The Pigeon Palace Favorite 


May 6 2015


San Francisco

Real estate agents and investors with plans to visit an open house in San Francisco Tuesday were greeted with a somewhat unexpected scene – a motley crew of Mission activists and neighborhood characters holding signs and singing, “If you buy this house, you will have bad karma.” A small brass band played along.

The house for sale was the so-called Pigeon Palace, a six-unit building whose current tenants hope to buy the building so they can convert it into permanently affordable housing with help of the San Francisco Community Land Trust. The tenants say this is in accordance with the wishes of their elderly landlord, but the conservator that’s representing her estate contests that claim and has put the house on the open market.

Neighborhood activist and local DJ Jamie Guzzie turned to the realtor, who stood out in the crowd with his brown leather coat and tucked-in polo, and asked: “What does all this make you feel?”

“This is the soul of San Francisco being lost,” said Guzzie, referring to the the tenants of Pigeon Palace, who are prominent figures in the world of the arts, AIDS activism, community organizing, and alternative culture.

“Every time someone moves, it doesn’t mean soul of the city is dying,” said the realtor. “I think it’s arrogant to say one person is more important than others… Just because the building is for sale doesn’t mean these people are getting evicted.”

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