Presidio House of Air Brings Flight to the Flightless

By San Francisco Chronicle - September 14th, 2010

A rehabilitated former airplane hangar will soon be making “flying” a little bit more possible– only in this case, no airplane needed. This weekend the Presidio hosts its newest recreation attraction, House of Air, an indoor trampoline park. The celebratory grand opening is Friday, September 17.

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House of Air is one of the most recent innovations nurtured by the Presidio Trust. The Trust was established by Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, which locals and visitors alike know as a truly gorgeous urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space with spectacular views, a 300 acre historic forest, rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park also comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the park’s status as a National Historic Landmark District. Now one of these buildings, a former air hangar, will take on new life as the House of Air.

House of Air will be open to people of all levels of ability and offers open jump time as well as trampoline volleyball and basketball, aerial and physical training on trampolines and fitness classes. Its opening is another step in the transformation of West Crissy Field into a dynamic public recreation area.

House of Air will join with Planet Granite climbing gym and La Petite Baleen Swim School to enhance recreation opportunities at Crissy Field, says Josh Bagley, development project manager for the Presidio Trust. This is a wonderful reuse of an historic building.

The brainchild of Dave Schaeffer and Paul McGeehan, House of Air was born during one of their many long drives back from snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. Its mission of giving flight to flightless, embodied in its mascot, a penguin wearing a jetpack, is a fitting reuse of building 926 which once helped launch De Havilland DH-48 biplanes as part of the US Army 91st Observation Squadron. Built in 1921 the building originally served as a Crissy Field land plane hangar. Later it was used as a motor vehicle paint shop and office and storage space for the Army and is a contributing feature to the park’s National Historic Landmark Status. The Trust oversaw its rehabilitation, which included seismic upgrades, accessibility improvements, new systems and other improvements.

The views of the bay and the surrounding landscape are unmatched and will provide our visitors with a uniquely San Francisco adventure, says McGeehan. Crissy Field is a magnet for athletic and outdoor enthusiasts and our neighboring facilities offer complimentary activities.

The building includes two large trampoline decks with trampoline walls, high performance trampolines, a kiddy bounce house, special events rooms (for corporate and family events, birthday parties, and fundraisers), snack and retail areas and showers and restrooms.

We can’t wait! And we don’t have to! House of Air opens its doors Wednesday, September 15. The weekend-long grand opening celebration kicks off Friday, September 17 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, music and other events. House of Air is located at 926 Mason St. in the Presidio.

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