A tale of two museums - Page 3

The Presidio Trust's choice between the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center and the Disney Museum speaks volumes about what's happening in San Francisco's national park

Part of the Disney proposal includes renovating Buildings 108 and 122 as well, and the overarching plan is for office space and a reading room, gift shop, and café.
Walt Disney never lived in San Francisco, and when asked why the Disney Family Foundation selected the Presidio, trust spokesperson Polk said of the family, "They live relatively locally, in Napa. They've always enjoyed the Presidio and the history here."
No agreements have been signed yet between Disney and the trust, and according to Polk the project is still subject to approval by the Presidio board. But the foundation has announced the plan on its Web site and held a celebration in November 2004, where Miller and trust staff answered questions about the project.
When the Presidio was first conceived as a national park in 1994, it was sold to the public as a "global center dedicated to the world's most critical environmental, social, and cultural challenges." Part of the National Park Service's General Management Plan was to house people and organizations inspired by their unique setting to do good work for the public benefit. Then when Congress put a financial noose around the park and designed the Presidio Trust with a mandate for fiscal sustainability, that vision was blurred.
"This underlying issue of letting market forces come into play in a national park, it's a terrible precedent," said Presidio activist Ventresca. "People who have an important cultural story to tell are given the cold shoulder, and people with deep pockets are being given a place to build a monument to their father." SFBG