The historically leather-bar-filled neighborhood of SoMa, where blue collar gay men once gathered to enact and create fetishes around power, uniforms, and hyper-masculinity, and where leather culture is still thriving in many ways, is finally getting its long-promised public park outside the Eagle Tavern.
Plans for the park, now called Eagle Plaza, date back four years, to when developer Build Inc. and a collective of local designers and residents proposed closing part of 12th Street to create a new leather-themed public plaza. Build Inc. is already underway with its 136-unit building it has been planning across the street, at 1532 Harrison Street. And it's thanks to a $1.5 million in-kind grant from Build that this plaza is getting built — though as Hoodline reports, the Friends of Eagle Plaza needed to raise an additional $150,000 for plaques and other details.
While groundbreaking is on Tuesday, June 17, the plaza isn't set to be completed (as originally planned) in time for Folsom Street Fair. Year-end is now the goal.
Supervisors Matt Haney and Rafael Mandelman are both expected to attend the groundbreaking event at 11 a.m.
The plan for the plaza has morphed over the years, but it still includes stanchions that block vehicle traffic at either end of the half-block-long plaza, which extends from Harrison to Bernice Street. It will allow for bike and pedestrian traffic, and also be able to become a fire lane with the removal of the stanchions.
The plaza will include commemorations and plaques devoted to leather heritage and the history of western SoMa, and will include both public gathering space, seating, and designated space for food trucks.
Previously: SoMa To Get Leather-Themed Public Park?