February 3, 2014

Presidio Trust Rejects All Three Proposals For Mid-Crissy Field Site


Having reviewed the final three proposals for redeveloping the Presidio’s Mid-Crissy Field site last week, proposals which were revised at the request of the Presidio Trust late last year, the Trust has decided not to pursue any of the proposed projects.

As we first reported in December, the National Park Service was "strongly recommending" that the Trust defer any decision for several years to allow the Crissy Field site and current home to Sports Basement to develop "in a more comprehensive, thoughtful, integrated, and planned manner."

While now noting that they "do not believe any of the projects [are] right for this location," the Trust plans to continue discussions with each of the teams to bring elements of their programs to the Presidio and is "extending an invitation to George Lucas to work with [the Trust] to identify an alternative location for his proposed museum within the Presidio."

Lucas had intimated that his art collection and dollars for the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum would head to Chicago if his proposal wasn't selected for the Crissy Field site.

First Published: February 3, 2014 3:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Good riddance!

Posted by: Anna at February 3, 2014 4:03 PM

what a shame. nearsighted beauracrats!

Posted by: moto mayhem at February 3, 2014 4:06 PM

They made the right decision. Wrong building and terrible design for this superb location.

Posted by: Futurist at February 3, 2014 4:20 PM

Yea, definitely the correct choice. Something much more interesting can be done there.

Posted by: Sam at February 3, 2014 4:29 PM

I wonder if the Sports Basement will proceed with their plans to move to the barracks on Mason St or just stay put for now?

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at February 3, 2014 4:33 PM

I hope the Sports Basement still moves and we get a Food 4 Less in the current location. The Presidio has long needed a Food 4 less.

Posted by: anon at February 3, 2014 4:39 PM

Idiots - if only because they're just kicking the can down the road. Either accept a proposal, or take the entire site off the table. Stringing it along serves nobody's interest.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at February 3, 2014 5:14 PM

I like the Sports Basement where it is. Not because I personally shop there a lot (I live closer to their Bryant St. location) but because of all the formal and informal events it hosts for athletes. Sure their proposed new location might be just as good but it also might not. And I prefer Crissy Field to be crowded with runners and cyclists as opposed to heavy construction equipment for several years and then tourists after that. So while I don't agree with anything the Presidio Trust is saying or doing here, I do selfishly appreciate the outcome.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at February 3, 2014 5:24 PM

Let's hope that Lucas doesn't sulk and go to Chicago. If he is really dedicated to his idea and the City, he would opt for the Palace of Fine Arts. As others have noted, it's really a perfect solution.

Posted by: Jlasf at February 3, 2014 8:20 PM

Definitely second the Food 4 Less idea. That would be awesome.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at February 3, 2014 11:00 PM

I agree that this was the right decision to make, also the only choice that would get them out of upsetting one constituency or another.

While I also agree that Lucas offered the most interesting use for the site, his unwillingness to compromise his vision is what did in his proposal. Edifice Complex is a common affliction of the affluent and the politicos. Perhaps George Lucas can be persuaded to work with the city and give the Palace of Fine Arts a look? Chicago might not object to whatever he would want to build there, but no building would measure up to putting his art inside a Bernard Maybeck original.

To reiterate, the Sports Basement has been planning to move to the nearby cluster of warehouses just a few minutes from their current location.

Posted by: Adam at February 4, 2014 1:04 AM

"Chicago might not object to whatever he would want to build there"

You underestimate Chicago, which has magnificent 20th century architecture, much better than ours. They would probably expect a very different building by a different architect,

Posted by: conifer at February 4, 2014 1:43 AM

San Francisco's loss is Chicago's gain. IMO, San Francisco has gotten a bit too snobby. The City has lost a lot good opportunities and gotten such things as high rise "dormitory" housing for high tech workers. Not a good alternative.

Posted by: RDL at February 4, 2014 7:04 AM

Good call!
What on earth does Star Wars museum have to do with the Presidio, and of all places, this location.
Take it to Chicago.
And that design plan-It looks like a glorified Target.

Posted by: Snyder at February 4, 2014 8:16 AM

I think a Sam's Club would be great at this location.

Posted by: anon at February 4, 2014 8:47 AM

I say level the whole thing and put in trees and grass. Why do we have to populate all of our parks with structures?

And I thought one of the reasons the Trust was created was to keep national interests, like the Park Service, out of the decision making process.

Posted by: roswell53 at February 4, 2014 10:14 AM

Why not expand the strip mall a bit? I like the Food 4 Less and Sam's Clubs suggestion, but man, this could be our chance to have a power center with a Home Depot, Walmart, Sam's Club, and Petsmart! That would be awesome.

Posted by: anon at February 4, 2014 10:22 AM

Walmart would be nice. And section 8 housing upstairs. Too bad Lucas cannot stick it to the killjoys like he did with his Skywalker ranch.

Posted by: lol at February 4, 2014 11:16 AM

Food 4 Less? This is a great location for a Costco Superstore. I want free samples not a museum form the worlds most successful Film Maker who won the National Medal of Arts last year!

Posted by: drew at February 4, 2014 12:06 PM

Costco is too yuppie. Food 4 Less or Grocery Outlet please, or maybe Sam's Club.

Posted by: anon at February 4, 2014 12:51 PM

What an awful design for a world-class location. Buh-bye!

Posted by: anon at February 4, 2014 12:53 PM

Ooh! Ranch 99 would be even better at this location.

Posted by: anon at February 4, 2014 1:53 PM

We need an Outlet Mall. The people who wanted that
"sustainability" thingy would support it. Imagine how many minivan trips to Gilroy or Napa could be avoided. Huge win for the environment.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at February 4, 2014 2:54 PM

The Presidio Trust set-up has placed too much power in the hands of too few who are too rich and removed from ordinary folk to know a good deal when it comes rolling in like the fog. It's a shame the city doesn't have more control over its decisions. The Bechtel cadre view couldn't be more myopic.
If Lucas takes his project elsewhere it will be a catastrophic loss for SF.

Posted by: james jr at February 4, 2014 3:01 PM

Hyperbole much? How would Lucas going somewhere else be a "catastrophic loss" for SF? It's not like The City is hurting for tourist attractions. Worst case scenarios, the current building is torn down and replaced with grass and trees.

In what way is a "catastrophic loss" for San Francisco?

Posted by: Fishchum at February 4, 2014 3:15 PM

Ok, so sulk off to Chicago Mr. Lucas.

Wait til they laugh you out of town with your cheesy Home Depot/Costco big stucco box of a museum.

We want great architecture here, not a stage set for your toys.

Posted by: Futurist at February 4, 2014 3:25 PM

A giant Good Vibrations emporium. I love that place!

Posted by: 4oceans at February 4, 2014 7:33 PM

Congratulations to the Presidio Trust for sticking to their vision for the Presidio even in the face of what must have been significant political pressure from all the politicians the Lucas folk rounded up. The Trust made their guidelines clear from the beginning and again when asking the three finalists to resubmit plans. Lucas chose not to meet the guidelines; it should be no surprise his plan was denied. At least from afar, this situation feels a lot like another Monument To Self museum, the previous one the Fisher proposal at the Parade Grounds. As they did with the Fisher collection, I hope a more appropriate and better solution is found, one that befits all of San Francisco, not just a wealthy donor and his high powered friends.

Posted by: Johntrev at February 5, 2014 10:53 AM

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