History & Culture

The Presidio has a rich history spanning back to the time of the native Ohlone people. The Spanish arrived in 1776 to establish the northernmost outpost of their empire in western North America. The Presidio fell under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control in 1846. Over 148 years, the U.S. Army transformed the Presidio grounds from mostly windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant, preeminent military post. In 1962, the Presidio was designated a National Historic Landmark and the site has been part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1994.

Learn of the people that lived here, and stories of how they interacted with places around the Presidio and the world. Or you may want to explore our collections of military objects and structures.

Painting of Mexican Presidio by Richard Beechey in 1826
Painting of Mexican Presidio by Richard Beechey in 1826.

Illustration courtesy of the Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Dakin Collection

Last updated: March 28, 2019

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Fort Mason, Bldg. 201
San Francisco, CA 94123


Phone is answered daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Leave a message otherwise and we will get back to you. United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

Contact Us