September 2, 2021
The Presidio Theatre wins a 2021 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation
Awarded by the California Preservation Foundation
“The Presidio Theatre is a winner for the 2021 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists.
The Presidio Theatre was recently rehabilitated and expanded to serve as a 600-seat multipurpose community theater that is suitable for a wide range of live performances, educational programs and as an events venue, with on-site facilities for backstage functions and visitor amenities. A full seismic and systems upgrade as well as site work and landscaping was completed in order to bring the building and site up to current fire, life-safety, and accessibility codes and to address Presidio Trust standards. The existing stage area — only 16-feet-deep — was inadequate to accommodate live dance and theatrical performance requirements and needed to be increased in depth. In order to provide this increased depth without moving the exterior walls of the theater building, the historic proscenium surround was moved (as a single intact element) southward into the volume of the auditorium space. The lobby and front-of-house spaces were retained with all finishes and features restored and the 1939 ticket booth re-constructed based on original WPA-era drawings. New elements complementing and expanding the existing Theatre building are comprised of separate north and south pavilions, an addition along the north rear-stage facade, and below-grade construction of new spaces. The walls of the pavilions are faced with opaque fiber-cement panels with metal trim, all differentiated from the board-formed concrete walls of the historic building but matching its “Presidio White” color. Exterior walls of the south pavilion are clear vision glass, thus reducing its visual weight, and allowing its functional role (as a circulation container) to be visible from the exterior.”