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SF supes give Tenderloin’s ‘Veterans Alley’ its du...
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Shannon Street is officially Veterans Alley.


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the small street, located in the heart of the Tenderloin, in commemoration of the murals created by veterans and their relatives lining its walls.


“I created Veterans Alley not for me,” said Amos Gregory, a local Navy veteran who co-founded the alley, which runs from Geary Street to O’Farrell Street between Taylor and Jones Streets, in 2011 with his friend and fellow veteran, Gilbert Lovato.


Gregory, a visual artist, said he was walking in the Tenderloin for a photography project when he stumbled into what was then called “crack alley.”


Lovato convinced him to do something with the space, and Gregory envisioned it covered with murals a la the Mission’s Clarion and Balmy alleys.


Gregory handled the lion’s share of responsibilities, as Lovato struggled with housing and substance-use issues. Ultimately, Lovato died of a fentanyl overdose in 2021.


“It’s kind of a strange feeling to be doing this without him because I told him that I would make him famous, and now he's famous and he's no longer here with us,” Gregory said. “Gilbert was the first and there've been hundreds of other people since then, and I just keep moving along.”


More than 20 artists’ pieces adorn the alley, relying on paint and other resources that Gregory and others in the community have supplied. The alley also receives some funding from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The City’s Dream Keeper Initiative.


SF supes give Tenderloin’s ‘Veterans Alley’ its due


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