Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Leather-themed public plaza in SF competes for grant funding

A rendering of what the Eagle Plaza could look like if installed. Courtesy Friends of Eagle Plaza.

A rendering of what the Eagle Plaza could look like if installed. Courtesy Friends of Eagle Plaza.

Boosters of a plan to construct a leather-themed public plaza in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood are competing for grant funding from the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

Dubbed Eagle Plaza, the parklet would be built on the block of 12th Street between Harrison and Bernice, which fronts the gay-owned Eagle bar.

The Bay Area Reporter in February broke the news that the plaza design would include elements celebrating SOMA’s ties to both the LGBT and leather communities.

Since the 1950s the neighborhood has been home to a number of gay bars and nightclubs, many catering to the leather scene.

Today, most of the remaining LGBT nightlife establishments are centered on or near 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison streets, with the Eagle a block away. The city has designated that section of western SOMA as part of an LGBTQ cultural heritage district.

Backers of Eagle Plaza contend it could serve as a focal point and main gathering spot for the LGBTQ district. The Friends of Eagle Plaza group is one of 18 finalists  competing for an action grant of up to $5,000 from the SF parks alliance, a nonprofit group that raises money for greening projects around the city.

According to the Friends of Eagle Plaza’s (FoEP) funding request, the money would be used to host a free public street closure event on a Saturday in July or August this summer to raise awareness of and build support for the project.

“The goal of Eagle Plaza Day is to engage residents, nearby business and property owners, interested stakeholders and the general public to learn more about and provide feedback on the proposed Eagle Plaza,” according to the project’s funding proposal posted online here.

The plaza boosters add that the friends group “would secure the necessary permits to temporarily close 12th Street between Harrison and Bernice Streets to cars for that one day, to simulate what Eagle Plaza might look and feel like. The event would feature a range of family-friendly activities over the course of the day, intended to attract a mix of ages, demographics, and cultures so that FoEP may receive the broadest range of feedback and engagement possible about Eagle Plaza.”

The public’s feedback at the event would then be incorporated into subsequent Eagle Plaza design and management planning, added the friends group, “so that the resulting design is as robust, community-driven, and successful as possible.”

For a complete list of the 18 projects seeking the funding, and to vote for the one that merits being funded, visit the park alliance’s grant proposal page here.

— Matthew S. Bajko, May 20, 2015 @ 3:15 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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