Presidio Public Health Service District | Implementation

San Francisco, CA

Site restoration reflective of historic use enhance recreational trails and create a district identity as a main arrival point to the Presidio.

CMG re-envisioned this former merchant marine hospital district from a Cultural Landscape Assessment and Master Plan to construction. Holistic district circulation reorganization and landfill remediation drive the project. Providing connectivity, a sense of arrival, and improved vehicular, bike, and pedestrian access, an added segment of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and a new multi-use trail connection from Mountain Lake through to Lobos Valley and Baker Beach add to the Presidio’s existing amenities.

The steep landfill slope extending along the Lobos Valley is capped by a new Lobos Valley overlook, the Anza National Historic Trail, a new stormwater parking area, and Parks Service nursery-propagated native plant material. The parking stormwater system protects the cap from infiltration into the landfill, while treating the water to meet the stormwater requirements. Throughout the district, planting selections referenced the historic designed landscape of the Presidio. A discreet underlook replaces a former helicopter landing pad offering promontory view through Lobos Valley to the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout the 42-acre grounds of the Presidio Health Services District, CMG simultaneously worked with the developer Forest City to design the landscapes for the hospital’s adaptive reuse and with the Presidio Trust to design the public open space of the district’s trails and overlooks.

The marine hospital had sat vacant since the 1980s. Its redevelopment into the LEED-Gold Presidio Landmark is part of the Presidio’s successful campaign to be fiscally solvent at Congress’ charge. The redesign sought to maintain the significant cultural landscape features of the site, which included grandness in scale and openness of the landscape. The exterior was restored to its 1930s-era footprint, removing wings that had been added in the 1950s. This created expanded space for a publicly accessible front lawn. The new arrival sequence reconstructs the grandeur of the original design and monumental stair, ending at an entry court framed by palm trees. The wings of the building frame two rear, private courtyards, designed to serve residents — one offering sundeck and firepit areas, the other a spa pavilion. Combined with the nearby Belles Street Townhomes, the Presidio Landmark is part of the new LEED-ND neighborhood, the first that is also an historic landmark.