In 1990, Mary Elena Phleger, widowed in 1984 and determined to keep her family's estate intact, offered Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) the opportunity to make it so. With only 5 paid staff and an exceptionally tight deadline, POST embarked on an ambitious fundraising, lobbying and public awareness campaign. POST staff and volunteers worked feverishly, drawing hundreds of letters of support from local and state officials. This outpouring of community support convinced Congress to provide matching funds-if POST could raise half the cost of the property. POST did just that, raising $5 million from Save the Redwoods League and from extraordinarily generous private donors. Then, literally agreeing to "buy or bust," POST staked their entire $3.5 million reserve and proceeds from the sale of the Phleger home to meet their final deadline, and the Phleger Estate turned from private property to public park early in 1995.
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Did You Know?
By the 1850s, Fort Mason was established as a military installation and the buildings on Franklin Street, constructed between 1864 and 1913, are some of the earliest remaining buildings at Fort Mason.