The William Penn Mott, Jr. Presidio Visitor Center is a dynamic focal point for park goers to discover the Presidio, a 1,500-acre oasis in the heart of urban San Francisco.
The visitor center is a tri-agency partnership of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio Trust, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
The Historic Visitor Center Building
The Presidio Visitor Center is housed in a refurbished guardhouse (circa 1900) in the heart of the Presidio with views overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.
The visitor center features a two-room layout that preserves many aspects of the building's historic use and distinctive architecture, while updating the space with contemporary exhibitions.
Dynamic Interactive Exhibits
The Presidio Visitor Center offers some of the most state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits in the national park system. Just inside the entrance is a large-scale Presidio model surrounded by touchscreen panels that help visitors select destinations to visit during their day in the park.
A large video wall features a calendar of daily events and dramatic imagery of the Presidio.
A dynamic, digital, interactive table in English, Chinese and Spanish, invites visitors to make connections among people, places, and events that have shaped the Presidio across two centuries.
Other exhibits include a "Voices of the Presidio" display in which several community members use shadowbox art to share what the park means to them.
Additional exhibits showcase the history and natural setting of the park's four major regions:
In conjunction with the visitor center's exhibits and orientation features, the interpretive retail area is a dynamic environment that offers a changing collection of high-quality merchandise interpreting the many themes of the Presidio and tools for exploring the park.
Curated by the award-winning Parks Conservancy team, the merchandise will educate, engage, and inspire visitors. Interpretive retail offerings are divided into two areas:
About William Penn Mott, Jr.
William Penn Mott, Jr. was a lifelong supporter of public parks, which he successfully championed during his tenures as Superintendent of Parks for the city of Oakland, General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, and Director of California's Department of Parks and Recreation.
He founded the non-profit California State Park Foundation in 1969, and was later appointed as Director of the National Park Service, a post he held from 1985 to 1989. As special assistant to the National Park Service, he was assigned to support the conversion of the Presidio from military post to national park. He died in 1992.
Location and Hours
The William Penn Mott Jr. Presidio Visitor Center is located in Building 210 Lincoln Blvd. at the bottom of the Main Post parade ground near the corner of Montgomery Street.
Phone (415) 561-4323 for information and program reservations.
Last updated: January 20, 2023