Any of you San Francisco gay boys who spend time in SOMA have probably logged your share of beer busts at The Eagle. Now, it appears that there may be a leather-themed community park coming to the block of 12th Street in front of the iconic bar:
Apparently a plan has been taking shape for several months to install a parklet/plaza on the block of 12th Street outside the Eagle Tavern in SoMa that would recognize the neighborhood’s history in the gay leather community. As the BAR is reporting, preliminary design ideas for “Eagle Plaza” include decorative pavers in the colors of the leather pride flag (blue, black, white, and red), and benches that double as monkey bars. What, no bondage pinwheel?
There have been some community charrettes about the design going back to September, and the owners of the Eagle are fully behind the idea, despite the fact that it will mean the loss of some street parking. For her part, Supervisor Jane Kim says, “I am super excited about it. I think it is beautiful.”
The plan for the park has been coming together as a perk to the neighborhood by developer Build Inc., which wants to build a large “co-living” commune-type thing that we heard about last year on the property across the street from the bar, at 1532 Harrison Street. The idea is to have commemorative plaques about the history of the neighborhood, spaces for performances and food trucks, and as you can see in the sketch below, the ability to drive emergency vehicles or whatever through the middle of it, if necessary, by using modular roadblock elements. UP Urban Design is helping with the project, and they also worked with Build on another plaza outside their soon-to-be 111-unit residential project at 650 Indiana.
In what some may call gentrification, I actually think the idea is a good one. 12th Street and Harrison has been filthy for decades (and not from the drunk and sexy daddys and boys). Anything that livens up the area while recognizing the leather history of SOMA is ok in my book.
The challenge will be keeping the homeless who have penetrated the area out of the park. Maybe that’s where a good Master comes in.