Tuesday, December 8, 2009

At el Polin Springs

Three Streams, originally uploaded by deanv41.

There is a place in The Presidio where a number of springs emerge. It's an ancient site well known to every wave of settlers, called El Polin. Today, it's a neglected spot to be rehabilitated sometime in the future, deep inside The Presidio which is a fairly mysterious place to most San Franciscans.
As a military installation for decades, it remained restricted and is quite unlike anything other quarter of the city, even though it is very much in The City. Established as a Spanish Fort in 1776, it claims not only an important place in American history, but also, since the 1990s when it was fully decommissioned, some of the most attract real estate in the urban US. It comprises nearly 5% of The City's land. Like most places developed for marshall purposes, it is a maze of roads to deter a deep attack, a huge National Cemetery, a few posts with parade grounds, a wide variety of architecture almost all of it older than 1945, and in a style that wouldn't be recognized as San Franciscan. It is largely wooded and at its northern point launches into a masterpiece of Deco Design: The Golden Gate Bridge. Below the bridge, overlooked literally by most visitors, is the brooding Fort Point.

The vivid contrast between The Presidio's history girded by Wars and its natural beauty is astonishing.

A Spring at el Polin

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