Western SoMa is among the most park-starved places in San Francisco, but City Hall is moving forward on a plan to create Eagle Plaza, a centerpiece of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural Heritage District. In a statement, Mayor London Breed and supervisors Matt Haney and Rafael Mandelman announced that the section of 12th Street between Harrison and Bernice streets will become a 12,500-square-foot pedestrian plaza, and the mayor will introduce legislation to push this four-year project forward.
Specifically, it will be
a shared public way, in which traffic calming features create a safe space for people of all ages to gather, relax, play, and celebrate. The plaza is designed for both active and passive recreation, with more open, hardscape areas that can host neighborhood gatherings, events, and performances.
“I am excited that we are able to remove the roadblocks and finally get this exciting project to move forward,” the Mayor said.
Centered on the Eagle Tavern and designed to be a focal point for annual events like the Folsom Street Fair in late September and the smaller Up Your Alley Fair in late July, Eagle Plaza will host neighborhood functions and performances. Improvements like landscaping, seating, lighting, and a re-grading of the sidewalk and street — plus a large Leather Pride flag flying above — will complement a large apartment complex that is set to go up at the corner of Harrison and 12th.
Eagle Plaza builds on the Leather Walk that opened on nearby Ringold Alley — the original site of Up Your Alley, popularly known as Dore Alley — in July 2017. Civic commemorations such as these recognize the historic importance of San Francisco’s leather, BDSM, and kink communities locally and within the larger LGBTQ movement. Having raised $1.5 million, Eagle Plaza needs only another $150,000 to begin construction this year.