The 'Loin's Grunge and Grime Now Historic

Stocked with architectural gems but fraught with crime, San Francisco's Tenderloin district has long been debated as a possible historic site. The debate is now over, as it was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places.
March 19, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"...[T]he architectural richness is real, and it deserves celebration as a reminder of how complex a city can be."

"That complexity is one reason it took so long for the 33 blocks and 409 "contributing" buildings of the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District to finally be added last month to the National Register of Historic Places."

"...[T]he Tenderloin's zoning was tightened and height limits were lowered, so hotel towers no longer are a threat. Low-rent residential hotels are barred from conversion into tourist inns. The main real estate action these days is from nonprofit developers seeking to build safe housing on the underutilized sites that remain."

"Becoming one of San Francisco's 24 recognized historic districts doesn't change reality. Drug trade is persistent on some blocks. Social services targeted to the down-and-out also attract grifters looking for trouble."

"But the district absolutely deserves the honor."

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Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in San Francisco Chronicle
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