The Presidio Army Museum Exhibit - Origins

GOGA 35301-1282 TASC Negative Collection PE2 Presidio Army Museum
The newly constituted Presidio Army Museum selected the Old Post Hospital, also known as Wright General Hospital Building, to be its permanent location in 1973. The historic building was the only hospital on post when it was built in 1864, and it was replaced by the construction of Letterman General

Golden Gate NRA, Park Archives, TASC negative colleciton, GOGA 35301.1282

Fort Point and Army Museum Association

In 1959, Major Herbert Batz, U.S. Retired; John J. Gould, a civil engineer; Edward D. Page, an architect; and Myron B. Goldsmith, U.S. Retired, began the Fort Point Museum Association (now the Presidio Historical Association) and began preservation efforts at Fort Point. The U.S. Army gave the group permission to clean the fort, establish a small museum, and conduct guided weekend tours. During the 1960s, the Association became the repository for collections donated to or purchased by the 6th U.S. Army and was permitted to collect artifacts relevant to the Presidio, creating a post museum outside of the Army museum system. Initially, the Association rented and rehabilitated Fort Point from the U.S. Army as its primary museum location.In 1970, Congress passed a bill which declared Fort Point a National Historic Site. Then, in 1971, the Army transferred Fort Point to the National Park Service (NPS) at which time the Association worked with the NPS on restoration and preservation efforts.

GOGA 35301-1283 TASC Negative Collection PE2 Hospital
This image depicts the Army Hospital building circa 1860. The small square building in front of the hospital is the morgue, and Officers’ Quarters are visible on the hill to the left of the building.

Golden Gate NRA, Park Archives, TASC Negative Collection, GOGA 35301-1283

Presidio Army Museum

In the 1970s, the U.S. Army approached the Fort Point Museum Association to develop a museum within the system already established by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History. The Presidio of San Francisco's Building 2, the Old Army Hospital building, was selected for the museum site.

The Association rehabilitated the building for museum use and relocated part of its existing artifact collections from Fort Point to begin the army museum collection. The Presidio Army Museum (PAM) was officially established on July 4, 1973. The museum was staffed by Association employees and volunteers with John P. Langellier as the museum Curator and Sergeant Robert Smith as Assistant Curator. Then, the Association renamed itself the Fort Point and Army Museum Association to reflect this joint relationship. The museum's administrative and storage facilities were located in the brick basement of the museum building and exhibitions were installed on the main floor.


Last updated: March 11, 2024

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