Officials at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco are grappling with the ongoing challenge of securing a suitable location for the city’s proposed LGBTQ history museum. Despite a substantial budget of $17.5 million from state and city funds, the search for a site has proven elusive over several years. While the society is eager to participate in the request for proposal (RFP) process, it remains uncertain whether this can proceed without a designated location.
According to Victor Ruiz-Cornejo, a policy adviser to Mayor London Breed, the typical process involves the city identifying a site before allowing interested parties to bid for an RFP to operate the museum there. The funds are budgeted until a site is found, with the real estate department leading the search. However, the historical society contends that it should be permitted to bid for an RFP before securing a site.
Despite advocacy from various parties, including gay state Senator Scott Wiener, who secured $5.5 million in state funds, the search for a location has not yielded results. While the society expresses a preference for a Castro neighborhood location, it remains open to other neighborhoods with historical significance to LGBTQ history. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman is committed to finding a space in the Castro but acknowledges the ongoing search.
The GLBT Historical Society continues to operate its small museum of LGBTQ history, but the quest for a full-scale, free-standing museum remains an unresolved challenge. Uncertainty prevails as the city’s LGBTQ community eagerly awaits a permanent space to celebrate its rich history and culture.