The transformation of a 1932 historic Public Health Service Hospital into 154 apartments and related amenities, the Presidio Landmark is a model for sustainable historic preservation.
The Presidio Landmark has a poignant history. In 1798 the US Treasury began building Marine Hospitals in port cities and in 1912 those hospitals became part of the Public Health Service. In 1932 Treasury Architect James Wetmore designed this 6-story steel-frame, Colonial-revival hospital to care for mariners and others suffering from infectious diseases. In the 1950s, the hospital was expanded by adding architecturally incompatible wings to its primary façade, destroying the building's original stately entrance portico and stairway. The facility was abruptly closed in 1981, and sat vacant, dilapidated, and vandalized for 25 years.
In 2004 developer Forest City and architect Perkins+Will were selected to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the hospital as an apartment complex. The design concept was based on restoring the character-defining features of the building's exterior, adding new construction in secondary locations, and integrating the building into its park setting. The team demolished the incompatible wings and repaired the brick, terracotta and limestone exterior: more than 700 wood windows were rehabilitated; the original portico was recreated from historic photographs and drawings; an elegant contemporary interpretation of the historic stair provides ADA access to the main entry. The team removed extensive graffiti from exterior and interior historic finishes and integrated state-of-the-art structural and MEP systems. Connected to the main wing by a contemporary glass bridge, a new three-story vertical addition retains the geometric grid of the original facade's fenestration.
To make the best possible use of the hospital's narrow wings, and to preserve the historic central corridors, Perkins+Will utilized a double loaded layout that oriented the apartments parallel to the outside walls providing ample daylight for all units. All 32 different apartment layouts, from compact studios to large two-bedroom units, take advantage of the building's expansive windows and high ceilings. New finishes - wood floors, plaster walls and ceilings, modern light fixtures, kitchen cabinets and bathrooms - give the interior an elegant look. Shared amenities include a private dining room, fitness center, and two landscaped garden courtyards.
This LEED Gold-certified project is a model for sustainable historic preservation. Green building measures include: entire building insulation; natural ventilation; an innovative mechanical system combining hydronic and domestic hot water; dual flush plumbing fixtures; a cool roof; shuttle, car-share, and paid parking; on-site storm water treatment and management; extensive habitat restoration. Its history preserved, the Presidio Landmark now stands as a new gateway to San Francisco's beloved Presidio National Park.