Don Fisher must really hate bowling

The sadly misnamed Presidio Trust has recommended approval of the plan to stick a hotel, a twin-cinema, and of course, Don Fisher’s ego-aggrandizement museum project in the Presidio.

Fisher, for the uninitiated, is the man behind The Gap, the once-trendy clothing company that helped bring the term, “sweatshop labor” to the forefront of the public lexicon, not that many years ago. This supposed favorite son of San Francisco has amassed, by all accounts, a pretty nifty art collection, which he purportedly wants to share with the rest of us little people in this fair city.

Unfortunately, there’s a catch. “Horny Fish”, as he was known in college, has refused to give the collection to any one of San Francisco’s very suitable museums. No, he wants his own museum. You know, one with his name on it. Not only that, he wants it built in the Presidio. In fact, he’s picked out the exact spot where he thinks it should sit. And he doesn’t care that the Presidio Bowling Center (along with some tennis courts and a historic Red Cross building) will have to be demolished to make this happen. Just the kind of “selflessness”, we’ve come to expect from Republicans.

The Presidio Bowling Center is the last real bowling alley within the city limits. No, the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center doesn’t count. With apologies to its (I’m sure very well-intentioned) owners, it has to be the most soulless place I’ve ever bowled in. Natives will recall that we’ve already lost Park Bowl (now Amoeba Records) and Japantown Bowl (condos), so can we please just save Presidio Bowl!

I had my bachelor party there. I’m going there this weekend with my in-laws. My brother and I used to bowl there every Sunday morning without fail, until he relocated to the East Bay (like most of my siblings, priced out of the city they grew up in). Presidio Bowl is a popular place for birthday celebrations of all ages. Most weekends, there’s more than a few children’s parties going on. If you’ve had a few beers and squint your eyes, the small figures bowling in the bumper-lined lanes, can appear to be Hobbits, and who doesn’t like the idea of bowling Hobbits?!

The point is, there’s value in having a Presidio where families can still bowl. This art collection doesn’t need to end up here. Yes, “Horny Fish” is stamping his feet, holding his breath, and apparently attempting to exert undue influence over his developer buddies on the Presidio Trust’s board of directors. The Chronicle has reported that he won’t considered any other location. I don’t know what to make of someone who hates bowling that much.

If you like the idea of Hobbits bowling or even just families enjoying themselves, make an effort to save the Presidio Bowling. You can read more about here and here. Submit written comments on the proposal before the end of business on July 31. E-mail your comments to or mail them to Main Post, Attn: Compliance Manager, The Presidio Trust, 34 Graham St., P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, CA 94129-0052.

You may also tell the Presidio Trust board of directors what you think on Monday, July 14 at a 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Officers’ Club.

Cheers, Mark

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