The Presidio served as an important military post for 148 years until it finally lowered its flag in 1994 and became a beloved San Francisco national park. Now this historically rich area frequented by more than 5 million visitors each year has its own updated control center in the form of the new William Penn Mott Jr. Visitor Center — named after the lifelong supporter of public parks, now deceased, whose family lives in Mill Valley. The building, originally constructed in 1900 for $18,700, reopened in February after getting a $5 million makeover. This state-of-the-art hub now serves as the heartbeat of the park, giving visitors up-to-date information in engaging ways. The new center comes complete with interactive exhibits, touch-screen panels and a large video wall featuring a calendar of daily events, allowing you to choose your own Presidio adventure.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “From Guns to Grins“.