An important “cornerstone” of the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District is Eagle Plaza.
Located on 12th Street at Harrison, in San Francisco’s Western SoMa neighborhood, this new community plaza is a celebration of leather and LGBTQ heritage, transforming an underutilized street into a well-cared-for, green, safe, and clean shared pedestrian way for relaxing, gathering and celebrating Leather, LGBTQ and community inclusion.
The plaza was made possible by funding from multiple sources, including a $1.5M In-Kind Agreement between the City and County of San Francisco and the owners of 1532 Harrison, (an adjacent multi-family housing project), major city and state grants, and community fundraising organized by an informal “Friends of Eagle Plaza” group, of which the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District was proud to be a part.
Today, Eagle Plaza is managed by a formal Friends of Eagle Plaza Board of Directors, which meets monthly. That Board is receiving fiscal sponsorship from SOMArts, and technical and other support from our Cultural District, pending their approval as a 501(c)3 corporation. The 1532 Harrison building is responsible for providing maintenance and security for the Plaza, and the SOMA West Community Benefit District also provides important maintenance and cleaning services.
In recent weeks, we have seen the Plaza activated in many ways: arts/crafts/artisan fairs on the Second Saturday of each month, an event honoring Tony DeBlase (creator of the Leather Pride Flag), and special events hosted by the SF Eagle bar. Additional events — including a weekly Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, will start soon.
The large (roughly 20×30′) Leather Pride Flag that flies 80′ above the Plaza (except during strong winds or bad weather) is a key feature of the Plaza. Using the original Tony DeBlase design, the flag can be widely seen, including from the freeway. Maintaining and replacing the flag is an ongoing expense, and donations are always welcome.
Another important element of Eagle Plaza is the array of silvery hearts inlaid in the dark pavement outside the SF Eagle, each one dedicated to honoring or commemorating a key person or institution of the leather, queer, and kink communities. View the video above to learn more about these hearts.
For more information, or to make a charitable contribution to Eagle Plaza and be a part of queer, kink, and San Francisco history, please visit http://www.eagleplaza.org/, or write to EPDevelopment@sflcd.org.