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San Francisco's Presidio (CA) (Images of America) - Robert W. Bowen

San Francisco's Presidio   (CA)  (Images of America)

Author: Robert W. Bowen
Book title: San Francisco's Presidio (CA) (Images of America)
ISBN: 0738529869
ISBN13: 978-0738529868
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (July 3, 2006)
Language: English
Category: Americas
Rating: 4.1/5
Votes: 476
Pages: 128 pages
More formats: docx lrf doc txt

What was once home to the native tribe known as the Ohlone, and functioning as guardian of the San Francisco Bay under Spanish, Mexican, and American flags, the Presidio has served as outpost as well as cultural barometer of the vast changes this country and the state of California have seen. For almost a century and a half, the U.S. military transformed these grounds into a logistical centerpiece for every American conflict and created a pioneering airfield for early flight experiments. The Presidio served as the headquarters for the Western Defense Command during World War II and until its closure in 1994. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area then embraced a unique opportunity to develop the Presidio into a mixed-use area where it once again became an influential icon as development tackled various social, cultural, and environmental issues to point northern California into a new century while simultaneously tracing this country’s past.
Reviews: (6)
IWantYou
My grandfather was stationed there and I was in the late 60's. A remarkable place. Beautifully pictured and written.
Cogelv
I've been collecting this series for Sacramento and San Francisco for years. None of the books have ever disappointed me. Love them and highly recommend them.
Querlaca
This is another nice picture book. No real history or much other information except what you get from the captions with the photos. Still interesting to read.
Grillador
... of a bygone world, but nothing to do with the Presidio of today, which has become a glorious urban park, one of the best places in any city of the world for a stroll on a sunny day. It's a magnificent irony that San Francisco, in recent decades the most consistent anti-war city in America, should have benefitted so much, in terms of open spaces and environmental opportunities, from the long-time occupancy of the headlands on both side of the Golden Gate by the US Army. Add to that the Coast Guard's occupancy of the shoreline inside the Golden Gate, both north and south. When the great wave of base-closings took place, and parties in Washington thought to punish SF for its anti-war fervor, little did they expect that the result would be to give SF the only urban National Seashore and Park, plus the restored marsh of Crissy Field and all those rambling military edifices to house non-profits, theaters, studios, and schools! Blessings eternal on Saint Philip Burton, the greatest Congressman of the 20th C and the visionary who finagled the protection of more open spaces and ecological wonders than anyone else ever.

The Presidio is a thoroughly man-made landscape, the only National Park that's really artificial. When the Army moved in, it was mostly dunes; the forest of pines and eucalyptus that you see now was planted, with an explicit design intention of impressing the populace with the 'scope' of the Federal Government. In the later decades of Army management, the cultivated landscape was allowed to go to seed, to become littered and polluted. The Presidio Trust, however, has found the resources and the volunteers to restore and manage the park, to 'daylight' hidden springs and creeks, to recreate habitat for songbirds and coyotes, above all to create a wonderland of walking trails, now incorporating playing fields, picnic paradises, and even a massive Andy Goldsworthy sculpture.

The key word is MANAGE. Humanity has accomplished its greatest ambition, which is to subdue nature, to put the whole world under cultivation of one kind or another. The Presidio is, for me, a metaphor of humanity's responsibility to manage what we have conquered. The pictures in this book chiefly record the process of conquest that occurred in the 20th Century; they don't reveal the the end results. In the Presidio, there were two potential outcomes, the deterioration and despoilation offered over the long term by the Army, or the stewardship and revitalization that has followed from public ownership. These are the two choices open to humanity world-wide: further despoilation and pollution based on unregulated development and 'free' enterprise, or foresightful environmental stewardship. Just as San Franciscans are grateful to have their Presidio not covered with tract homes and malls, our grandchildren will (I hope) have reason to be grateful for every environmental regulation we have the good sense to impose.
Keath
I always love these series of books and the images included - makes for a great overview of the history
Jieylau
Loved the photos in this one. Tried to find my gampy but alas, could not. I find that I think more while looking at pictures than reading words. Packed with history and terrific pictures. The best part is buying from Amazon for a few dollars less than from the publisher!
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