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Presidio Park

Once one of San Diego's most visited parks, Presidio Park is now in dire straits with few tourists to be found. The Plymouth Rock of the West Coast, where Junípero Serra's 1769 Spanish expedition founded not only the first mission in Alta California, but the presidio, port, and town of San Diego. George Marston, a civic visionary and preservationist, commemorated this inspiring feat by purchasing the land almost a century ago and commissioning master architect William Templeton Johnson to design the Serra Museum on the park's hilltop. Marston then donated the land and museum to the City. Although it is a National Historic Landmark, this park does not receive the public attention or maintenance it deserves. As San Diego approaches the 250th anniversary of its founding in 2019, the museum and Serra Cross are severely deteriorated, the magnificent sculptures are often littered with food and broken bottles, and the John Nolen landscape is nearly dead and could be lost. Along with restoration, a comprehensive landscape management plan using the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's standards must be adopted. Presidio Park is nationally and locally significant and warrants immediate attention. For a city whose economy has been fueled by tourism since the 1880s, it is incomprehensible that the places that reliably attracted millions of visitors for decades are tossed aside and left to decay. It's not smart business. We urge the mayor to form a committee to raise funds, and under strict historic preservation guidance, restore the city's place of origin in time for its 250th celebration.

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Photos by Sandé Lollis

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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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