This image of the presidio in 1887 comes from the public library’s historical photographs collection. Of interest are the small trees (today a large grove or forest) that punctuate the landscape. It is easy from this photo to picture how spare the sandy Pacific reaches of the city once were. The photograph is attributed to the U.S.Army Signal Corps; on the back is written the following:

PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO, 1887. This photograph was taken facing west and shows the Presidio Boulevard approach to the Post. The trees, planted in 1882 when Major General Irwin McDowell was Commander of the Western Department, today cover the hillsides.