Tenderloin Museum

San Francisco, California
Project Description

Perkins+Will partnered with The Tenderloin Housing Clinic to create the Tenderloin Museum—the first museum to tell the story of this historic San Francisco neighborhood. The pro bono project celebrates the neighborhood, showcases the historic architectural features of the Cadillac Single Room Occupancy Hotel, and creates an inviting, contemporary community space.

Recently named one of the top ten new museums by the Guardian UK, the Tenderloin Museum uncovers the hidden history of the neighborhood while providing a place for today’s local artists, poets, and activists to share their work with the diverse Tenderloin community. This new community hub stirs a sense of “pride of place” for people living and working in the Tenderloin today. The museum attracts visitors as well as locals to the Tenderloin, bringing vital foot traffic into the area which helps integrate the neighborhood into the city’s fabric and boosts local businesses.

The museum collection is focused on the Tenderloin’s gritty and glamourous past including independent working women, jazz legends, LGBT activists, and waves of immigrants from all over the world. Since opening in July 2015, the museum has amplified community engagement in the Tenderloin area. Visitors from all over the world have experienced the museum and neighborhood walking tours. The museum is committed to the Tenderloin and is free to area residents every Wednesday. In addition to hosting nearly 40 events in the first six months, the museum has partnered with local organizations including Larkin Street Youth Services, Glide, 826 Valencia, and Roxie Theater to bring programming to a wider audience.