Monday, February 18, 2008

Gorbachev's Presidio

The Presidio, encompassing 1,480 acres, is almost twice the size of New York's Central Park. It has more than 1,000 homes and apartments, two hospitals, 450 historic buildings, two chapels, a bowling alley and a golf course. It is home to more than a dozen rare or endangered plant species, including the raven manzanita.

In a dedication ceremony in April, the former Soviet President and his wife were given the keys to a Coast Guard officer's house, where they will run the Gorbachev Foundation, which will conduct research on global political and environmental issues.

In a survey conducted after the Army announced it would leave, residents said the Presidio should be used to house the homeless or made into a University of California campus.

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