Today, San Francisco has broken ground on “Tunnel Tops,” a new 14-acre national parkland that will span two sections across the top of the Presidio Parkway highway tunnels. Designed by New York-based James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architecture firm behind the High Line, the new park will include a campfire circle, scenic overlooks, a play area and more. The project is slated to open in fall 2021.
Building on the international movement of turning post-industrial structures and underutilized transit areas into public green spaces, the new Presidio destination will provide direct pedestrian access from Crissy Field to the Presidio’s Main Post for the first time in eight decades. Created with input from more than 10,000 community members in the city, the elevated park will be free to access and provide dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, the Presidio and the San Francisco skyline.
Tunnel Tops will offer a variety of amenities for all ofSan Francisco’s communities and visitors. It will include interactive educational and recreational opportunities. Located directly adjacent to the newly opened Presidio Visitor Center and a planned transit center, Tunnel Tops will welcome guests with the Gateway Plaza and Visitor Center at the heart of the park. From there, visitors can explore the Campfire Circle; the spacious Golden Gate Meadow; a Cliff Walk with 360-degree panoramic views of the surroundings; the Crissy Field Center Youth Campus with new Learning Labs, a new Field Station and a new Youth Courtyard; and a multisensory learning environment for children called the Outpost.
“The Tunnel Tops will provide greater access to fresh air, beautiful views, gardens and gathering spaces, where people can come to relax, play and connect with each other,” said Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “Having a national park so close to downtown is part of what makes San Francisco great, and we hope it will inspire new visitors to discover the many things the Presidio, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and other national parks have to offer.”
Images via James Corner Field Operations