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Scheming on Presidio Park

Presidio Park, a national treasure is being threatened. A scheme has been put forward by the city parks department to build wooden viewing platforms and walkways, with cement lined paths, slump block kiosks and pergolas and interpretive panels, install faux Craftsman lights on poles, build a bell tower/gateway and relocate the original El Camino Real bell shorn of its historic shepherd's crook stand, and relocate the California State landmark plaque.

This project will destroy the integrity of the original Presidio archeological site, arguably the most important such site in the State of California if not in the West, but also the integrity of the 1913 Serra Cross, it's enclosure and the 1929 cultural landscape commissioned by George Marston, which is intact.

These sites are some of the most important and revered sites in San Diego. The location of the project against and inside the original Presidio defensive wall is an area that has extremely significant archeological deposits that include the remains of original presidio buildings and their contents.

The new elements and materials that are proposed are not in any way compatible with the existing historic fabric or vocabulary of either the original Presidio or the Marston layer. The current design looks like a bad freeway rest stop. This project must not be allowed to proceed.

2005 - Volume 36, Issue 2

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