Two years ago Fisher and his wife announced plans to revitalize the Presidio parade grounds by building a 100,000 foot museum, sparking one of the fiercest fights over how to develop the former military base. Fisher’s collection—more than a thousand works by Andy Warhol, Gerhart Richter and others—would sit in a largely underground building, a design decision driven by preservationists’ concerns about the historic character of the Presidio. Public opposition also centered around parking and the traffic a contemporary museum might bring. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Fishers are now considering other sites the city and possibly outside the Bay Area for their collection.
Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, responds with this comment pushing Fisher toward a site at Crissy Field:
“Don Fisher’s decision to abandon the Main Post site for his proposed contemporary art museum is the correct one. We have believed from the beginning that having the museum on the Presidio’s grounds could be a great asset to the community but, despite recent efforts to mitigate the impact of the structure on the Main Parade, that specific location was always problematic, to say the least. The Main Parade is the most significant part not only of a National Historic Landmark but one of the most significant historic sites in America .To compromise its integrity would be tragic.
“As a former board member of the Presidio Trust, Don Fisher obviously knows the place well and has great affection for it. I sincerely hope he will consider alternative sites at the Presidio, such as Crissy Field as envisioned by the management plan, which can be a win-win situation for everyone. The National Trust has been an active and constructive partner of the Presidio Trust since its inception, and we will continue to be engaged in this spirit with the National Park Service and others to ensure that this incredible site is preserved for future generations while being appropriately adapted as a living, thriving community.”