phemeral, organic, thoughtful. Andy Goldsworthy’s iconic art is famous around the world for interpreting the subtle shifts of place and time. While many of his creations are in far-away places, Goldsworthy has created three stunning and distinct pieces in the Presidio, where people and the environment are constantly influencing each other.
Spire and Wood Line are inspired by the park’s historic forest, planted by the Army beginning in the 1880s and being rejuvenated today. The cypress, pine, and eucalyptus groves have become part of the park’s natural mosaic, where hawks perch and humans find shade. Spire and Wood Line help visitors see the trees with fresh eyes. A third installation, Tree Fall, explores the interplay between the Presidio's natural and built environments. It opens inside the historic Powder Magazine on the Main Post (Building 95 - next to the Main Parade Ground) on October 19, 2013.
The pieces were funded through private donations and are sponsored by the FOR-SITE Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, understanding, and exhibition of art about place, in partnership with the Presidio Trust.
In 2006, Andy Goldsworthy visited the Presidio and saw an opportunity to celebrate the lifecycle of the historic forest, planted over a very short time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The groves are now reaching the end of their lifespan and require renewal.
Aging Monterey cypress trees taken down to allow for young plantings were given new purpose in Goldsworthy’s Spire. The sculpture was constructed in 2008 in a beloved grove near the Arguello Gate. It is comprised of 38 large cypress trunks, fastened meticulously together. At its zenith, Spire reaches more than 90 feet to the sky. Even this great height will not keep Spire from experiencing the changes of time. Young trees growing at its base will slowly obscure the sculpture.
Spire recalls one of Goldsworthy’s earliest works, Memories, also spires of mature trees, created in 1984 in the Grizedale Forest in the Lake District of North West England. Goldsworthy said, “I have not found another great location for this type of work until now.”
Spire is located on the Bay Area Ridge Trail near the Arguello Gate, west of Inspiration Point Overlook and north of the Presidio Golf Course Clubhouse.