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. Since 1994, the Presidio has been a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Fort Mason, Bldg. 201
San Francisco, CA 94123


(415) 561-4323
Phone is only answered Thursday though Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. Leave a message otherwise and we will get back to you on Thursday.

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