GAY AND CITY HISTORY ENTWINED IN TENDERLOIN – On Scene With Bill Wilson

BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2010

It is something that shouldn’t amaze me but always does when it happens. I’m attending an event hosted by some city agency or department and some part of gay history is acknowledged or noted, but it isn’t really any big deal because glbt history is San Francisco history and vice versa. The most recent example was the plaque that was unveiled by Mayor Newsom at the Ambassador Hotel on Wednesday March 10.

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Plaque noting the history of the Ambassador Hotel.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The plaque includes mention that “under the management of Hank Wilson, the Ambassador Hotel served as an informal hospice when the AIDS Crisis emerged in San Francisco in the 1980’s”

In his remarks Don Falk noted that this was “before the formal workings of the City recognized the disease: it was a time when people were discriminated against, even evicted because of their illness. This was an example of the community rising to create a response to the epidemic.”

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Randy Shaw, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Dan Falk, Tenderloin
Neighborhood Development Corporation and Mayor Newsom unveil the plaque.

Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The Uptown Tenderloin Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic places in February of 2009 and consists of 33 blocks. It not only attracts tourists to the area, but also serves to inspire pride in the residents of the area.

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h. Brown Ambassador Hotel resident gives the plaque a thumbs up.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Wednesday’s unveiling also comes with the announcement of a $15,000 grant from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District. Plaques have been ordered for 73 of the 380 buildings within the district. Others on display at the unveiling included ones for 220 Golden Gate Avenue, Civic Center Residence, Aarti Hotel and the Sierra Madre, Harriman, Yosemite , Klimm and Cameo Apartments.

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Velcro on both the building and the plaque provided enough support
for the photo ops before the permanent installation.

Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON ARCHIVE

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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