1600 Harrison Site

About to be considered by San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission, whether or not to initiate Landmark Designation proceedings for the Eagle Tavern at 398 12th Street.  And no, it’s not the owner of the property that’s leading the charge.

As Eagle-Eyed Readers Know (And Stanley Saitowitz Rendered) [SocketSite]

17 thoughts on “An Institution For Sure, But A Landmark As Well?”
  1. As a frequent vistor to the Eagle I just have to say, OH COME ON!!!
    This isn’t the Stonewall Inn, for which the Stonewall Riots are named for, considered ground zero for the birth of the modern GLBT civil rights movement. It’s the bar where hipster show up on Thursdays to hear a band, bears show up on Sundays to drink beer, and stoners show up on the other nights of the week to get high out on the patio. Of course this would also describe the Lonestar down the street and Zeitgeist and …
    It was just a bar, get over it.

  2. Well, yea, I agree.
    I do have fond memories of the Eagle about 16 years ago when I got up on stage for a jockey shorts contest and showed off my boots and butt for the crowd.
    I didn’t win the contest. Tear the damn thing down.
    It was just a bar.

  3. I’ve been there once. Not the greatest structure, but it’s important and will give great contrast against the backdrop of various muliti-story condos around it.
    cool juxtaposition.

  4. Judging from the history of the ‘Leather Scene’ in SF, the Eagle really doesn’t seem to be particularly historic.
    The first proto-leather bar in San Francisco was the Sailor Boy Tavern, which opened in 1938 near the Embarcadero YMCA and catered to Navy boys looking for some male-to-male action.
    Before centering in the South of Market neighborhood, leather friendly bars were located in the Embarcadero (Jack’s On The Waterfront at 111 Embarcadero 1952-1963, On The Levee ?-1972), and the Tenderloin (The Spur Club at 126 Turk- raided and closed in 1959, The Why Not at 518 Ellis- opened and closed in 1960, The Hideaway at 438 Eddy – raided and closed in 1961). The first leather bar in SOMA was The Tool Box, which opened in 1961 at 339 4th St and closed in 1971. It was made famous by the June 1964 Paul Welch Life Magazine article entitled Homosexuality In America, the first time a national publication reported on gay issues. Life’s photographer was referred to The Tool Box by Hal Call, leader of the San Francisco chapter of the Mattachine Society, who had long worked to dispel the myth that all homosexual men were effeminate.
    1981 – The Eagle at 398 12th St.

  5. I almost want to say yes to avert Stanley’s tedious proposed design for the location, but this is one for the SF Archives of silliness. No, no, no. Modernqueen — thanks for some color on an ordinary Wednesday!

  6. Thanks bear! great history of some of our long gone gay bars.
    I miss the old Toad Hall, the orig one on Castro St. and I also miss the original Badlands, before it went all hipster and metro.

  7. I love our city. Maybe we can landmark some of the patrons that go there to so we can have a complete diorama. Sort of like the gay leather bear version of colonial Williamsburg.
    I don’t know how these hysterical preservation douchebags get out of bed every day.

  8. I think the historical value is not it being a leather bar, but it’s former use as a horse stable for the police department prior to the 1911 earthquake.

  9. I have spent a number of Sunday afternoons at the Eagle but, unfortunately, I considered the place to be a filthy rundown dump. No, the Eagle was nothing more that a rundown bar that had few customers any day other than Sundays. This place has no historic significance.

  10. Maybe it should be converted to its historic use as stables then; heralding the next wave denizens : the SOMA Amish.
    Hey, they’d do excellent at attracting sustainability grant awards to the neighborhood.

  11. From Heather Knight at The Chron earlier today, The Eagle Tavern to soar once more:

    Well, everybody can hoist their beer glasses in celebration. There are new owners, but they’re not the straight investment team that had planned to open an upscale restaurant and watering hole. They’re Alex Montiel and Mike Leon, who are gay and who plan to re-open the Eagle Tavern in all its former glory within a few months.

    I had no particular attachment to the long-shuttered bar, but I am quite glad that yet another horrid Borg cube-inspired Stanley Saitowitz design will have been averted from actually being built.

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