Public given voice for 45 more days

The Presidio Trust extended the public comment period Monday on a controversial proposal to construct a contemporary art museum, hotel and theater in the Presidio after hundreds of people packed a hearing on the project.

Five hundred people filled the Presidio Trust’s meeting Monday night to capacity, while hundreds more stood outside waiting to tell the board what they thought of the museum plan put forward by Gap founder Don Fisher.

Leaders of one of the plan’s opponents, the National Parks Conservation Association, said they would have no choice but to press forward with a lawsuit if the trust backed the proposal. Deborah Reames, attorney for the NPCA, said the organization sent a letter to the Trust last week “warning” it that approving the projects would violate the Presidio Trust’s enabling legislation, which prohibits new construction in the Presidio except when new buildings are replacing old buildings.

Trust Chairman Dave Grubb was met with a round of applause when he announced the board would extend the public comment period by 45 days, to mid-September.

The delay effectively moves back the likely approval date for any project from before theend of the year to early next year, according to Lane Kasselman, spokesperson for Fisher’s Contemporary Art Museum of the Presidio.

The offer by Fisher to build a 100,000-square-foot modern-art museum in the Presidio to house his sizeable collection has evoked passionate responses from history buffs and neighborhood residents, who disagree over the vision for the future of the 1,491-acre national park.

Opponents, who include the Sierra Club, the Presidio Historical Association and nearby neighborhood associations, unleashed a litany of complaints about the project: namely, that the large museum and hotel would overwhelm the historic nature of the park, which overlooks the Golden Gate, and create dire parking and traffic problems in the area.

But project supporters, including city officials and art enthusiasts, told Trust members that The City would be foolish to reject Fisher’s offer of a world-class art museum.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Parents and students line up socially distanced before the first day of in-person learning at Bret Harte Elementary School on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
‘It’s a beautiful sight’: The first students return to the classroom

San Francisco’s youngest public school students stepped into classrooms for in-person learning… Continue reading

File
Latest Breed nominee for Police Commission moves forward

Immigration attorney Jim Byrne clears Board of Supervisors committee

Most Read