Hal K. Rothman, Principal Investigator &
1847, January 30 Yerba Buena renamed San Francisco by Lt. Washington Bartlett, U.S.Navy.
1847, March Americans (7th New York Volunteers) took over Presidio.
1847, May U.S. Army began survey of Alcatraz Island as site for harbor defenses.
1848 Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill.
1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded California to the United States.
1850 President Fillmore reserved Alcatraz Island and Angel Island for military purposes.
1850, November 6 President Millard Fillmore proclaimed the Presidio, Alcatraz, Angel Island and other Bay Area sites as military reservations.
1850, December 31 Fillmore modified reservation proclamation to reflect new boundaries.
1853 Army began construction of Fort Point
1854 U.S. Army began construction of a fort on Alcatraz Island.
1854, June 1 Lighthouse on Alcatraz Island began operating; first lighthouse on Pacific coast.
1859, July Belt of stone and brick fortifications built around Alcatraz Island, with 75 guns mounted.
1861, February 15 Fort Point completed and Army orders troops to garrison fort. Construction costs about $2.8 million.
1862 First true prison building built on Alcatraz Island; this forms the nucleus for the development of the "Lower Prison" complex.
1863, October 15 Original Cliff House opened for business.
1866, July 24 Army purchased land for Lime Point reservation (Forts Barry and Baker). Baker later named after Col. Edward D. Baker, veteran of Mexican War killed in action during the Civil War.
1883 Maj. William Albert Jones, an engineer at Army department headquarters, develops comprehensive plan for afforestation of Presidio reservation.
1884, December 12 War Department designated former post cemetery and surrounding land as the first National Cemetery on the West Coast.
1885 Sutro Heights opened for public use as a park. (Adolph Sutro elected Populist mayor of San Francisco in 1894, serves 1895-1897.)
1890-1893 Army began afforestation of Presidio, planting eucalyptus, pine, acacia and other species, set in ordered rows on the ridges and hills of the reservation.
1890 Treasury Department established Fort Point Life Saving Station in Lower Presidio.
1892, May 1 United States Quarantine Station opened on Angel Island.
1893 Army declared Fort Point's guns to be obsolete, and began work on series of reinforced concrete installations, with building to continue for about 15 years.
1892, January 23 Army acquired 200-acre land area through condemnation proceedings, called site Fort Miley.
1894-1896 U.S. Army spent $10 million on twenty-six coast defense batteries around the Bay.
1895, July 1 Army designated Alcatraz Island as United States Disciplinary Barracks.
1897, July 7 First permanent garrison established at Fort Baker (Battery 1, 3rd Artillery).
1898 Army established Laguna Merced Military Reservation, which will later become site of Fort Funston.
1900, April 14 Government established Veterans' Hospital at Fort Miley.
1904, December 27 Army divides Fort Baker reservation in half and creates Fort Barry.
1905 Army decides to abandon Alcatraz Island as defense site, and designated island solely as a military prison.
1905, July 8 Secretary of War allots land on Angel Island to departments of Commerce and Labor for Immigration Detention Station.
1906 William Kent purchases lands around Muir Woods to prevent logging.
1906, April 18 Earthquake hits San Francisco. Four refugee camps established on Presidio on order of Gen. Frederick Funston, housing 16,000 refugees for ten days. Fort Mason also housed refugees and was the site for the Army Relief Headquarters for the entire city.
1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition held just east of Presidio on landfill. Marina built as yacht harbor for exposition.
1917 U.S. government bought ocean frontage portion of Fort Funston property from Spring Valley Water Company.
1917, June 26 Army named Fort Funston in honor of Maj. Gen. Frederick Funston.
1920-1930s San Francisco Park Commissioners and state and federal assistance programs helped improve Marina. In 1930s, WPA crews built stone seawall, harbormaster's house and lighthouse.
1921 Army designated Crissy Field as military airfield. It is the first Army coastal defense airfield on the Pacific coast, and was built over site of Exposition's automobile race track. (Field is named after Maj. Dana Crissy, who was killed in 1919 in a transcontinental air race that started in San Francisco).
1921 Design work started on Julius Kahn Public Playground, a 7.294-acre site on the Presidio's south boundary.
1924 War Department gave its consent for construction of Bay bridges.
1928 California established Mount Tamalpais State Park
1932 Army released 19.2 acres of land at Fort Miley to the General Services Administration for construction of the Veterans Administration Hospital. Hospital opened in 1934; latest addition to hospital opened in 1965.
1933 Act of Congress transferred Alcatraz Island from Department of War to Department of Justice for a prison.
1933 Golden Gate Bridge designer Joseph Strauss designed a steel arch for the approach over Fort Point, making it unnecessary to remove the fort.
1934, July 12 Army abandoned United States Disciplinary Barracks at Alcatraz.
1934, Aug. 15 First fifty prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island. Convicts' rail cars ferried across Bay to avoid risking a transfer.
1937, May 27 Golden Gate Bridge dedicated and opened. Designers incorporate special arch in bridge to avoid destroying Fort Point.
1937, December Army bought about 800 acres in Marin County and created Fort Cronkhite, named in honor of Maj. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite.
1940s Ansel Adams and former Sierra Club president Ed Wayburn proposed that the Golden Gate be designated a national monument.
1942 Army bought remaining land for Fort Funston from Spring Valley Water Company (this purchase was the eastern section ocean section purchased in 1917. Land was used as Nike missile base in the 1950s).
1950 City of San Francisco received northern fifty acres belonging to Fort Funston (originally 237 acres total).
1951, November City voters approved $1.1 million bond issue to purchase 116 acres south of armory for recreation and park use. (Land offered by federal government as surplus property).
1953 City leased seven acres of former Fort Funston property to state for National Guard Armory on 99-year lease.
1954 Nike Ajax missiles began to be sited around San Francisco.
1958 NPS released a coastline study which included a report calling for creation of Point Reyes National Seashore.
1959 Fort Point Museum Association incorporated.
1960s Idea develops in California to create "Parks for the People." Concept spreads to Washington, brought there by Interior Secretary Walter Hickle, and became a buzz word in the National Park Service. Leads to creation of Gateway National Recreation Area.
1961 Undeveloped areas of Fort Baker turned over to California for park purposes.
1962 The Department of Defense declares Fort Mason "surplus military property," and transfers the remaining military functions to the Oakland Army Base.
1962, June U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy announced Alcatraz to be phased out of Federal Penitentiary System.
1962, June 13 Presidio designated a National Historic Landmark.
1962, September 13 President Kennedy signed legislation establishing Point Reyes National Seashore.
1963, March 21 Alcatraz closed as prison and last prisoners transferred off island.
1963, April Alcatraz Island reported to General Services Administration as excess property.
1964, March President's Commission on the Disposition of Alcatraz Island formed.
1964, May Alcatraz commission recommended island be used to commemorate the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco. (No action taken on this proposal)
1964, August San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed Resolution No. 472-64, requesting that the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of General Services establish Fort Mason as a national historic site, or if such action proves impossible, requests that GSA make Fort Mason available to the city as a park and recreation area.
1964, November Thomas Frouge and Gulf Oil Corporation unveiled plans for Marincello, an 18,000-person community to be built on the Marin Headlands.
1965, June State of California published A History of San Francisco Harbor Defense Installations: Forts Baker, Barry, Cronkhite and Funston (Emanuel Lewis).
1966 Sutro Baths burn in fire.
1968 Federal and California agencies indicated to GSA that they do not wish to acquire Alcatraz Island.
1968 San Francisco Bay Discovery Site designated a National Historic Landmark.
1968 City of San Francisco expressed interest in acquiring Alcatraz Island and calls for development proposals. About five hundred are received.
1968 NPS released Fort Point National Historic Site, California: A Proposal.
1969 Federal government (General Services Administration) proposed building football field-sized National Archives storage building on surplus U.S. Army land at Fort Miley. Amy Meyer, who lived across from Lincoln Park, began organizing a protest. (The building is eventually built in San Bruno).
1969, November Department of the Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation recommended transfer of Alcatraz to National Park Service and inclusion of other surplus federal property as a Park for the People. Committee recommended that the lands be pulled together to form an 8,000-acre park.
1969, November 29 Beginning of Indian Occupation of Alcatraz Island, which lasted nineteen months.
1969, December San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to lease Alcatraz Island to H. Lamar Hunt for commercial development.
1970 William Whalen named one of government's 10 outstanding young men.
1970, April Fire destroyed lighthouse keeper's house, military buildings, post exchange, warden's residence and surgeon's home on Alcatraz Island.
1970, Summer Cong. Phil Burton introduced legislation to create GGNRA. (HR 16444).
1970, October 16 President Nixon signed Public Law 91-457, creating Fort Point National Historic Site.
1971 U.S. Army turned twenty-two acres of Fort Mason over to General Services Administration for disposal.
1971, January Protest group founded by Amy Meyer became People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
1971, February Nixon made "Legacy of Parks" statement.
1971, June 16 Rep. Phillip Burton introduced expansive proposal for national recreation area in Bay Area. Plan included Park Service veto power over future Presidio developments by Army.
1971, August 9 House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation held hearings in San Francisco on H.R. 9498 and related bills.
1972, January 23 -- William J. Whalen named general manager, Bay Area Parks
1972, May 11-12 House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation held hearings in Washington, D.C., on H.R. 9498 and related bills
1972 United States Congress published Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Hearings, ninety-second Congress on H.R. 9498 and related bills.
1972, July 28 House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation passed bill authored by Rep. Phillip Burton (D-SF) to establish a 20,000-acre Golden Gate National Urban Recreation Area.
1972, September 5 President Nixon visits proposed site of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to demonstrate his support.
1972, October 11 House approved bill establishing the 34,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (Bill passed without dissent).
1972, October 27 President Nixon signed "An Act to Establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area," (Public Law 92-589), which established Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Bill allocated $61,610,000 for land acquisition and $58,000,000 for development. On the same day, Whalen given responsibility for administering Golden Gate NRA, Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods National Monument, and Fort Point National Historic Site.
1972, December Gulf Oil Corporation sold Marincello property to The Nature Conservancy. Marin citizens formed the Marin Headlands Association, designed to persuade state to purchase all surplus lands along the south rim for safekeeping. It is this land that would be combined with Alcatraz and San Francisco Headlands to form initial basis for park.
1972 National Park Service acquired Alcatraz Island.
1972 National Park Service acquired Fort Mason, which had been used strictly for storage by the Army since 1962.
1973 NPS released Fort Point: Historic Data Section, Fort Point National Historic Site, California (Edwin C. Bearss). Historic structure report.
1973, October Alcatraz opened to the public under Park Service management.
1974 Army closed Crissy Field to fixed-wing aircraft, restricting its use to helicopters.
1974, August 4 Jerry L. Schrober named superintendent of South Area.
1974, December 26 President Ford signed Public Law 93-544 adds 750 acres of contiguous private lands in Marin County to GGNRA.
1975 NPS released Preliminary Information Base Analysis, North of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument and Point Reyes National Seashore (prepared by the SWA Group)
1975 NPS released Preliminary Information Base Analysis, South Portion of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California (prepared by the SWA Group).
1975 GGNRA established visitor center at park headquarters at Fort Mason.
1975, May PFGGNRA and Park Service unveiled plans for expanding GGNRA south into San Mateo County.
1975, June 10 City of San Francisco officially turned over 91.5 acres of city park lands to Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (Transaction involved lands around Fort Miley, Lands End and portions of Lincoln Park excluding golf course.)
1975, September GGNRA released Golden Gate Recreational Travel Study.
1975, October 11 Title of Bay Area General Superintendent changed to General Manager of Bay Area Parks
1976 Congress declared about half of Point Reyes National Seashore as a unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
1976 NPS released Archeological Resources of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Roger E. Kelly)
1976 Outline of Planning Requirements approved (Doug Nadeau).
1976, May The Fort Mason Foundation created, and given responsibility for guiding and shaping the development of abandoned warehouses and piers into a cultural center.
1977 GGNRA acquired Cliff House for $3.79 million.
1977 NPS acquired Haslett Warehouse, located in center of Fisherman's Wharf/Ghiradelli Square tourist area. (Building acquired by State of California for railroad museum, but plans were derailed).
1977, January Fort Mason opened to the public.
1977, May NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Point Reyes National Seashore: Assessment of Alternatives for the General Management Plan.
1977, July 3 Jerry Schober named Acting General Manager
1977, September 16 San Francisco Maritime State Historical Park added to GGNRA.
1977, October 1 Point Reyes National Seashore separated from GGNRA.
1977, October 22 Title of General Manager discontinued.
1977, November NPS released Historic Resource Study: Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Erwin N. Thompson).
1978 San Francisco Maritime Museum added to GGNRA.
1978 GGNRA opened Cliff House Visitor Center.
1978 California voters approved Proposition 13.
1978, April 23 Lynn H. Thompson named superintendent.
1978, November 10 Public Law 96-625 expands park by adding nearly 3,000 acres in Marin County under the "National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978."
1979 NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Collection Management Plan (prepared by Dan Riss).
1979 NPS released Historic Resource Study: Seacoast Fortifications, San Francisco Harbor, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California (Erwin Thompson).
1979 NPS released Inventory of Occupation Graffiti, 1969-1971: Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California (John Noxon).
1979, June NPS released Golden Gate, Point Reyes National Recreation Area, National Seashore, California: General Management Plan, Environmental Analysis
1979, November NPS released Historic Resource Study: Forts Baker, Barry, Cronkhite of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California (Erwin Thompson).
1980, March 5 Public Law 96-199 added lands in Marin County to GGNRA by extending park boundaries eight miles north to include Samuel P. Taylor State Park (2,450 acres) and Gallagher, Ottinger and Giacomini ranches (1,214 acres).
1980, March 5 Division of Museum Services, NPS, released Museum Storage Plan, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Donald R. Cumberland, Jr.)
1980, June NPS released A Civil History of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore, California (Anna Coxe Toogood).
1980, June 1 William Whalen named superintendent.
1980, September NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Point Reyes National Seashore: General Management Plan, Environmental Analysis.
1980, September 8 Public Law 96-344 added 1,096 acres to GGNRA in Marin County.
1980, September 19 General Management Plan, GGNRA and Point Reyes NS approved (Planning Team DSC and GGNRA staff).
1980, December 28 Public Law 96-199 expanded GGNRA into San Mateo County and along the coast to Half Moon Bay (2,000 acres) by including 23,000 acres of Sweeney Ridge.
1981 NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California: Draft Natural Resources Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (Judd A. Howell).
1982 U.S. Air Force automated its radar tracking operations and released all but 2.5 acres of its 106.4 acre site atop Mount Tamalpais in Marin County to NPS. Site contained 53 abandoned structures and a complex utility system capable of supporting a community of 300. Many buildings contained asbestos, hindering removal plans.
1982 Golden Gate National Park Association established.
1982 NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California: Draft Natural Resources Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (Judd A. Howell).
1982 National Maritime Museum completed first Scope of Collections Statement
1982 Federal Emergency Management Agency moved into Barracks 105 at the Presidio.
1982, January 10 John H. Davis appointed general superintendent of GGNRA.
1982, March NPS moved Western Information Center to Fort Mason from 450 Golden Gate Ave.
1982, May 5 Mexican Museum opened in new quarters at Fort Mason Center.
1982, June 1 NPS released Cultural Resources Management Plan (Patrick Christopher, James Delgado and Martin Mayer). Cover title: Preliminary Cultural Resources Management Plan for Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
1982, June 4 NPS released Addendum, Natural Resources Management Plan and Environmental Assessment, Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
1983 NPS released Structural and Seismic Evaluation of the Structures in the Fort Mason Pier Area (Phase I: a study of the structures; Phase II: recommendations for and costs of correcting deficiencies) (John A. Blume & Associates, Engineers).
1983 Congressman Phillip Burton dies.
1983, March 17 Land Protection Plan approved (Doug Nadeau).
1983 Golden Gate prescribed burn program is begun.
1984 Joe R. McBride wrote Forest Management Plan for the Presidio and East Fort Baker.
1984 NPS released Historic Structures Report: Fort Barry Buildings 960, 961, 962.
1984, October Tanker Puerto Rican burned after passing under Golden Gate Bridge. Ship sank on Nov. 3 and resulting oil spill reached GGNRA beaches.
1984, October 13 Revised Natural Resources Management Plan and Environmental Assessment approved (Judd Howell).
1985 GGNRA established Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
1985 San Francisco Port of Embarkation designated a National Historic Landmark.
1985 Balclutha (only full-rigged ship in National Maritime Museum collection) designated a National Historic Landmark.
1985 NPS released Presidio of San Francisco, National Historic Landmark District: Historic American Building Survey Report.
1985, January Ferryboat Eureka designated a National Historic Landmark.
1985, March 12 Fire Management Plan approved (Terri Thomas).
1985, September 29 Brian O'Neill named acting superintendent.
1985, October 10 GGNRA announced plans to restore Crissy Field.
1986 Alcatraz Island declared a National Historic Landmark.
1986, February 16 Brian O'Neill named superintendent.
1986, August NPS released Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Interpretative Prospectus (Harpers Ferry Center: Division of Interpretative Planning).
1987 NPS released Interpretive Prospectus Alcatraz.
1987 Golden Gate restricts bicycles to designated trails within park.
1987 Self-guided tours of Alcatraz Island began.
1987, June U.S. Coast Guard received GGNRA permission to relocate search and rescue function from Station Fort Point near south end of Golden Gate Bridge to East Fort Baker, immediately northeast of the bridge. This freed up five-acre site surrounded by Crissy Field.
1988 United Nations designated GGNRA an International Biosphere Reserve.
1988 Golden Gate National Park Association sponsored "Alcatraz the Future Concept Plan and Guidelines," a planning and design effort to visualize the GMP and Interpretive Prospectus.
1988 New visitor center built at Muir Woods.
1988, June 27 Public Law 100-348 created the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park (SAFR) and transferred the museum and historic ships from GOGA to the new park. Measure intended to enhance ability of maritime park to compete for scarce funding within NPS, and relieve GGNRA of expensive maintenance commitments to ships.
1988, December Defense Department released Base Realignments and Closures: Report of the Defense Secretary's Commission.
1988, December 29 Presido of San Francisco on the list of military bases recommended for realignment or closure under "Base Closure and Realignment Act," Public Law 100-526.
1989 Bay Area Ridge Trail is dedicated.
1989 NPS released Submerged Cultural Resources Assessment: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes National Seashore (James Delgado and Stephen Haller).
1989, April Congress approved "Base Closure and Realignment Act," with Presidio closure no later than September 1995.
1990 Coast Guard opened new life-saving station at Fort Baker in Marin County.
1990 Federal prisoners began working on Alcatraz Island projects, under supervision of Federal Bureau of Prisons and National Park Service.
1990 NPS released Base Closure of the Presidio of San Francisco: Draft Environmental Impact Statement (U.S. Engineers, Sacramento District).
1990 NPS released The Top of the Peninsula: A History of Sweeney Ridge and the San Francisco Watershed Lands, San Mateo County, California (Marianne Babal), a historic resource study.
1990, May Presidio Planning Guidelines released to the public.
1990 NPS initiated first phase of the GMP on Alcatraz, the opening of the southern end of the Island, known as Agave Walk and parade ground. After concerns expressed by two local Audubon Society chapters, NPS withdrew the project.
1991 Scope of Collection Statement approved (Diane Nicholson).
1991 NPS released San Francisco Point of Embarkation: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service (prepared by the Architectural Resources Group). Historic Structure Report.
1992 GGNRA signed Golden Gate Operations and Maintenance Programmatic Agreement with Western Regional Office of the NPS (WRO), the California State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
1992 NPS released Historic Resource Study: El Presidio de San Francisco: A History Under Spain and Mexico, 1776-1846 (John Phillip Langellier).
1992 Visitor center at Fort Cronkhite relocated to rehabilitated Fort Barry chapel.
1992 GGNRA released Alcatraz Cultural Landscape Report draft.
1992, April 22 Statement for Management, GGNRA, approved.
1992, June NPS released Historic Gardens of Alcatraz, a botanical study.
1992, June 9 -- Public Law 102-29 added Phleger Estate to GGNRA.
1992, August NPS released Presidio of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California: Special History Study, Presidio of San Francisco: An Outline of Its Evolution as a U.S. Army Post, 1847-1990 (Erwin N. Thompson and Sally B. Woodbridge).
1993 NPS released Draft General Management Plan Amendment, Presidio of San Francisco: Presidio Building Leasing and Financing Implementation Strategy: A Supplement to the Draft General Management Plan Amendment, Presidio of San Francisco.
1993, March Army relinquished management of Presidio Forest, Lobos Creek Valley, and Coastal Bluffs to Park Service.
1993, April Presidio became home to U.S. headquarters for Mikhail Gorbachev's Gorbachev Foundation.
1993, July 9 GGNRA released Alcatraz Development Concept Plan and Environmental Assessment, prepared by LSA Associates, Inc.
1993, September NPS assumed complete control of Crissy Field.
1993, October NPS released Creating a Park for the 21st Century: From Military Post to National Park: Draft General Management Plan amendment, Presidio of San Francisco.
1993, October Update of Presidio National Historic Landmark is approved.
1994 NPS released Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Collection Management Plan.
1994, March NPS assumed control of Presidio housing.
1994, July NPS released Final General Management Plan Amendment, Environmental Impact Statement, Presidio of San Francisco.
1994, July NPS released Presidio of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Comments and Responses, Final General Management Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement.
1994, September 30 U.S. Army transferred all remaining parts of the Presidio to the Park Service.
1995, May NPS released A Good Life: Dairy Farming in the Olema Valley: A History of the Dairy and Beef Ranches of the Olema Valley and Lagunitas Canyon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore (D.S. Livingston), a historic resource study.
1996, June Jones & Stokes Associates published Environmental Assessment for Crissy Field Plan for NPS.
1996 GGNRA and GGNPA began work on restoration and interpretation of Crissy Field, one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken by the Park Service.
1997, July GGNPA guides began leading tours of Alcatraz.
2000 More than $31 million raised for restoration of Crissy Field.
2000, April Conference, led by Park Service, Presidio Trust, and GGNPA, discussed Presidio interpretation.
Last updated on August 27, 2001