The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the nation’s largest and most prestigious preservation organization, reported on April 13 that it had filed an amicus brief in support of this legal action. The National Trust’s brief strongly lay out our argument for a stronger interpretation of the National Historic Preservation Act in connection with its provisions for protecting National Historic Landmark Districts. This is a hugely important sign of support from the nation’s leading preservation organization for the national precedent which our legal action will establish to protect all national landmarks.
Legal Action Against the Presidio Trust Moves Forward
The Presidio Historical Association and the Sierra Club are suing the Presidio Trust, which is a federal government corporation with jurisdiction over most of the Presidio of San Francisco. The Presidio is an important part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a national park and it is a National Historic Landmark, the highest recognition the federal government can give to an historic site for its national historic importance. Planned new construction will degrade the historical integrity and national park values of the Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark District.
Why the Legal Action?
We challenge the Trust’s master plan or “Main Post Update” that violates federal law that placed limits on new construction that will degrade the historic and national park values of this remarkable national historic resource. The Update would permit construction of a new 95,000 square foot hotel complex located exactly in the center of the most historic area of the park and other new construction.
We challenge the Trust’s interpretation of the National Historic Preservation Act. This cause for action has national importance for all National HIstoric Landmarks because if we prevail in federal court, the standard for protecting all national landmarks will be much stronger.
Update Concerning Legal Action
The Ninth District Federtal Court has confirmed a hearing time of 9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16, at the Federal District Court in San Francisco, on Golden Gate between Hyde and Polk. This may be a very brief procedural review with instructions how the judge wishes to proceed, or it could be a more substantial judgement on the merits of the case that PHA and the Sierra Club have filed and on the Presidio Trust's response to our argument. We will report on this web site and by e-mail to members on this important hearing as soon as we have the judge's ruling or instructions.
Calendar of public sessions on Presidio Heritage Program:
Discussion on the Heritage Program.