The Presidio Gateway: People Making Parks


Presidio Parklands Project

For more than two centuries the Presidio was a military post—the famed defender of the Golden Gate. Today, this 1,500-acre site at the center of the San Francisco Bay Area is a new kind of national park, enjoyed by millions of visitors each year.

The elevated highway that cut through the Presidio for seven decades will soon be replaced with a discreet below-grade roadway that will reconnect Crissy Field to the Presidio’s Main Post—giving rise to a once-in-a-lifetime project, called Presidio Gateway. The new landscape, atop the tunnels, will provide panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, San Francisco, and the Bay.

The Presidio Trust and its partners—the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service—are working to create a new parkland that will offer new opportunities for the community to experience the Presidio. 

In May 2014 five international design and program teams were invited to develop conceptual design and programming ideas for the project site. The five teams are led by:

CMG Landscape Architecture, San Francisco
James Corner Field Operations, New York
OLIN, Philadelphia/Los Angeles
SNØHETTA, Oslo/New York/San Francisco
West 8 Team, Rotterdam/Brussels/New York

These teams will unveil their concepts on September 4, 2014, kicking off a public process that will draw feedback from across the Bay Area, nation, and the world. This lively exchange of ideas will result in a vision for the Presidio Gateway project that we hope will attract new audiences to the wonders of the Presidio—and bring them back again and again.

Running parallel to this effort, the public is encouraged to help shape this iconic landscape and the activities and experiences that are offered there. We are inviting artists, writers, creators, designers, planners, neighbors, and deep thinkers to express ideas via drawing, mixed media, sculpture, digital arts, poetry, music, and more.

Want to create a “fog experience?” Tell us how! Can you suggest a way to stay warm during San Francisco’s infamous summers? Do you have a vision of the landscape as a sketch or a song, inspired by the Presidio, to share? We want to hear how the Presidio Gateway could be meaningful to you, so share your creativity! 

Some submissions will be displayed in a project gallery that will open at the Presidio’s Main Post in fall 2014, and on the Presidio Gateway website,  We may even offer some rewards for the most creative ideas!

Please join the Presidio Gateway mailing list for more information and share YOUR ideas on how you see the Presidio Gateway becoming one of the most iconic destinations in the country, attracting a broad cross-section of local, national, and international visitors.

For more information and submission instructions, please visit or email

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