An Archaeologist Uncovers Presidio’s Secrets

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They call him the “Indiana Jones of the Presidio.” He’s making sure construction crews don’t destroy relics of the past as they build the new parkway that will replace Doyle Drive.

Workers are digging tunnels and driving piles to build the new Presidio Parkway that will link San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge. Caltrans archaeologist Chris Caputo says it isn’t often someone builds a freeway through an urban national park, and he says it’s very complex.

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The tunnels are being dug right alongside the San Francisco National Cemetery. Caputo makes sure the workers don’t get too close to the gravesites.

“We don’t have any wiggle room here,” he said. “So construction and design has to be very precise.”

He’s uncovered hidden, buried artillery batteries, which were designed to guard the harbor. They’ll be restored and accessible to the public when the project is complete.

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