The San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley [Edit]

The San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley, which opened in 2017, consists of four works of art along the Ringold Street alley in San Francisco’s South of Market district honoring leather culture.

Collectively titled Leather Memoir, the artworks, mainly created by landscape architect Jeffrey Miller, are:

  • A black granite stone etched with a narrative by Gayle Rubin, an image of the “Leather David” statue by Mike Caffee, and a reproduction of Chuck Arnett’s 1962 mural that was in the Tool Box,
  • Engraved standing stones that honor community leather institutions including the Folsom Street Fair,
  • Leather pride flag pavement markings through which the stones emerge, and
  • Bronze bootprints along the curb honoring 28 individuals who were an important part of local leather communities:
    • Jim Kane
    • Ron Johnson
    • Steve McEachern (founder and owner of the Catacombs, a gay male – and eventually also lesbian – S/M fisting club that was the most famous fisting club in the world; it originally operated from 1975 to 1981, and reopened at another location from 1982 to 1984 after McEachern’s death in 1981)
    • Cynthia Slater
    • Tony Tavarossi (manager of the Why Not, San Francisco’s first leather bar)
    • Chuck Arnett
    • Jack Haines (owner of Febe’s, the first leather bar on Folsom Street, which opened in 1966, and owner of The Slot, one of the earliest leather-oriented bathhouses)
    • Alexis Muir (owner of South of Market bars and baths, including the Stud)
    • Sam Steward
    • Terry Thompson (manager of the leather bar called the SF Eagle)
    • Philip M. Turner (founder of the leather bar called Daddy’s Bar)
    • Hank Diethelm (owner of the leather bar called The Brig)
    • Kerry Brown, Ken Ferguson, and David Delay (co-owners of the leather bar called The Ambush)
    • Alan Selby
    • Peter Hartman (owner of 544 Natoma, the first openly gay performance and gallery space in San Francisco, which opened in 1977)
    • Robert Opel
    • Tony DeBlase
    • Marcus Hernandez
    • John Embry
    • Geoff Mains
    • Mark Thompson
    • Thom Gunn
    • Paul Mariah
    • Robert Davolt
    • Jim Meko 
    • Alexis Sorel (co-founder of The 15 Association and member of Black Leather Wings, an organization for spiritual gay leather folk, a mostly pagan group affiliated with the Radical Faeries)
    • Bert Herrman
    • T. Michael “Lurch” Sutton 

The San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley is part of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District in San Francisco.