With the craze of the tech boom in full swing, it sometimes feels like that the cutting edge of the future is shredding up any memory of San Francisco's past.
Tech giants like Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp have taken over iconic downtown buildings. (Granted, they have often made much-needed renovations, and there's no denying that tech is the future in San Francisco.) Sometimes the present and future in San Francisco get so loud that the past is all but drowned out.
For those in town who want a taste of where San Francisco got its start, head to the newly renovated Officers' Club in the Presidio. This beautiful spot offers fun for the whole family and a much-needed reminder that the past never really leaves us. And the free cost of admission can't be beat, especially when you're traveling around the pricey Bay Area.
Exhibits inside the Officers' Club at the Presidio — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Born the same year as the United States itself, the Officers' Club served as a meeting place for military brass and their families for years and years. But three years and $30 million later, this grand space is a multi-purpose meeting spot and a clear view into San Francisco's fascinating past.
The highlight of the windy, eclectic and nearly 40,000-square-foot space is the Presidio Heritage Gallery, which features a vast array of historic military and Native American artifacts, going as far back as 10,000 years.
The three other main rooms are worth exploring as well: Mesa Room, Anza Room and Moraga Hall. Mesa Room features adobe walls that have been exposed as a visual timeline going back to the early 1800s. Anza Room focuses on the important military history of the immediate area, and Moraga Hall offers more military history, as well as free programs for the public.
View of Angel Island from the second floor of Presidio Officers' Club — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Be sure to check the Officers' Club website for these free programs, which range from readings to short plays to musical events. It's truly impressive the talent that the Presidio brings – at no cost to visitors.
And once you've finished with what the Officer's Club has to offer, your adventure in the Presidio has just begun. If you've worked up an appetite, stop in at Arguello, an upscale Mexican restaurant run by locally beloved chef Traci Des Jardins.
If all the buzz about the future of tech has gotten you dizzy during your San Francisco visit, step back in time at the Officers' Club in the Presidio for a healthy reminder of where San Francisco started.