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New 6-acre San Francisco park, Battery Bluff, opens immediately

The much-anticipated Battery Bluff park in the Presidio opens to the public today.

The 6-acre site features gardens, picnic tables and a majestic view of the Golden Gate, and marks the second of three sections to be opened around the restored site at what was once Doyle Drive.

Seven acres of tidal marsh opened at Quartermaster Reach in December of 2020. The final 14-acre park atop the Presidio Parkway tunnels, Presidio Tunnel Tops, is set to open in July.

A view of Presidio Parkway underneath Battery Bluff.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

“Yes, I’m wearing heels in a park,” joked Mayor London Breed at a clear sunny day at the site yesterday, in front of the old batteries. “I’m in awe of this view, and the magic of what I feel today.”

“People come from all over the world to experience the best that San Francisco has to offer. They come for the sheer beauty, access to green and open space, and to visit some of the best urban parks in the country,” Breed said. “Now, everyone will have more to look forward to and greater access to this national park with the historic renovation of Battery Bluff.”

A view of Battery Sherwood.

A view of Battery Sherwood.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Built in 1936 as a New Deal project, the original Doyle Drive connected San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge, but by the 1990s it was deemed both an eyesore and one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the city. Before it was finally torn down, federal highway officials gave it a safety rating of 2 out of 100. The park project to restore the site has taken numerous agencies and more than 30 years. The park was designed by late landscape architect Michael Painter.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at the Battery Bluff opening celebration.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at the Battery Bluff opening celebration.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Four historic gun battery sites, Slaughter, Baldwin, Sherwood and Blaney, are now on view at the site for the first time since the construction of Doyle Drive began in 1936. Built between 1899 and 1902, the batteries were part of the US Army’s coastal defense system around the Golden Gate to protect San Francisco Bay.

The viewpoint for the Golden Gate Bridge at Battery Bluff.

The viewpoint for the Golden Gate Bridge at Battery Bluff.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

“We are so grateful for the collaborative efforts of countless public servants and community members working together over decades to reimagine San Francisco’s northern waterfront,” said Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust, in a statement. “Thanks to that work, the Trust was able to create more park amenities for the enjoyment of all visitors. We look forward to unveiling the final gem, the Presidio Tunnel Tops, later this year.”

A view of the Presidio Parkway from the newly opened Battery Bluff.

A view of the Presidio Parkway from the newly opened Battery Bluff.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

A view of Battery Slaughter, one of four massive concrete gun batteries that at one time defended San Francisco Bay from invasion, that were dug into the hills of the Presidio that are located in the newly opened Battery Bluff.

A view of Battery Slaughter, one of four massive concrete gun batteries that at one time defended San Francisco Bay from invasion, that were dug into the hills of the Presidio that are located in the newly opened Battery Bluff.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

A view of Battery Slaughter, one of four massive concrete gun batteries, that at one time defended San Francisco Bay from invasion, that were dug into the hills of the Presidio that are located in the newly opened Battery Bluff.

A view of Battery Slaughter, one of four massive concrete gun batteries, that at one time defended San Francisco Bay from invasion, that were dug into the hills of the Presidio that are located in the newly opened Battery Bluff.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

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