Western SoMa will soon be home to the SoMa Leather Cultural District, a city-designated move to protect its historic queer and queer-owned spaces, portions of which have already begun in earnest. Two years ago, the Ringold Alley Art Walk launched with plinths commemorating various leather and LGBTQ individuals and groups on white, black, and blue-painted sidewalks. And as of next Tuesday, June 18, the long-awaited Eagle Plaza will break ground with a ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
Mayor London Breed, supervisors Matt Haney and Rafael Mandelman, representatives from the office of state Sen. Scott Wiener, Friends of Eagle Plaza, members of the Leather District and the Castro’s LGBTQ district, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, BUILD Inc. and others will all be present outside the Eagle Tavern at 398 12th Street to usher in the block’s transformation into a tree-filled, pedestrian-centric plaza.
Intended for recreation by people of all, um, stripes, Eagle Plaza will eventually see a big leather pride flag flying over it, much as the standard rainbow flag flies over Harvey Milk Plaza at 17th, Market, and Castro streets. In the works since 2011, this is a marked transformation of a street that’s already seeing plenty of residential development. No fewer than three large-scale projects are in the works for the southeasternmost block of 12th Street, across from the Eagle — including the “Folsom Flats” group housing, which will contain 50 units of 178 square feet each.
In other words, there’s about to be a bunch more neighbors, and SoMa is about as park-starved of an area as you’ll find in San Francisco, so it’s a strong positive for this to get going as soon as possible. Eagle Plaza is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.
Eagle Plaza groundbreaking, Tuesday, June 18, 11:30 a.m., at the Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St., eagleplaza.org