Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Answer: Historical Building Attraction in Presidio, San Francisco

Remember my story about discovering a unique historical building attraction in the Presidio? How many people returned to the story and read this anonymous comment answer?

“It is the old Public Health Service Hospital in the Presidio. It is now been renovated and turned into an upscale apartment building.” ~ Anonymous

Some of my discoveries with my trips are well planned, yet some discoveries are at random like this day as I was driving home to Santa Clara from San Rafael. I decided to take the first right off Park Presidio Blvd after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. It was my intent to go west after immediately crossing the bridge, however, because of construction on the south side of the bridge, I was disappointed when I couldn’t take the closest exit off the bridge. As I drove on, through the tunnel, I found the first right turn was on Lake Street. 

Old Public Health Service Hospital
Then I saw this significant building project tucked away off of Lake Street in an area less traveled of the 1,000 acres in the Presidio. The Old Public Health Service Hospital is perched on a hill and has really turned into a incredible attraction.  I saw an uphill road leading to the building and a circle drive in front of the building. There were recently finished, excellent groomed, landscaped grounds with grass and plants around the building; the landscaped grounds continued to the large vacant parking areas in the front and sides of the building. 

After I stopped at the bottom of the hill to get my first picture, I saw that there were no locked gates, so why not continue up the road which winds around in the Presidio? Of course this area is not on a standard San Francisco tour, although, I do know a tour company which caters to taking small groups (5-6 people) to areas like this one I found.

With further research, I found this Dec. 5, 2008 article by Rachel Gordon when the renovation started in SFGate.com, “This was once a research and patient care facility and the largest historic structure about a mile from the Main Post. The six-story building, constructed in 1932, replaced a hospital built on the site in 1875 that provided free medical care to merchant mariners.”

Yes, the article brings back memories to me about what was taking place which I had forgotten about until now.

Transition of Public Health Service Hospital, Presidio San Francisco

Today this is now the upscale Presidio Landmark residence and an amazing historical building attraction available to live in. This particular area is known as the Public Health Service District as named by the Presidio Trust.

Presidio Landmark Residence
I am very excited to share this rag to riches story for this old building project and the transition. I like to see the historical emphasis kept in our region as it has been through this project. It means to me of our progress through the years. I found an interesting demolition project slide show that happened in 2008. People may remember two wings that were attached to each side of this building – the wings were built in the 1950s. Now, there are 154 residential apartments. 

Presidio Landmark
 Ah and yes, I was busy taking pictures of the building, however, when I turned around.......I paused.........to see the amazing and beautiful scene of the Pacific Ocean, waves surging on to the shoreline. I never get tired of this image! Remember, to always turn around!

The Presidio Today

Take the time to wander through the Presidio Trust grounds when visiting San Francisco. Go see the restored Presidio building attractions – a must see to walk or drive around. These grounds have always had a military influence, from early days of the Spain, Mexico, and the USA.

I do remember there was quite a bit of conversation in the mid-1990s after the Sixth Army was inactivated and the Presidio was turned over to the National Park Service. And thanks to an act of Congress in 1996, the Presidio is now under the management of Presidio Trust, a US Government Corporation.

Up Next .... check back for my favorite “Don’t Miss” attractions I found in the Presidio this summer!

There is plenty to keep one active to explore – now get out and explore! The Fun Tour Guru

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