Come out and learn about our efforts to preserve and promote LGBTQ history and culture in the Castro.
About the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District
The Cultural District Initiative’s overall strategies:
To preserve, promote and develop cultural and historic buildings, businesses, organizations, traditions, arts, events and district aesthetics.
To protect tenants from displacement and promote affordable housing and homeownership.
To attract and support artists and cultural enterprises that embody and promote the cultural heritage of the District.
To promote employment, tourism and economic opportunities that stabilize the District’s economy and its residents.
To create City regulations, tools and programs that support businesses and industries that advance the Cultural District.
To promote culturally competent and appropriate City services, policies and narratives.
The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District aims to highlight the importance of LGBTQ people to the Castro’s history, and ensure we have a place in its future. The Cultural District is a tool that will help to identify the problems LGBTQ people, communities, and allies face, and establish collaboration with city hall to create effective solutions. More details and background are available in the Ordinance here, introduced on April 9, 2019.
The map below is a representation of the district, but for the specific boundaries, as laid out in the ordinance, are as follows:
- The area bounded by Market Street to the north and west, Grand View Avenue to the west; 22nd Street to the south between Grand View Avenue and Noe Street; Noe Street to the east between 22nd Street and 19th Street; 19th Street to the south between Noe Street and Sanchez Street; and Sanchez Street to the east between 19th Street and Market;
- The lots along the north side of Market Street between Castro Street and Octavia Boulevard, including the Market Street public right-of-way and bookended by Block 0871, Lot 014 (occupied by the San Francisco LGBT Center as of 2019) and by Block 3562, Lot 015;
- Laguna Street between Market Street and Waller Street, including the public right-of-way only;
- The footprint of the 65 Laguna Street building (historically known as Richardson Hall, San Francisco Landmark No. 256) and the footprint of 95 Laguna Street (known as Marcy Adelman & Jeanette Gurevitch Openhouse Community building as of 2019), both located at the northwest corner of Laguna and Hermann Streets in the southeast portion of Block 0857, Lot 002;
- Block 3502, Lot 013 located on the west side of Valencia Street between Market Street and Duboce Avenue;
- Pink Triangle Park located to the west of the juncture of 17th and Market Streets, immediately adjacent to Block 2648, Lot 001 on the east; and
- The triangular area bounded by Market Street to the north; 15th Street to the south; and, Church Street to the east.
How will the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District be supported? Will the city be providing funds?
The new Cultural District ordinance creates a bucket into which money for these districts can eventually be placed, but there is currently no funding from the city available. Once money starts to arrive, after successful completion of an RFP Process, we’ll be at an advantage if we are already established and have some projects lined up that meet the goals outlined in the Cultural History, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategy (CHHESS) report. Other Cultural Districts, however, have already been able to negotiate with developers to receive funding for cultural history and improvement projects. A recent article in the Chronicle gives a bit more background, and some of the ways other Cultural Districts have been able to use the designation to their advantage.
What is happening now with the district?
We are now an official Cultural District of San Francisco!
What are the next steps?
- Continue getting support from neighborhood associations, residents, and visitors (sign our support letter here).
- Passage of the ordinance by various committees and eventually the full Board of Supervisors.
- Formalizing the district with the creation of an advisory board or another governing body to monitor projects and advise on the distribution of funds.
How can I get involved?