he strikes up a conversation with a woman who was a nurse at the old Letterman Hospital in the Presidio. Intrigued by her stories, he re-enters the Living Room and indicates to the Spiral that he wants to hear more about the Presidio’s military history. As he browses the exhibits, the real-time, responsive PXDX system brings up interpretive content catered to that interest. In this way, a long-time San Francisco resident learns a new facet of his city and environment. • Multigenerational Families/Groups Two grandparents, who make a Crissy Field walk a part of their everyday routine, stop by the PX to meet their grandchildren. While the kids’ mom is meeting with a client in the second-floor Restaurant, the grandparents treat the young ones to lunch in the Café, and then they hang out together in the Living Room. On any given day, the coffee tables contain bird feathers, animal skulls, craft supplies, and books. After a
few minutes of quiet coloring, the grandparents take the kids to the information desk to inquire about the day’s “Explorers Club” activity—a mobile-app-guided scavenger hunt around the Main Parade Ground. After mom wraps up her meeting, the whole family hikes toward the Main Post. • Millennials A young woman in her mid-20s, a recent transplant from the East Coast, finds her place and community through the PX. Browsing FunCheapSF listings one day, she discovers that the PX has set up a temporary mini-golf course in the Open Space—with each hole themed around a national park. On that first “golf trip” to the PX, she meets a couple of people who become her friends and housemates. Soon, the whole gang is making the PX a weekend tradition: a long run from their Mission District abode almost always ends with brunch in the PX Restaurant—or lunch al fresco on the East Lawn. They also regularly attend the Good Cause Exchange programs on Thursdays, where nonprofits showcase their work to young professionals. • Tourists A young couple from Spain rent bikes and pedal from Fisherman’s Wharf toward the Golden Gate Bridge. At the advice of their hotel concierge, they make a planned pit-stop at the PX. Happy for a respite from the summer chill and fog, they sip coffee from the Café and enjoy the “Power of Place” exhibit about the history of national parks in the American West. They join a crowd listening to a Latin Amercan poet-in-residence at the PX, and strike up conversation with some locals. Grateful for the help with their pronunciation, the Presidio residents direct the couple toward the Andy Goldsworthy pieces scattered across the park. The Spanish visitors, who happen to be ardent art aficionados, learn more at Park Place and then set off into the Presidio on a serendipitous detour. • Corporate/Public/Nonprofit/Private Groups After volunteering for a habitat restoration project on the Presidio bluffs, employees from a Bay Area tech company come to the PX for a working lunch—catered in-house—in one of the PX meeting areas. As part of their “day away” retreat, they participate in a team-building exercise—cooking together during a culinary class. The employees further recharge their creative batteries by taking part in a Plein Air Painting program on the West Meadow, one of the Open Field-sponsored community events. They work side-by-side
with schoolchildren on a field trip from Bayview-Hunters Point in a fun co-creating opportunity. The results of their spontaneous collaboration? New artwork for display along the Bridgeway.
The PX Youth Connection Just east of the PX is the Crissy Field Center (a partnership program of the Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, and Presidio Trust), which is home to many of the Presidio’s youth engagement, education, and leadership programs. The Crissy Field Center sets a specific audience goal for a diversity of young people—across all demographic segments—and looks to serve young people who need assistance with transportation, information, and financial and logistical support to have a park experience. Recently, the three collaborating entities also formed the Park Youth Collaborative to better coordinate and amplify the impact of youth programs. In the future, plans call for the Crissy Field Center to integrate into a more fully developed Youth Campus of the Presidio, with new facilities and outdoor learning environments. The PX fits perfectly into this vision, as a lively place where park-based youth programs can go to scale with installations, events, and social activities specifically for young people. Additionally, the PX can host educational forums, teacher’s nights, and other programs related to youth development in our community, across the nation, and around the globe. A potential Youth Exchange program at the PX could connect youth from near and far.
Crissy Field Center serves more than 20,000 youth annually
MY PX: A Marketing and Outreach Approach The approach to marketing and outreach at the PX mirrors the innovative program strategy planned for the site. As the PX will be a vibrant, ever-evolving location for creativity and interaction, marketing and outreach strategies must be authentic and relevant to distinct target audiences, and reflect the flexible, audience-driven nature of this interactive facility. PX marketing efforts will leverage the expertise and networks of partners, advisors, thinkers, doers, creators, thought leaders, and visitors who are engaged in programming at the site.
PX Introducing the PX, a dynamic new cultural destination uniquely matched to this spectacular Presidio place. It’s a new hub in the Presidio for fun and par-
Meet up with friends and launch a Presidio
ticipatory programs that combine art, science,
excursion. Grab a bite in the Café or Restaurant.
technology, recreation, and the environment.
Lounge in the Living Room. Find inspiration in
It’s a new and free public gathering space,
the art pieces and historical exhibits. And make
featuring exciting indoor/outdoor facilities and
plans to come back again and again. The PX is
the latest in interactive exhibits. And it’s your
a place where you can be yourself and express
new favorite place.
yourself. After all, it’s YOUR PX.
The Conservancy envisions these overarching marketing and outreach goals: • Brand the PX as a cohesive, complementary place within the greater Presidio • Drive new and diverse audiences to the PX, Crissy Field, and the Main Post • Convey the excitement and enjoyment people of all ages and backgrounds will find at this unique Presidio place • Brand the full set of PX public offerings, programs, and amenities as components of the overall “Must See/Can’t Miss!” Presidio experience • Make the Presidio and PX “household names” among greater numbers of Bay Area residents and visitors • Build an engaged, loyal, and diverse audience of visitors and supporters well in advance of the PX grand opening
outdoor facilities and the latest in interactive exhibits. And it’s your
cultural destination uniquely matched to this spectacular Presidio place.
new favorite place.
It’s a new hub in the Presidio for fun and participatory programs that
in the art pieces and historical exhibits. And make plans to come back
combine art, science, technology, recreation, and the environment.
again and again. The PX is a place where you can be yourself and express yourself.
It’s a new and free public gathering space, featuring exciting indoor/
Meet up with friends and launch a Presidio excursion. Grab a bite in the Café or Restaurant. Lounge in the Living Room. Find inspiration
After all, it’s YOUR PX
Made for Everyone. Remade Every Day.
Made for Everyone. Remade Every Day.
The Parks Conservancy proposes collaborating with the Presidio Trust to develop and test a marketing and outreach strategy for the PX that complements existing Presidio Trust and Conservancy efforts and is reflective of the Presidio’s mission, vision, and values. This strategy will be based on existing and future qualitative and quantitative audience research, including visitor surveys, focus groups, and competitive analyses.
Introducing the PX, a dynamic new
Introducing the PX, a dynamic new cultural destination uniquely matched to this spectacular Presidio place. It’s a new hub in the Presidio for fun and par-
Meet up with friends and launch a Presidio
ticipatory programs that combine art, science,
excursion. Grab a bite in the Café or Restaurant.
technology, recreation, and the environment.
Lounge in the Living Room. Find inspiration in
It’s a new and free public gathering space,
the art pieces and historical exhibits. And make
featuring exciting indoor/outdoor facilities and
plans to come back again and again. The PX is
the latest in interactive exhibits. And it’s your
a place where you can be yourself and express
new favorite place.
yourself. After all, it’s YOUR PX.
Made for Everyone. Remade Every Day.
PX Introducing the PX, a dynamic new cultural destination uniquely matched to this spectacular Presidio place.
outdoor facilities and the latest in interactive exhibits. And it’s your
It’s a new hub in the Presidio for fun and participatory programs that
the art pieces and historical exhibits. And make plans to come back
combine art, science, technology, recreation, and the environment.
again and again. The PX is a place where you can be yourself and
It’s a new and free public gathering space, featuring exciting indoor/
express yourself. After all, it’s YOUR PX.
Made for Everyone. Remade Every Day.
new favorite place. Meet up with friends and launch a Presidio excursion. Grab a bite in the Café or Restaurant. Lounge in the Living Room. Find inspiration in
Sample Marketing Approach Proposed Strategy For the purposes of this proposal, the Conservancy has outlined a multi-faceted marketing and outreach approach with the working title, “MY PX: Made for Everyone. Remade Every Day.” This approach combines best practices of a destination marketing campaign with contemporary marketing strategies designed to reach distinct target audiences.
The destination campaign will focus on building a compelling, recognizable brand for the PX, increasing broad awareness of the PX, and driving a range of visitors to the facility and surrounding site. Building the brand will include community outreach and engagement as the PX site is developed and programming evolves. In keeping with the Conservancy and Presidio Trust legacy of community engagement, this marketing effort will build public awareness and connections to the PX leading up to the grand opening—from proposal selection to groundbreaking, through project milestones, during the evolution of the tunnel top parklands, and as PX programming at Crissy Field and within the Presidio at large takes shape. Targeted marketing and outreach will be designed and built specifically to reach the aforementioned audience groups: Loyal Parkers, Multigenerational Families, Millennials, Tourists, and Groups. While a number of marketing and outreach tactics, such as a robust website and ongoing public relations, will apply across multiple audiences, there are many unique strategies and tactics that will be deployed for each audience group. Please see the Appendix for more detail on specific elements of a segmented marketing program for the five core audience groups. In addition to these target audiences, there are other stakeholders (such as potential funders, elected officials, and civic leaders), for whom specific outreach tactics and messaging will be developed. These campaign mockups (on pages 20–21) illustrate a possible direction for messaging and graphically depicting “MY PX” in outdoor, print, and electronic banner ads. This is provided for illustrative purposes only and will be refined based on further research and input.
The Millennial generation is the largest generation in human history and in the not-to-distant future will make up the majority of cultural institutions’ constituents and supporters. Whether for a PX Food for the Parks program in the demonstration kitchen or an evening salon with a renowned environmental artist, marketing to this increasingly visible and powerful user group demands specific strategies. As identified by consultant Colleen Dilenschneider and others in the cultural institution space, they include: • Sell your mission. Millennials like to be associated with a good cause. PX marketing will emphasize the broad goals of the Presidio and Golden Gate National Parks and provide opportunities to give back to the parks. • It’s about the experience. PX programming will be designed to be memorable and personal. The experience will start before the user enters the doors of the PX and extend beyond the conclusion of a program or event. A dedicated YouTube channel, showing programs in action, will provide a way for users to relive the experience. • Get to the point and do it quickly. Messaging and collateral will be succinct and use images wherever possible. • Be tech-friendly and get social. PX features, such as the PXDX digital platform, offer a prime way to engage users. Programs for Millennials will integrate entertainment with opportunities for social interaction. • Let everyone be a curator. Allowing users and brand enthusiasts to become co-creators is one of the strongest ways to promote the PX. These individuals will create blogs, publish personal websites, and create videos and podcasts that promote news and activities of the PX.
Desired Outcomes • The PX and Presidio will be recognized as one of San Francisco’s Top Ten visitor destinations. • There will be broad-based community attendance and support for PX programs and increased visitation to the Presidio, especially among those who traditionally have not visited the Presidio or national parks. • Young audiences—the next generation of Presidio visitors and stewards—will increasingly support the PX and Presidio. • Corporate groups and other organizations will use the PX space for special events, hold volunteer work days, provide financial support, and sponsor select programs and activities. As part of developing the marketing strategy, benchmarks and individualized metrics will be developed to track success.
I would like to underline the tremendous opportunity for cultural renewal that the synergy between the PX, Presidio Trust, and GGNRA brings to the foreground. Ohlone presence in San Francisco’s Presidio and PX offers an unparalleled opportunity to introduce a new face to America: the face of contemporary Native American culture expressed in performance art, films, visual art, and in performance festivals. The Presidio and GGNRA, with their multiple venues, support buildings, and outdoor amenities, hold the chance of presenting living Native American culture as no other facility in the country. —NEIL MACLEAN, CO-DIRECTOR, OHLONE PROFILES PROJECT
PX Complements Other Presidio Offerings
With its scale, location, versatility, and dynamic and contemporary programming, the PX is unique in the Presidio. At the same time, the PX seamlessly complements the other public-serving institutions in the Presidio. • Presidio Visitor Center The Visitor Center at the Main Post will focus on providing visitors with information and exhibits that deepen their understanding of the Presidio, and offering guidance on how to explore the park. It is a modestly scaled facility without major program space. It does not serve as a programmatic hub for the Presidio, but rather a launching point for the visitor experience. The PX connects Presidio themes to local and global content, provides facilities for a variety of programs, and offers large indoor/outdoor gathering spaces for park visitors. • Heritage Center The Presidio Heritage Center, housed in the old Officers’ Club, focuses on the history of the Presidio and showcases interpretive exhibits, an archeological lab, and classrooms for school groups. The Heritage Center will also provide space for park visitors to gather, event spaces, and food service. The PX is differentiated from—and complements—this center by providing more contemporary and diverse programming, larger-scale facilities, and direct and scenic access to both the Main Post and Crissy Field.
Almost 20 years ago, the Presidio began its journey as a national park. In just two decades, much has been accomplished. Today, the Presidio Trust, along with the Conservancy and National Park Service, has developed a range of programs and amenities serving millions of residents and visitors, and nearly 30,000 youth annually.
• Crissy Field Center Adjacent to the Commissary site, the Crissy Field Center—a partnership of the Parks Conservancy, NPS, and Presidio Trust—focuses on youth education, leadership, and engagement with the Presidio, our national parks, the environment, and the community. The Crissy Field Center can use PX facilities to serve young people participating in Park Youth Collaborative activities and programs; for example, a PX-sponsored Youth Exchange program could bring to the Presidio youth interns active in conservation efforts around the world. • New and Revitalized Parklands at the Main Post and Crissy Field Alongside the Presidio Trust and NPS, the Conservancy is helping advance designs for the plazas, trails, promenades, and tunnel top parklands created by the Presidio Parkway revitalization; the new parklands adjacent to the Crissy Field Center and connecting to the Commissary Site; and further enhancements to Crissy Field.
The reinvention of the Commissary site will inaugurate the next era of park-making at the Presidio, enhancing the visitor experience and broadening access through a new set of offerings. Complementing the new Presidio Visitor Center, Heritage Center, and programs offered by the Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and existing tenants, the Commissary site can serve as a dynamic new epicenter of park-based public programming.
The PX can complement all of these park-making and revitalization efforts by establishing facilities and spaces that integrate with the broader environment.
The Presidio Trust’s concept for exhibits at the Presidio Heritage Center
Artist’s rendering of the Presidio Visitor Center at the Main Post
Off the Grid picnics animate the Presidio Main Post on Sundays (Photo by Ben Davidson)
• Presidio Event Venues The Presidio has a wonderful array of event venues from the Golden Gate Club to the Officers’ Club to the Log Cabin and more. The PX will complement these facilities by being the only event venue (depending on the future of the Observation Post) with a Golden Gate view. Its scale and versatility further distinguish the PX as a venue for public events and programs. Furthermore, the PX can work as a standalone facility—or team up with other venues to bring large-scale programs and event-hosting to the Presidio. • Presidio Open Spaces and Historic Buildings and Grounds The Presidio’s historic buildings and grounds and grand green spaces of the Main Post and the Crissy Field airfield present ample opportunities for public programming in conjunction with the PX. As the di Suvero art installation, the Goldsworthy pieces in the Presidio, and the Pasados del Presidio activities have shown, the Presidio is truly an inspirational canvas and stage. The PX can further augment this attribute by offering large-scale, versatile indoor space and programming staff to make existing and future programs more compelling, inviting, and frequent.
• Presidio Trust and National Park Service Programs The Presidio Trust and National Park Service currently offer a suite of programs, exhibits, and events for Presidio visitors. The NPS provides more traditional ranger interpretive programs, as well as innovative youth and school-based educational offerings. The Trust is offering a growing array of Presidio-based programs for the general public, including community gathering events such as Off the Grid picnics at the Main Post, festivals, and science-focused public lectures such as the Mountain Lake series.
• Presidio Tenant Programs Many Presidio tenants—including the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Presidio Performing Arts Center, Outward Bound, Presidio Community YMCA, Futures Without Violence, Sports Basement, House of Air, and more—offer programs for the public and invited audiences. Presidio tenants will benefit directly from the increase in visitors to the Presidio and by having access to PX venue spaces. The PX will actively work with this tenant community to make its facilities available for programming and help curate and host programs related to core PX themes.
The PX will coordinate and collaborate directly with these offerings, bringing its resources to bear to further expand and extend visitor programs in the Presidio.
For years, the Goldman Environmental Prize has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the Parks Conservancy at the Crissy Field Center, connecting our international environmental leaders to local youth environmental leaders. This connection —of local to global—can be a compelling theme of the Presidio Exchange. —LORRAE ROMINGER, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GOLDMAN ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE
The Parks Conservancy creates magical places and programs of local, national, and international distinction. Their inclusive approach is based on engaging diverse stakeholders inspired by the organization’s deep commitment to serving all members of our community, especially those who might not enjoy the benefits of our parks without the Conservancy’s outreach, education, support, and relevant programming. —IRA S. HIRSCHFIELD, PRESIDENT, EVELYN AND WALTER HAAS, JR. FUND
PX For All: Benefits for the Park, the City, and Beyond Just as the Presidio Exchange will be a boon to existing Presidio facilities and programs, the PX will also be a unique and valuable asset to many audiences. Public benefits include: • For All – A Place of Joy and Discovery The PX will provide meaningful, joyful, and even transformative experiences connecting people to nature, culture, and each other. The PX will meet the need for free and inexpensive communal spaces, gatherings, and experiences that encourage inspiration, relaxation, intellectual stimulation, peer-to-peer learning, and the meeting of friends old and new. With its constantly changing, diverse slate of programs, the PX will give people new reasons to spend time in the Presidio—and keep them coming back time and again. • For Current Visitors – The Fulfillment of Crissy Field Visitors to Crissy Field will receive the amenities and programs they have requested in recent surveys and interviews: a publicly accessible indoor space, restrooms, more park information, cultural events, workshops, and enhanced food services. While visitors to the Presidio currently enjoy its natural beauty, historic qualities, and interpretive talks, they will find their experiences greatly enhanced by the presence of a large-scale, versatile program hub that can provide shelter from the elements, stunning views of the landscape, the creature comforts of a Living Room, and a diverse array of dynamic and participatory public programs. • For Underserved Audiences – Relevant Programming People of all interests and backgrounds will be invited to participate and enjoy the programs of the PX. The many free
programs, created in partnership with organizations working across sectors and demographics, will help break down barriers by offering culturally relevant events and exhibits. Through its public programs, the PX will help make the Presidio an even more inclusive and welcoming “park for all.” • For Stewards of the Presidio and Bay Area Open Space – The Protection of One of the City’s Most Cherished Places The Presidio Exchange reflects the core mission of the Presidio and the principles that have made San Francisco a national leader in open space preservation and park design. For those who care deeply about the Presidio, the Golden Gate National Parks, and Bay Area open space, the PX adheres to the vision of founding advocates and the dedication of its stalwart volunteers and stewards. It also directly fulfills the legislative mission, policies, guidelines, and plans that inform the management of the Presidio by the Presidio Trust and National Park Service. • For Bay Area Organizations – A Special Setting and an Opportunity to Collaborate and Reach New Audiences A core principle of the PX will be partnership—with the Presidio Trust, with the NPS, with Presidio tenants, and with a diverse roster of local and national program partners. This partnership ethic helps align a broad array of institutions and constituents to the Presidio’s values as a national landmark and national park. In addition, the PX will give many organizations a chance to co-create and host programs in an iconic Bay Area location—expanding the scale of their offerings and reaching new audiences. • For the Local Economy – A Dramatic New Destination Adding to the City’s Appeal Just like other high-profile visitor experiences managed in partnership by the Parks Conservancy, the PX will be
a magnet for people from near and far. Bringing together the best in Bay Area culture to one of San Francisco’s most iconic spots, the PX burnishes San Francisco’s appeal as a travel and tourism destination. Specifically, businesses in the Presidio and along the waterfront will benefit greatly from increased visitation to this reinvigorated parkland corridor. • For San Francisco – A Boost to the City’s Quality of Life and Unique Brand As a pioneering model for the 21st century cultural institution, the PX further enhances San Francisco’s reputation as a global hub for innovation. The PX serves as the City’s creative canvas and mirror—reflecting its vibrant, dynamic, exuberant identity. • For the World – A New Model for Cultural Institutions and Great Urban Parks with Connections to Global Audiences The breadth of disciplines, cultures, partners, and programs brought together at the PX will serve as a model for other public spaces and cultural institutions across the globe. • For Future Generations – A New Favorite Place that Serves and Adapts with the Changing Times Today’s world moves at a rapid pace. Demographics are changing, audience tastes and preferences are mutable, and ever-evolving technology affects our relationships with the people around us and the communities we live in. Designed for flexibility and adaptability, the PX embraces that change. Inoculated against irrelevancy, the PX is a place for all people—at this moment and in all future times.
Crissy Field now attracts over 1.5 million visitors every year thanks to the community-based restoration led by the Parks Conservancy
FACILITY DESIGN AND RELATIONSHIP TO CONTEXT Crissy Field and Main Post Section Header Here - reverse type
View of PX from Mason Street, showing Crissy Commons, Picnic Pavilion, and Amphitheater (REQUIRED)
The PX: Building on Values Expressing Parks Conservancy Values The Conservancy is honored to once again consider how to bring dynamic, visitor-serving park design to the Presidio. As the nonprofit organization behind the Crissy Field restoration and many other design collaborations involving Presidio buildings, trails, overlooks, and open space restorations, the Conservancy is well-positioned for this opportunity. It has worked cooperatively with the Presidio Trust and NPS on all of these projects. That history of collaboration speaks to the close alignment of Conservancy and Presidio Trust values, priorities, and mission. With the Conservancy’s vision of “Parks For All Forever” firmly in mind, the PX’s design was guided by these principles:
• To design lasting places that are inviting and attractive to all demographics—and that stand the test of time in these worldclass locations • To design a landscape that complements the park’s inherent character and values, yet offers a distinctive and memorable destination
The Parks Conservancy is nationally acclaimed for their significant and creative role in enlivening historic landmarks, buildings and sites with vibrant uses, quality interpretation and creative programming. I have admired their work for decades — and know that whatever they touch will result in something of quality, distinction and public appeal to the local community and visitors from around the world. —RICHARD MOE, PRESIDENT EMERITUS NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
• To respect the Presidio’s natural and cultural heritage, while ensuring that designs are contemporary in their use and appeal • To preserve and restore views, visitor pathways, ecological systems, and cultural resources, while designing facilities that meet the highest standards of environmental design and historic compatibility
Expressing PX Program Philosophy As outlined in the “Program and Visitor Experience” chapter, PX programs respond to place, encourage participation, create community, engage diverse perspectives, and reflect park values. In each aspect, the building/campus design reinforces these core programmatic principles. • Respond to Place The PX fits seamlessly into the mid-Crissy context, with connections to the marsh, airfield, Main Post, Battery Blaney/Cemetery tunnel tops, and Building 603. Integration with the Presidio environment is of central importance in designing the landscape at all scales. • Spark Participation The PX reaches out to the public with large, accommodating entrances and transparent walls that invite visitors to enter—or peek in at the lively activities within. The building is expansive and porous, opening out to the campus. To ensure all can participate at the PX, accessibility is paramount, with ADA-compliant pedestrian and bicycle access.
• Create Community The warmth of community feeling is mirrored by the coziness and comfort of the Living Room space and other commons areas. In an inspirational, interesting, and relaxed atmosphere, conversation and shared convivial experience are sure to occur. Interactions between people are optimized in the crossing pathways and varied spaces that offer intimate and group environments with opportunities to pause and reflect—or mix and engage. • Engage Diverse Perspectives The all-encompassing embrace of diversity is reflected in the flexible design of PX spaces, which are intended to accommodate a broad spectrum of events and activities of all sizes. This characteristic is further enhanced by a flexible infrastructure of walls and utilities to create spaces that can be configured and reconfigured to meet any need. • Reflect Park Values In a national park, conservation is a foundational value, so the PX building and campus meet the highest standards for sustainability. With a suite of “green” features, the PX aims for LEED Platinum certification, and interactive online “dashboards” help the public learn about those elements.
Expressing the Presidio Trust Mission The PX proposal addresses the fundamental mission and goals of the Presidio Trust, as identified in its 2012 annual report. These goals include: • Welcome the Public The PX serves as a key welcoming facility in the Presidio. Its services, amenities, programs, and design draw people of all ages and backgrounds and serve as a reason to visit and enjoy the Presidio. • Create Broad Impact With its local, regional, and national partners, the PX is a place that “holds conversation of consequence” and connects the Presidio to places, issues, institutions, and people working to “build a better nation and world.” • Steward the Presidio The PX actively contributes to building a growing constituency for the Presidio and its care and preservation. Its programs about place bond people to Presidio themes, stories, and special resources. The PX business plan allows for self-sufficiency in its operations.
Conceptual Design of the Presidio Exchange The PX is a 97,000-square-foot facility to be built in two phases. The building design is conceived around an X-shaped public space called the Living Room connecting all the rooms in the building, and the building to the landscape, on two levels. Off the Living Room are four basic activity spaces: • To the northwest, the Open Space, a multifunctional room capable of housing varied programmatic uses • To the northeast, housed on two floors, are venues for food and retail—the Café and workSHOP retail store on the first floor and the Restaurant on the second floor • To the southeast, opportunities for Residency programs are housed in the Park Lab (Phase II) • To the southeast, the World Stage, a major event venue (Phase II) The PX also provides visitor amenities such as restrooms, wi-fi connections, and a host of interactive informational and education exhibits and experiences.
The Aspen Institute fosters leadership based on enduring values, providing a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Presidio is an enduring resource for all Americans serving new national purpose. If invited, we can envision a blending of missions where the Presidio Exchange and nearby facilities host convenings and discussions, advancing our policy work as well as the new national purposes of the Presidio. —WALTER ISAACSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
View of PX and surrounding landscape, showing tunnel top parklands, Bridgeway, East Lawn, Crissy Commons, Amphitheater, CafĂŠ, Restaurant, Picnic Pavilion, and the Open Space; Phase II expansion also visible
View of Golden Gate Bridge and Bay from Building 211 and the Future Main Post Bluff, looking northwest; visible are the Bridgeway, Rooftop, Amphitheater, Crissy Commons, workSHOP, CafĂŠ, Restaurant, and Picnic Pavilion (REQUIRED)
View of the PX in its broader environmental context, looking southeast toward the Main Parade Ground and the heart of San Francisco
Entryway with the Living Room, Presidio Wall, CafĂŠ, and Trailhead; the Spiral can be seen in the background, at the center of the rendering
The Spiral, centerpiece of the Living Room, shown with the Tool Shed and workSHOP
FIRST FLOOR 1 2 3 4
7 8 9 10
14 15 16
17 18 19
First Floor Plan, with room/feature names and sizes
PX Building: Phase I First Floor Phase I consists of both the adaptive reuse of a portion of the existing Commissary building (Building 610) and new construction to the east and south. • Entry Plaza Approaching from shoreline Crissy Field destinations on Mason Street, the Entry Plaza of the PX is the main pedestrian and bicycle entrance. Elevated four feet above and sloping down to Mason Street, a large, sheltered front door offers views toward the Crissy Marsh, Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Alcatraz. A passenger dropoff point and bus stop on Mason Street will be located here. • Open Space Approximately 25,000 square feet of the existing Commissary building will be retained for reuse and will house the core program component to be called the Open Space—the flexible program heart of the PX. Sever-
LIVING ROOM 12,000 SF PARK PLACE 900 SF TRAILHEAD 3,000 SF PRESIDIO WALL THE SPIRAL OPEN SPACE 15,000 SF CAFE 2,500 SF KITCHEN 2,000 SF WORKSHOP 2,500 SF LOWER GATHERING SPACE 1000 SF DEMONSTRATION KITCHEN 950 SF ADMIN 750 SF LOADING & PREP 1,450 SF LOBBY GALLERY 4,000 SF WORLD STAGE 15,000 SF PARK LAB 4,500 SF ADMIN 750 SF LOADING & PREP 750 SF STORAGE 3,000 SF
1 2 3 4 5
LIVING ROOM 2,250 SF BRIDGEWAY 20,000 SF THE SPIRAL RESTAURANT 2,000 SF LOUNGE 1,000 SF KITCHEN 1,500 SF UPPER LEVEL GATHERING SPACE 1,000 SF WORLD STAGE MEZZANINE 2,000 SF ADMIN 2,000 SF
Second Floor Plan, with room/feature names and sizes
al of the tilt-up concrete wall panels on the north and west elevations will be removed and replaced with expansive glass curtain walls providing a direct visual connection to Crissy Field and beyond. The existing thin steel columns and character-defining roof trusses within the building will be retained, but the existing stucco finish will be replaced. The Open Space is a large, raw main space for programming, with the northwest corner opened up to the view. Operable partitions allow for flexible redefinition of the boundaries of the Open Space for changing programs. When the partitions are open, the PX can become one large contiguous space. By changing the movable partitions, the Open Space can be reconfigured to create venues of various sizes and accommodate activities at different scales. Depending on the usage of the floor area, Open Space can accommodate up to 2,000 people. Within the Open Space is Park Place, a permanent area dedicat-
ed to archiving and interpreting the relationship of art with natural and cultural environments. • Living Room The central gathering, orientation, and meeting space of the PX that links together all venues of the PX is called the Living Room—a dramatic, welcoming, and convivial space. It is a glassy, newly constructed two-story space that provides a sheltering, informal, and relaxing place for visitors to enjoy exhibits, events, and stunning views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Adjacent activity spaces spill out from the Living Room, including the Café and workSHOP. Interactive, informational, and interpretive elements of the Living Room can be found in the Trailhead, Digital Wall, and The Spiral. Moveable furniture, wi-fi access, books, games, and gear in the Tool Shed all make the Living Room a comfortable and fun place for a wide range of visitors— from individuals to large groups.
PX Phasing The Conservancy’s proposal for the PX involves two phases. Phase I fulfills all major programmatic and visitor service goals—and allows the Parks Conservancy to learn from the early years of audience response to the PX programs and facilities. This phased approach is often recommended for new cultural institutions to help test, verify, and determine the ultimate size, scale, and diversity of programs, visitor services, and indoor and outdoor spaces. Phase II adds additional architectural and landscape places, based on the success of Phase I. This includes a major new program space, the World Stage, which could host a variety of program offerings, including more formal performances. Also included in Phase II is the Park Lab, forming larger workshop spaces, offices, or lab areas.
• Café The Café, with an indoor capacity of up to 150 people, can be accessed from the Living Room and Crissy Commons. On nice days, this space can open up to the outdoors, allowing activities to spill out to the adjacent landscape areas. Multiple areas within the Living Room can also be purposed for Café-related use, if necessary. The Café includes the commercial kitchen, which services the Café and the second floor Restaurant. Moveable furniture can be grouped to accommodate parties large and small. A market section offers take-away food. • Lower Level Gathering Space This is available as a more intimate meeting space with a capacity of 30 people. • workSHOP Next to the Café is the workSHOP. A double-height space, it contains a traditional retail store focusing on products relevant to the Presidio, the Golden Gate National Parks, and their themes and stories. It also includes a pop-up retail space, and a working retail workshop where artisans can be seen crafting their wares for sale—or where visitors can help create their own park product. The workSHOP opens onto the Living Room and Commons. • Demonstration Kitchen At the far southern end of the Living Room is the dual-function Demonstration Kitchen. Equipped with mobile units that can be wheeled to other areas for cooking demonstrations and educational programs focusing on health and fitness, this kitchen also serves as a catering kitchen for events at the PX.
Second Floor • Living Room On the second floor, the Living Room can be directly accessed via the Bridgeway coming down from the Main Post, and internally via a grand staircase. In this quiet gathering area, visitors see dramatic views of the Bay and can also look down into the Open Space. • Restaurant The Restaurant contains both a bar and food service spaces, which will feature seated dining for up to 150 people highlighted by glassy walls that open up to Bay views in three directions. It is an entirely separate space from the Café below and can offer a different menu. It is also available for a variety of private functions. • Upper Level Gathering Space With a capacity of 40 to 50 people, this is available for smaller meetings and functions that desire privacy. • Amenities This includes three sets of public restrooms, administrative offices, and loading/ storage areas.
Sunday Brunch in the Restaurant
PX Building: Phase II New construction in Phase II includes the World Stage and Park Lab. • World Stage The World Stage is a large, double-height space with clear span construction, designed to house major events. It is set into the back hillside, and adjoins the expanded southwest corner of the Living Room. It opens onto a small courtyard at the crossing of the “X” shape formed by the Living Room. • Park Lab The Park Lab is located across the Living Room to the west of the World Stage. This 1½-story space can be configured in multiple ways, forming larger workshop spaces or smaller office or lab spaces. It opens onto the working landscape across from the Open Space, allowing for some “making” activities to spill into this active court to the north. A private evening gathering in the Restaurant
PX Landscape: Phase I The PX site design anticipates future landscape improvements surrounding the site, so that all subsequent changes will be fully integrated with the mid-Crissy area. The PX becomes the pedestrian crossroads and hub of circulation between Crissy Field and the Main Post—connecting the airfield, promenade, and East Beach with the new tunnel tops and Learning Landscape. The PX building complex provides wind-sheltered outdoor spaces and opens up expansive views to the landscape beyond. The X-shaped design of the PX allows for two major pedestrian linkages to the new tunnel top parklands: the first connecting to the Main Post, and the second connecting the National Cemetery to the shoreline bluffs. • The Bridgeway The Bridgeway is a dramatic promenade connecting the Main Post to the second floor rooftop open spaces of the Presidio Exchange. In addition to affording expansive views of Crissy Field, the Bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge, this promenade presents opportunities to introduce programs, art, and interpretive elements. Site-specific active play areas take advantage of the unique location, views, and sloped landscape. The Bridgeway continues onto the roof of the PX, which features wind-protected plazas and outdoor terrace space for the second floor Restaurant. • Crissy Commons Crissy Commons is a wind-protected, paved open space that can be flexibly configured for spontaneous or formal events. It can be tented and provides spill-out space from the Café and workSHOP. This includes movable fire pits for warm gatherings in the evenings. On the south side, a 650-seat Amphitheater is used for spontaneous and formal events in the wind-protected
shadow of the PX. Terraced seating looks out to Alcatraz and beyond. On the eastern edge of the Commons is the Picnic Pavilion, an open-sided, roofed structure that can accommodate outdoor cooking for large or small groups. The Commons also serves as a “meet-up” spot, defined by an art installation at the center of the space, set before the backdrop of the Amphitheater. • East Lawn Beyond the Commons lies the East Lawn. An intimate grassy open space that can be tented, it offers additional spill-out space for the Picnic Pavilion, Café, and workSHOP. The East Lawn provides the transitional open space from the PX to the Learning Landscape and Crissy Field Center beyond. • West Meadow A blend of community green and cultural commons, the West Meadow is an open grassy meadow area, free of structures, which can be flexibly programmed for outdoor events or art exhibits for creative and social exchange. It is designed with two goals in mind—preserving and respecting the shellmound and other sensitive cultural resources located here, while extending the open space and views of the Crissy Airfield up to the west façade of the PX. Picnicking, art events, and tents can be accommodated in this area. A mound and rain-garden at the south side frame the open space and provide a buffer from the adjacent parking lot. Adjacent to the West Meadow, the south sidewalk of Mason Street continues in a direct line east at the end of the Airfield as a sloped walk on top of an earthwork to the PX roof plaza. From the plaza, pedestrians can connect to the Bridgeway that extends across the Main Post tunnel top.
The PX will be a pedestrian circulation hub connecting Crissy Field to the Main Post
PX Landscape: Phase II • Bluff Connection A second rooftop connection will be created from the roof plaza along a reconstructed bluff to provide ADA-compliant access to the Battery Blaney/Cemetery tunnel top, thus fully integrating with the PX and Crissy Field. • Greenhouse and Garden As part of the programming for the Café, Demonstration Kitchen, and Picnic Pavilion, production of food for on-site consumption is an important goal of the PX project, highlighting the benefits of locally produced ingredients. Site-grown products can be used for food-related programming and food service. The Greenhouse and Garden is slated for Phase II in order to give the various programs and facilities enough time to determine the optimal size of these spaces and the required mix of food products, in consultation with the Presidio Native Plant Nursery and Crissy Field Center staff. In addition, a monitoring period can be established to understand how Phase I building and landscape improvements affect area microclimates—and thus growing conditions.
• Parking The project provides 350 parking spaces in the first phase of construction. The earthwork screens the surface parking lot from Mason Street and Crissy Field.
North Elevation, including bluff and Building 106 in background (REQUIRED)
North/south cross-section through site and PX, showing bluff and northwest edge of the Main Post (REQUIRED)
Consistency with Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines The design of the PX campus and buildings has embraced the Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines as adapted from the Presidio Trust Management Plan (PTMP) and approved by the Trust in 2011. The guidelines seek to create a bayfront recreational and cultural destination.
Summary of PX Responses to Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines Goal Rehabilitate and reuse Mason Street buildings within the context of compatible open spaces and recreational opportunities
• Creating a landscape that is open and accessible to all
Protect and restore natural systems
• Emphasizing native plant vegetation to minimize irrigation requirements
• Preserving existing views and recovering old views • Organizing the site landscape as a connecting pathway to provide direct access to the Main Post and mid-Crissy lands
• Planting native vegetation from seed collected in the site’s watershed, and propagated and grown in the Presidio Native Plant Nursery
The PX proposal meets all of the Mid-Crissy Guidelines. The project will not require any changes, variances, or exceptions. Generally, the PX project fulfills the guidelines by:
PX Fulfills the Goal By • Providing open, flexible spaces (plazas, lawns, etc.) for individual, family, and group use • Fitting more structured landscape features (such as the Amphitheater) into the immediate PX building landscape, or in the bluff reconstruction • Installing water conservation systems for the building and landscape, including sustainable treatment of stormwater and blackwater • Developing PX programs that include stewardship and educational opportunities around Presidio ecosystems
Ensure the ongoing health of Crissy Marsh
• Including an expanded dune swale and marsh system with areas replanted with native plants grown in the Presidio Nursery
• Aligning the new landscape with the original natural conditions once found on the site and providing visual continuity with the Presidio Commons landscape
• Providing indoor facilities that fulfill basic visitor-service functions, adapt for a variety of programs, and engender exploration, comfort, and conviviality
Enhance connections to Crissy Field and Tennessee Hollow (and beyond)
• Making physical and visual connections across the site with the goal of integration, through design and function
• Tying the new tunnel top features into the historic landscape, connecting through the PX to Crissy Field, Crissy Field Center, and Tennessee Hollow Watershed
• Creating an indoor/outdoor connection between the buildings, grounds, walkways, and vista points
Reuse the Commissary building (Building 610)
• Retaining, rehabilitating, and repurposing more than • Creating large, glassy openings in the façade to 25,000 square feet of the existing building as flexireveal spectacular views, provide day-lit interior ble programming spaces spaces, and offer natural ventilation—all important sustainability measures
Ensure compatibility of new construction with the historic district
• Remodeling Building 610 to create a contemporary structure that is compatible with the historic district and references the simple geometric volumes of other historic Crissy Field structures
• Embracing, framing, and restoring views
• Offering a park design that connects the wild and open character of Crissy Field with the more defined, historic, and planned character of the Main Post • Providing an incentive for visitors to move between Crissy Field and the Main Post by creating an attractive, interesting, and fun connective space See Appendix for an in-depth, line-by-line discussion of the guidelines.
• Maintaining the scale and dimensions of new buildings with other existing structures, and ensuring building height restrictions and width dimensions meet the guidelines • Breaking the volumes into three distinct massings to resemble the scale of neighboring Crissy Field structures • Differentiating the final new volumetric massings by their scale and materiality, using the guideline recommendations
• Referencing the existing building contexts and surrounding landscape in the materiality of all new elements • Selecting materials based on context and functionality, ensuring a timeless aesthetic • Establishing an open and porous façade, seamlessly integrating with the exterior spaces on the first and second floor, where the connection to the tunnel tops becomes the roof of the PX • Situating all buildings below bluff profile, preserving views west, north, and east from the Main Post
transit: bus stop native landscaping existing building re-use
Green Design and Construction
operational off the grid
Sustainability at the Presidio Exchange will permeate all aspects of the building and landscape, with the aim of achieving LEED Platinum (LEED’s highest rating). A completed sample LEED scorecard (see Appendix), which tallies sustainable elements, shows that the PX can feasibly attain a minimum of 81 points—clearing the threshold of 80 points required for the Platinum rating.
local +recycled materials natural ventilation LED lighting + controls
The Presidio Exchange aspires to be a new 21st century model for a cultural institution: a flexible shell space with constantly changing programs. By its very nature, the PX has great capacity for sustainable architectural goals. Additionally, the design reuses part of the existing Commissary building, reducing the carbon footprint even further. The PX will be a thriving institution in a living building, no longer reliant on a tight range of humidity and temperature controls and an uncompromising carbon footprint.
daylight + views
local + organic food zero waste
the presidio wall
water conserving fixtures
flexibility stormwater management
energy efficient appliances demonstration kitchen
socially responsible products
water conserving fixtures
living machine native landscaping water conserving fixtures bike parking connected to transit center educational programming permeable paving native landscaping water conserving fixtures
existing foundation re-use
Beyond LEED, an additional level of sustainability in planning, design, and development will use the guidelines found in the Living Building Sustainable building and site infrastructure Challenge program. The Challenge provides a Sustainability at the PX framework for design, construction, and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built The sustainable design of the PX campus revolves around environment. The program defines not only the character four grounding principles: of a particular solution for development but also calls for the • Carbon reduction creation of long-lasting projects that optimize interpersonal • Water conservation relationships and engender a broader sense of community and connectivity. In keeping with the programmatic emphasis of the PX, the sustainable features will be accessible to the public and serve as conversational tools for the exchange of ideas—each exchange contributing to education, awareness, and the health and wellbeing of the visitors to the Presidio Exchange.
• Ecosystem services • Resilient design All aspects of the sustainability program underscore the PX values of health, beauty, equity, and education. In keeping with the “active learning” philosophy of the PX, the sustainable features and systems will be accessible to the
transportation bikes community resilience
carbon reduction water energy waste
food landscape education
public. Online “dashboards” and other monitoring devices will give real-time updates on environmental metrics across the campus. The sustainable design program for the PX describes the evaluation of environmental cycles to set standards and measure outcomes. A summary of how the PX meets each of the four grounding principles follows below: Carbon Reduction • Existing building reuse, reducing embodied carbon needed for construction • New construction elements using recycled, locally sourced, renewable materials to further reduce carbon emissions
Current view of Commissary site, looking south from the Crissy Field Promenade
• Goal of net-zero energy use, which means the PX will produce as much energy as it uses during the year • Energy-efficient design elements – Passive design such as natural ventilation and daylight – Energy-efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems
Through the PX’s strong connection to landscape, ecosystem services will be woven throughout the building and site. • Stormwater treatment/management and the living machine ensuring clean, reliable water supply without diminishing the Bay Area’s precious water supply
– Climate controls adjusted to the level of PX activity, so the building can operate more efficiently whenever possible (e.g., between exhibits or for performances) or be fully conditioned when needed (e.g., for visual art shows)
• Pervious paving and planted rooftops used whenever practicable
– Renewable energy on-site, including photovoltaics and solar-heated water, to offset PX’s annual energy use
• Food grown on-site to supply the restaurant, with food waste composted on-site
• Transportation demand management practices
• Native plants grown in the Presidio Nursery to minimize irrigation and maintenance needs, while providing wildlife habitat and connections to adjacent ecosystems
Water Conservation • Water-conserving fixtures installed in bathrooms and kitchens
• Learning Landscapes providing habitat and beauty, while also teaching San Franciscans about ecology
• Native landscape design reducing the need for irrigation, with high-efficiency irrigation systems as necessary
• Access to the outdoors and some of San Francisco’s best views reinforcing the public’s connection to the land
• Stormwater from the roof reused within the building to flush toilets, irrigate, and use for maintenance
Resilient Design • Resilient design ensuring that buildings last longer and withstand extreme events, such as earthquakes and storms
• Stormwater from the site funneled to a teaching wetland and other site features • Blackwater—water from sinks, showers, toilets, and kitchens—filtered in a living machine and used for nonpotable uses (living machines use plants to filter water and are a demonstration of ecosystems services) • Goal of zero outflow Ecosystem Services Ecosystem services are ways to use the natural landscape, ecology, and nutrient cycles to meet the needs of building users while also providing a vibrant, healthy landscape.
• Educational programs that are multicultural and diverse • Landscape connectivity • Technology upgrades and research opportunities A more detailed description of the sustainability programs (LEED and Living Building Challenge) and an in-depth look at the sustainability systems used in the PX can be found in the Appendix.
Traffic Demand Management and Parking Plan The Presidio Exchange is sure to attract new visitors to the Presidio, Main Post, and Crissy Field, making this area a lively destination from morning until evening. Traffic demand management and parking plans must be designed to handle this new visitor flow. The traffic management plan is based on a transportation planning framework that seeks to minimize impacts associated with auto travel by maximizing the use of existing facilities and encouraging the use of alternative transportation modes. While emphasizing travel by transit as well as walking and bicycling, the design also recognizes that some auto travel will still be necessary and accommodates that demand in a safe and convenient manner.
Travel Demand The PX is expected to attract approximately 460,000 visitors every year, which translates to an average of 1,260 visitors on a given day. Based on recent visitor surveys conducted by the National Park Service (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) on Crissy Field, approximately 55 percent of current daytime visitors arrive by auto. Factoring in assumptions about auto occupancy, it is projected that the PX will generate approximately 430 auto trips on a typical day. Since the Presidio Exchange will offer both daytime and evening attractions and events, the auto trips will be spread over several hours, with approximately two-thirds of vehicle trips during the day and one-third of the vehicle trips in the evening. Therefore, demand for roadway capacity, as well as for the parking supply, will be spread out. Finally, some proportion of visitors to
Future view of the Commissary site, looking south from the Crissy Field Promenade toward the PX (REQUIRED); when compared to the image on the previous page, note the negligible visual impact of the new structure on the viewshed
the PX will already be visiting Crissy Field, so their trips will not count towards travel demand generated by the PX.
Based on the travel demand forecasts above, PX parking requirements are anticipated to be as follows:
The venue also will be designed to accommodate larger events attracting up to 350 visitors and evening events up to 2,000 visitors two to three times each year—which will generate higher parking demand. Scheduling events outside of typical peak travel hours (e.g., noon–2 pm on a weekend day and 4–6 pm on a weekday) in the surrounding area can also help mitigate any impacts resulting from the special events.
• Typical peak daytime demand, weekday: 50 spaces
Parking Management One of the key components of the traffic management plan is to ensure that adequate parking is provided immediately adjacent to the site for typical conditions (i.e., average days), while taking advantage of additional existing parking in the vicinity for peak days and higher-capacity events. Ultimately, the project aims to minimize the amount of space at Crissy Field dedicated to parking and maximize the amount of open space for the public’s use and enjoyment—an approach benefiting both the PX and the Presidio Trust. In particular: 1) The PX plan will reduce the amount of unattractive and costly parking areas at Crissy Field, one of the City’s most attractive and beloved open space areas. 2) To the extent that it can be accommodated, it will encourage taking transit or parking in adjacent lands at the Main Post, reducing perceived barriers to Crissy Field and promoting the pedestrian connections between the two. 3) Finally, it will allow for maximum preservation of the open space in Crissy Field.
• Peak daytime demand, Saturday: 110 spaces • 350-person event, Saturday daytime: 255 spaces (110 spaces for typical visitation plus 145 spaces for the larger event) • 350-person event, evening: 195 spaces On the less frequent occasions when the PX would host up to 2,000 visitors, the parking demand would be 810 spaces. In these relatively rare instances, the PX would seek to schedule these events in the evening and coordinate closely with the Trust to manage traffic and parking both on-site and remotely in adjacent Trust parking lots through informational programs, ticket sales, shuttles, and assisted parking.
Pedestrian Connections For the parking management concept described above to work, there needs to be clear and direct signage for drivers to find the appropriate parking areas within the Presidio. Even more importantly, there also needs to be clear, safe, and convenient pedestrian connections across the Presidio Parkway—many of which will be provided by the tunnel top walking paths. The network of future pedestrian pathways described elsewhere in this section illustrates the vast array of pedestrian connections between the PX site and Main Post parking supply—an essential component of the parking management strategy.
Transportation Demand Management In addition to the site design and parking management strategies described above, the PX project is committed to promoting strategies to reduce single-occupant auto trips and encouraging bicycling, walking, taking transit, and carpooling to the PX site. Specific strategies proposed include: • Conduct outreach to PX employees to encourage carpooling, taking transit, walking, and bicycling • Coordinate connections to PresidiGo and Muni stops • Provide bus stops at the PX site • Reach out to bike rental shops, mobile and established taxi companies, and other forms of transit regarding access to the PX • Coordinate offsite shuttle pick up for special events • Organize event times throughout the day and evening, outside of peak hours • Incorporate site design elements that accommodate delivery of goods, pedestrian entrance/exit, and ADA accessibility • Provide pedestrian and bicycle wayfinding to encourage active modes of travel to the site • Develop and implement “smart” trip planning features, including a website that compiles real-time traffic and environmental data from the PXDX • Develop a Crissy Field Traffic App, including parking availability updates, traffic congestion updates, etc. • Provide trip planning links to Main Post venues, parking, and the new Presidio Visitor Center • Provide ample amenities to safely receive, park, and store bicycles coming from the surrounding areas, as well as those coming directly to the PX
Second floor Living Room space, with views over the Open Space and out toward the Golden Gate Bridge
ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY The PX in its Crissy Field and Presidio context
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy For over 30 years, the Parks Conservancy has been at the forefront of park design, community engagement, visitor services, park programming, philanthropy, and business development. Recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for its accomplishments and innovation, the Conservancy has won over 90 local, state, and national awards (see Appendix) for excellence across its departments. During this time, the Conservancy has played a pivotal role in transforming and revitalizing landmark visitor destinations such as Alcatraz, Crissy Field, the Presidio, Lands End, Fort Baker, and more. Serving and Engaging Park Visitors Fundamental to the Conservancyâ€™s work is serving and engaging park visitors. The Conservancy is on the front lines of park visitor service and programing, staffing over 10 visitor centers, park stores, and, cafesâ€”as well as providing a wide breadth of
programs for all ages and backgrounds. Throughout its history, the Conservancy has actively collaborated with local agencies, museums, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions, corporations, philanthropists, civic leaders, and elected officials.
This history has prepared the Parks Conservancy for the PX opportunity, leveraging its experience in serving visitors, utilizing its skills in collaborative programming, calling upon its accomplishments in “post to park” conversions, and drawing upon its connections with generous donors and volunteers.
Global. An innovator in developing broad public support for parklands, Moore has served as an advisor on park projects throughout the country and to the Australian, New Zealand, South African, Chinese, and Italian national park systems, as well as to World Heritage Sites.
Experience with Museums and Cultural Institutions The Conservancy has experience and insights into the management of cultural institutions from its long history of collaborations with Bay Area and national cultural institutions. Additionally, the Trustees and the executive staff of the Conservancy have direct experience as board and staff members of large cultural institutions, including California Academy of Sciences, SFMOMA, KQED, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Tech Museum of Innovation, Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford, Bay Area Discovery Museum, and more. Conservancy staff also played a role in incubating park partners such as Fort Mason Center and Headlands Center for the Arts.
In 2013, Moore was honored by the San Francisco Foundation with a prestigious Community Leadership Award.
In summary, the PX project is a perfect and current expression of the unique history, skills, accomplishments, expertise, networks, and talents of the Conservancy.
Management Team Greg Moore, President and CEO As head of the Parks Conservancy since 1985, Moore has shaped one of the most effective nonprofit organizations supporting any national park in the country. Under his direction, the Parks Conservancy has provide more than $300 million in support to the Golden Gate National Parks. Moore has been instrumental in the conversion of military posts into vibrant national parklands, the restoration of Crissy Field, and the implementation of programs to engage diverse communities in park stewardship and education. Skilled in fostering cross-sector collaborations and building strong partnerships within the conservation field and beyond, Moore served on the Board of the Association of Partners for Public Lands and is a past Board President. He also serves on the Boards of the Conservation Lands Foundation, National Parks Friends’ Alliance, and Healthy Parks Healthy People
Nicolas Elsishans, Executive Vice President and COO Elsishans has over 20 years of experience in senior leadership, spanning a range of not-for-profit medical, public service, and arts organizations in the Bay Area. He oversees all business, financial, and operations areas for the Conservancy with its $50 million per year budget. Elsishans brings a strong background in the management of cultural institutions, previously serving as COO and Chief Financial Officer of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (de Young and Legion of Honor). Doug Overman, Executive Vice President, Government and Community Relations A driving force behind foundation, government, and corporate grant development for the Crissy Field restoration, Overman has more than two decades of senior management experience, with an emphasis on public-private partnerships, government and community relations, fundraising, and education. He currently manages relationships with elected officials, agency staff, and community organizations; leads strategic planning initiatives; and directs programs focused on volunteerism, environmental education, and youth leadership. He also co-directs the Parks Conservancy’s Presidio capital campaign. Catherine Barner, Vice President, Park Projects and Stewardship Barner has managed large-scale public projects throughout the country for more than three decades. Barner’s Conservancy team has executed complex planning, design, and construction projects within the Golden Gate National Parks, including the Alcatraz building and garden restoration, the Crissy Field transformation, the Fort Baker conversion plan, and major trail rehabilitations. Recent work includes the
PX Advisors The PX is enriched by a growing cadre of advisors with experience relevant to its purpose. These advisors will be called upon for specific expertise and guidance during the development and operation of the PX.
Nicole Ardoin, Stanford University, Woods Institute Elizabeth Babcock, California Academy Sciences Yves Behar, fuseproject Lacey Capps, Millennium Park Milton Chen, NPS Advisory Board Lucas Cowan, Millennium Park, Maryland Arts Council Cheryl Haines, FOR-SITE Foundation David Kennedy, Bill Lane Center for the American West Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro Maria Mortati, Museum and Exhibition Consultant Sheetal Prajapati, MoMA New York Rob Price, Eleven, Inc. Jeannene Przbylyski, California Institute of the Arts Kirsten Reoch, Park Avenue Armory Lucas Schoemaker, McCalls Sarah Schultz, Walker Art Center Danya Sherman, Friends of the High Line Dave Stockdale, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture Matthew Tiews, Stanford Arts Institute Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Daniel Woods, TechShop
Golden Gate Bridge Plaza and Pavilion, the Lands End Lookout visitor center, and numerous trails and overlooks throughout the park. Robert Lieber, Vice President, Interpretive Sales With over 25 years of leadership experience developing and directing major visitor centers and leading museum retail stores in New York City and San Francisco, Lieber has designed, planned, and overseen new retail stores, exhibits, and admissions/ticketing operations for landmark institutions. Lieber was the prime creator of the Alcatraz museum store,
the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, the Lands End Lookout, and was a member of the team that developed the SFMOMA Museum Store. Kathryn Morelli, Vice President, Development Morelli has over 25 years of experience in annual and capital fundraising for organizations including the Parks Conservancy, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Trust for Public Land, and Sierra Club. Working closely with a volunteer committee from the Conservancy and Presidio Trust, Morelli directed the Presidio Trails, Bikeways, and Overlooks campaign, which raised more than $21 million for park improvements. Since joining the Conservancy in 2006, she has raised over $10 million annually in operating, program, and project revenue. Nicholette Phelps, Vice President, Visitor Programs and Services Phelps has three decades of senior management experience, with an emphasis on revenue production in a nonprofit setting. She has designed and produced numerous award-winning audio, video, and personal tour systems (including the Alcatraz cellhouse tour), which are delivered to millions of park visitors annually. Phelps also has directed operations of two conference/meeting centers and three cafés in the Presidio and Crissy Field. David Shaw, Vice President, Communications and Marketing Shaw brings senior executive level nonprofit managerial experience, with a focus on media relations, community partnerships, special events, development, and marketing. He has led strategic communications campaigns for KQED Public Media and California Academy of Sciences. Since joining the Conservancy in 2004, Shaw has significantly raised visibility and awareness of the Conservancy throughout the Bay Area and strengthened relationships with key partners such as the San Francisco Travel Association.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has had the opportunity to work with the Parks Conservancy on numerous occasions over the years…. The Conservancy’s most recent proposal represents a remarkable opportunity to renew and restore the Commissary building and site to provide new cultural programming and public spaces to Bay Area residents and visitors. I know of no other organization with the Conservancy’s record of excellence in planning and executing complex and transformative projects such as the proposed Presidio Exchange. —CHARLES GRANQUIST, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE POCANTICO CENTER OF THE ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND
Key Project Consultants To further bolster the decades’ worth of park-making experience within the Conservancy team, the PX project draws upon the expertise of some of the Bay Area’s best and brightest firms. All of them bring a keen knowledge of the Presidio and the national park environment, experience with museums and cultural institutions, and a strong track record of productivity and collegiality with Conservancy staff and its partner institutions. For a full portfolio from each of these firms, please refer to the Appendix. ArtRise Marnie Burke de Guzman, Principal An independent consultant specializing in strategic branding, marketing, program and content development, and community relations for nonprofit and cultural organizations, Burke de Guzman has worked with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, KQED, Fort Mason Center, and FOR-SITE Foundation—with which she managed the acclaimed International Orange exhibition at Fort Point. Through December 2010, she was the Director of Marketing and Audience Strategy at SFMOMA. CMG Landscape Architecture Willett Moss and Chris Guillard, Founding Partners CMG is a landscape architecture firm providing urban design, planning, stormwater management, and ecological and habitat design to a wide range of project types and clients. The firm’s credentials include an EPA award-winning Mint Plaza, the open space planning for the redevelopment of the 400-acre
Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, and a competition-winning design for the SFMOMA Rooftop Sculpture Garden. The founders of CMG were instrumental in shaping the landscape restoration of Crissy Field. Contemporánea, Salvador Acevedo, President and Principal Contemporánea works with institutions such as museums, cultural centers and performing arts organizations to develop the necessary strategies to become more responsive to the needs of a changing society, creating access for diverse and underserved populations. President and Principal Salvador Acevedo has 20 years of experience as an executive, researcher, and consultant who links the social capital of organizations with opportunities for growth. Clients include the James Irvine Foundation, the California Academy of Sciences, SFMOMA, the Exploratorium, and the San Francisco Symphony. EHDD Jennifer Devlin-Herbert and Marc L’Italien, Partners Phoebe Schenker, Senior Associate EHDD is a national leader in architecture, design, and sustainability with exceptional expertise in museums, aquariums, zoos, buildings for science, libraries, and educational facilities. Among its projects are the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Exploratorium at Pier 15, Shedd Aquarium, and the San Diego Zoo Store. In the parks, EHDD worked on the Round House at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza and the Lands End Lookout—acclaimed by urban design critic John King as the “best new building” in San Francisco in 2012.
Equity Community Builders
Ted Lieser, Principal Over the last 15 years Equity Community Builders has played a critical role in the redevelopment of the Presidio and Fort Baker—having rehabilitated or constructed over 650,000 square feet of space located in 35 buildings. ECB has established strong relationships with the National Park Service, Presidio Trust, and Parks Conservancy—as well as investors and lending institutions committed to appropriate redevelopment in the Golden Gate National Parks. Foghorn Creative Don Richards, Creative Director Known for creating one-of-a-kind immersive environments, installations, and presentations, Foghorn planned and produced two of the most memorable events along the San Francisco bayfront: the Opening Day festivities of Crissy Field in 2001 and the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary festival in 2012. GJA Greg Johnson A project director for a variety of cultural and civic institutions throughout the Bay Area for the past 20 years, Johnson blends his architectural knowledge with his hands-on experience to ensure that physical spaces thoughtfully support the core values of the organization. Equipped with an extensive background in all aspects of development, including entitlements, programming and strategic planning, architect and builder selection, and cost tracking and scheduling, Johnson has worked with a host of cultural institutions, including SFMOMA, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Fort Mason Center, and the Mexican Museum. IDEO
Whitney Mortimer, Partner IDEO is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. IDEO identifies new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent
needs, behaviors, and desires. The firm envisions new companies and brands, and designs the products, services, spaces, and interactive experiences that bring them to life. IDEO also helps organizations build creative culture and the internal systems required to sustain innovation and launch new ventures. Independent Exhibitions (Ind-X) Kathleen McLean, Principal A leader in designing and developing museum exhibitions and public programs, McLean was selected in 2006 for the American Association of Museums’ Centennial Honor Roll, as one of 100 museum professionals who have made a significant contribution to the field in the last century. From 2008 to 2012, she was creative director and lead consultant for the planning, design, and reinstallation of the Oakland Museum of California’s Art, History, and Natural Sciences Galleries. She is the author of The Convivial Museum (2010).
Key Program Partners ART California Institute of the Arts FOR-SITE Foundation Headlands Center for the Arts Mural Music & Arts Project Stanford Arts Institute Walker Art Center HISTORY/CULTURAL HERITAGE Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University California Historical Society National Geographic Society Ohlone Profiles Project Pacific West Immigration Museum NATURE/SCIENCE
Studio Hinrichs Kit Hinrichs, Founder
Bay Area Open Space Council
Founder of Studio Hinrichs and a former partner at Pentagram, Kit Hinrichs has been an influential force in graphic design for over three decades. A former Trustee of the Parks Conservancy, Hinrichs has contributed his design talent on the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary logo, Alcatraz museum store, corporate identity, publications, and products.
Center for Diversity and the Environment
WolfBrown Alan Brown, Principal
Student Conservation Association
WolfBrown is a leading provider of market research, consulting, and evaluation services to cultural organizations and philanthropic foundations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Brown is a leading arts researcher and management consultant. As a principal of WolfBrown, his work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and assisting cultural institutions, foundations, and agencies to gain the insight and perspectives they need to fulfill their promise.
The Aspen Institute
California Academy of Sciences Chabot Space and Science Center Conservation International Environmental Education Collaborative National Wildlife Federation National Geographic Society NatureBridge Outdoor Afro
INNOVATION/IDEAS/POLICY The Center for the Next Generation encore.org IDEO The Innovation Hangar National Equity Project The Tech Museum of Innovation TechShop United Nations Foundation FOOD/SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE La Cocina Incubator Kitchen Pie Ranch
Potential Partners The Parks Conservancy’s business model and 32 years of park-based accomplishments are rooted in partnership and collaboration, and the Conservancy will bring this same collaborative approach to the Presidio Exchange. This approach has allowed many other admired public sites and programs, such as High Line in New York, to deliver a high volume of high-quality programs at relatively modest costs. Combining a world-class setting and flexible facility with the talents and audiences of strategic program partners will leverage resources, build creative talent, engage new visitors, and reinforce the PX values of co-creation and collaboration. Guiding criteria will ensure that the partner programs fit and extend the mission of the Presidio Exchange—and reach existing and new audiences. Each Presidio Exchange partner will: • Illuminate a theme, story, history, inspiration, or creative action that springs from the PX’s locale-based “Power of Place”—the setting, themes, or heritage of the Presidio, the national parks, and the Golden Gate itself. • Advance the strategic objectives of the Presidio Trust: to invite people to the Presidio and make it welcoming to all, to contribute to a better nation and world, and to preserve and sustain the Presidio. • Gain special appeal and creative power from the Presidio’s inspiring and world-class setting that it would not gain elsewhere. • Reach a specific audience, perhaps underrepresented at the Presidio, which is part of the local, national, and international constituency of the Presidio. The Presidio Exchange partners will advise on, collaborate on, and create programs that respond to those objectives. The Parks Conservancy has identified more than 30 organizations that have expressed an intention to partner with the PX (see partnership letters in the Appendix).
The Conservancy’s Record: Parks For All Forever To fully execute the vision for the Presidio Exchange, the Parks Conservancy will leverage its abilities to improve and create landscapes and iconic attractions, serve visitors from near and far, deliver programs that meaningfully engage people with places, secure long-term financial viability, and leave a lasting legacy. In becoming one of the largest and most effective nonprofits to support the National Park Service, the Conservancy has established an exemplary record of achievement in each area. None of this would be possible without the Conservancy’s public agency partners (the NPS and Presidio Trust), its 14,000 members, a passionate and committed Board of Trustees, and a robust community of philanthropic supporters.
Improving Landscapes, Creating Attractions • Transformed Crissy Field—formerly a derelict military site—into a 100-acre shoreline park through a $34.5 million restoration project completed in 2001. • Reinvigorated the visitor experience on Alcatraz Island— one of San Francisco’s top tourist attractions—through a new cellhouse audio tour, interpretive park store, accessibility accommodations, and restored historic gardens. • Enlivened the south plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge—San Francisco’s internationally recognized icon—through a $5.5 million effort to build new trails and overlooks, renovate the Round House, and establish a new Bridge Pavilion in 2012. • Revitalized Lands End through a $15 million project and community support and volunteerism—adding new trails and overlooks, restoring native habitat, and building a new Lands End Lookout visitor center. • Repurposed the facilities at Fort Baker, through a public/ private/nonprofit partnership that completed a $100 million renovation and restoration project to create the first national park lodge of the 21st century, Cavallo Point. • Attained unprecedented level of “green” design in facilities,
At the California Academy of Sciences, we explore, explain, and sustain the natural world. Our mission of stewardship and environmental education comes to life in national parks and protected places and over the years we have often collaborated with the Presidio and the Golden Gate National Parks. We can easily imagine potential partnership activities and programs as the Presidio Exchange comes to life. —GREG FARRINGTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
with the LEED Gold-certified Cavallo Point, and the Lands End Lookout and the interim Crissy Field Center attaining Platinum, the highest possible LEED status. • Restored Mori Point, a national park gem in San Mateo County, by marshaling community support for creating pond habitat and protecting endangered species while opening recreational opportunities. • Supported multi-phase restoration of the Redwood Creek Watershed in Marin County—from the slopes of Mount Tamalpais to the wetlands of Muir Beach. • Managed and executed restoration and construction projects across the Golden Gate National Parks, totaling over $100 million in capital improvements, on time and within budget parameters. • Garnered over 30 design awards for delivering innovative projects that fit within the environmental context and add value to the national park experience (see Appendix for listing of awards).
Serving Visitors • Helped serve more than 17 million visitors to the Golden Gate National Parks (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, and Fort Point National Historic Site), in partnership with the Trust and NPS. • Staffed, managed, or supported six park visitor centers at the Presidio, the Marin Headlands, Lands End, Muir Woods, Fort Point, and Alcatraz.
A Deep Legacy in the Presidio
on interpretive hikes, talks, and tours that reach thousands of park visitors every year, highlighting natural, cultural, and historic resources. • Rolled out in 2013 the Roving Ranger—a converted bread truck that serves as a mobile visitor center, bringing park resources and awareness to neighborhoods farther afield.
Delivering Engaging Programs • Brought 357,000 community members into a closer relationship with the national parklands through stewardship (cumulative number of volunteers in the park since 1986, through the combined programs of the Conservancy, NPS, and Presidio Trust). • Reached—since 2001—over 750,000 schoolchildren, youth, and family members through award-winning programs at the Crissy Field Center, an urban environmental education center with partnerships with more than 400 schools and community groups. • Delivered a memorable and meaningful Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary celebration, with an estimated 250,000 people attending the daylong festival, featuring historic displays and a fireworks spectacular. • Developed and grew hands-on conservation and “citizen science” programs across the parklands, through Park Stewardship, six Native Plant Nurseries, and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. • Provided camping experiences—including many first-time trips—to 16,000 young people from urban neighborhoods through Camping at the Presidio, in partnership with Bay Area Wilderness Training and with Presidio Trust support. The Parks Conservancy has been a friend and ally of the Presidio from the very beginning. The Conservancy played a lead role in establishing the Presidio Council, an advisory group that helped the National Park Service (NPS) guide the post-to-park transition in the early 1990s. It was the Presidio Council, in fact, that promulgated and promoted the vision for the Presidio Trust. Over the years, the Conservancy has been a staunch supporter of the Presidio and its values. This map shows a sampling of projects and programs made possible by the Conservancy’s partnership with the Presidio Trust and NPS.
• Greeted about 1 million visitors to Muir Woods National Monument each year.
welcome center, which serves about 2,500 visitors—from around the Bay Area and across the globe—each day.
• Provided audio tours and docent programs to 1.4 million annual visitors to Alcatraz. • Welcomed about 1.5 million visitors to Crissy Field each year.
• Launched acclaimed interpretive walking tours and photo program at the Golden Gate Bridge in 2012 (to date, 5,500 people have taken the tour, and nearly 13,000 visitors have enjoyed the “virtual reality” photo program).
• Established and staffed the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion
• Partnered with and supported the NPS and Presidio Trust
• Attracted more than 600 innovators and thought leaders to Turning the Tide—a multi-day environmental conference held in 2009 and 2010 by the Institute at the Golden Gate, a Conservancy program leveraging parks as catalysts for social and environmental change. • Elevated, through the work of the Institute, park-based programs to the regional level (Healthy Parks, Healthy People programming spread across the Bay Area through collaborative partnerships) and nationwide (Food for the Parks recommendations adopted by NPS for national standards on healthy and sustainable concessions options).
The Conservancy reaches out to the whole community to participate in philanthropy, encouraging a broad spectrum of dedicated partners and investors to take ownership and pride in these national parklands. In addition to major gifts and grants, the Conservancy raises $5 to $7 million annually from its 14,000 members and donors. Capital Campaign Highlights The Conservancy has secured more than $111 million for capital projects in the parks. In addition to the campaigns listed below, many other Conservancy projects and programs benefit millions of park visitors and reach hundreds of thousands of Bay Area youth.
The Conservancy’s annual Trails Forever fundraising dinner
Securing Organizational Viability The Conservancy is well-established as a thriving organization, with wide-ranging and diverse sources of revenue. Its financial model is based on funding operational expenses through earned revenue, thus allowing philanthropic investments to go directly to park projects and programs. Income-earning economic engines include visitor services, retail, product development, food/beverage services, and venue rental operations. Over a 30-year period, the Conservancy has consistently run “in the black.” The organization also has an experienced staff of 300, with expertise in public programs, business enterprises, startup initiatives, marketing and communications, branding and graphic design, event planning, venue rental, fundraising, and partnerships.
Building a Legacy Over the last three decades, the Conservancy has been the primary philanthropic partner to the Golden Gate National Parks. In that time, the Conservancy has generated more than $300 million in total support for the parks, and has attained or exceeded philanthropic goals on a number of major fundraising campaigns, including a campaign to build and improve the Presidio’s network of trails, bikeways, and overlooks.
Capital Projects Outside of the Presidio (inclusive of Trails Forever) The Conservancy has raised $34 million for capital projects outside of the Presidio and was the catalyst behind the $100 million private/public partnership at Fort Baker. A total of $10 million was raised for projects at Lands End, including trail and overlook enhancements and a new visitor center that achieved LEED Platinum-level status. Trails Forever Initiative (2003-ongoing) The Conservancy established the Trails Forever initiative in 2003 to support trail improvement and habitat restoration projects parkwide. To date, the Conservancy has secured $79 million for trail-related work in the Presidio and Golden Gate National Parks. Sources of support include:
Crissy Field Restoration To restore and steward Crissy Field, the Crissy Field campaign yielded a lead gift of $18 million from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and Colleen and RobConservancy Capital Fundraising Highlights ert Haas Fund in 2000, representing the largest gift ever to a national park. This visionary investment 1991 - 1994 Presidio Planning $ 1,492,000 produced a groundswell of public contributions in time and money to the “Help Grow Crissy Field” James R. Harvey Presidio Restoration 1996 $ 2,300,000 Fund Endowment campaign. In total, $34.5 million was raised from over 2,000 contributors, and Crissy Field continues to 1997 - 2001 Crissy Field Campaign $ 34,500,000 inspire a growing number of supporters each year. Capital Projects in the Presidio (inclusive of Trails Forever) The Conservancy has secured over $100 million for the Presidio’s post-to-park transformation, including $77 million for capital projects and an additional $26.5 million for public programs. Projects include the establishment of 24 miles of trails and bikeways, construction of scenic overlooks, and rehabilitation of the Rob Hill Campground. More recently, improvements at El Polín Spring in the heart of Tennessee Hollow Watershed have been completed and the Conservancy is currently raising funds for the next phase of that project. A total of $36 million in outstanding asks for Presidio projects represent the next phase of the post-to-park initiative.
2003 - 2006
Presidio Trails (pre-campaign)
$ 3 ,1 8 8 ,000
2003 – 2008
2004 – 2010
2012 – 2013
Golden Gate Bridge Site Improvements
2003 – Present
Trails Forever Dinner Revenue
$ 8 ,1 9 8 ,000
2005 - Present
Tennessee Hollow Watershed Restoration
2008 – Present
Redwood Creek, Muir Beach
2007 - Present
Presidio Trails and Bikeways Campaign
Rob Hill Campground
Other Support for the Presidio
$ 21,956,000 $ 4,000,000 $ 661,000 $ 111,109,000
• $47 million from philanthropic sources
PX Cost Estimates
• $19 million in successful submissions for state and federal grant sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California State Coastal Conservancy
The preparation of a cost estimate for a project as unique as the PX requires a careful analysis of the complete range of cost components to ensure the estimate accurately reflects the breadth of the Conservancy’s vision for the project. To do so, the Conservancy engaged the services of a team comprised of Davis Langdon, which has over 25 years of experience working with cultural projects such as the PX, and Hunt Construction, which has extensive experience completing projects of similar scale and complexity.
• $8 million in revenue from annual fundraising dinners • $5 million in value of park volunteer work Golden Gate Bridge Created in 2011, a new partnership with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District resulted in $5.5 million raised for Bridge visitor improvements—including a new Pavilion welcome center, enhanced plaza amenities, improved trail system, and an additional $4.5 million for a yearlong, internationally recognized celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Bridge.
Two independent cost estimates were prepared by these firms, and those costs were reviewed and analyzed by the Conservancy’s consultants: Equity Community Builders and Greg Johnson, who also provided soft cost budget estimates. Cost estimates are as follows: • Phase I Total development costs are estimated to be $76,090,000 (55,000 square feet at roughly $1,384/square foot), with approximately $61,230,000 in Hard Costs, and $14,860,000 in Soft Costs. • Phase II Total development costs are $42,990,000 (42,000 square feet at roughly $1,024/square foot), with approximately $34,980,000 in Hard Costs and $8,010,000 in Soft Costs. This cost-estimating team benchmarked the PX cost estimate against a variety of recent and current projects with similar components and public goals including SFMOMA’s expansion, the Broad Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Berkeley Art Museum and Film Archive. Each of these projects provided relevant cost data that was incorporated into the development of the cost estimate for the PX. The cost estimate reflects the complex process of developing a project in the Presidio, including project compliance and review, and public engagement efforts and outreach. In addition, this estimate includes appropriate levels of construction cost escalation and project contingency (design and construction) in the summary.
The Conservancy continues to play a major role in the stewardship of Crissy Field
The cost estimate also reflects the Parks Conservancy’s use of a significant amount of staff resources dedicated to this proj-
PX Development Cost Estimates Phase I
Hard Costs Building Hard Costs
Landscape/Site Hard Costs
7,1 1 0,000
Total Hard Costs
Total Development Costs
ect, as the Conservancy has done in the past with projects such as the Lands End improvements, the transformation of Crissy Field, the post-to-park conversion of Fort Baker, and the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. The summary cost estimate has the following components (see Appendix for more detail): • Building Hard Costs The costs of renovating portions of the current Commissary building as well as constructing new indoor facilities. • Landscape/Site Hard Costs The costs of the outdoor features including courtyards, plazas, Amphitheater, Bridgeway, and landscaping. • Contingency Includes a 10% contingency. • Escalation Includes 3% yearly escalation over four years, for a total of 12%.
PX Philanthropic Strategy I am fully committed to the PX and am excited about fundraising for this progressive, fun, inclusive, community-based facility. Let’s do this! —A Conservancy member, volunteer leader, and major donor The Parks Conservancy is poised to meet the challenge of funding the PX project by drawing on the strength of a wide and deep network of donors, volunteers, and friends. Throughout the PX proposal process, the Conservancy has been encouraged and inspired by enthusiastic support from civic leaders and park supporters. Just as for the seminal transformation of Crissy Field, the Conservancy can and will draw on an entire community to realize the PX vision. The campaign planning begins with a wide base of support from major donors committed to the Presidio and the Golden Gate National Parks. For its various campaigns, the Conservancy has raised single gifts as large as $18 million (the largest cash gift in the history of the National Park Service), and lead gifts from $1 million to $15 million. Throughout its fundraising for the Presidio, lead gifts to the Conservancy have propelled the vision for Crissy Field, Presidio trails, and more. The Conservancy’s Development Committee of the Board of Trustees will launch the capital fundraising initiative for the PX. This committee, chaired by Lynn Wendell, is comprised of highly regarded civic leaders and philanthropists, including Janice Barger, Mark Buell, Jessica Galloway, Wally Haas, Sally Hambrecht, Charlene Harvey, Patsy Ishiyama, Linda Howell, Dr. John McCosker, Julie Parish, Andy Schilling, and Staci Slaughter.
Campaign Phases The Conservancy will secure all capital funding for the PX building and landscape project (estimated at $76 million for Phase I) through a four-phased philanthropic campaign. Anticipated to launch in 2014, the campaign will last approximately six years, with a goal of reaching 75% of the
total project costs within four years. This fundraising work will be phased with the Conservancy’s other Presidio philanthropic priorities including the new tunnel top parklands, the Presidio Visitor Center, and adjacent projects. When combined with these ambitions, the PX attains a significant new, contemporary, and powerful civic objective—the grand remaking of a major public space for the Presidio’s next chapter. This campaign structure reflects the Conservancy’s experience with many other capital fundraising initiatives, though numerous factors and conditions will dictate The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund celebrates the opening of the Rob Hill Campground, the pace and duration of the campaign, completed with the Fund’s gift including the completion of the Presidio Phase 2 – 18 months Parkway project, phasing of fundraising work, and the synIn the second phase, the PX campaign committee will secure ergistic interplay of the PX and nearby philanthropic opporleadership gifts for the PX. As part of this process, it will entunities. However, the proposed strategy is supported by the gage Conservancy Trustees, lead donors, and longtime park Conservancy’s record of success on recent and comparably supporters in the campaign. scaled capital campaigns in the region. Phase 3 – 18 months Phase 1 – 12 months This phase focuses on soliciting major gifts from existing In the first phase of the PX campaign, the Development Comdonors, Conservancy members, and current foundation and mittee of the Conservancy Board of Trustees will evaluate corporate funders. Personal meetings with PX campaign and hire a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study. A committee members and Conservancy Trustees will be tarthird-party feasibility study will affirm the fundraising targets geted to each potential supporter. and inform any revisions needed for the project. ConcurrentPhase 4 – Beyond 18 months ly, Conservancy staff and consultants will draw from existing The final phase involves reaching out to the entire communidonor database screening and interview data to identify top ty to participate in the campaign and encouraging a broad funding prospects. Refinement of the Conservancy’s prodiversity of individuals to take ownership and pride in the PX spectus and philanthropic case, as well as opportunities for project. Members of the public will be invited to learn about recognition, will also take place in this phase. the PX through social media, open houses, walks, talks, and The build-out and recruitment of a PX fundraising committee other communications and outreach activities and encourand committee chair will be informed by and follow the feaaged to give a gift of any level. sibility and case development phase. The committee will be A fundraising strategy and timing for Phase II of the PX comprised of Conservancy Trustees, fundraising volunteers, (World Stage and space for PX Residency program, as well as major donors, and key civic leaders and influencers. This additional outdoor features) will be evaluated after completeam will lead efforts to identify lead donor prospects and tion of the first capital campaign. develop strategic cultivation and solicitation plans for each.
Toward Self-Sufficiency: PX Operations Plan The Parks Conservancy proposes to operate all aspects of the PX, including programming, marketing, food and beverage service, interpretive retail, venue rental, and site maintenance and stewardship. A new PX Director will oversee an initial staff of 17, and significant support will be provided by program partners, pro bono advisors, and existing Conservancy staff. PX operations are anticipated to be self-sufficient, with annual expenses offset by earned income from space rentals, dining and beverage services, and interpretive retail. In the first five years, annual gross revenue is estimated at $6.6 million to $7.7 million and expenses at $6.5 million to $7.5 million. Any net surplus would be retained for PX operations. The chart at right summarizes five-year revenue and expense projections during Phase I.
PX Revenue Sources The Conservancy has a long and successful organizational history, having grown in over 30 years from an organization of three staff and an annual budget of about $200,000 to an organization of over 300 staff and an annual budget of approximately $50 million. Based on its considerable experience in programming and visitor-serving operations, the Conservancy proposes three primary revenue sources for the PX. • Dining and Beverage (Café, Restaurant, and Catering) The Conservancy operations plan includes a Café and Restaurant with a bar. With world-class views and the proximity to millions of park visitors who have stated a desire for comfortable indoor places, these facilities will quickly gain a following for both locals and tourists. The range of settings, menu options, and dining and beverage services will appeal to a diversity of visitor appetites and budgets. Catering services will also be made available for private parties and events. Estimated gross revenue from the Café, Restaurant/bar, and catering services total $4 million annually. Food carts or other options in the Picnic Pavilion could provide additional income.
PX Five-Year Projected Budget Year 1
Earned Revenues Facility Rentals (Gross)
Interpretive Retail Cost of Goods and Operating
Dining and Beverage Cost of Goods and Operating
Marketing and Public Relations
Site Maintenance and Stewardship
Occupancy and Centralized Services
Dining and Beverage (Gross) Interpretive Retail (Gross) Total Earned Revenues
Expenses Salaries, Wages and Benefits Exhibitions and Programs
Total Expenses Net Operating Surplus*
*All surpluses will be added to a Presidio Exchange sinking fund.
• Interpretive Retail Sales (in the workSHOP) The wonderful array of program themes at the PX creates a great and exciting platform for products and merchandise in the workSHOP. The merchandise will include not only books and gifts related to the park, but also products relevant to current programming at the PX and the broad themes of environment, sustainability, history, heritage, the arts, and more. Annual income for the 3,000-square-foot store is estimated at $750,000.
• Space Rental Offering one of the Bay Area’s most spectacular views, the PX will attract privately hosted meetings, performances, and a wide range of social events. The large meeting space (Open Space) will complement the Presidio’s existing facilities by addressing the unmet demand for a venue that seats more than 500 people in a 15,000-squarefoot space. This size of venue also addresses lack of facilities in the City at large, according to San Francisco Travel and meeting planners. Revenue estimates for the full range of
I can’t imagine a better venue than the Presidio Exchange for the dissemination and preservation of the extraordinary range of culinary arts that thrive in the Bay Area. That it could be a special event space as well would make it an experiential masterstroke: its views, architecture, and mission would be an unforgettable highlight of every guest’s experience. This unique combination of location, views, food service and programming opportunities, and the Conservancy’s track record, will make, in my opinion, for a winning operation. —LUCAS SCHOEMAKER, PRESIDENT, MCCALLS
indoor rental spaces available in Phase I are shown below. Based on both rental rates and utilization rates that are below market for comparable spaces, these are conservative estimates on the potential for income generation. (See Appendix for comparables.) Other Potential Sources of Income • Program or Exhibition Fees Some programs and exhibitions may have a specific fee. However, these fees are forecasted to be incidental and modest compared to the income streams identified above—and are not viewed as a major driver of the financial plan. • Parking The Conservancy’s PX plan calls for the development of 350 parking spaces. If converted to fee-based parking (as in the majority of the Presidio), this income could play a major role in helping support potential PX financing and operations. However, it is not included in this financial plan.
• Sponsorships or Contributions This operations plan does not include the presumption of ongoing philanthropic underwriting or corporate sponsorships. However, given the quality of programming anticipated at the PX, the Conservancy may be able to secure underwriting for occasional major exhibits, installations, or programs. • Outdoor Space Rental There is potentially a large demand for rental of outside spaces at the PX, including the Amphitheater, Crissy Commons, rooftop terrace, and Picnic Pavilion. PX revenue projections currently do not include this potential income. • Partner Participation This operations plan does not include Presidio Trust partnership in management, staffing, program, or marketing expenses. If the Trust sought or envisioned such a role, it could allow for a more robust, dynamic, and well-coordinated program, as the Trust has gained a reputation for delivering high-quality programs for the visiting public. At a minimum, the PX would want to actively coordinate with the Trust to see where each entity could gain success and reach efficiencies and cost effectiveness through collaboration.
PX Revenue Sources (Year 1) Dining and Beverage Revenue
Café, Restaurant, and Catering
Dining, beverage, and catering services provided on-site
Interpretive Retail Revenue
Interpretive retail and live product creation on-site
Space Available for Rental Revenue Space Title
Rentable sq. ft.
Gross Rental Income
Open Space (Full)
Very Large Full View
Open Space (Partial)
Large Full View
Living Room and Restaurant
Second Floor View
Living Room First Floor
Moderate Size with View
Meeting/ Working Rooms
PX Expenses (Year 1)
There are four main cost drivers for the PX.
Staffing 18 Staff Members
Exhibitions and Programs Program
Open Space, Living Room, Demo Kitchen, Outdoor Areas, Crissy Field, Tunnel Tops, Main Post
Major festivals, performances, conferences, fairs, and monthly/weekly/daily activities
Open Space, Living Room, Rooftop, Outdoor Areas, Restaurant
Site-specific art, history, science, health, and food exhibits, including PXDX
Living Room, Open Space, Demo Kitchen, Outdoor Areas
Innovators across disciplines engage public in projects and events
Visitor Services Expenses
Interpretive Retail Cost of Goods and Operating
Cost of goods sold and all non-staffing expenditures
Dining and Beverage Cost of Goods and Operating
Cost of supplies, materials, and all non-staffing expenditures
Year 1 400,000
General and Operating Expenses
PX staff members supporting earned-income functions include the Retail Manager, three Retail Sales Associates, the Food Services Manager, and seven Food Service staff. A Facility Rental Manager will oversee all venue rentals. Additional staff to support facility rentals will be provided via contract; those costs would be covered through venue rental fees. The PX Site Coordinator will provide general logistical support. As needed, the core team of PX staff will be augmented by Conservancy staff with proven expertise in strategic planning, public and youth programming, visitor services, marketing, outreach, event planning, and other functions. • Exhibitions and Programs Programming expenses relate to the PX’s core mission of delivering programs, exhibits, installations, and visitor experiences. These budgeted program costs are paid for entirely through operating revenue. Philanthropic contributions, corporate sponsorship, or fees could be used to fund additional program offerings, but are not assumed here. • Visitor Services This category covers the key expenses and cost of goods associated with managing the dining and beverage and retail operations. • General and Operating These relate to expenses for the entire operation of the PX.
Marketing and Public Relations
Expenses related to marketing and advertising
Three Decades of Operating Success
Site Maintenance and Stewardship
Exterior up-keep and maintenance
Allocated Overhead and Centralized Services
Shared services from existing Conservancy operations (facility maintenance, allocated administrative, and physical plant support)
The Conservancy has decades of successful experience with the revenue sources proposed in the PX Operations Plan.
• Staffing The Parks Conservancy will assemble a team of 18 accomplished professionals for the PX. The PX Director will have overall responsibility for programming and operations and will be supported by the Presidio Exchange Assistant. Two Resident Program Managers will provide planning and management of permanent programming, exhibitions, and installations. Temporary exhibition or event program management will be funded through the Program budget.
• Space Rental Over a seven year period, the Conservancy developed and operated the Golden Gate Club as a rental facility in the Presidio. When the Trust became fully opera-
With its Food for the Parks program, the Golden Gate National Parks has set a national model for healthy, environmentally sound and locally sourced food in the parks. It has helped change policy for all National Parks. The Presidio Exchange can follow that model by providing delicious wholesome food and engaging food education programs. —ALICE WATERS, CHEF, FOUNDER OF CHEZ PANISSE FOUNDATION AND EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD
tional, the decision was made to transfer these operations to the Trust. The Conservancy has operated other rental facilities in the park including at Fort Mason and the Marin Headlands. It also has an active partnership with Cavallo Point at Fort Baker, helping to market to and attract environmental groups and nonprofits that use the lodge’s rooms and convening spaces. • Park Stores The Conservancy manages the most renowned and successful park stores in the national park system. They are well-known for the quality of design, the creativity and appropriateness of products, and net revenue secured. Currently, the Conservancy’s park stores achieve $14 million annually in gross revenue. • Park Cafés The Conservancy manages park cafés at Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge, including the Warming Hut, Beach Hut, and Bridge Café. These operations achieve $3 million annually in gross revenue. Additionally, in collaboration with the National Park Service at the Golden Gate National Parks, the Conservancy developed the Food for the Parks initiative emphasizing healthy, local, and sustainable food. Through the Conservancy’s Institute at the Golden Gate program, this breakthrough approach influenced and inspired the adoption of similar guidelines for NPS concessions nationwide. • Fee-Based Visitor Programs Through its operations on Alcatraz, at the Golden Gate Bridge, and through the Crissy Field Center, the Conservancy offers a variety of fee-based visitor programs. These programs achieve $16 million annually in gross revenue.
The Role of the Presidio Trust While the Conservancy is prepared to take full responsibility for the governance, program delivery, and funding of the Presidio Exchange, Presidio Trust involvement is welcomed. Indeed, a strong working relationship with the Trust is essential to maximize the PX’s potential as a program hub for the Presidio. Just as the Trust, Conservancy, and National Park Service have worked together to achieve other restoration, park improvement, and programmatic ambitions in the Presidio, the PX offers another opportunity for fruitful collaboration that serves the public. Specifically, the Presidio Trust could be engaged as follows: • Governance The Conservancy proposes to operate the PX through its own current corporate governance structure. The PX will become a new department of the Conservancy, but the Presidio Trust Board and staff will be welcomed as part of an advisory committee guiding this department. This will help ensure that the programs of the PX fulfill the strategic objectives of the Trust, provide for Trust consultation and advice, and offer public recognition to the Trust for its role in making the programs possible. The Conservancy is open to considering other options that the Trust might suggest. • Program Delivery The PX envisions public programs that both add to the current offerings of the Presidio Trust and directly link with many of them. A cohesive program delivery structure will be optimal so that all public programs can be planned, marketed, and managed in a creative and coordinated way. The PX is open to a staff structure that includes both Trust and Conservancy participation and program leadership, much like other co-delivered program initiatives in the Presidio such as Trails Forever, Presidio Park Stewards, and Camping at the Presidio. This will not only be cost effective, but will help the PX exist as an extension of the Trust mission, and in coordination with other events, programs, and venues in the Presidio.
audience following—and as different programs are implemented and tested. Any Trust participation in capital costs or operations will help accelerate this process and provide for more stable and robust early years.
Form of Occupancy and Terms The Parks Conservancy will most likely propose a lease agreement for the Presidio Exchange, as it has for its other sites on Presidio Trust properties. The Conservancy is open to the terms and conditions of the lease, but would request the terms most favorable to the viability of a new cultural and program center that focuses on the Presidio’s mission, values, and themes and connects seamlessly with other Presidio Trust open space goals and improvements.
As co-chair of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, I experienced the Conservancy’s masterful leadership of this year-long celebration. Public programs extended throughout the Bay Area through a robust set of partners. A marketing campaign brought the story around the world. And first-class visitor facilities were designed and built at the Bridge itself. The Conservancy will bring these same exceptional talents to the Presidio Exchange. —LARRY BAER, PRESIDENT, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
• Funding The PX will depend upon philanthropic capital for its construction and operating revenue for its annual programs and services. As a startup entity, the early years may be the most challenging as the PX gains an identity and
PX PROJECT COMPONENTS
Timeline: Significant Milestones from Selection to Phase I Opening 2014
Program/Audience Development Facility Development Fundraising Campaign
PHASE I Audience and user experience research Prototype, develop, and deliver programs; continue audience testing and research Conceptual design Plan PX campaign Feasibility study Environmental compliance and public review
The PX project is the crown jewel in a 20-year process in remaking the Presidioâ€™s northern waterfront by restoring Crissy Field, protecting natural and cultural resources, opening up recreational opportunities, and creating new parklands such as the tunnel top green spaces. The phasing for the PX implementation focuses on three core functions: Program and Audience Development The Conservancy will continue to define its program, finetune its program partners, and get input from and develop audiences.
Community engagement, outreach, and marketing Secure lead gifts Schematic design Design development
Facility Development Stages of planning, public review, environmental compliance, design, and construction are indicated on the timeline.
Secure major gifts Construction documents Phase I construction Public fundraising campaign Develop programs, exhibits, and installations Installation, move-in
OTHER PROJECTS UNDERWAY Presidio Parkway construction Crissy Refresh improvements Presidio Visitor Center implementation Tunnel Top Parklands improvements
Fundraising Campaign A fundraising campaign will need to advance through various stages, including the initial feasibility study of campaign goals.
PX Living Room looking onto the Open Space and Park Place
Open Space, Open-Source, Open for All The Presidio Exchange is a park-based cultural center that creates, curates, and hosts unique public experiences at the Presidioâ€”reflecting the heritage of this national park and the creativity of the Bay Area while connecting to the larger world. The PX offers accessible and open indoor/outdoor spaces to rest, relax, play, learn, seek inspiration, and exchange ideas and artistic expressions. Its programming partners provide an ever-changing mix of park-themed exhibitions, installations, and performances. And, like the national parks that provide the PXâ€™s incomparable setting, this 21st century cultural institution draws its energy from the diversity and vitality of the visiting public.
The PX serves two primary functions: • It is a central program hub for the Presidio. In the largescale Open Space program room and other flexible indoor/ outdoor exhibition areas, the PX provides a venue for cultural programs that encourage public participation—from music festivals to tech expos, and from art installations to cooking classes, all thoughtfully curated around broad park themes and bringing the Presidio’s many stories and experiences to a new level of public engagement. • It is a free and public gathering place. The PX is a social place, where people gather to enjoy the park, meet with fellow park goers, and share experiences, stories, and programs. The PX serves as Crissy Field’s “Living Room”—a space where visitors can escape the chilly wind; grab coffee, drinks, or a meal; relax with friends, family, or a book; and derive inspiration from the stunning views and stimulating conversation. The PX supports the Presidio’s emergence as an iconic, innovative, and contemporary visitor destination taking its place among the best urban parks in the world. As a cultural center that brings imaginative programming to a world-class setting, the PX will draw visitors from near and far and offer a new place of national and international acclaim. Seamlessly connected to adjacent revitalized parklands and other Presidio visitor and program facilities, the PX serves as a beacon of the Presidio’s unique blend of heritage, nature, art, and forward-thinking park design and programming.
The PX will give the visiting public experiences found nowhere else in the Presidio, the United States, or even the world. There are no national park sites that can boast a facility featuring contemporary cultural programming. And there are no cultural institutions in America that harness that unique “power of place” abundant in a national park environment. With the PX, the Presidio, San Francisco, and the greater Bay Area will gain not just another museum, art gallery, or performance venue, but a genuine destination of distinction: a pioneering interactive place.
Specifically, the PX aims to reach out to five core visitor audiences—and enhance their experiences in turn. For loyal parkers—regular visitors to the Presidio and the greater parklands—park-themed PX programming further highlights the natural, cultural, and historic resources that have always brought them to these national treasures. Because the slate of exhibitions, performances, and events are changing daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally, even those who are thoroughly familiar with the parks’ offerings will have something new to see and do.
Meeting the Trust’s Goals
For multigenerational families/groups, the PX offers a wide variety of activities that people of all ages can enjoy—from the kid-friendly Explorers Club activities to Open Field-hosted creative challenges, and from temporary exhibits (such as National Parks Mini Golf) to special events like the BioBlitz that get people exploring Presidio’s natural wonders. Importantly, the PX stresses participatory programs that engage grandparents, parents, youth, and young children alike. This type of family-bonding activity, especially when tied to a beautiful park setting, is in high demand as multigenerational travel becomes more popular.
The PX fulfills the goals outlined by the Presidio Trust for the former Commissary site in the Request for Proposals, which form the principal criteria by which the proposals will be evaluated.
1. Enhance the visitor experience of the Presidio. In a location renowned for affording visitors awe-inspiring vistas, the Presidio Exchange promises to “renew your view.” Through constantly changing, cross-disciplinary programs and dynamic spaces that surprise and delight, the PX presents the public with ever-fresh and ever-expanding perspectives on the Presidio, the parklands, the world, and human potential. In this sense, the PX exchanges visitors’ prior conceptions and expectations of the “national park,” the “cultural institution,” society, the environment, and even themselves— for a wholly unique view that illuminates and inspires.
The PX has the potential to fulfill the promise of Crissy Field and herald a new chapter for the Presidio
For Millennials, the PX’s emphases on digitally mediated content and DIY co-creation hold great appeal. The cutting-edge, technology-driven PXDX—including the Spiral at the center of the Living Room—leverages millennials’ interest in multimedia, interactive interfaces. This generation, which places a premium on unique experiences and values the opportunity to make and create, will enjoy the hands-on workSHOP store, the DIY bike shop, culinary arts classes in the Demonstration Kitchen, the flexible adventures provided by the PX Tool Shed, opportunities to interact with Bay Area innovators, and “barter days” in Open Space. For tourists, the PX will become another must-see destination in San Francisco. Its features, such as the multi-sensory and inventive installations by artists like Ned Kahn and James Turrell, are sure to become iconic attractions synonymous with the already-memorable northern shoreline. Through the interactive Presidio Wall, visitors from across the globe can find the World Heritage Sites of their home countries highlighted alongside American national park sites. And, for those
out-of-towners surprised by the chilling wind and fog, the PX serves as a much-needed shelter from the elements. Finally, for corporate/public/nonprofit/private groups, the PX provides a range of event and meeting spaces, all set against the most stunning backdrop in San Francisco (and perhaps on Earth). Both the indoor and outdoor venues—including the large-scale Open Space, Crissy Commons and adjacent Picnic Pavilion, and lawns and meadows—take full advantage of the one-of-a-kind national park setting. In sum, the PX enhances the visitor experience by elevating the best attributes of Crissy Field—its accessibility, natural beauty, sense of magic, opportunities for public engagement, respect for history and the environment, and burgeoning legacy as San Francisco’s premier place to play, learn, discover, and relax. It will become everyone’s new “favorite place” in San Francisco’s beloved backyard.
2. Provide programmatic offerings that are fresh and vital, that connect to broader themes, and that stimulate imagination and creativity. Offer cross-disciplinary programming that can be effective in advancing knowledge that has broad and lasting relevance. Foundationally, PX programming is guaranteed to be fresh and exciting because of a constantly evolving roster of programmatic partners—from the Bay Area and beyond—that specialize in a wide spectrum of disciplines, including science, art, music, history, technology, youth leadership, innovation, environmental topics, and more. At the outset, organizations that have expressed interest in co-creating, co-hosting, or holding events in PX venue spaces include California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic (a BioBlitz to catalog biodiversity in the park), the Aspen Institute (Ideas Festival), the United Nations Foundation (Global Environmental Youth Leadership Summit), Stanford University’s d.school (Environmental Sustainability Project), the Bill Lane Center for the American West (programs for the 75th Anniversary featuring “World War II and the West” or exhibitions and lecture on national parks and the American West) and the Walker Art Center based in Minneapolis (Open Field).
Thus the PX is programmed and energized by the passion and vitality of many—not just the interests of one, or the embraces thethe 21stwalls century cultural hobbies of a few. The PX knocks down of the 20th center that is energizing in theme, dynamic century museum that is static in theme, staidininatmosphere, atmosphere, unlimited in scope. and limited in scope. The proposed invites public behind velvet rope Instead, the PXPX invites thethe public behind thethe velvet rope and and protective It is important to note that public particprotective glass.glass. It is important to note that public participaipation is fundamental to PX all activities. PX activities. In fact, Presidio tion is fundamental to all In fact, the the Presidio within its its very very name: name: “ex“exExchange weaves this concept within two-way flow flow of of ideas, ideas, creativity, creativchange,” after all, denotes a two-way ity, and culture. Eschewing traditional museum model and culture. Eschewing the the traditional museum model of an focusing pontificating on a single subject matter theme,matter, the PXthe encour“expert” about a singleorsubject PX enages multidisciplinary dialogue—a bidirectional dynamic in courages multidisciplinary dialogue—a bidirectional dynamwhich the visitor has as much to offer as the ic in which the visitor has as much to offer asinstitution. the institution. For example, the aforementioned BioBlitz relies heavily on “people power” to succeed. It is only through the collective eyes, ears, energy, and enthusiasm of volunteers—individuals and groups from the community—that the researchers can attain a more encompassing survey of biodiversity in the parklands. In this way, members of the public are not merely passive recipients of scientific knowledge but active participants in its advancement. Aside from a couple of permanent exhibits, the PX emphasizes temporary, changing exhibitions that blend different disciplines. The PX’s philosophy is that “pure science” or better left to other institutions. Instead, bound“pure art” are mythologies (and not very interesting). Instead, ary-busting artists artists and pioneers such assuch Mark chamboundary-busting and pioneers asDion Markare Dion pioned. Dion’s work—which combinescombines elements of biology,of are championed. Dion’s work—which elements archeology, and the history science provocative and biology, archeology, and theofhistory of in science in provocative interactive art objects—would be a be perfect fit forfitthe and interactive art objects—would a perfect forPX. theBy PX. engaging andand playing with these pieces, visitors gain new inBy engaging playing with these pieces, visitors gain new sights into familiar subjects and forge entirely new pathways insights into familiar subjects and forge entirely new pathof knowing and understanding. ways of knowing and understanding. Furthermore, a diversity of programming is also embedded in the design and architectural DNA of the PX. There are spaces of all sizes, and for all functions. The centerpiece, the Open Space, is a large-scale, multi-purpose “blank canvas” that can be expanded, partitioned, opened up, or closed down. Its uses are limited only by the imagination. Addition-
Crissy Field Center’s Earth Stroll event brings the community to the Presidio
al gathering spaces and rooms adjacent to the Living Room area are also flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of activities. Outside, PX and private programs can be held across the “campus”—a series of green spaces, plazas, and facilities (including the Picnic Pavilion, Amphitheater, picnic areas, and the Crissy Commons courtyard). To summarize, PX programs are open-source (drawing on the vitality of community groups, broadly defined national and international cultural organizations, and visitors themselves), leverage open space (inhabiting and animating a range of experiential zones), and remain resolutely open for all (espousing a belief that everyone has something to gain from—and offer to—the content mix). Through the twisting kaleidoscope of sensory and textual experience at the PX, diverse audiences learn the value of refreshed perspective— and how that can trigger the imagination, foster collaboration, advance collective wisdom, and maybe even solve some of the problems facing our planet. In this light, the PX showcases the best values of the Bay Area—diversity, democratic participation, and ceaseless innovation. The PX is a park center that is always welcoming, everchanging, and never, ever dull. It is a place where visitors can come to be themselves, express themselves, and renew themselves.
3. Be compatible with the natural and cultural setting along the Crissy Marsh and San Francisco Bay and conform to the Trust’s Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines and LEED requirements. As a leading force in restoring and transforming Crissy Field (a historic effort funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and Colleen and Robert Haas, and supported by thousands of community volunteers and donors), the Parks Conservancy obviously has a large stake in protecting the natural and cultural resources of this beloved shoreline park. The Conservancy’s history and familiarity with the area help ensure that the PX respects the environmental context in every way. In adhering to all requirements of the Mid-Crissy Area Design Guidelines (adapted from the Presidio Trust Management Plan and approved by the Trust in 2011), the PX does not require any changes or exceptions. The PX project rehabilitates and repurposes 25,000 square feet of the existing Sports Basement facility (Building 610), and its new construction will match—in scale and character—other buildings along Crissy Field through its low-slung profile and careful aesthetic integration. While the western portion of the PX (the renovated Building 610) recalls the hangars of West Crissy with their simple utilitarian materials and large-scale openings, the eastern portion of the structure—clad in wood—evokes the scale and texture of the brick buildings aligned along the Main Post to the south. Befitting its iconic “X” shape (as seen from above), the PX represents an intersection of architectural values in the two areas. Beyond fusing their aesthetics, the PX campus also physically connects the Main Post and Crissy Field. The PX’s 20 new acres—encompassing the Crissy Commons courtyard, the outdoor gathering spaces, meadows, and Bridgeway—flow into the developing tunnel top parklands, a proposed Learning Landscape that connects to the Crissy Field Center as well as the Main Parade Ground. And, with the Conservancy’s extensive restoration experience and plant-nursery facilities, the vegetation and landscaping for the PX blends naturally with the marsh ecosystem and the adjacent watershed.
The establishment of native plants is just one aspect of a comprehensive sustainability program in character with the forward-thinking vision for the PX. As currently designed, the building attains LEED Platinum standards (far exceeding the minimum Silver-level requirement) and pushes further to attain the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge.
As an events space, the PX offers a unique indoor/outdoor venue in the Presidio. By offering a large-scale, highly flexible space with a one-of-a-kind view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the PX differentiates itself from—and complements— current venues offered in the park.
As an educational resource, the PX supports existing programs that serve thousands of children and youth at the Crissy Field Center (currently located at East Beach, with future plans to relocate to its original campus at Building 603 on Mason Street). The PX’s interpretive displays, changing exhibitions, and nascent internship program will all be a boon to students served by the Park Youth Collaborative—a new initiative of the Conservancy, NPS, and Presidio Trust to coordinate and bolster park programs for young The Golden Gate Festival (at mid-Crissy Field) was organized by the Parks Conservancy to commemorate the people. 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge in 2012
4. Complement current uses and activity in the Presidio, and integrate well with plans for Crissy Field and the Main Post. On any given weekend, it’s clear that Crissy Field is already a much-loved destination—for locals and tourists alike. But there is always room for improvement, and a survey of Crissy Field visitors in 2008, performed by the Parks Conservancy, found that respondents would like a sheltered area from the wind and weather, more food options and restrooms, more programs about the Presidio’s natural and cultural history, more festivals/events/concerts, and more evening programming. The PX fulfills these requests and greatly augments the current visitor uses of the Presidio. As a comfortable, welcoming place with visitor amenities, the PX fills the need for a rest and respite point at mid-Crissy Field. It fits perfectly between current Conservancy-operated facilities at the east end of Crissy Field (the Beach Hut, attached to the interim Crissy Field Center) and the west end (the Warming Hut).
As a portal to national park adventures, the PX reinforces and extends the content and services provided by the Heritage Center (with its focus on history) and the Presidio Visitor Center (with an obvious emphasis on Presidio resources). The PX takes a broader view of national parks and protected lands—looking at their past, present, and future both across the United States and around the world. As a key node at the center of 20 acres of newly created and revitalized parkland, the PX functions as the connective tissue between the Main Post and Crissy Field. The architectural design and dynamic programmatic mix of the PX fully utilizes the contiguous green space created by the Parade Ground, forthcoming tunnel top parklands, outdoor areas of Crissy Commons, and the Airfield. Visitors can thus enjoy a holistic, thematically integrated experience from the top of the Main Post to the PX and onward to Fort Point or the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza. The PX—with its mission centered on unique park-based programs—fits seamlessly into this continuum.
5. Welcome a broad cross-section of the community in a manner that reflects and reaffirms the public nature of the Presidio. The formula for the PX is simple: a diversity of programs equates to a diversity of audiences, including those that have rarely, if ever, visited the Presidio in the past. By The Crissy Field Overlook is among the Presidio projects made possible in part by Conservancy capital campaigns changing and remixing the slate of A second important element in reaching new audiences is activities, events, exhibitions, and targeted marketing. As part of the overall marketing and themes on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis, the outreach plan, the PX will connect with ethnic media across PX is remade in every way—and thus made for everyone. print, TV, and radio channels that serve specific segments But if the goal is to expand the reach—and enhance the of the population (e.g., Spanish-, Chinese-, and Vietnamallure—of the Presidio beyond its usual visitor demographics, ese-speaking audiences). specific targeting efforts can ensure that a better represenTo further bolster these efforts, the PX draws upon the expertation of Bay Area peoples will benefit from PX events and tise of Salvador Acevedo and Contemporánea, which has spaces. One key element in this endeavor is partnership— specialized experience in delivering responsive and relevant leveraging the networks and influence of organizations that messaging to diverse and underserved audiences. serve specific segments of the greater population. For example, partnership with the Crissy Field Center—which has established relationships with all SFUSD elementary schools and hundreds of nonprofit and educational organizations across the Bay Area—will help the PX reach children and youth from underrepresented neighborhoods. Similarly, the Institute at the Golden Gate—which is a leading force in Healthy Parks, Healthy People Bay Area, a collaborative of parks and health organizations—will be an efficacious partner in connecting PX park programs with underserved populations. As a cultural center, the PX will draw—and draw upon—a rainbow of cultures to enrich its programming. There are logical partnerships to be made with the National Japanese American Historical Society (which is in the process of establishing its Military Intelligence School museum at Building 640 next door), as well as with Outdoor Afro, an organization connecting African Americans with nature and that teams up regularly with the Parks Conservancy to deliver educational and interpretive programs for people of color.
6. Be economically viable. The viability of the PX project hinges on the Parks Conservancy’s 32-year history of effective fundraising and business acumen in successfully operating visitor service facilities across the Golden Gate National Parks. Since its establishment in 1981, the Conservancy has provided over $300 million in support to the parks, winning grants from foundations, working with corporate partners, establishing meaningful relationships with private philanthropists, and running a number of high-profile capital campaigns. The Conservancy spearheaded the “Help Grow Crissy Field” campaign, which raised $34.5 million in donations from community members inspired by the historic leadership gift of $18 million from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and Colleen and Robert Haas Fund. For the Presidio overall, the Conservancy has provided over $100 million for projects and programs (including Trails Forever initiatives) toward the post-to-park transformation.
In fact, the Conservancy has never set a fundraising goal it did not meet. Recently, the Conservancy met the daunting challenge of raising the necessary monies to hold a memorable 75th Anniversary celebration for the Golden Gate Bridge within an ultra-compressed timeline of just one year. While it certainly takes a lot of leg work and elbow grease to raise the funds to build the PX and establish its programs, the end result—aside from a new Presidio treasure and renowned visitor destination—also produces a positive side benefit: a cultural institution that exists and thrives because of broad community support, both financially and spiritually. The Conservancy’s operating plan for the PX shows financial self-sufficiency, where ongoing revenues from park-based businesses support the annual expenses of running the PX. This approach is a hallmark of the Conservancy’s long experience in the Golden Gate National Parks. Throughout the parks, the Conservancy manages park-related offerings that bring revenue to its long-term mission and annual operating budget. In terms of the Conservancy’s experience in running successful businesses, one of its crowning achievements is the work on Alcatraz Island. The Conservancy greatly improved visitor experiences—and boosted profitability—through a series of enhancements, including a new cellhouse audio tour and a “museum store” mixing retail items with interpretive exhibits. The Conservancy also operates and staffs visitor centers across the Golden Gate National Parks (most notably the award-winning Lands End Lookout), as well as profitable cafés such as the Beach Hut and Warming Hut. In 2012, the Conservancy expanded its earned revenue potential by forging an agreement with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District to help enhance visitor experiences around the south plaza. As a result, visitors now enjoy guided tours, a photo program, improved food services, a better trail system, and a new welcome center, the Bridge Pavilion.
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Board of Trustees Officers Mark Buell Chair Civic Leader, San Francisco Alexander H. Schilling Vice Chair President, Union Square Investment Company, San Francisco Lynn Mellen Wendell Vice Chair Civic Leader, San Francisco David Courtney Treasurer General Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Crosslink Capital, San Francisco Larry Low Secretary Chief Legal Officer, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco
Parks Conservancy President and CEO Greg Moore with Board Chair Mark Buell
Trustees Janice Barger Civic Leader, San Francisco Betsy Eisenhardt Civic Leader, San Francisco
John Murray Chief Executive Officer, Element98, San Francisco Jacob E. Perea, Ph.D. University Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, Emeritus, San Francisco State University, San Francisco
Gianni Fassio Owner, Palio Dâ€™Asti (retired) Robert Fisher Member, Board of Directors, Gap, Inc. David Grubb Chairman Emeritus, Swinerton, Inc. Walter J. Haas Member, Board of Directors, Levi Strauss & Co.
Rob Price Co-Chairman and Creative Director, Eleven, Inc., San Francisco
S. Dale Hess Executive Vice President, San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau (retired)
Staci Slaughter Senior Vice President, Communications, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco
Kit Hinrichs Founder, Studio Hinrichs
Michael Willis Principal, MWA Architects, San Francisco
Board Liaisons Charlene Harvey Civic Leader; Liaison to the Board of Directors, Presidio Trust Julie Parish Landscape Designer; Liaison to the William Kent Society
Amy S. McCombs Lee Hills Chair of Free Press Studies, Missouri School of Journalism Nion McEvoy Chairman and CEO, Chronicle Books LLC Regina Liang Muehlhauser President, Bank of America California (retired) Donald W. Murphy CEO, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (retired) Mark W. Perry General Partner, New Enterprise Associates (retired) Toby Rosenblatt Former Chair, Board of Directors, Presidio Trust
Randi Fisher Pisces Foundation, San Francisco
Frank Almeda, Ph.D. Senior Curator, Department of Botany, California Academy of Sciences
Jessica Parish Galloway Civic Leader, San Francisco
Fritz Arko President and General Manager, Pier 39 (retired)
Alan Seelenfreund Chairman, McKesson Corporation (retired)
John Gamble Managing Partner, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, San Francisco (retired)
Michael R. Barr Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Gail P. Seneca Chairman and CEO, Luminent Mortgage Capital, Inc. (retired)
Sally Hambrecht Civic Leader, San Francisco Linda Howell Civic Leader, San Francisco Patsy Ishiyama Civic Leader, San Francisco Dan Kingsley Managing Partner, SKS, San Francisco Martha Kropf Civic Leader, San Francisco Colin Lind Managing Partner, Blum Capital Partners, San Francisco (retired) Phil Marineau Operating Partner, LNK Partners, New York John E. McCosker, Ph.D. Senior Scientist and First Chair of Aquatic Research, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Robert Morris Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., San Francisco (retired)
Leslie Browne Partner, SSL Law Firm Virgil Caselli Principal, Commercial Property Ventures Milton Chen, Ph.D. Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus, The George Lucas Educational Foundation Carlota del Portillo Dean, Mission Campus, City College of San Francisco (retired)
Helen Schwab Civic Leader
West Shell III Chairman and CEO, Healthline Rich Silverstein Co-Chairman and Creative Director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Cathy Simon Principal, Perkins+Will Sharon Y. Woo Civic Leader
Phelps Dewey President, Chronicle Publishing Company, Book Division
Doug Wright Principal, Douglas Wright Consulting
Paula F. Downey President and CEO, AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange
Rosemary Young Former Chair, Peninsula Community Foundation
Millard Drexler Chairman and CEO, J. Crew
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Building 201, Fort Mason San Francisco, CA 94123 www.parksconservancy.org The mission of the Parks Conservancy is to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experience of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future. To learn more about the Presidio Exchange: www.presidioexchange.org