Gap Founder Drops Plans For Presidio Museum
Looks like Gap founder Donald Fisher will be taking his art elsewhere. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Fisher and his family have scrapped plans to build a contemporary art museum at the Main Post of San Francisco's Presidio. Earlier Fisher had scaled back the plans for his museum in San Francisco's Presidio to appease those who found the museum's first planned design a bit overwhelming. Fisher originally unveiled his plans for a contemporary art museum at the end of 2007. The Fishers had hoped to convince critics, San Franciscans, and regulatory bodies such as the National Park Service that the museum would be beneficial for the park.
Donald Fisher released a statement that said he and his wife would be taking some time to consider the future of their collection and other possible locations for the museum including some inside the Presidio, just not on the site of the former bowling alley that they had originally planned on. The statement also said that the decision was made "with disappointment and sadness." The Chronicle reports that an outside survey of possible impacts of various Main Post Presidio projects found that the scale of the museum, even with the newer more modest revision, was "inconsistent with the overall historical character of its setting."
In addition to the museum the Fishers had promised a $10 million gift to go toward turning the Main Post's parking lot into landscaped grounds but it's not known if that offer is separate from the museum gift. The comments on the Chronicle article are spirited, some are expressing relief that Fisher's plans won't come to fruition while others are disappointed that a museum which would have displayed a large contemporary art collection to the public may end up elsewhere. Given the hard times facing museums everywhere lately, it seems like it might be a better idea to endow a wing of an existing museum rather than create a new one out of whole cloth.