About the Tenderloin

The History:


The L's, The TL, The Loins

How the Nieghborhood got it's Name

The neighborhood received its name around the 1900s. One theory of where name came from was supposedly the police who were working in this dangerous neighborhood and were given higher pay. Due to their pay raise, these police officers could afford more expensive meat like tenderloin. The other theory was that the police officers working the Tenderloin took bribes and that’s how they afforded meat like tenderloin.

Cerca early 1900s source: opensfimages.org                                               Present day source: modernluxury.com

Madam Tessie Wall opened her first brothel on O’Farrell Street in 1898 as the neighborhood was gaining popularity. She rebuilt her brothel after the 1906 earthquake.
The neighborhood is the sight of the Black Hawk, a famous jazz club where many jazz musicians recorded in the 1950s and 60s. Artist Miles Davis, Cal Tjader, Thelonious Monk, Shelly Manne and Mongo Santamaría recorded there.
The Tenderloin also was a sight of refuge for gays and lesbians before the Castro stole the title. The neighborhood contained, and still contain, multiple gay bars and was the sight of one of the first gay riots.
The was first populated around 1849, when the California gold rush was occurring. The nieghborhood slowly grew in population as San Francisco itself grew in population.
The entirety of the neighborhood, including the brothel, was destroyed by fires during the 1906 earthquake. The neighborhood was rebuilt in the following year and filled with single room hotels
After the Vietnam War, these rooms became a sight of refuge for Southeast Asians. The cheap, single room apartment drew these refegees.