Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire in the Presidio

Presidio Journal

Stay informed on the latest updates and news from the Inn at the Presidio, a historic Golden Gate hotel offering 26 classic accommodations in a historic setting.

Category: History

For this blog we will highlight little-known historical facts about the Inn itself along with interesting stories about the buildings and districts of the Presidio.

The Summer of Love Knocks on the Gates of the Presidio

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In History

San Francisco Summer Of Love

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.

Protecting the Bay

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In History, Tour Presidio

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.

When Fear Was Stronger Than Justice

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In History, Tour Presidio

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.

Exploring the Golden Gate NRA Park Archives & Records Center

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In History, Videos

One of the best-kept secrets in the Presidio is in a modest brick building that used to be a stable for 102 Army mules and horses. Inside is an amazing trove of photographs, maps, building plans, and other historical treasures – about 5 million items documenting the history of the Presidio and other important historical sites within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This is the Park Archives and Records Center (PARC), and if you are a history buff, graduate student, or are just fascinated by old maps and photographs, you owe it to yourself to come spend a few hours – or days – exploring this place.

The Presidio Celebrates 100 Years of National Parks

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In History

August 25th marks the 100th Anniversary of America’s National Park Service, and celebrations are happening at some of the best-known natural wonders in this country. Places like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Among these famous national treasures are some lesser known gems like the Presidio that hold not just great historical importance, but also a glimpse into how the National Parks are evolving and making themselves sustainable for the future.

Mountain Lake: A Restored Natural Jewel

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In History, Tour Presidio

If you had visited Mountain Lake 20 years ago, you would have been underwhelmed. This small urban lake at the southern tip of the Presidio was severely polluted and choked with algae. Resident bird and fish populations were dying off. It was a sad state of affairs for one of the most important natural and historical sites in the city.

Today, after a decade of careful remediation and restoration, Mountain Lake is once again a haven for native wildlife, a resting stop for migrating birds, and a lovely spot for San Franciscans and visitors to enjoy the beauty and history of the city.

Restoration in Progress | The Tennessee Hollow Watershed

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In History, Trails

El Polin2 Long before centuries of military activity and construction projects covered up the area known as The Tennesse Hollow Watershed, it was home to a system where three creeks and freshwater springs came together to create a natural bird habitat and primary freshwater source for the marsh at Crissy Field.

National Parks Historic Hotels

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In History

National Park Hotel in Yosemite

Wawona Hotel in Yosemite

California is a state with a vast amount of natural and diverse beauty and luckily for us, we also play host to many National Parks that highlight a wide array of landscapes within our borders. Along with the historical significance of the park system, there are also a handful of hotels located inside our state’s National Parks, some have been around longer than the National Park system itself! The Wawona in Yosemite, the Drakesbad in Lassen and the Inn at the Presidio in the Presidio are all great examples how guests can not only enjoy the National Parks during the day, but actually have the opportunity to spend the night in a historic and beautiful setting.

Happy Earth Day!

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In History

On this 46th anniversary of Earth Day we thought we’d share a brief inventory of the world’s flora and fauna with relation to the Presidio. It’s our way of thinking globally, acting locally and celebrating the wonderful natural diversity occurring within our own backyard. As of today, the Earth is comprised of…

  • 250,000 species of plants (including California poppies and coast live oaks in the park)
  • 4,500 species of amphibians (including our Pacific chorus frogs recently re-introduced to Mountain Lake)
  • 6,500 species of reptiles (the San Francisco alligator lizard can be seen in our dunes)
  • 4,600 species of mammals (including our resident coyotes)
  • 9,200 species of birds (including Great-horned Owls and Anna’s Hummingbirds)
  • 25,000 fish species (the tiny three-spined stickleback still lives in Lobos Creek)
  • 40,000 crustacean species (a tiny native shrimp lives in the Crissy Field marsh)
  • 100,000 mollusk species (including our local favorite, the banana slug)
  • and more than 1,000,000 insects! (including many butterflies, damselflies and bumblebees in the park)

For more information on the Presidio along with ways in which you can learn more about about how to protect our National Park and refuge for California diversity, go to www.presidio.govScreen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.07.54 PM

The Three Generals of the Inn

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In History Tags:

The Three Generals

The Three Generals from left to right: Hardie, Pershing and Keyes. These are now our room key cards.

The Presidio has housed a great many men and women during its time as a military enclave. The Inn itself, once known as Pershing Hall (named after General John Pershing) was built in 1903 and was separated into three sections as a fire precaution. When we opened our doors as an Inn, we decided to keep the tradition of honoring noteworthy individuals alive by naming each wing after a general who has served here. Below is a brief look into the lives of three men and how they have made their mark on the history of the Presidio.