Plans On to Make Armory Drill Court a Community Center

SAN FRANCISCO—For about as long as has owned the San Francisco armory, founder Peter Acworth has spoken about his desire to make the 38,000-square-foot drill court into a community center. That dream seems about ready to become a reality, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

“The massive space under a semi-cylinder roof is currently used for parking, but it was historically a place of gathering for boxing matches and other events to entertain soldiers,” the paper reported. “Acworth has a building permit for code upgrades, and he said monthly community events could begin by the end of this year.”

“We want to resurrect this space as a place of assembly,” said Acworth, who bought the 1912 structure in 2006 for $14.5 million, adding, “Our goal is to start slowly.”

The plan still needs to be approved by the city’s planning commission, but considering the good will within the neighborhood created by Kink since it moved in, what might have seemed a long-shot a few years ago not seems like a sure thing.

Roberto Hernandez, co-chair of the Mission’s Latino Leadership Council, told the Examiner that while the neighborhood would not have backed the plan a few years back, the fact that Kink has kept its promise to keep its business out of sight and mind has changed a lot of minds.  

“It’s a family neighborhood,” Hernandez said. “Porno and children ... it just didn’t fit. But so far, they’ve done really well. They’ve kept their word.”

Once approved, if approved, the plan is to use the space for “community banquets, film festivals, farmers’ markets and youth sports events,” but Acworth said the ultimate use will be up to the community. The drill court is used for parking now, but will be redone complete with a completely separate entrance from the rest of the armory.

Monthly events in the new community center could be underway by the end of the year.