Marking the Tenderloin’s historical side 

click to enlarge An original: The former site of Original Joe’s will be one recipient of a plaque marking the restaurant as a historic location. A fire closed the eatery in 2007. (Examiner file photo) - AN ORIGINAL: THE FORMER SITE OF ORIGINAL JOE’S WILL BE ONE RECIPIENT OF A PLAQUE MARKING THE RESTAURANT AS A HISTORIC LOCATION. A FIRE CLOSED THE EATERY IN 2007. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • An original: The former site of Original Joe’s will be one recipient of a plaque marking the restaurant as a historic location. A fire closed the eatery in 2007. (Examiner file photo)
  • An original: The former site of Original Joe’s will be one recipient of a plaque marking the restaurant as a historic location. A fire closed the eatery in 2007. (Examiner file photo)

San Francisco’s first adult entertainment theater. A studio where several of rock music’s greatest acts all recorded. The original Original Joe’s.

These unique locales have one thing in common: the Tenderloin.

The notorious neighborhood has long had the unenviable reputation of an area one should avoid, full of crime and illegal drug sales happening on every corner.



But often overlooked is the neighborhood’s rich history.

City officials and community activists believe recovering these “lost landmarks” by installing plaques to commemorate the locations of  historical significance will help turn around the troubled area, which some believe is showing signs of a revival with younger people moving in and more businesses opening.

Nine plaques are in the process of being installed, and they mark very unique locations. There’s one for the Screening Room at 220 Jones St., which was San Francisco’s first adult film theater. There’s one for 245 Hyde St., which was once Wally Heider Recordings, where legendary bands such as the Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Carlos Santana; and Jefferson Airplane made albums.

The famed location of Original Joe’s at 144 Taylor St. also will receive a plaque. The restaurant closed after a fire in 2007 and plans to reopen in October in North Beach. In 2006, there was buzz at the eatery when members of Guns N’ Roses dined there after a concert at The Warfield.

Recently, the Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the Department of Public Works to install the nine markers. These sidewalk plaques build on an effort announced in 2010 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to install plaques on buildings of historical significance. In March 2010, The City awarded a $15,000 grant to the campaign to install the building plaques. More than 100 on the 380 buildings in the area have been installed. The 33-block Uptown Tenderloin Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2009.

Newsom said at the time that “these plaques help give the community defined boundaries and a positive identity. By revitalizing a rare urban neighborhood, we get more foot traffic, which means safer streets, more successful businesses, and the Tenderloin receiving a greater share of The City’s tourist trade.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Plaque marks the spot

The City plans to install nine commemorative plates in the Tenderloin for “lost landmarks.”

Blackhawk Jazz Club: Turk and Hyde streets. Famous music club

California Labor School: 240 Golden Gate Ave. Historic labor arts institution

B’nai B’rith: 149 Eddy St. First S.F. lodge of Jewish cultural organization

The Arcadia Dance Pavilion and Downtown Bowl: Jones and Eddy streets. Now Boedekker Park

Gene Compton’s Cafeteria: 101 Taylor St. First recorded transgender riot in U.S. history

Screening Room: 220 Jones St. City’s first adult entertainment film theater

Original Joe’s: 144 Taylor St. Famous restaurant

Wally Heider Recordings: 245 Hyde St. Studio where Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Carlos Santana; and Jefferson Airplane recorded

Blanco’s Café and Sally Rand’s Music Box: 859 O’Farrell St. Now home to the Great American Music Hall

Source: Board of Supervisors

Pin It
Favorite

More by Joshua Sabatini

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation