Presidio Public Health Service District in San Francisco, Calif., to Receive Preservation Honor Award

The project receives the National Trust and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation announced that they will present the 2013 Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation to the Presidio Public Health Service District in San Francisco.  The project is one of 18 award winners to be honored by the National Trust during its 2013 National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. 

The Public Health Service District in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park served patients and pioneered health research and innovation for decades. But since 1981, the site has been vacant. Then, in 1996 Congress established the Presidio Trust to preserve the park and its structures.  Many considered the restoration of the district to be impossible, with challenging elements to consider in the rehabilitation, including two landfills, 14 historic buildings and a cemetery located beneath a parking lot.  

The turning point in making this project a success was the public-private alliance between the Presidio Trust and the developer, Forest City Enterprise. The Presidio Trust convened community members, cleared regulatory hurdles and rehabilitated the structures and landscapes. Forest City led financing and development efforts for the district’s centerpiece, the Colonial Revival-style hospital building, relying heavily on federal historic tax credits for the project. Today, the Public Health Service District features housing, office space, a preschool, trails and 25 acres of open space and native habitat. 

“Revitalizing the Public Health Service District took creativity, perseverance, community support and substantial investment,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Today, the district is a gateway to the Presidio and a sustainable mixed-use community. These achievements would never have taken place without the Presidio Trust and Forest City’s public-private partnership. Together, the partners brought the dynamic historic site back to life.” 

“It is difficult to overstate the challenges the Presidio Trust, Forest City Enterprise, and their partners faced, but the challenges dimmed in comparison to the rare opportunity to preserve a unique part of the historic center of San Francisco and turn it to contemporary use,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, chairman of the ACHP. “The solution is not only a residential district but an entryway to the larger Presidio that also provides a public access point to pedestrian trails and views that enrich the city’s livability.” 

The award will be presented to The Presidio Trust, Forest City Residential and Perkins+Will at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis, Ind., on November 1, 2013.

Co-recipients are: Architectural Lighting Design; Centric Construction; CMG; Donald F. Dickerson Associates; Huntsman Architectural Group; Nabih Youssef & Associates; Page & Turnbull; Plant Construction; and Sherwood Engineering, Inc. 

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizens’ attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at


The 2013 National Preservation Award Winners: 

Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award: Richard Moe, Washington, D.C. 

National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation:  Presidio Public Health Service District, San Francisco, Calif. 

The American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Historic Preservation: Alison King, Phoenix, Ariz.    

Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation: Don Worth – Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, Miami, Fl. 

National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation: Riverside Plaza, Minneapolis, Minn.

Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: Cleveland Restoration Society, Cleveland, Ohio.   

The Tony Goldman Award: The Maritime, New Orleans, LA.

Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites: Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM.



African Meeting House, Boston Massachusetts

Boyle Hotel, Los Angeles, California 

Fort Sam Houston, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 

Indiana Landmarks Center, Indianapolis, Indiana 

Kelly Cullen Community, San Francisco, California

NSO Bell Building, Detroit, Michigan 

Ogden High School, Ogden, Utah 

St. Augustine Mission, Los Lunas, New Mexico

St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, Missouri 

Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield, Iowa



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces