In March 2014, the Partnership for the Presidio invited landscape and design teams from all over the world to submit their qualifications and describe their approach to making Presidio Tunnel Tops a place that would attract and welcome our diverse community.
We received proposals from 25 teams and selected five finalists to develop concepts that could be explored with the public. The finalist teams were:
In December 2014 the Partnership selected James Corner Field Operations, best known for New York’s High Line, to work with the community to develop the concept into a full design.
In 2015, thousands of people shared their ideas about the kinds of spaces, landscapes, experiences, and activities that would make Presidio Tunnel Tops a place where everyone feels welcome.
As the design progressed, there were many presentations and opportunities for the public share their ideas and feedback on the project. Features like the campfire pit, small gathering areas, picnic tables, barbeques, and play areas for children were incorporated into the design as a result.
A Complicated Construction Project
Construction of the Presidio Tunnel Tops is a complex effort that began in 2018. The project is funded primarily through generous philanthropic donations raised by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Capital Campaign. The goal of $98 million was reached.
Encompassing 14 acres, the project spans over a major highway and includes miles of underground utilities and infrastructure. It includes a two-acre children’s play area, trails, several overlooks, and gathering spaces from picnic areas to a campfire circle.
The project also includes a seismic upgrade to a historic building to serve as the home for Crissy Field Center, two new learning labs, and a public Field Station for youth and their families.
Mountains of soil have been imported to grow beautiful new gardens planted with nearly 200,000 native and drought-tolerant plants.
The project is taking shape every day and will open to the public starting Sunday, July 17.