Joe Rosato Jr.
NBC Bay Area photographer Robert Wellington catches the attention of a group of people on a Tenderloin street corner.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced an effort to highlight the historic nature of the city's Tenderloin neighborhood by installing descriptive plaques on dozens of notable buildings.
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development awarded $15,000 to the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District to design and install National Register of Historic Places plaques on 73 buildings in the neighborhood.
The plaques will note each building's history with the aim of generating interest in the Tenderloin as a tourist destination and instilling pride in its residents.
"These plaques help give the community defined boundaries and a positive identity," Newsom said in a statement. "Residents can take pride in living among the nation's largest residential historic districts.
The Tenderloin is one of the densest population centers west of the Mississippi River, with 30,000 people living in a 60-block radius, according to the mayor's office.
Establishing the Tenderloin on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 was part of an ongoing effort to remake the neighborhood and its image. The historic designation makes tax credits available for renovations of neglected properties, intended to kick-start building upgrades.
"By revitalizing a rare urban neighborhood, we get more foot traffic, which means safer streets, more successful businesses and the Tenderloin receiving a greater share of the city's tourist trade," Newsom said.
Other projects include an Uptown Tenderloin History Museum and producing a brochure with a guide to historic buildings and restaurants.