San Francisco Defense Area SF-89,
Presidio of San Francisco/Mount Sutro
Integrated Fire Control Area (SF-89C)
History by Daniel Sebby, Military
Historian, California Military Department
Prior to Army use, the Site was open space
under the control of the Regents of the University of California.
On 7 June 1955, the San Francisco District of the USACE acquired
6.106 acres of land atop Mount Sutro from the Regents of the
University of California for the purpose of placing an Integrated
Fire Control site in support of San Francisco Defense Area Site
SF-89 (also known as Battery Caulfield). This tract of land was
part of the personal donation that then San Francisco Mayor Adolph
Sutro made in 1895 to the "Affiliated Colleges" of
the University of California for the purposes of establishing
a medical school. The Site was and continues to be adjacent to
the Married Student Housing for the UCSF.
In addition to the portion of the Site covered by the lease with
the Regents of the University of California, there was a license
relationship with the Kirkham Heights Company allowed the US
Army Corps of Enginners 0.114 acres for a right-of-way for electrical
and sewage lines.
With the initial construction of the Site completed soon after
acquisition, the Fire Control Platoon of Battery C, 740th Antiaircraft
Artillery Missile Battalion occupied the Site. Battery Caulfield
was a Nike-Ajax air defense missile battery located on the Fort
Winfield Scott portion of the Presidio of San Francisco. In September
of 1958, the U.S. Army implemented the Combat Arms Regimental
System and the garrison of SF-89 became Battery C, 4th Missile
Battalion, 61st Artillery Regiment. This unit was replaced in
July 1959 by the California Army National Guard's Battery B,
2nd Missile Battalion, 250th Artillery Regiment (1st California).
Although manned by Army National Guardsmen, the installation
remained a U.S. Army installation.
On 29 October 1959, 1.14 acres of land was returned, by means
of supplementing the original lease, to the Regents of the University
of California for the purpose of building a water tank for UCSF.
On 11 January 1963, SF-89C was deactivated. Soon thereafter,
the control of the properties was returned to the original owners.
In accordance with the lease and license, the USACE transferred
control without the involvement of the General Services Administration.
Today, the Site is within the San Francisco Rotary Restoration
Meadow that was created in a joint effort by UCSF and the Rotary
Club to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International
(1905 to 2005) and the 60th anniversary of the formation of the
United Nations in San Francisco (1945 to 2005). Other than the
access road and the former Sentry Station (Building S-400) at
the bottom of that road, no visible remains of the U.S. Army's
occupation are present at the Site.
Source: Book, Rings of
Supersonic Steel; Real Estate Records, Post Engineer, Presidio
of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area Archives.
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