The Presidio became a park in a nationwide effort to bring national park experiences closer to where most people live – in cities. Presidio Tunnel Tops is now the starting point for visitors to begin their Presidio adventure. How was it created? And how is it welcoming all today?
BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY
The Presidio Tunnel Tops space used to be occupied by an elevated highway that connected San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge by cutting through the Presidio. In 2012, the outdated highway was demolished and later replaced with the Presidio Parkway, which put the road into tunnels so the park could be reconnected.
This change created an exciting opportunity to create a new visitor space on top of the tunnels. To make sure the new destination would be welcoming, accessible, and fun, in 2014 the Partnership for the Presidio started asking the public to "imagine" what Presidio Tunnel Tops could be. We also launched an international competition to find a team to work with the community to design Presidio Tunnel Tops, with James Corner Field Operations selected.
People from all over shared their ideas. Thousands dropped off comment cards in our "design lab," went on a walking tour, or submitted an idea on the website. Many more shared their input at 14 public workshops held in San Francisco neighborhoods and in the Presidio. In total, more than 10,000 people participated.
With this feedback, Presidio Tunnel Tops was designed and built, fueled by support from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Capital Campaign. Today, those community ideas have come to life in a space for all to enjoy.
Now that Presidio Tunnel Tops is here, we want to make sure it’s an inclusive, equitable, and relevant national park site for all. We’re committed to engaging with the communities we serve, especially those that have been historically underrepresented in national parks. To do this, we partner with community-based organizations, schools, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to unlock the potential of the Presidio to serve local communities.
In 2022, we invited the community to co-curate events and activities through the Presidio Activator Council, made up of leaders from the art, education, healthcare, community development, and recreation fields. And a Community Experts program includes leaders who provide feedback on various ways the Presidio can welcome everyone. Learn more >>
WE WANT TO ENGAGE WITH YOU!
What communities are you a part of? Do work for an organization serving local communities? How can the Presidio meet your needs? We want to learn from you – send your questions, ideas, and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.