Touted as the world’s first public plaza celebrating the leather community, San Francisco officials and members of the leather and LGBTQ community broke ground on Eagle Plaza in the western portion of the South of Market neighborhood.
The plaza, located on 12th Street between Harrison and Bernice streets, will be the main centerpiece of the of The City’s Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District, city officials said at the groundbreaking.
Once completed, Eagle Plaza will turn 12,500 square feet of space into a shared public plaza with traffic calming measures to create a space for recreational activities.
Additionally, the plaza will include 2,400 square feet of landscaping, accent lighting, temporary seating, regrading of the sidewalk, and road repaving.
The project has been six years coming, said San Francisco Eagle bar owner Lex Montiel:
“It is certainly fitting that this specific site was selected for the world’s first public plaza. This neighborhood has been the home of this community for decades.”
The plaza will be just outside of the Montiel’s bar.
Montiel was joined by Mayor London Breed and supervisors Matt Haney and Rafael Mandelman.
Breed and both supervisors introduced legislation to permit the construction of the plaza in January, which passed the Board of Supervisors the following month.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, was able to secure $100,000 in the state budget to go towards the construction of the plaza. Wiener in a statement said:
“The leather community plays a vital role in our City. Eagle Plaza will be a huge benefit for the community and a permanent reminder of the leather community’s importance in San Francisco.”
At the shovel and dirt groundbreaking, Breed received the “Leather Feather” award for making the plaza possible.
There was a $50,000 gap for the project, but Breed said she and Mandelman were able to secure the funding gap.
Breed said to the leather-clad audience:
“To the folks of the leather and the LGBT community and this incredible culture district that was made possible for purposes of celebration, coming together, and in the spirit of Pride Month here in San Francisco that celebrates inclusiveness and love… I’d like to say congratulations.”