California Heritage Council


(and Minutes of the October 25, 2007, Board of Directors’ & Members Meeting)

President’s Message - John J. Hodges:

“Greetings to all of you as we approach the Holiday Season and anticipate the excitement of Thanksgiving and the beauty of Christmas. This is also the time of the year when I want all to reflect on the things CHC is doing to help the community and I want to ask you to support our efforts. How?

“First, please sign up for our Holiday Party Dinner. We cannot sustain the work we do without you. You see, you are our team. And as in many public service organizations, we ask you to participate as you can with time, treasure and talent. And a major thing you can do (and have a great meal and enjoy a wonderful party) is simply show-up as a sign of support at this party. If you have misplaced your invitation contact 415 699 0780 for info. Think of inviting a friend or two? Its always a great party.

“This year CHC has made an extraordinary difference on a variety of fronts and we have demonstrated our support to the community over and over. Take a look at our web site at and scroll through the Awards we have made and think of the impact these individual sites and awards (and the awards to come) will have on our society and culture.

“This past year we have supported our friends at the Presidio Historical Association and their very important work. And I am very happy to invite you to a reception honoring our CHC member and officer Redmond Kernan to be held Thursday, November 15, 5:30 pm at the Palm Room, SF Film Centre, 39 Mesa Street, on the Main Post of the Presidio. The Presidio Trust Board is inaugurating a special lecture series named for Redmond honoring his military service and his Presidio advocacy. A gracious gesture on the part of the Presidio Trust Board and your presence would assist our influence on the Presidio and will pay tribute to a wonderful man.

“The November 29 CHC meeting is very important! The Port of San Francisco is conducting a public planning process to produce a Preferred Master Plan for Pier 70. We have been asked to participate in this process and to that end we will receive a presentation on the associated preservation plans for this massive project. See details elsewhere in this N/L.

“Mark your calendar for the following fun event! Several weeks ago I attended an event at Daryl Sattui's incredible castle/winery in Napa Valley. The project is a mind blower from all angles, size, audacity, materials, craftsmanship, etc. On December 4, after the wine reception, I have the pleasure of introducing Daryl and his project to the Commonwealth Club. The details are elsewhere in this N/L. But I want all of you to know that Daryl's project has extraordinary importance to us and the CHC. We will be discussing what these elements are at the November 29 CHC meeting.

“So in summary I will see you on November 15, November, 29, December 4, and December 6. And please take a look at your web site and reflect on all the things we are doing. And these activities are not possible without you.

“Thank you and wishing you Happy Thanksgiving and peace and joy this Holy Season. ”

Thoughts from Board Chair, Gary Widman:

“For those of you following the Presidio Trust's rapturous embrace of
the Fisher Museum proposal for the center of the Presidio Historic
District, you know that the Trust created a "RFP competition" for
museum proposals in the center of historic Presido Main Post.
While it appears the Fisher Museum proposal had been in planning for
several years, the Trust nevertheless gave others only 90 days to
conceive and design competing museums. From appearances, (which one
hopes are wrong) it appears that the Trust may be prepared to quickly
allocate part of the Main Post National Historic Landmark District to
construct a large new contemporary art museum, as well as a 120 room
hotel. The Trust's blind rush for revenue, with its plans to
destroy the opportunity for best potential historic park envisioned
by the Trust legislation have been criticized by the Bay Area's
eminent museum authority. I. Michael Heyman. He is a former Secretary
(Director) of the Smithsonian, former Chancellor of UC Berkeley, and
former Presidio Trust Board Member. He and other Bay Area leaders
have supported the concept of a History Center (or Museum) in the
Main Post area instead. Their statements (as follows) were used as
part of the PHA proposal of a History Center in the Trust's RFP process.”

"In its proposal for a History Center, the PHA made several
comparisons with the Fisher Museum as competing candidates for the Main Post site, as follows:

"Both the Presidio"s Main Post Historic Landmark District, and the opportunity to have the best possible national historic park in the Presidio appear to be at great risk at the hands of the Presidio Trust. If you agree, then now is the time for action. If you believe that the Fisher Museum should be relocated to a location outside the Main Post, we suggest that you make that view known. You can contact your neighborhood groups and newspapers, and comment by speaking or
by letter to the Presidio Trust (with email copies to You are invited to come to the PHA meeting scheduled for 5:30 (reception) and 6:15 (presentation) for Nov. 20 at the Old Presidio Golf Club, (immediately inside the Arguello gate). Come and learn about the PHA proposal for a History Center, and about
making a spoken or written comment in the Presidio Trust's Main Post plan EIS process. (Consider speaking at the Nov. 28 public meeting, (Offiicers Club at 6:30) and the Trust's Dec. 3 proposal presentation meeting, (6:30 at the Officers Club). Thanks for your support for
the endangered Presidio Main Post National Historic Landmark District.”

Minutes of the October 25, 2007, Board of Directors and Members’ Meeting: The meeting began at 3:30 PM with a walk around the Parade Ground area in the Presidio.

Directors present: Conchita and William Applegate; William Fries II, John Hodges, Dorothy Kitt, Herb Konkoff, Chris and Adele Layton, Mai Kai Lee; Jules Levaggi, Yusuf, Clair Collins Skall, Dianne Rowe, Susan Walima, Lynn Armstrong Winkel. Excused: Winchell Hayward, Redmond Kernan, Adrienne Myers, Betty Ann Prien, Gary Widman.

Presidio Update - Fisher Museum: After discussion, the following major concerns and questions from CHC to the Trust were formulated:

  1. Terms of the gift by Fisher: Is it a gift to the Trust or a commercial enterprise. How will the Trust benefit; how will Fisher benefit?
  2. What about traffic and parking? The Main Parade ground will be off limits to parking. They stated at the public meeting that there will be cull-de-sacs of parking behind buildings. Rather vague.
  3. What are the specific powers of the Trust Board as given by the original enabling legislation – The Presidio Trust Implementation Plan (PTIP document available from the Presidio Trust).

Motion by our Board: CHC is in favor of the Fisher contemporary art collection as an attraction at the Presidio, however, the parade ground is not the right venue and alternative sites should be considered and part of the public process. The parade ground should be kept as open space and major new construction should not be allowed as it will detract from the character of the Presidio. The precise terms and conditions of this Museum should be disclosed to the public and, to date, have not. Pres. Hodges will draft a letter to the Trust.

Awards Committee: The following members volunteered to be on the committee: Conchita and Bill Applegate; Tony Aquirre; Betsy Dohrmann; Christopher Layton; Jules Levaggi; Betty Ann Prien; Dianne Rowe; John Hodges, ex-officio. Anyone else that wishes to be a member should contact Dianne Rowe.

December 4, 2007 Commonwealth Club Event: CHC is a partner in this event with the Commonwealth Club and thank Conchita and Bill Applegate for making the arrangements. The evening is as follows: 5:30 - 6:00 PM Wine Reception; 6:00 - 7:00 PM presentation by Daryl Sattui, owner of V. Sattui Winery and Castello Di Amorosa: Every Child Dreams of Building a Castle; Daryl Sattui Built a Real One and a Wine Business Too!

Daryl Sattui owns a successful winery in the Napa Valley, and he carries on the tradition and love of the land given to him by his father. The father’s dream of a major wine organization is now complemented by the son’s vision of a “knock-out architectural tour de force” blending art, history, wine, and old-world building crafts and traditions. The result is Castello di Amorosa located in Calistoga. It is a 107 room, 121,000 square foot medieval castle complete with drawbridge, battle towers made with ancient imported Italian stone and brick crafted with authentic attention to detail. The ironwork, the woodwork, the frescoes are museum quality and the medieval architecture is to scale and authentic. We will hear first hand from Daryl the story of the odyssey of conceiving and building the most amazing “new/old” building in California. An introduction will be given by John Hodges describing the work of CHC.

CALENDAR OF FUTURE MEETINGS & EVENTS (Please mark your calendar):

Wednesday, Nov. 7: 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Pier 70 Master Plan Community Workshop at Genentech Hall, Room 114,UCSF Mission Bay, 600 - 16th Street, San Francisco. Presented by the Port of S.F.

Wednesday, Nov. 7: 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Pier 70 Master Plan Community Workshop at Genentech Hall at UCSF Mission Bay presented by the Port of San Francisco.

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 6:30 PM: Presidio Trust Public Board of Directors Meeting. Golden Gate Club.

Thursday, Nov. 15: 7:00 PM: Presidio Officers’ Club, Photo Exhibit on World War II Mobilization. Lecture by Renee Klish of the Army Museum.

Thursday, Nov. 29: 4:00 PM: CHC Board of Directors & Membership Meeting. Location pending.

Thursday, Dec.6: Thursday 6:00 PM: CHC Annual Holiday Dinner, Old Presidio Golf Club

You can read our past newsletters here.

Jefferson Street Mansion in Benicia, CA Jefferson Street Mansion
   in Benicia, CA

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