Gold Dust Lounge Files For Historic Landmark Status (PHOTOS)
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Last month, nostalgic locals were outraged after the owner of the Gold Dust Lounge -- a San Francisco institution since 1933 -- was served with an unexpected eviction notice after the landlord decided to make room for The Limited, a Chicago-based clothing company. Since the announcement, local groups have launched an aggressive campaign to save to beloved bar, complete with t-shirts, a tribute song and a pubcrawl. And now, they've come up with an idea that just might work.
According to SF Appeal, the Gold Dust Lounge has filed for historic landmark status -- a move that would make the bar's eviction extremely difficult should it prove successful. The owners of the bar filed paperwork with the Historic Preservation Commission and are prepared to approach the Board of Supervisors to request intervention if landmark status is rejected.
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According to NBC, the bar's landlord has waved off the idea, calling the Gold Dust Lounge a "tourist dive."
In its 79-year history, the bar has housed Janis Joplin, Bing Crosby, Steve McQueen and others, and the architecture is rife with historic details. According to famed local columnist and HuffPost blogger Christopher Caen, the bar won't even make way for The Limited itself, but, as Caen sharply pointed out, "for... wait... wait for it... an escalator!" If Caen's report is correct, the Gold Dust Lounge will be demolished so that shoppers won't have to take the stairs to The Limited. Such reports, unsurprisingly, have locals screaming, "no stairway."
To help save the Gold Dust Lounge, supporters can sign the petition and join the Save the Dust pubcrawl this Saturday. In the meantime, check out a few other San Francisco institutions that are facing eviction in the slideshow below:
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for The Limited told The Huffington Post on Friday that the company has no plans to open a store in the space.
The Tonga Room
Oh, the nine lives of the Tonga Room. Much to the Fairmont Hotel's chagrin, unyielding <a href="http://sostonga.com/" target="_hplink">local</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/the-layover-san-francisco_n_1186654.html" target="_hplink">national</a> support for the famous tiki restaurant in the hotel lobby have kept the band afloat at the Tonga Room, <a href="http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-02-25/bay-area/17189161_1_tiki-fairmont-hotel-development-director" target="_hplink">despite the Fairmont's desire to renovate</a>.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Global economic crisis tends to equal hot water for city-sponsored community programs, and the <a href="http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/news/admission.html" target="_hplink">San Francisco Botanical Garden</a> is no exception. To save the garden, SFBG recently initiated a $7 entrance fee for non-residents, but the organization <a href="http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/news/admission.html" target="_hplink">has also started circulating a petition and a call for help</a>.
This deal is as good as done, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/steelers-vs-49ers-delayed-power-outage-candlestick_n_1159332.html" target="_hplink">the embarrassing recent power outages</a> during a game against the Steelers may as well have been the nail in the coffin. Despite a local push to convince the team to stay, promises of a glittering new stadium in Santa Clara have been all too tempting.
The Castro Theatre
We don't even want to think about it. We don't even want to utter the words. But it's no secret that the city's beloved Castro Theatre is undergoing some changes. While it doesn't seem in danger of closing anytime soon, SFist reported back in December that the theatre would be switching from a daily movie format to a live performance hall and film festival venue. Let's hope the theatre is just going through a rough patch.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of "are they or aren't they" for Café Gratitude. First, employee lawsuits <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/cafe-gratitude-closes_n_1119452.html" target="_hplink">prompted the local chain to announce plans to close</a>. But a few short weeks later, the suits were "resolved." However, Cafe Gratitude is still mum on what exactly this means for the business.
The Balboa Theatre
The Balboa Theatre narrowly escaped closure last year, but was saved by a last-minute partnership between former Balboa Theatre operator Gary Meyer and the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation. "It's great to save another of San Francisco's last remaining neighborhood cinemas," <a href="http://www.sfntf.org/images/BalboaRelease.pdf" target="_hplink">said SFNTF President Alfonso Felder about the agreement</a>. "We're looking forward to keeping the Balboa's marquee lit for many more years." Agreed.