Folsom District Tour

Folsom District Tour


“This tour is not to be missed…”

From South of the Slot, Through Crack Alley, The proposed LGBT Historical Zone, The Pilipino Historical Zone, The Miracle Mile of the 1970’s, The Gay Leathermen’s “Valley of the Kings” The Folsom District, The Folsom Street Fair, and The SF Armory. A one of a kind tour through a time period unlike any other in San Francisco. 
This historic tour of the former Folsom District honors and celebrates a neighborhood and lifestyle that was almost eclipsed during the AIDS crisis and subsequent land grab during the 1980’s. We will walk down streets that housed pioneering establishments that once proudly showcased the whims of the San Francisco leather community: bars, clothing stores, bathouses, motorcycle clubs, private men’s clubs, dance clubs, and hotels. There was also a large lesbian community, comedy clubs and many restaurants. Currently, this area is undergoing
an environmental study in an effort to create a Social Heritage Corridor for the LGBT Community.

This was also a neighborhood of everyday working class people. Thousands of blue collar workers and retired people, many of them maritime workers living a modest life in tight knit communities. This was also the home of a large Philipino community and sizable African American community. Jack London was born here, and Jack Kerouac once had a small apartment here. There were mom and pop grocery stores, laundries, diners, lounges, small businesses and apartment buildings. Not the most glamorous neighborhood in the city but it was a safe area with little crime and it was home to perhaps fifty five thousand residents.

But as mentioned, this neighborhood and it’s values were only almost wiped from the map. Almost, but not quite. Many businesses have survived and “The Folsom Street” Fair is one the reasons they did survive. In the spirit of being free to express people’s innate sexuality we will visit the survivors of the South Of Market turf wars and take you on a journey to the delights of the alternative and kink communities. We will tour the neighborhood, walking the “Miracle Mile,” see the landmarks and visit not one but two adult stores. We will eat at historic Wicked Grounds Coffee House. 

If you have chosen to continue on, we will be traveling one block out of the Folsom into the Mission and although this is not technically the Folsom District, this is the fortress on the hill. This foreboding and unconquerable castle houses one of the largest adult entertainment studios in the world, specializing in entertainment for the kink community, both straight and gay. You will be a special guest of the Armory and her hospitable staff on a guided tour of the facilities, where you will be priveleged to a tour of the studios and production facilities, after hours, of course.

This is a completely unique tour and is for adults only. Thanks to the LGBT Historical Society and Archive for their help with this project.

    1. Details, Recap:
      -Historic walking and culture tour covering a distance of about a mile, no hills.
      -See The Hotel Hugo, sight of the art installation: Defenestration, before it is gone forever
      -Tour the historic Folsom District of the 1970’s, “The Miracle Mile” See the sites of baths, bars, clubs & other GLBT sites.
      -See the location of 2 devastating fires- The 1977 Barracks Bathhouse fire, & The 1981 Hallam Street fire 
      -See The proposed LGBTQ Social Heritage Special Use District and SOMA Pilipinas-The proposed Filipino Social Heritage Special Use District 
      -Relive 1980’s Breeder Alley, Entertainment Zone. 
      -See Ringold Alley, Dore Alley, and The Folsom Street Fair grounds
      -Two adult shopping opportunities
      -Snacks and beverages at Wicked Grounds, included
      -Specified Tours will attend a “Meet and Greet” at Treasure Island Media
      -Choose tickets to see just the Folsom District, or the Folsom with the Armory 
      -Tour of The SF Armory, the historic iconic building, the studios, sets and production areas.Tour provided by  (Transportation Provided)



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