Presidio Tunnel Tops Opens Sunday, July 17, 2022Mar 31, 2022 07:54AM ● By Fran Miller
The most anticipated visitor attraction ever planned for the Presidio of San Francisco – Presidio Tunnel Tops – now has an official opening date. The new national park destination welcomes all visitors starting Sunday, July 17, 2022, revealing a spectacular “must see” San Francisco attraction for Bay Area locals and visitors from around the world.
Thoughtfully designed by James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s High Line, the 14 acres of new parkland at the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area will feature scenic overlooks, trails, picnic areas, and gathering spaces with stunning bridge and city views, surrounded by gardens and meadows that include 180 varieties of plants native to the Presidio. The Transit Center and Visitor Center make the site accessible and welcoming, and new food options, a pavilion, and a campfire circle (below) are located nearby.
A special highlight of Presidio Tunnel Tops is the Outpost (below) —a two-acre nature play area where kids can have unforgettable adventures by swinging, crawling, and climbing on play structures that reflect elements of the Presidio and are built from fallen tree trunks, boulders, and other natural materials. The renovated Crissy Field Center and new Field Station—an indoor spot where kids explore the Presidio through art, science, or simply their imagination—will help engage people of all ages in self-guided and programmed activities.
Presidio Tunnel Tops is the result of a decade of community input and consultation with community organizations, health leaders, and park planners with the goal of making national park experiences easily accessible to all. It was made possible by generous funding from donors to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy through a $98 million capital campaign, which was completed in 2019.
Building on the community-driven design, Partnership for the Presidio formed the Presidio Activator Council, comprised of Bay Area community leaders, activists, and artists representing communities historically underrepresented in national parks. The Council will develop innovative ways to incorporate art, culture, food, healing, wellness, and music into Presidio Tunnel Tops for opening season, so it feels like a welcoming and inclusive space.
The public is invited to explore the Presidio Tunnel Tops beginning Sunday, July 17, and enjoy an opening season of free family-friendly events and activities from July through October. Events will be announced shortly.
About Presidio Tunnel Tops
In 1993, Bay Area leaders, urban planners, and citizens were faced with the need to replace the seismically unsafe Doyle Drive, which cut the Presidio in two as it made its way to the Golden Gate Bridge. A vision to construct the highway into tunnels and reconnect the park by creating new land over their tops was put forth and the Presidio Tunnel Tops project was born. Hundreds of hours of community engagement with more than 10,000 participants helped shape the final design of the site. James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s High Line, was selected as the design partner. This exciting new site allows the Partnership for the Presidio to provide more national park experiences to people in the Bay Area and serves as a gateway to the greater Golden Gate National Recreation Area and broader National Park System. Presidio Tunnel Tops was funded by generous donors to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Presidiotunneltops.org
About Partnership for the Presidio
Presidio Tunnel Tops is brought to life by the Partnership for the Presidio, which aims to bring national park experiences, and the many benefits they offer, closer to where most people live—in urban areas. Two federal agencies manage the Presidio: the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service with support from the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Together, the Partnership sustains the Presidio’s natural beauty, preserves its history, maintains its funding and creates inspiring national park experiences for all.
All renderings courtesy of Partnership for the Presidio