Fisher’s museum may fill Gap in the Presidio

Gap Inc. founder Don Fisher on Monday unveiled his plans to build a contemporary art museum in the Presidio — a proposed project with exhibit space that would rival that of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The former Presidio trustee has offered to build the 100,000-square-foot Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio to display his and his wife’s modern-art collection at the main Parade Grounds, at the current site of a bowling alley and a 7-acre parking lot.

“We have a very fine collection, and we would like the public to see it,” Fisher said. “I grew up watching the Golden Gate Bridge get built, and I rode my bike through the Presidio all the time.”

The Presidio Historical Association has proposed a historical museum for the site, which slopes toward the Bay, but the group would need to raise money to pay for the museum. Fisher has offered to foot the bill for his project.

Fisher hired architect Richard Gluckman, a principal at Gluckman Mayner Architects. The firm has designed a handful of smaller galleries, according to its Web site, including the 25,000-square-foot Gagosian Gallery in New York City. Fisher’s museum would house traveling art exhibits as well as Fisher’s and his wife’s private art collection, which includes paintings, sculptures, holograms and multimedia pieces by such artists as Andy Warhol. The works are currently displayed at Gap’s downtown headquarters.

Gluckman designed a boxy steel, stone and glass museum to overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. The massive white rectangular building would comprise several cubical rooms bursting out of the structure from the ground and first floors.

“The site is defined by the slope, which is about 26 feet,” Gluckman said. “It’s also defined by the diagonal of Arguello Street, and those two diagonals have led to the design of this structure.”

Gluckman said a windowed sculpture gallery would be built facing the Bay on the second floor, and that a cafe would be built facing the Bay on the ground floor.

A ground-floor wall that would face the Montgomery Street barracks would be planted with vegetation, and a wall above that one would be made of stone.

“It will add a lively texture to the building that will be apparent as the sun moves across the building,” Gluckman said. “How the shadows play on the stone face of the building is interesting to us.”

The project would also convert a nearby barracks building into an office, bookstore and education center, according to theplans. The museum could open as soon as March 2011, according to Fisher.

jupton@examiner.com

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