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The Inn at the Presidio’s historic Funston House is a renovated officer’s quarters that provides a glimpse into the Presidio at the turn of the century, when it was the epicenter of Army efforts to save San Francisco at its time of greatest need. But who was “Funston”?
Brigadier General Frederick Funston (1865-1917) and his wife Eda Blankart Funston played a pivotal role in saving the city after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. A decorated veteran of the war in the Philippines, Funston was known for his ability to make swift decisions under pressure, an ability that may have saved tens of thousands of lives in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The Funston family’s importance to the city is memorialized in such places as Funston Avenue, Funston playground, and Fort Funston, as well as the Inn at the Presidio’s Funston House.
50 years ago, the Presidio found itself surrounded by a city in the process of transformation, inspired by a simple four-letter word: LOVE.
In 1967, the world really began to take notice of the cultural revolution happening in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. A growing collection of young artists, musicians, anti-war activists and countercultural icons were breaking free of traditions in every way possible – Jefferson Airplane, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan were singing about love and LSD, anti-war protests were surging, civil rights were becoming the Black Power movement.
These days, “protecting the San Francisco Bay” usually refers to improving water quality, restoring wetlands, or controlling invasive species. But for most of the 20th century, San Francisco Bay was America’s most valuable Pacific port, and the US Government and military invested an enormous amount of time and money building defenses against a feared enemy attack from the sea and air.
Seventy five years ago, ten weeks after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which formed the basis for the mass forced removal and incarceration of over 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Two-thirds were American citizens. The other third, not born in the US, were prohibited by law from becoming US citizens. Over half were children or infants.