Thoreau Center for Sustainability

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Exterior daytime view of Thoreau Center for Sustainability with Golden Gate Bridge in the distance
Exterior view of back entrance of a historic building with staircase descending to lush landscape

Project Information


Historic Letterman District, Presidio
San Francisco, California


Historic Rehabilitation of 12 Buildings,
160,000 sf


$14 Million


Phase I – Spring 1996
Phase II – Spring 1998


Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Behm Architects


Phase I – Plant Construction
Phase II – Herrero Brothers, Inc


Tides, Inc


First Republic Bank


National Honor Award
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Annual Commercial Recycler of the Year

Project Description

ECB partnered with the Tides Foundation to develop the Thoreau Center for Sustainability in the historic Letterman Hospital Complex at the Presidio in San Francisco. The first major rehabilitation project at the Presidio, ECB worked closely with the National Park Service to create a ground lease to meet underwriting requirements of commercial lenders and serve as a model for private sector involvement in the rehabilitation of historic buildings in the Presidio.

ECB raised more than $2.5 million in equity, utilizing the historic tax credit, $8 million in construction and permanent financing and $3.5 million in program related investment loans from foundations.

The Thoreau Center is home to non-profit organizations involved in environmental, educational and social justice issues. It is a national model for its use of recycled and environmentally responsible materials. ECB has continued its involvement with the Thoreau Center as property manager responsible for project operations and leasing.

Fact Sheet
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