Posts Tagged ‘contemporary art museum presidio’

Nimbies Save Presidio’s Great Northern Parking Lot – Will Burger King Now Come Back?

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Boy, it was touch and go for a few years there, but news comes today that our beloved NIMBYs have managed to preserve the Great Northern Parking Lot of San Francisco.

See it? 700 spaces, free of charge. It’s historic, you know. When the U.S. Army wasn’t out there killing a million or so Filipinos it managed to create the GNPLoSF. Therefore, these parking spaces are sacrosanct:

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Now that that pesky modern art has been gotten rid of, a question remains over what to do with the upper end of the Main Post. You know the Burger King corporation had an outlet that served as an Army Mess on the Presidio for so many years, it would be only fitting to give it the right of first refusal to get a chance to replace the famous itty bitty bowling alley that’s up there now.  

An artist’s conception, avec just one installation of evil modern art thrown in to see if the NIMBYs can tolerate it.  

museum-fisher copy

You see, that old, historic Presidio BK was a place “where a simple guy serving his country could get an inexpensive meal with a stunning view.” Wouldn’t it be nice to honor those memories with the biggest Burger King in the world? Put it right where the museum was supposed to go.

Either that, or a Jollibee. Your choice.

The Pros and Cons of Progress at the Presidio Main Post – A Kind of Dialogue

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

This recent post here regarding the Presidio inspired a correspondent to take pen to paper (so to speak) and leave a comment. Below are the words of “PresidioPal” along with some queries. (Surprisingly, he’s not a NIMBY.) Anyway, enjoy.

The mighty, historic Great Parking Lot of the Presidio is jeopardized by the Main Post Plan. The Presidio Trust just might unpave this paradise and put up a…lawn. Heaven forfend. What happened was the Army put it in and then left. Are we bound to have it forever?

Says PP:

“If we are talking about the “decay” of the historic character of the Presidio, which is a rare national historic landmarks district chosen for the layer upon layer of American history visible on Main Post…”

What does that mean to people – landmark status? Why should people care about this? The historic character of the South was Jim Crow laws (not that we didn’t have James Crow laws outside the South, but that’s another story)  - would the “historic character” argument be useful for maintaining segregation? Would you like to turn the Presidio itself into a museum, where nothing ever changes? Isn’t it an underpopulated Land of Wind and Ghosts now?

“…the Fisher art museum…”

Isn’t the name of the proposed museum Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio (CAMP). Isn’t it specifically not called The Fisher? Isn’t that one of its selling points? Isn’t it going to have like a “b” as in boy billion dollars of art in it or something, that’s not otherwise available for public view?

  “…a hotel…”

Or lodge, some people are calling it a lodge, in keeping with the whole “park” theme of the Presidio. What’s wrong with a lodge in a park?

“and a modern movie house”

Or “modernized,” I’ll give you that. Didn’t it used to seat something like 1000 GIs back in the day? Do you think your millionaire NIMBY allies would like to have all those blue-collar types back in the Presidio in “their neighborhood” near the houses they inherited from their parents fair and square? Isn’t it true that the Presidio Theatre seats zero people today and that’s the way the owners of competing theatres in San Francisco like it? Isn’t it true theater owners kicked in money to oppose the Main Post Plan because they don’t want competition? Is that a good reason to oppose opening up a small three-screener that would seat far fewer people than the 1000 it was built for back in the day?

“…ADD to the “decay” by introducing non-historic elements that detract from the historic site itself…”

Does the non-historic TransAmerica pyramid detract from historic San Francisco? Should nothing ever change in town? Did a collection of histrionic societies, millionaire NIMBYs and movie theatre owners object to the Louvre Pyramid in Cour Napolean? Probably, but isn’t the pyramid a good thing, despite its “non-historic” status?

“If you take “decay” to mean delaying needed repairs to historic structures, the new buildings have nothing to do with that.”

You and your NIMBY allies are fighting for the status quo, whether you realize it or not. Congress, in its wisdom, could have put your organization in charge of the entire Presidio. It didn’t though, right? Do you acknowledge that?  Why should anybody pay attention to your unfunded mandates? Your half-baked if-we-had-some-ham-we-could-have-a-ham-sandwich, if-we-also-had-some-bread-but-only-if-five-million-dollars-fell-from-the-sky alternative plans? Back in the 1990s, Congress did something quite unique with the Presidio. Of course, it could have sold off a lot of land to condo developers. Would you prefer that?  

“Let’s get it straight, the proposal is for three major new structures in a national historic landmark.”

Is that really an argument? Shouldn’t you go further and explain why people should care about national historic landmark status? And actually, it’s more than three structures, but I get what you mean. Is the 700-car parking lot historic? Was the Burger King historic? Should we bring it back to honor the military?

“Why not a contemporary museum on Alamo Square?”

The reason why is that millionaire NIMBYs and the Planning Commission would tear that one apart. That’s the short answer.

If I had any advice for the Main Post, it would be this – lively up yourself, mon! This may or may not happen, depending upon the lawyers, the judges and the juries associated with the forthcoming lawsuits. 

We’ll see.

The Presidio: Public Comment Period for the Main Post Update Ends June 1st

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

The Presidio Trust has just announced a last call for comments about ending the arrested decay of the Presidio Main Post – so finish up your drinks and get your comments in by June 1, 2009.

END OF THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

June 1, 2009 is the end of public comment period for several key documents related to the Main Post planning process. Three draft documents have been circulating for public comment since February 27, 2009:

1. Revised Draft Main Post Update
2. Draft Supplement to the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Preferred Alternative
3. Revised Draft Finding of Effect

The Revised Draft Main Post Update reflects the land uses and improvements the Presidio Trust intends to pursue to re-establish the Main Post as the heart of the park. Through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, the Trust identified a “preferred alternative” that is detailed in the Revised Update and analyzed in the Draft Supplement to the SEIS. The Revised Update is also analyzed as the “undertaking” in the Revised Draft Finding of Effect; prepared under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) as part of the assessment phase of the Section 106 consultation.

In June 2008, the Trust released an earlier draft of the Main Post Update and a Draft SEIS which analyzed a range of alternatives. An earlier Draft Finding of Effect was released in August 2008, which analyzed the effects on historic resources of all the alternatives that were presented in the Draft SEIS. All documents can be found on the Trust’s website: www.presidio.gov.

Comments will be accepted on all documents, both current and past drafts. Commentators are free to organize their comments in any way they choose. They may comment separately on the different documents, or address all documents at one time. Commentators are also welcome to address specific issues or comment on specific proposals. The Trust will consider and respond to comments on all of the drafts when developing the final documents.

NEXT STEPS

NHPA Section 106 Consultation: Finalizing the Finding of Effect and Resolving Adverse Effects
A Final Finding of Effect will be issued early this summer, formally completing the assessment phase of the Section 106 consultation under the NHPA. The Historic Resources section of the Final SEIS will be consistent with the Final Finding of Effect. The Final Finding of Effect will be available on the Trust’s website and will be sent to all consulting parties.

The next phase of the Section 106 consultation process is the resolution phase during which consulting parties identify ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the effects presented in the Finding of Effect. The resolution phase results in an agreement document that establishes parameters for how projects can proceed. A schedule for the remainder of the Section 106 consultation will be issued to all consulting parties early in June.

NEPA: Finalizing the SEIS and Main Post Update
Over the course of the summer, the Trust will finalize the environmental review, issuing a Final SEIS and Final Main Post Update sometime in the fall. The Final SEIS includes a response to all comments. A notice of availablity will be issued once the final documents are released. The final documents will also be available on the Trust’s website. After the final environmental documents are issued, a 30-day no action period ensues.

Record of Decision
The Trust will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) only after both the NEPA and NHPA processes are completed. The ROD memorializes the decision made by the Presidio Trust Board of Directors and clearly articulates the actions that the Trust will pursue in the Main Post and the reasoning behind the Trust’s decision. Once the ROD is adopted, the Final Main Post Update will amend the Presidio Trust Management Plan for the Main Post District.

Presidio Update: Two More Open Houses Announced – Public Comment Ends June 1

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Your Presidio Trust has just announced another two Open House sessions concerning the Main Post. Make note of the location at Building 105, that Brokedown Palace (but I can assure you that parts of it are excellent). It’s sandwiched between Lincoln (no, not THAT Lincoln), Taylor (no, not THAT Taylor) and Montgomery (no, not THAT Montgomery). Just pop open the Google Map here. See? It’s right near where the Google Maps car got busted (or not, if you believe a certain U.S. Park Police Sargeant, who, really, oughta know).

Just get to the Building 104 Mouse House and then go downhill a skosh. There’s probably not going to be a program or anything – just drop by and yickety yack a bit… 

Main Post Open House with Presidio Trust Staff
Monday, May 18, 9 to 11 am
&
Wednesday, May 20, 6 to 8 pm
Main Post Information Center, 105 Montgomery Street

There’s always room for one more:

“Please join us for informal “open house” sessions at which Presidio Trust staff members will be available to respond to questions about proposed projects for the Main Post as well as questions about historic resources, transportation and parking, visitor use , and environmental sustainability. The public comment period for Main Post planning ends on June 1, 2009. Comments may be emailed to mainpost@presidiotrust.gov.”

Mercedes-Driving NIMBYs Pack Presidio Trust Transportation Workshop

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

As promised, the Presidio Trust Main Post Planning Transportation Workshop went off on April 22, 2009. Look here later on to see when and if two more similar meetings will occur in the very merry month of May. (The first should deal with historic resources and the other is slated to be a kind of catch-all open-mike night.) 

122 souls sat through a presentation of answers to a dozen key questions that people have been asking about concerning transportation – signalization, fees for parking, traffic loads, etc. I vowed to leave as soon as the public speakers veered off-topic – that took about ten seconds, so oh well. Regardless, this appeared to be a more-productive-than-average public yammer session. Assemblymember Tom Ammiano sent a representative (the well-informed Noriko Shinzato) as did Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, so it appears that interest in the plans for the Main Post remains strong.

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Fully eleven Mercedes-Benzeses were out front, or in the lot up the hill, or in the overflow lot even further up the hill near the chapel. BMW was also well-repped, and there were a least three Porsches, including two expensive Porsche Cayenne minivans and one hepped-up Neunelfer.A richer group of parking-hungry NIMBYs would be hard to find. One bicycle.

All this Powerpoint stuff should be online in the near future, or maybe it already is.

Presidi-Go is already up to 300,000 trips per year.

Should the NIMBY’s, the people of means, be given more votes on this matter than tourists from Tempe? Only Time Will Tell. 

So there you have it, To Be Continued.

Presidio Update: Main Post Planning Transportation Workshop Set for April 22nd

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The Presidio Trust has replaced the cancelled April 16 meeting with a Transportation Workshop at 6:30 PM on April 22, 2009. There will be an overview of the transit issues being analyzed through the Main Post planning process, and staff will be on hand to answer questions about transportation issues. 

Main Post Planning Workshop: Transportation
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop

Some drivers strongly oppose losing this gigantic, historic 700-car parking lot:

Oh well.

How will the NIMBYs get to this meeting about having too many cars in the Presidio?

A short, pleasant evening stroll? No.

Or perhaps a bike ride? No.

Guess again!

Presidio Update: April 16th Main Post Public Meeting Postponed

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Here’s the news of the morn regarding developments at the Presidio.

Please be advised that the Presidio Trust is cancelling the Main Post Public Meeting that was to be held on Thursday, April 16, at 6 pm at the Golden Gate Club. There will be no meeting on that date. Future meeting dates will be announced at www.presidio.gov as soon as the information becomes available.” 

Here’s what you’ll miss:

Word from Tia Lombardi, Director of Public Affairs at the Presidio Trust, is that this meeting will be rescheduled to a date yet to be determined.

On it goes…

500 People at Presidio Trust Board Meeting – Main Post Plans, Including CAMP Museum

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Well, there were a few surprises at last night’s Presidio Trust  Board of Directors meeting at the Palace of Fine Arts. Get up to speed on the issues here, and then take a look below to see what it was like. Here’s a take from John Upton over at the Examiner and here’s another from Curbed SF.

After Presidio Trust Director Craig Middleton gave the crowd an update, everyone got to see more-detailed plans on the controversial CAMP museum proposal via a Powerpoint slideshow. The architect from San Francisco-based WRNS Studio received sustained applause when he finished his presentation. That was a surprise, certainly.

In fact, the audience seemed just about evenly split, with half supporting the Main Post plans and the other “flamethrowing” half opposing. That was a surprise as well.

Click to expand:

What’s this? Pro-museum protesters or supporters, or whatever you want to call them? Never before have I seen this:

For those of you who like to see issues simplified into dramaturgical dyads, a portion of the happy CAMPers are on the left and a portion of the opposing NIMBY and preservationist groups are on the right, the site of the anti-CAMPers’ putative news conference. 

The mise-en-scene. Were more people here than at the last board meeting on December 9th? Yes. The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre (made famous by the appearance last Fall of ukulele-playing Jake Shimabukuro - 3 million astounded YouTube viewers can’t be wrong) was half-full or half-empty, depending on your point of view. So that’s about 500 souls motivated enough to show up:

This chart actually makes sense to me now. It shows how far we’re progressing to the end of the process and the beginning of the inevitable lawsuit designed to chuck all these plans out the window.

And here we are, the proposed Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio 2.0. (Learn about CAMP 1.0 here, via the New York Times.) The Gallery Building dominates but don’t forget about the quasi-subteranean Art Handling Building on the left and Building 101 in the upper right hand corner. There’s your “B”-as-in-boy, billion-dollar CAMP museum:

Here’s a 3D view:

The Pavillion level is up top…

…and the Courtyard Level is down below:

Sections, just like my grandmother’s MRI!

The Future is Now:

All of the Gallery Building is below the altitude of the eaves of the Presdio Theatre, seen in foreground:

Subteranean by design/ I wonder what I would find if I met you:

The Gallery is three buildings, three buildings in one. Historic Building 100 and the defunct Presidio Theatre rise above:

Oh no! It’s the kids from UC Berkeley Law School. They practically hijacked the meeting. And that was the final surprise of the evening, before I had to get home to some Java curry. Now it’s one thing to be a millionaire homeowner NIMBY living in the Marina or Cow Hollow, but there’s literally millions of millionaires out there. On the other hand there are only so many folks able to get into Berkeley Law. The nine or ten speakers from the law school contingent displayed far more intellectual candlepower than typical speakers at these kinds of public meetings. 

This didn’t make for good theater, because the college kids were basically speed-reading their ideas into the record, but diverse and novel viewpoints were expressed, and that’s a Good Thing, right? It will be interesting to see the transcript when it comes out, certainly.

Here’s how I left it:

Oh, and about that crowd size estimate. The Examiner is saying just 250 people? So if four times as many people showed up, almost everybody would have had a seat in the venue (one that can handle 1000 if you include the small number of people who prefer to stand on the sidelines)? No way, Jose. The proper count is about 500.

To Be Continued…

More Revealing Photos of the Presidio’s Proposed CAMP Museum

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Well, here it is – the proposed Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio (CAMP). Can you see it all covered in grass here?

Click to expand:

That’s the kind of thing you’ll see these days at the Main Post Information Center:

Want to learn more about the proposed vision for the Main Post and about the planning process? Illustrations and other information about proposed projects will be displayed at the Main Post Information Center. Presidio Trust staff will be on hand to answer questions, and comment cards will be available.

Building 105 Montgomery Street
March 6 through April 18
Fridays and Saturdays — 10 am to Noon (drop in)

If you have questions, please call the Presidio Trust Public Affairs Office at (415) 561-5418.

This is what you’ll find at Building 105 during visitors hours:

Building 101 (the southernmost Montgomery Street Barrack) on the left, the larger Gallery Building all covered in grass in the middle, and the “back of house” Facilities Building on the right (large square).

A different view of the 3D model. CAMP on the right and the three-screen theatre on the left:

Comparing the heights of the existing buildings with the CAMP proposal:

We’re done with the model – here’s another watercolour. The cantilevered CAMP roof shown: 

Key Projects:

And the final watercolor - dolled-up visitors (a tad overdressed in the early morning sun, non?) looking north towards the Future:

There must be more-detailed depictions somewhere out there in the world, but they haven’t found their way online yet.

Patience…

Just Released: Revised Plans for the Presidio Main Post – Museum, Theatre, Lodge

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Well here it’s here - the revised plans, posted tonight – February 26th, 2009, for the Main Post area of San Franciso’s Presidio. Of course, things got a bit heated last year, but it looks like Progress is back on track. So now, you are more than welcome to check out the Summary Brochure or the whole magilla that is the Revised Draft Main Post Update to the Presidio Trust Management Plan. Bone up on these docs and then plan to attend a few meetings:

Public Meeting Wednesday, April 1 (no fooling), 8:30AM[!] to 10:00AM Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop

Presidio Trust Public Board of Directors Meeting Tuesday, April 7, 6:30PM to ???? Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Avenue

Public Meeting Thursday, April 16, 6:00PM to 7:30PM Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop

Of course, the Presido is a special place, home to Aloha Festivals, aggressive policing, active volunteers, misinformed Fox shock jocks wandering around at night, living history, first class bike lanes, and colorful, noisy, loving, wild parrots, so you might be interested. See you there at the (endless) meetings!

This is the plan, below (as opposed to the old plan pictured here). The answer to those, such as Andy J. Wang of Curbed SF, who question whether the “white box” will live: No. About which more anon. Note the expansion of the currently abandoned Presdio Theatre (aka Main Post Theatre, aka “massive multiplex” aka The Rat House) in the upper left and also the Lodge (aka “massive hotel”) near the middle. (Also note the new Walt Disney Family Museum (aka The Mouse House, aka Building 104) - on the upper right – see the lighter colored terrace of one of the barracks? Don’t worry about it though – it’s a done deal, opening soon.)

 

As always, click to expand

Some more detail. The revised proposal for the Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio (CAMP) is set for a lower height than last year’s proposal and, in fact, a lower height than the building it will replace - the doomed Presidio Bowling Center. Note the green roof of the art museum - that’s new as well.

Speaking of doomed, this 700-car parking lot is similarly not long for this world. What’s that – you like to drive in from Marin, park here and then go about your business every day? Sure you do, but you’ll just have to make do. See the white outlines in the lower picture? That shows the maximum size of the Lodge on the left and CAMP in the middle. Unless the new architects are more Gluckman than Gluckman (he’s a minimalist, you know), the revised CAMP proposal will be a bit more complex than the lower, smaller, quasi-underground rectangular box shown. We won’t know the details until the San Francisco Chronicle’s John King is good and ready to let us in the secret, per Luke Thomas of Fog City Journal (NB to FCJ commenter HB: The billion dollars plus worth of art in question is currently not “properly mounted” and can not “easily be accessed by the public.”)

Are you still reading? Wow. All right, here’s your Supplement to the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (February 2009). Click away:

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Appendix A – Transportation
  • More deets after the jump.

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