Parks for the People - San Francisco County Main Panel
Golden Gate NRA lands located within San Francisco tell the tale of state and military expansion into the West, men flush with gold-mine wealth shaping a coastal town, the world at war, the rise of cultural identity, and a fight for historical preservation and open space. Yet with so many stories, these park lands still offer quiet space for visitors to reflect, relax, and enjoy the beauty of San Francisco's restored natural resources.
Fort Point National Historic Site
Where: Northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula under the Golden Gate Bridge When: 1970, 1972 Who/How:
1959: Fort Point Museum Association operated a museum and gave tours through a special use permit issued by the Army and lobbied for preservation of Fort Point.
1970: Designated as a National Historic Site by President Nixon.
1971: National Park Service opened the site for public tours.
1972: Under P.L. 92-589, became a unit of the GGNRA.
Fort Point, dubbed "the Gibraltar of the West," was built beginning in 1854 to defend the entrance to San Francisco Bay.
Only example of a multi-level masonry fortification on the west coast.
Where: 22.5-acre island one mile from the San Francisco shoreline When: 1972 Who/How:
1969 -1971: The Indian Occupation of Alcatraz compelled the Nixon Administration to evaluate uses of surplus government property.
1972: P.L. 92-589 included Alcatraz Island.
1973: NPS tours were offered to the public.
Home to the first lighthouse on the west coast.
The Citadel, a military defensive site, played a key role in early San Francisco harbor defenses.
Served as a U.S. Army military prison from 1861 -1933.
Home to a Federal penitentiary from 1934 -1963 that housed the country's most dangerous criminals.
The Indian Occupation helped focus national attention on a larger American Indian Movement (AIM) for cultural recognition.
Most significant habitat for colonial seabirds in the San Francisco Bay.
Where: San Francisco Marina District between Van Ness, Bay, and Laguna Streets When: 1972 Who/How:
1960s: Fort Mason became a focal point for Congressman Phillip Burton's urban national park movement after it was declared surplus by the U.S. Army.
1972: P.L. 92-589, brought Fort Mason into the GGNRA.
1976: Fort Mason Foundation created to develop the area into a cultural center.
Originally established as Point San Jose by Spain in the 18th-century.
Became a U.S. military reservation in 1851.
Site of 1906 earthquake and fire refugee camps.
Site of Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915.
First use of Mission Revival-style architecture by the U.S. Army in the Bay Area.
Fort Funston and Ocean Beach
Where: Pacific Coast - Fort Funston: between the San Francisco Zoo and the Olympic Club golf course; Ocean Beach: from south of the Cliff House to Fort Funston When: 1972, 1973 Who/How:
1972: P.L. 92-589 included Fort Funston and Ocean Beach.
1973: The City of San Francisco transferred additional land to the GGNRA following a voter-approved ballot measure.
Ocean Beach features the only remaining sand dune formations that once covered all of western San Francisco; provides habitat for the threatened Western Snowy Plover.
Fort Funston was a coastal defense site between 1917 and the Nike Missile era.
Fort Funston cliffs serve as habitat for Bank Swallows.
Fort Miley, Lands End, and the Sutro District
Where: Northwestern corner of San Francisco peninsula. Sutro District includes Seal Rocks, Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Sutro Heights When: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977 Who/How:
1971: A plan to build a National Archives facility at Fort Miley sparked the creation of the People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area (PFGGNRA) that worked to preserve open lands.
1972: P.L. 92-589 included Fort Miley and Lands End.
1973: Sutro Baths purchased by the GGNRA.
1975: The City transferred parklands from Fort Miley, Land's End, and Lincoln Park to the GGNRA.
1976: Sutro Heights transferred to the GGNRA from the City of San Francisco.
1977: Cliff House purchased by the park.
Sutro Heights introduced European landscape architecture to the West Coast.
The Sutro Baths ruins illustrate innovative engineering techniques of the time.
The Cliff House has been a local destination spot for over 100 years.
Lands End and Fort Miley preserve open space in the urban area.
Presidio of San Francisco
Where: 1,490 acres located at northwestern tip of San Francisco peninsula When: 1994 Who/How:
1972: P.L. 92-589 included the Presidio; jurisdiction remained with the U.S. Army.
1989: The Base Realignment and Closure Act, P.L. 100-526, declared the Presidio excess to military needs.
1994: Jurisdiction officially transferred to the GGNRA.
1996: The Presidio Trust, a government corporation, was established in partnership with the NPS as joint stewards of the Presidio.
The Presidio was continuously occupied as a military garrison from 1776 to 1994 under the command of Spain, Mexico, and then the United States.
The Presidio is part of the United Nations International Biosphere Reserve.