The Presidio Trust announced the debut of the highly anticipated Lodge at the Presidio, opening its doors last June 28. This newly renovated historic hotel is the closest lodging in San Francisco to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, featuring unparalleled views of the bridge, the Presidio’s lush 300-acre forest, the San Francisco Bay, and the city skyline. Located in the heart of a national park, yet close to downtown San Francisco, the Lodge is the ideal getaway for active travelers seeking a home base both for natural and urban adventures. It is the sister property to the award-winning Inn at the Presidio, which opened in 2012.
”We are so excited to welcome guests to a new hotel in the Presidio,” says Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “Visitors can spend days just exploring this national park as well as nearby downtown and points beyond. What better than to wake up to the sounds of the fog horn, or to watch the sun set sun over the Golden Gate?”
The Lodge is the newest gem in the transformation of the Presidio from army post to world-class visitor destination. The three-story 42-room Lodge at the Presidio occupies one of the five identical Montgomery Street Barracks built between 1895-97 by the U.S. Army to accommodate six artillery companies, a Calvary troop, and two infantry companies. It is one of 470 structures in the Presidio on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Sustainability practices at the forefront
For nearly three years, the Presidio Trust project team and architecture firm Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and builder Plant Construction meticulously transformed the colonial revival style barrack into a hotel in accordance with the building principles of “adaptive reuse.” Construction was done in compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. A large amount of waste and energy was conserved when reinforcing the brick building, through a state-of-the-art seismic strengthening process utilizing carbon and glass fibers. Water-efficient plumbing and landscaping will result in 20 percent less than average water usage. Energy efficient “on-demand” power in the guestrooms is key card activated, saving energy when guest rooms are not in use. The original windows have been restored and upgraded with weather stripping and sound reducing glass. Recycled jean scraps were utilized for insulation in the roof and walls.
Historic elements and the original character of the building were preserved, showcasing its past as an enlisted men’s barracks. A master carpenter was brought on to restore the two grand staircases to their initial state, one of which was discovered behind enclosed walls. The third floor, which initially functioned as a storage space, features exposed brick and an original stenciled wall sign stating “Maximum Occupancy Five Men.”
Design honors Presidio history
The military history of the building and its park setting served as a design inspiration for Laura Cook of San Francisco-based LC Interiors. The large lobby is divided into four seating areas for socializing, eating or working. A ghost pattern of the walls of the former company office and arms storage room was created in darker wooden inlay on the floor to indicate the original floor plan. Most rooms are located on the first and second floors, the former locations of the company offices, mess hall, barracks, day rooms, and the residential quarters for the tailor, barber, and cooks.
A comfortable contemporary design reflects the history of the building with modest profiles and classic tones of blue, grey, black, white, and pops of red. Furniture and fabrics reflect American history with the use of materials such as leather, rich woods, antique brass, and iron. Tent-inspired canvas headboards communicate a modern reference to the military past. The bed bench is representative of a military cot with woven leather and metal legs, while ottomans are covered in canvas and denim strapping to resemble army duffel bags. The crisply designed bathrooms are outfitted in black and white tile with marble vanities.
The museum-like art program fastidiously curated by Julie Coyle Art Associates pays homage to military men at ease and the vast nature right outside the door through original art, found objects, and historic photographs. A handcrafted circular art piece comprised of chert and serpentine, stones discovered during the excavation of the building that were used by the Native American Ohlone to create tools and weapons, is on display above the fireplace in the dining room. Large photographic murals in the dining room, the front desk, and several guest rooms feature the Presidio forest, Marin Headlands, and nearby beaches, tempting guests to explore the beauty that awaits outdoors. Watercolors by local artist Lynn Sondag depict hiking trails and points of interest throughout the Presidio. The lobby collage “A Soldier’s Story” is an assemblage of items that a soldier may have collected such as matchbooks, postcards, and a torn playing card, referencing the tradition of tearing the last hand of cards when shipping out for service in the hope of returning one day.
Relaxation and park exploration
Outdoor areas of the Lodge include a relaxing front porch with rocking chairs overlooking the activity of the Main Post. A large courtyard behind the hotel is an ideal lounging area to take in the dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge while gathering around the fire pit. Additional guest amenities include complimentary breakfast, an evening wine and cheese reception, free wi-fi, complimentary usage of bikes for exploring the area, and more. The Lodge’s central location on the seven-acre Main Post public greens is the perfect jumping off point for exploration of the Presidio’s cultural and recreational activities. Guests can enjoy the new Presidio Visitor Center, 25 miles of hiking and 25 miles of biking trails, beaches like Crissy Field, the 18-hole Presidio Golf Course, the Walt Disney Family Museum, renowned restaurants, and so much more. A year- round calendar full of free public events includes concerts, cultural performances, and the highly popular Presidio Picnic.
Rates start at $275 per night, exclusive of tax and based on availability. For reservations call (415) 561-1234 or visit www.lodgeatthepresidio.com. Follow the hotel on Facebook at Facebook.com/ LodgeatthePresidio and Instagram & Twitter.
The Lodge at the Presidio is owned by the Presidio Trust and managed by Waterford Hotels and Inns.