Former iconic LGBT venue is urged to be designated as a queer-related landmark in San Francisco

San Francisco’s Paper Doll has been an iconic LGBT eatery since 1944. At that time, gay bars were mostly oriented on white, gay men and The Paper Doll has become a popular hangout for gay women. Being placed on the famous Union Street, this property was far away from the touristy Broadway Street, so the venue has quickly gained a reputation as the city’s most vital neighborhood that was more tolerant and accepting of LGBT men and women. Besides, it was different from the gay venues of that time, as it has been much more upscale and even served dinners. Reportedly, The Paper Dolls is believed to be one of the few LGBT venues, associated with the development of LGBTQ communities in San Francisco. Moreover, this property is considered to be an enclave for the city’s first bar-based LGBTQ Community.

Recently, it became known that City planners in San Francisco are pushing the property in North Beach be officially designated as an LGBT landmark. If successful, this building would become the first landmark in the country, focusing on an early queer restaurant. It would become the fourth building in line to be landmarked for its significance to the LGBTI community in San Francisco. Lillian Faderman, an author of The Gay Revolution and Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death, has supported the site’s landmark request. The woman has lived in SF from 1959 to 1962 and had an experience of visiting The Paper Dolls. According to Faderman, the venue has been legendary already in 1959 and was recommended by many in the LGBT community as the wonderful place for meeting. On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, The Historic Preservation Commission of San Francisco is going to initiate the landmark process. Shortly after that, it would go to another vote. As a result of all the necessary bureaucratic procedures, the Board of Supervisors will give the final approval on the issue.