SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Restoration is underway at the oldest building in San Francisco’s historic Presidio. The major transformation at the Presidio Officers’ Club includes plans to turn it into a cultural and events center for the masses.

The job, for the West Coast’s oldest military post dating back to 1776, that also served as a social club for Army brass throughout its 238-year-history, hasn’t been easy. The building was originally built as a fort by the Spanish. It was then taken over by Mexican Army, followed by the U.S.

Millions of dollars later, the soon-to be exhibition center will include at least two places to stage events and and according to the Presidio trust, a “destination” restaurant run by noted chef Traci Des Jardins.

Craig Middleton, executive director of the Presidio Trust said the structure would also serve as a heritage center.

“People would be able to learn about the history of the Presidio and how that related to the history of San Francisco and California and beyond,” he said.

Much of the adobe in the fortress remains in the building’s front walls, which have been a challenge to restore.

Michael Boland, chief of planning, park projects and programs for the Presidio Trust, likened the Officers’ Club to the Winchester Mystery House.

“Built over 200 years [ago], many layers of construction, frankly many things missing that you would normally find in a conventional building,” he said.

The new center is scheduled to open to the public in September, 2014.


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