Smaller, softer ideas for Presidio center unveiled 

click to enlarge The new, two-story Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for the Presidio. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy rendering
  • The new, two-story Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal for the Presidio.

Smaller, leaner and hopefully fit for a national park.

Scaled-back proposals for museums and cultural centers at the former Commissary in the Presidio were filed Friday, giving the public - and the decision-makers at the Presidio Trust - about 10 days to review and voice their opinions.

Three groups are vying for the rights to build on the site of a current sporting goods store: "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who proposes to build a Spanish Revival-style museum that would house his vast art collection; the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, whose Presidio Exchange would be a "cultural institution" and event center; and a sustainability-themed ecological center proposed by the Bridge/Sustainability Institute.

Earlier proposals from all three teams, unveiled in November, were rejected by the Presidio Trust as too big or not suitable for the setting in the national park. The Trust asked for new designs to be submitted by Friday.

In response, the Presidio Exchange cut its proposal in half to nearly 55,000 square feet. Lucas's team submitted two bids, one "the absolutely lowest height possible as a two-story building above a garage" and another single-story alternative moved west to accommodate concerns posed by archeological sites.

The public will weigh in on the proposals at a meeting in the Presidio scheduled for Jan. 27, but some officials have already made their preferences known.

Lucas' proposal has the backing of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Mayor Ed Lee, who called for the Lucas museum to built during his State of the City address Friday.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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