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The Tenderloin Museum, which has exhibits, evening events, a retail store, and serves as the meeting place for Tenderloin tours, opens its doors to the public on July 16 at 2:00 pm. The opening night event, “Screaming Queens Then and Now,” highlights the Tenderloin’s legacy as the neighborhood that launched San Francisco’s gay, lesbian and transgender rights movement.
The Museum, located at 398 Leavenworth in the corner retail space under the historic Cadillac Hotel, recovers the lost history of a great American neighborhood. Visitors will see how the Tenderloin quickly recovered following its near total destruction in the 1906 quake and fire. They will see how the Tenderloin became the neighborhood that came closest to fulfilling San Francisco’s goal of becoming the “Paris of the West,” with the finest restaurants, dance halls, and cafes on the entire West Coast.
When people today look back on those wild San Francisco times, they typically think of the Barbary Coast. But the Barbary Coast was closed down in 1913, and its fun, frolic, and good times were soon eclipsed by the Tenderloin (then known as the Uptown Tenderloin, which is why its 31 blocks are today recognized as the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District)