John King, the Equine Dentist, vs. the CAMP Museum in the Presidio

To begin, John King is the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Urban Design Writer. And an equine dentist is one who looks a gift horse in the mouth. And CAMP is the proposed Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio. Now you’re up to speed!

Here’s the deal. Check out John King’s Fisher’s Awkward Location for Presidio Museum article and this graphic to see where he’d prefer our new museum to be.


If you like huge parking lots and “historic” freeway on-ramps, then you’ll want to delay any changes at the main post of the Presidio for as long as possible.  

Now here’s the case for keeping the proposal where it is. By the numbers:

1. Framing. CAMP would help to “frame” the newly-green main parade ground, which is now a huge parking lot of course. That’s the basic version, but internationally-famous architect Richard Gluckman would probably be able to expand on that. He should be more than capable of doing so, as his name is literally synonymous with from Bauhaus to our house minimalism. See and hear for yourself on July 10 in San Francisco, if you can pony up the dough.   

2. The view from inside of CAMP. Check out this graphic - it’s a glass wall that would let visitors look to the north. JK’s idea would be to keep the proposed location of CAMP empty in order to let future generations to decide what’s best. But the glass wall and other features of the building certainly suggest it was designed for this particular site.

3. The proximity to Building 101. You can see 101 here – it’s the middle building on the right. There’s your administrative offices for the museum and also the place for workshops and programs. It would be nice to be able to have the main museum building reserved mostly for display space leaving Building 101 for other things. And of course, it would be nice to have these two locations close to each other.

So there you have it.

Would John King prefer chucking the whole idea of CAMP if it can’t be placed at his preferred location?

That, unfortunately, remains left unsaid. 

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One Response to “John King, the Equine Dentist, vs. the CAMP Museum in the Presidio”

  1. PresidioPal says:

    Is the Presidio any vacant lot that can be changed by whoever has the money? If this were some rundown South of Market location, the CAMP’s 100,000 square feet of white stone and glass art museum probably would be a Godsend. But the Presidio is in a National Park. National Parks are bound by law and by traditions that the American people cherish to protect the scenic, natural and historic qualities of the parks from impairment. The Park Service itself has ruled that the large CAMP structure in the chosen location would impose harm and threaten the protection that the Presidio enjoys as a National Historic Landmark. Don’t people understand this? If they don’t want the Presidio to remain a national park for the enjoyment of the public, then build this privately owned and managed museum. The people know better as the 9 to one opposition in the press and on the blogs proves.