LGBT Community Petitions S.F. Supervisors to Mark the Eagle Tavern as Historic

Categories: LGBT, Local News
Save The Eagle Tavern Facebook Page
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All that effort you put into trying to save the Gold Dust Lounge in Union Square can now be seamlessly channeled into the city's SOMA neighborhood, where the LGBT community is trying to stop the beloved Eagle Tavern from falling into the hands of non-queer buyers.

A local petition is circulating asking city supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee to designate the "alt-leather, punk, working-class gay bar" as a historic landmark. The petition comes after the San Francisco Harvey Milk Club wrote a letter of its own expressing "shock" and disappointment that non-queer business folk were planning to buy up the community's favorite watering hole, which shuttered last year.

According to the letter/petition:
It has recently come to our attention that a non-LGBT group of entrepreneurs has entered into a purchase agreement for the former Eagle Tavern. This comes as a shock to many in the LGBT community as there was no outreach done or notice given about this historical community space despite the fact that many LGBT San Franciscans had expressed much interest in the building's future. Furthermore our community had previously heard that there were queer entrepreneurs in negotiation to take over this space; buyers who intended to return it to a place that would continue to serve as a center to those who previously patronized the Eagle and enjoyed it as a LGBT-friendly space.
Now for the burning question: Why is this place so damn special? The Harvey Milk Club ticks off a list of pretty good reasons:

  • The ashes of gay men and women who died during the AIDS epidemic are scattered there.

  • The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have blessed it as hallowed queer space and have used it to veil many postulants.

  • Over its 30-year history more than $50 million was raised for charities, particularly HIV/AIDS organizations.

  • It was a place that was accessible to the full spectrum of diversity of the LGBT community. It was our community center.
Those are reason enough for the community to have their own say on the tavern's future, according to the petition.

"We demand that an open meeting be held at the earliest possible date and ask that our elected officials, community representatives, the general public, and all key parties be in attendance. We also believe that the Eagle must be given Historic Landmark status."

Sign the petition here, and then check out the Save the Eagle Tavern Facebook page.

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My Voice Nation Help

I am not sure the purpose of petitioning to make it a landmark would do anything, but acknowledge some events that occurred there?


Here is a less in historic landmark designation:  It does NOT stop "non-queer" people from purchasing the property.  It does NOT stop the property from being used for some other purpose than a leather bar.  It does NOT stop the property from being remodeled (yes, there are restrictions, but historic landmarks can and are remodeled).  AND, it does NOT even ensure that the property cannot be torn down (yes, it would make it much more difficult, but not impossible).


So, if you want to ask for historic designation because you think you can establish that the property meets the criteria for historic landmarking, fine.  But, do not expect that it will "save" the bar, prevent it from being remodeled, or in anyway stop "non-queer" people from purchasing it. 


It's sad that the ashes of those lost to aids are scattered there - its sad that they died at all.

Outside of that I really dont see a reason to do anything landmarkwise with the space. This entire town could be eligible for landmarking and then we would live in Disneyland.

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