SF’s New Presidio “Tunnel Tops” Park Soft Opens in Fall 2021
Presidio’s brand new park, Tunnel Tops, will wrap up construction on schedule and on budget this fall.
Presidio Trust has just announced they’ll then have an extended “soft opening” through the fall and winter months as they prepare to offer safe and welcoming experiences when the new attraction opens to all in spring 2022.
The opening date aligns with another milestone worth celebrating – the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and their mission to make national park experiences accessible to all Bay Area residents.
About Presidio Tunnel Tops
Presidio Tunnel Tops will be 14 acres of new national parkland atop highway tunnels with dramatic views of the Golden Gate, the bay, the Presidio, and the San Francisco skyline.
Features of the Presidio Tunnel Tops
- Gateway Plaza. The social and connective center of the park, hosting the Visitor Center and Transit Center, Gateway Plaza welcomes people arriving via public transit. From there, visitors can begin their visit to the Presidio.
- Campfire Circle. The Campfire Circle is a gathering place for both day and night with a central fire pit and plentiful seating. Torrey pines, banksia, cypress, and other evergreen trees provide shade. Its location at the edge of the Main Post and adjacent to the Gateway Plaza, affords stunning views on the Main Post barracks.
- Golden Gate Meadow. One of the largest single areas of the Tunnel Tops, a serene landscape of grasses and perennials framing a generous open lawn that will become San Francisco’s go-to place for picnicking, kite-flying, family gatherings, and more.
- Cliff Walk. Running along the upper edge of the embankment, the Cliff Walk offers continuous 360-degree panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, the native bluff planting, and the Outpost below while connecting the major overlooks and gathering areas across the site from east to west. Various overlooks and sculptural seating evoke the native Presidio landscape.
- Parklands Overlook. One of three iconic overlooks situated along the Cliff Walk, the Parklands Overlook offers incredible views of the lower Tunnel Tops, the bay and the horizon. Carefully shaped topography blends the Overlook into the bluff, creating a fully open and highly dramatic experience.
- Presidio Steps. Connecting the Cliff Walk to the Youth Campus below, the Presidio Steps help visitors navigate the steep bluff elevation change while also stopping to enjoy the views. Stepped seating with wide grassy terraces facing the Golden Gate Bridge provide spaces for casual lounging.
- Crissy Field Center Youth Campus will be a major feature of the Tunnel Tops. It will include a rehabilitated Crissy Field Center, new Learning Labs, a new Field Station, new youth Courtyard, and the Outpost, an innovative play and learning environment designed to connect children to nature. The new campus will offer dynamic spaces for families, school groups, educators, and visitors alike for drop-in or yearlong programs.
- Field Station. Adjacent to the nature-rich Outpost and Crissy Field, a new kind of Field Station will be developed where school groups, program attendees, children, families, and all Tunnel Tops visitors can experience exhibits and activities designed to inspire wonder about nature in the Presidio—and in backyards, neighborhoods, and local parks.
- The Courtyard. The new heart of the Youth Campus, bordered by the Field Station, the Lab Building, and the Crissy Field Center, the Courtyard is a critical amenity for the youth programs, featuring flexible space for gatherings including an outdoor BBQ area with picnic tables and planters.
- The Outpost. A unique child-friendly landscape of multi-sensory and place-based learning, exploration, enquiry, creativity, and adventure, immersed in the Presidio’s native habitat. Outpost features are geared toward a wide variety of play experiences while providing a range of physical challenges, opportunities for free play, learning, and discovery. The Outpost serves toddlers to 13-year-olds, with some elements and experiences geared towards teens and high school students involved in the youth mentorship programs run by the Crissy Field Center.