Visiting the Tenderloin Museum on a recent Friday, it was necessary to wade through and around plenty of street people, as well as “an unspecified number (of people) serving the multi-variate interests of an advanced society in what is collectively called vice.”¹
Along the way, a police officer and three community outreach counselors were engaged in friendly conversation with sidewalk and doorway sitters, trying to find out their issues and needs, and offering to take them to services, or encouraging them to return to the services they have been receiving.Though small, the museum itself is new, well organized and thorough. Photographs and text explain how the Tenderloin was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake to include large apartment buildings and single room occupancy hotels, housing many office and government workers. With so many kitchenless apartments, restaurants, bars, jazz and nightclubs, and large dance halls thrived in the area.
Included is a viewing station with film of dances of the era , and a listening station with songs recorded by Miles Davis and other jazz greats at the Blackhawk and other famous local nightclubs.