Historic Battery Bluff in San Francisco Presidio Parkway now open to the public
Part of a multi-agency construction effort to replace the outdated Doyle Drive freeway with Presidio Parkway, the Battery Bluff marks a milestone as a completion of a 30+ year, multi-agency construction effort of federal, city, and state agencies to fund and deliver the Presidio Parkway that utilized a community-backed design by designer Michael Painter that fulfilled transportation needs, improved access to the Presidio, and upheld standards for a national park setting.
“This is an amazing project a testament to Michael Paige’s legacy. As San Franciscans, we are always thinking outside the box. We are always thinking of new innovative ways to make this city more beautiful than it is,” Breed said. “We know that when we make space for all people, we have tremendous impact on our mental health, our happiness.”
Breed also acknowledged that during the pandemic many saw and realized the importance parks and open space as they were so crowded and fully used.
Breed also underscored that parks are as equally important as economic recovery from the pandemic, adding “this is how we continue to beautify, support and uplift our parks, our open space.”
For her part, Presidio Trust CEO Jean Fraser said she is grateful of the collaborative efforts of park officials and workers and community members working together over decades to reimagine San Francisco’s northern waterfront and create more park amenities for the enjoyment of all visitors. She said she looks forward to unveiling later this year of the Presidio Tunnel Tops.
“I am excited that we are now providing more picnic benches, accessible trails, a place where families can come and have a magnificent view. We know that people want to come to the Presidio and have trouble finding for a place to bring the whole family and this is just the perfect spot,” said Fraser. “This spring we are opening two major area – the Battery Bluff, Francisco Park in a week or two and the Presidio Tunnel Tops in July. Finally we will be able to walk from Chrissy Field all the way up to the beautiful lawn of the main coast.”
Fraser said that coming to the Presidio either through the Battery Bluff or one of the trails like the Chrissy Field is like coming going to a place to relax, de-stress, to enjoy the outdoors that she said she hopes people can visit as often as they can.
Built between 1899 and 1902, originally called the National Cemetery Batteries and part of the U.S. Army’s coastal defense system around the Golden Gate to protect San Francisco Bay, the four historic gun batteries Slaughter, Baldwin, Sherwood and Blaney will be on view to the public at Battery Bluff.
The Trust oversaw extensive work to clean, repair, stabilize, and interpret the batteries at Battery Bluff, making them newly accessible to visitors.
The entire park-making project restores 50 acres in the Presidio. Highlights are Battery Bluff and Cavalry Bowl. Designed by Page and TRC, and built by Plant Construction, it is the six acres on the tops of the western set of tunnels over the Presidio Parkway, and the adjacent ten under the raised highway, by the Park Police horse stables and the beloved Presidio Pet Cemetery. Seven acres of new tidal marsh opened at Quartermaster Reach in December of 2020, and 14 acres at Presidio Tunnel Tops over the eastern set of highway tunnels will complete the final section of the project, set to open later in 2022.
The Presidio is one of America’s most visited national park sites, located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Spanning 1,500 acres next to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio is among the most biologically diverse parks in America.
Historically a home to native peoples and a military post under three flags, its facilities have been reinvented as museums, restaurants, hotels, homes, and offices.