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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Should the Eagle Tavern Become a Historic Landmark?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

click to enlarge Thee Oh Sees performing at the Eagle Tavern.
  • Thee Oh Sees performing at the Eagle Tavern.

It is with much love that we remember the Eagle Tavern, a gay bar, live venue, and S.F. landmark that sadly closed last year. Now, members of the Harvey Milk Club are circulating a petition to make the Eagle a historical landmark, in order to keep it from falling into the hands of a group of non-queer business folk. From the club's recent letter:

It has recently come to our attention that a non-LGBT group of entrepreneurs has entered into a purchase agreement for the former Eagle Tavern. This comes as a shock to many in the LGBT community as there was no outreach done or notice given about this historical community space despite the fact that many LGBT San Franciscans had expressed much interest in the building's future. Furthermore our community had previously heard that there were queer entrepreneurs in negotiation to take over this space; buyers who intended to return it to a place that would continue to serve as a center to those who previously patronized the Eagle and enjoyed it as a LGBT-friendly space.

Now, what's the club's argument for designating the Eagle a historic landmark? Here are its reasons:

  • The ashes of gay men and women who died during the AIDS epidemic are scattered there.
  • The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have blessed it as hallowed queer space and have used it to veil many postulants.
  • Over its 30-year history over $50 million was raised for charities, particularly HIV/AIDS organizations.
  • It was a place that was accessible to the full spectrum of diversity of the LGBT community. It was our community center.

Those are reason enough for the community to have their own say on the tavern's future, according to the petition. What do you think? Sign the letter, visit Save the Eagle Tavern on Facebook, and read more over at our news blog, The Snitch.

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Ian S. Port

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