The Tenderoin is filled with history – from San Francisco’s first adult entertainment theater, to the studio where several of rock music’s greatest acts all recorded, and even the original Original Joe’s – landmarks abound.
The notorious neighborhood has long had the unenviable reputation of an area to be avoided, full of crime and drugs. But often overlooked is the neighborhood’s rich history.
City officials and community activists believe recovering these “lost landmarks” by installing plaques to commemorate the locations of historical significance will help turn around the troubled area, which some believe is showing signs of a revival with younger people moving in and more businesses opening.
Nine plaques are in the process of being installed, and they mark very unique locations. There’s one for the Screening Room at 220 Jones St., which was San Francisco’s first adult film theater. There’s one for 245 Hyde St., which was once Wally Heider Recordings, where legendary bands such as the Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Carlos Santana; and Jefferson Airplane made albums.
The famed location of Original Joe’s at 144 Taylor St. also will receive a plaque. The restaurant closed after a fire in 2007 and plans to reopen in October in North Beach. In 2006, there was buzz at the eatery when members of Guns N’ Roses dined there after a concert at The Warfield.
Recently, the Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Department of Public Works to install the nine markers. These sidewalk plaques build on an effort announced in 2010 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to install plaques on buildings of historical significance. In March 2010, The City awarded a $15,000 grant to the campaign to install the building plaques. More than 100 on the 380 buildings in the area have been installed. The 33-block Uptown Tenderloin Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2009.
Newsom said at the time that “these plaques help give the community defined boundaries and a positive identity. By revitalizing a rare urban neighborhood, we get more foot traffic, which means safer streets, more successful businesses, and the Tenderloin receiving a greater share of The City’s tourist trade.”
Source: San Francisco Examiner