The Presidio's Public Health Service Hospital
In 2004 Forest City Development was awarded the Presidio’s Public Health Service Hospital project to redevelop the long abandoned and graffiti filled building into apartments.

The non-historic wings of Building 1801 will be removed together with other non-historic buildings and additions. Up to 133,000 sf will be demolished and new construction consisting of up 35,000 sf at the rear of Building 1801 and a 16,000 square-foot building on Belles Street on the “central green” west of the Wyman Avenue residences may occur. Up to 186 dwelling units will be provided in combination with approximately 76,000 sf of other uses, including offices and cultural/education. More than half of the proposed dwelling units will be studio and 1-bedroom units, which are in highest demand for Presidio-based employees.

And on Friday, Forest City officially breaks ground on 154 units.
Public Health Service Hospital Project [presidio.gov]
SF abandoned Hospital PHSH.org [loupiote.com]
Presidio hospital to be transformed into apartments [Examiner]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Brutus

    Good to see this happening. The building is certainly an eyesore now.
    I just wish that we could have gotten the original proposal – I think it was 2-3 times the number of units? Can’t quite remember.

  2. Posted by khb

    I would sure to hate owning a home on 15th. Traffic nightmare.
    Units, Plus friends and exposure to this hidden gate
    will devalue that block.
    Oh well.

  3. Posted by Brutus

    ^^^Perhaps. But living next to an abandoned, graffiti-covered eyesore is not bad for property values?

  4. Posted by Gregg

    Eww! Living inside an old hospital building where people have died and had surgery? Really? Leave it to a bunch of realtors and developers to think this is a good idea. It’s not. It’s pretty spooky.

  5. Posted by Joe

    It is so tiring to watch the stranglehold that NIMBYs have on development in this town.
    We live in a virtual museumtown.
    Williamsburg of the west as someone said…

  6. Posted by anon

    The old building will be demolished and replaced with new construction, residents will not live in the old hospital. I think this is a great addition to the Presidio, but Lucas Arts “Presidio workforce” employees will be the only ones to afford the market rate rents they will be asking

  7. Posted by Dan

    Lots of people live in the old St. Joseph’s on Buena Vista, now nice condos. People live in former stables and canneries– why not a hospital?
    I think the traffic concerns are overplayed– it is through traffic for commuters that creates problems, not one apartment complex. There will be less traffic than when it was an active hospital.

  8. Posted by Stevie Blunder

    Ridiculous that anyone could oppose 400 units on this site, given that there was once a noisy, huge hospital there.
    15th street property values will now RISE.

  9. Posted by vsquare

    You think living inside an old hospital building is bad? Back in 2000 I interviewed at a dot com company that was renting space in an old mortuary and stressing that fact as part of the `coolness` factor of working for that company. Who knows maybe they can try the same thing here?

  10. Posted by zzzzzzz

    I was under the understanding that access to the units won’t be limited to 15th St. – perhaps from Battery Caulfield, immediately to the west?
    In any case, I agree with all the comments about putting this long abandoned eyesore to work – both providing housing and helping the Presidio fulfill its requirement of becoming financially self-sufficient. Kudos!

  11. Posted by invented

    “‘You think living inside an old hospital building is bad? Back in 2000 I interviewed at a dot com company that was renting space in an old mortuary and stressing that fact as part of the `coolness` factor of working for that company. Who knows maybe they can try the same thing here?”
    And let’s not forget Sha’ar Zahav, which continues to brings you closer to g-d — in a former funeral home. Dolores & 16th.

  12. Posted by BernalDweller

    15th Ave., people. Not 15th St.

  13. Posted by SFer

    This is sad. I used to explore this place and take photos; fun times indeed. Oh well, all things come to an end :)

  14. Posted by fred

    Living in or near the Presidio is awesome for access to recreation.

  15. Posted by Mose

    Hard to see the downside here. I think the traffic concerns are overblown, and it’s almost criminal that so much space has been sitting unused for so long in a city where the demand for housing is so acute. Additional kudos for the plan to demolish the non-historic portions of the structure while saving the original historic portion. Assuming the new construction is in keeping with the traditional architecture (which is reasonable to assume given how nicely the Lucas complex turned out), the final product should be quite attractive. The hospital must have some pretty great views to the south, west, and east, as well.

  16. Posted by joe

    > anon says…
    > The old building will be demolished and replaced
    > with new construction, residents will not live
    > in the old hospital.
    Not true. Just the non-historic additions are being demolished; the main hospital will be renovated and occupied. I’ve seen some historic photos of the place before the additions and it was a beautiful building, it’s just too big. But this isn’t just one large, abandoned building — it’s an abandoned district. There are 7 or 8 moth-balled houses that used to be quarters for nurses and docs on the grounds that are going to be renovated and rented out. Finally, it won’t be occupied entirely by residents, there will be some non-profit organizations on the premises, too. Definitely a mixed blessing for the residents at 15th Avenue.

  17. Posted by sfbear

    I live 4 blocks away and I’m happy to see something being built in there. I wish the original proposal (400 units?) was approved, but I’ll take 186. Anything is better than these ruins.
    The traffic concerns are completely overblown. 186 units is an equivalent of about 2-3 blocks. Richmond district has 250-300 blocks, so it’s only a 1% increase.
    The only real concern is parking, since a lot of locals currently use the parking lot in front of the hospital. With those spaces disappearing, the the parking situation in the area will get worse.

  18. Posted by SFer

    I walked around the building today and took some photos. Ran into a bunch of people who are walking around gawking at the building. We shared some stories about it and how it should be interesting once it’s done.
    Here are some photos I took:
    http://upload.awineshop.com/files/1/IMG_5734%20copy.jpg
    http://upload.awineshop.com/files/1/IMG_5743.jpg

  19. Posted by Alexei

    I recall that, in order to mitigate the traffic, the exit would be built on Park Presidio Blvd, and only people entering the area would use 15th Ave. Is that still on?
    Otherwise, I’m fairly happy to see it happen, though I hope they improve the environs for the public. Will there still be a parking lot?
    They have a website. Evidently, there will be no Park Presidio exit, and they’re keeping the surface parking, plus adding more. Great.

  20. Posted by SFer

    Yay my photo was posted!

  21. Posted by joe shmoe

    Gregg,
    Oh my, horrors. And you think people don’t die in houses and condos? That babies and toddlers don’t poop in tubs? Or throw up all over? Or pee everywhere while learning to use the potty? That nobody ever house broke a puppy on your floor?
    Ever wonder what parents of little kids might wash in the washer they then sell with the house or condo? Used cloth diapers maybe.
    You do know that vast swaths of SF used to be graveyards… the panhandle to lone mountain on either side of Masonic was a massive necropolis. Creepy, huh?

  22. Posted by john

    The film industry loses another movie/tv set. My wife works in the industry and spent many a long night shooting scenes(Nash Bridges used it almost weekly) at the old hospital. Very creepy, nasty place and it’s great that someone is finally doing something with the property.

  23. Posted by loupiote

    Photos of the PHSH demolition are here:
    http://loupiote.com/sets/72157610753310142.shtml
    photos of the graffiti inside (now destroyed):
    http://www.phsh.org
    I took all those photos (thanks for the article author for the link included in the article).
    enjoy! :)

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