Monday, December 21, 2009

Bucks for Presidio visitors center in latest federal spending bill

I believe that the Presidio is best understood in the out of doors. Still, a high-quality visitors center would be justified, especially if it can be built into the Officers Club in a way that respects and brings forth the history of the building.

From the Chronicle, news about funding that Nancy Pelosi shook loose:

Billions in earmarks inflate defense bill's cost: "'The Heritage Center at the Officers' Club will introduce visitors to a series of exhibits, digital media, classrooms and programs about the Presidio and its role in the development of the American West,' said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

The Presidio expenditure presents an unusual irony. After the Presidio was included in a round of military base closures, Pelosi helped craft a public-private agreement to keep its valuable real estate from being carved up by developers. The congressional requirement promised that the park would be free of federal subsidies by 2013.

The $5 million earmark will fund close to 25 percent of the center's estimated renovation and help leverage other donations from corporations and foundations, said Tia Lombardi, director of public affairs at the Presidio Trust."

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