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Castro Gay Village’ Gentrification in San Francisco Term Paper

“For decades, most big cities have had a district that was understood to be the place to go if you were gay — the West Village and Chelsea in New York City, Dupont Circle in Washington, the South End in Boston. Men and women who had kept their sexual orientations hidden reveled in the freedom to live openly as gay”[1]. The gay city (or a gay neighborhood) is an urban location with its frontiers where many gay, lesbian and also bisexual people live and develop their community.

Castro Gay Village in San Francisco is one of the most popular ones, and it is also considered to be the San Francisco’s most popular place for tourism, recreation and rest. It is also one of the safest districts of the region and a much cleaner than the rest ones. Indeed, it is a very friendly neighborhood. However, these days, the process of urban gentrification which, affects the lives of people and enhances the property values, raises fears among the gay leaders concerning the preservation of their gay community.

They provide the idea that the process of urban gentrification may result in losing their distinct identities.. In other words, in their view, the gentrification is forced by heterosexual couples arriving in the district and starting their business there, thus, Castro ceases to be a “gay ghetto” and loses its identity becoming “an ordinary district” of San Francisco. In this paper, we are going to explore the peculiarities of the process of an urban gay gentrification and its consequences.

Before 1970’s the gay cities haven’t been developed. There existed so called “gay social network” and small gay communities were located in certain urban areas, clubs, etc., under the surveillance of the police. In 1969, the police raid a private gay bar Stonewall. It led to disturbances in the neighbor areas. Thus, the first gay ghettos appeared and “an alternative lifestyle flourished in San Francisco”[2]. Today, there are many gay cities that are called “gay-friendly oasis” surrounded by hostile city.

These districts are adjusted to the needs of their inhabitants. They have many establishments, such as gay pubs and bars, restaurants, etc., “by representing a degree of social control by the gay community, such places created the feeling of being a safe haven against risk of discrimination and/or violence”[3].

When the gay cities have just developed, the process of gay gentrification began. It was caused by the fact that gay cities were much “cozier” and safer. Moreover, in such “communities”, people felt more comfortable and more opportunities were opened for them. So scholars assume that there are there explanations of gay gentrification (gentrification theories).

The first one is the rent-gap theory. It presupposes that “gentrification occurs because developers sense the profits that can be made by acquiring cheap properties”. [4] The second theory estimates that gentrification was caused by consumer demands and the third theory provides that gay gentrification was provoked by demographic shifts, such as “the postponement of marriage and childbearing, the increased number of single women, and the desire of gay men and lesbians to carve out a space free from oppression”[5]

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The Castro Village in San Francisco is one of the largest gay cities in the USA and, “currently, one-third of The Castro’s residents identify themselves as gay or lesbian, compared with 13 percent citywide. Gay activists say it is important to maintain communities that gay people feel safe in and consider their home”[6].

The Castro Village was one of the first gay cities in the USA. The first local gay activist Harvey Milk became a City Supervisor and fought for equality of human rights for the gay minority of San Francisco. Thus, the city was an important place for cultural and political activities. Today, it is more “tourist” and calm place, rather than a “venue” for political activities.

In the light of gentrification, one of the most important questions is “Will the Castro remain gay or take on another new name and new set of immigrants?”[7]. The gentrification of the gay cities is constantly catalyzing in the modern society that seeks for globalization and economical welfare of the society. This process affects the social and spatial characteristics of the city while providing changes into the national economy:

“Places such as the Castro area of San Francisco or the West Hollywood district of Los Angeles have played a significant role in the evolution of a gay subculture. And the gentrification of districts has created distinctive urban landscape”[8].

However, these days, there is a threat of destruction of this subculture in the city, as many heterogeneous couples seeking for better living come and stay in the city. One of the reasons of this tendency is that society became tolerant towards gay, lesbian and bisexual people and their communities.

In some areas and countries, the marriages between man and man or woman and woman were legalized. These days, people do not need to hide their sexual orientations, consequently, they do not need places where it can be possible and they can live openly. The gay leaders have different points of view in the influence of the urban gentrification. Some of them consider that it vanishes away the gay identity and gay culture, others consider it to be a great breakthrough in the fight against racism and inequality of human rights.

The gentrification is a popular term applied to the social and cultural “shifts” or displacement. It is the result when well-off people settle or acquire property in working class communities. Thus, the price of property, housing and taxes rises that makes “former inhabitants” leave the community.

We will write a custom Term Paper on Castro Gay Village’ Gentrification in San Francisco specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More As a result, the live of community can cease, or a new community can develop. The urban gentrification may change the character of the community while making it more economically consistent. This process is a part of the new economy of globalization. Apart from economic changes, there are many cultural ones. In general, the process of urban gentrification is a positive one and enhances an economic life of the city, but it is also can be regarded as a negative one, as it affects lives of individuals and communities.

Speaking about gay urban gentrification, many scholars claim that it can lead to development of new consumption space and stimulate the increase of the gay identity:

“The production of San Francisco’s Castro as a gay neighborhood, for instance, could be read as a fairly straightforward account of gentrification, given the in-migration of higher-income residents, the renovation of housing stock and enhancement of property values, and the development of new cultural and consumer spaces”[9].

Thus, the new urban “face” can be regarded as more compatible with some peculiarities of the gay and lesbian lifestyles. Indeed, the politics of gay gentrification is more complex. Apparently, not all gay people are engaged in the gentrification process. The result of a “selective” gentrification is that it is a “class-rooted” process.

Apparently, the gay communities are multicultural, but there are still some racial and class prejudices and the communities are still skewing toward white well-off population, “when it is combined with the social activism that helps construct gay and lesbian identity against social oppression, gentrification begins to seem like a geographic as well as social strategy of identity construction”[10]. So, we can come to a conclusion that a gay community is rather conservative one, though:

“Evidence of the geographic variability of gay and lesbian identities in the United States suggests that urban – and, in different ways, rural – spaces are significant for the formation of sexual identities”[11].

Many scholars assume that in the core of the gay gentrification is the “the community activism” that is aimed at providing various services and access to housing which will enable the encouragement of the “constitution of gay and lesbian identities”[12], but at the same time it can clear the class boundaries.

Thus, we can come to a conclusion that the process of urban gay gentrification is a coin of two sides. In the one hand, it has a very positive influence on the development of the economics of the country and provides the economic welfare of the communities. Moreover, many scholars assume that gentrification is a considerable “step forward” in the fight against racism, class prejudices and inequality of human rights.

Not sure if you can write a paper on Castro Gay Village’ Gentrification in San Francisco by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Thus, these days, gay and lesbian people do not need to hide their sexual orientation and, as a consequence, there is no need for the “gay ghettos”. On the other hand, many gay leaders claim that gay gentrification provides the destruction of the gay identity. At any rate, the gentrification is an important part of the progress.

Bibliographies Castells, Manuel. The Power of Identity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.

Duncan, James S., Nuala Christina Johnson, and Richard H. Schein. A Companion to Cultural Geography. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004. “Gentrification”. Web.

“Gay Neighborhoods Worry about Losing Identity”. 2007. Web.

Pacione, Michael. Urban Geography: A Global Perspective. New York: Taylor

St. Peter’s Basilica by Gian Lorenzo Bernini Research Paper

Nursing Assignment Help The St. Peter’s Basilica is a catholic church which has been revived with the influence of classical models present between 14th and 16th centuries (McCurry, 58). Contrary to what many people believe, the church is not a cathedral. The basilica has been the recipient of many Christian worshipers from all over the world since 4th century.

Pilgrims have traveled from countries like Japan and Greenland to worship there (McCurry, 60). Others have just come to adore the architectural expertise evident from the building which has immense history. It is located right in the middle of the Vatican City in Italy. The Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and has been dedicated to catholic worship.

Its interior is larger than any other Christian church in the world, and most Catholics regard the church as the holiest place on earth. Others believe that the church is special in the eyes of God. Catholics view it as the supreme church or the father of all churches. According to history, the church was initially intended to be the burial site for saints with the name Peter.

Therefore, Peter (the Jesus’ disciple and the first pope) is believed to have been buried at a place which the basilica was built. It is believed that his burial place is just beneath the altar in the church although the exact location has never been proven yet. Afterwards, popes have been buried in this church since the era of pioneering Christians (McCurry, 80).

The church is an outstanding piece of architectural work and even some regard it as the greatest structure in the modern history. It has a dome centrally placed on top of it which forms a prominent part of the city’s skyline. The dome is one of the largest in the world and is placed at the center of the basilica; therefore, it occupies a lot of space.

The basilica is shaped in the form of a Latin cross which has one elongated side. The initial building was still in form of a cross but all the sides were equal. The interior is enormous decorated with limestone, thin covering of gold, sculptures and designs standing out from the wall surfaces. There are various tombs belonging to popes, but the major attraction is the ceremonial canopy over the altar which was designed by Michelangelo (McCurry, 81).

The initial St. Peter’s Basilica was built in the middle years of the 4th century by the Emperor Constantine; who was trying to convert the whole Roman Empire citizens to Christians. The church had a basic cross shape with a large semi-circular recess with a domed roof at the part near the altar reserved for the clergy. Its length was 341 feet and like many other churches at that time, the entrance was on the eastern side. Nowadays, that church is called Old St. Peter’s Basilica to differentiate it from the present one (McCurry, 84).

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The church was in bad condition nearing the end of 15th century and needed major repairs. The first notable pope to make effort to repair it was Pope Nicholas the fifth. He gave special instructions to three architects to come up with a plan to repair or do an extreme makeover. However, he died before anything could have been done although the Colosseum had been demolished.

The building of the Basilica continued from the proceeding Pope Julius the 2nd to Pope Innocent the 10th. The building was mainly funded by fund-raisings in a very strange way. People were offered indulgence in return for their contributions. This method brought a lot of controversies that it formed the basis of the emergence of Protestants (McCurry, 85).

One of the designers of this basilica was Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini was among the top sculptors of his time; therefore, he was able to earn a commission in the designing of the church. He was the one who designed the Piazza San Pietro that is found at the front of the church. The Pizza San Pietro is one his groundbreaking piece of art work to this day. He was also responsible for designing the interior of the church giving it its smooth finish (Posner, 26).

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian who majored in sculptures and a great enthusiast of artistic expressions. Other than creating sculptors, he also painted and wrote stage plays while in Rome. Bernini had the talent of making limestone sculptors have a storyline with such great reality; that was a shock to many people.

With such talent, he was able to rise in the ranks of the greatest sculptors, even defeating Alessandro Algardi. In fact, he was able to produce artworks that combined various forms of art as demonstrated by the interior of the basilica. Bernini was a deeply religious person, and that is evident from his works. He was using light figuratively to give an insight on his thoughts regarding religion. He made sure that the hidden light brought out the theatrical moment of the sculpture’s storyline (Posner, 27).

Bernini was the son of Pietro and Angelica who lived in Naples until Bernini turned 7. When he was seven, he and his father re-located to Rome. His father was also a sculptor who was involved in the high profile projects in Italy. His talent was immediately recognized by Pope Paul the fifth and immediately, Pope’s nephew started sponsoring his projects. He received much of his inspiration from sculptures made by Hellenistic. Under the sponsorship of Cardinal Borghese, the Pope’s nephew, he was able to rise through the ranks.

Some of the works he did for the Cardinal was “The Goat Amalthea” and a couple of head, shoulder and chest sculptures like the “Damned Soul”. In his early twenties, he finished the Pope’s bust. Most of these works were secular and not religious at all. Being a high profile sculptor, Bernini was never short of funds. He was highly paid and his fame had spread even to France. In fact when he went to France, he was idolized by most of the French artists (Posner, 29).

We will write a custom Research Paper on St. Peter’s Basilica by Gian Lorenzo Bernini specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More After Maffeo Barberini was made Pope, he adopted the name Urban the eighth and he was very close to Bernini. He himself was an art lover and he had urged Bernini to concentrate on sculptures when he was young. Urban had great plans to do a complete make over of the Catholicism through arts. The most significant work that was done under the pope was the designing of Baldachin which was headed by Bernini. The baldachin was to be located on St. Peters grave (Posner, 33).

The initial plan required the angels, which are presently on the pillars, to clutch a trailing plant but, Bernini swiftly altered it so that the angels appeared as they do today. The building of the Baldacchino was such a daunting task; its 94 feet 3 inches tall and 94 tons. It had the expenses of approximately 10% of the Church’s earnings of 1624. During the construction, the major setback was that the bronze was not an adequate.

Pope Urban travelled to the ancient temple of traditional gods to take the bronze from the veranda. While there, he took more than enough such that the left over metal casted 81 canons. In molding the pillars, Bernini used the ‘Lost Wax Process’ which was clever, although, he got unfavorable opinions from some architects for combining art and simple replication (Posner, 40).

Even before the Baldacchino project was over, he was reassigned to design and oversee the renovation of St. Peters Basilica. The first thing he designed was a container for holding holy relics which was actually St. Peter’s Chair. The reliquary was later redesigned under the proceeding pope.

The new one depicts 8 saints gripping a bronze container that had a chair. The saint’s fingers hold the edges of the container to show how Christianity can be strong under the leadership of the pope. It means that the authority of pope is beyond other earthly spiritual beings, which was odd since the Popes only ruled a small part of Rome. Like in his previous project, Bernini’s message remains the same; the authenticity of the Pope leadership (Posner, 47).

Bernini’s concluding major contribution to St. Peter’s Basilica was requested by Pope Alexander; Pope Alexander’s grave. It would also the last major task done at St. Peter’s. Bernini was now 81, and he only engraved the hands and head of Alexander’s form, and he supervised the rest of the work to the end.

There was only one area left to construct the grave, and it was smaller than expected since there was a huge door at the center. Bernini cleverly included the door as a part of the grave. The door appeared as if it was a way to the life after. Alexander’s statue is decorated with a veil, and he appears to be kneeling praying that his spirit gains victory over death (Posner, 50).

In conclusion, all of the work that Bernini was involved in during the make over of St. Peter’s Basilica, bared a single theme; the confirmation of Pope’s power in the world and in heaven.

Not sure if you can write a paper on St. Peter’s Basilica by Gian Lorenzo Bernini by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More It has been known that Rome was a city of immense corruption, but that changed in the 17th century. Urban made a resolution to revive the profligacy of arts in religion. Pope Urban the eighth made use of the chance he got to use combined forms of art to depict the Papal authenticity. He was able to bring back the Papacy to a point of esteem status.

This is the very reason he selected an artist who was able to combine different forms of arts like painting and sculpture; Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini was able to bring out the political plan of the Papacy via the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. Through the church, he was able to encourage the viewers to have more trust in the popes. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was indeed a skilled sculptor, since he was able to describe the creative styles of the ornate (Posner, 56).

Despite of the Basilica making quite a landmark, it did not in the people’s heart eventually. The Roman Catholic soon lost grip of the people due to the mixture of Roman ancient religion and Christianity. Thus, there was the emergence of the Protestants. Although the basilica has spiritual significant to staunch Catholics, the rest of the world views it as a great piece of architectural work (Posner, 56).

Works Cited McCurry, Steve. “St. Peter’s Basilica.” Christianity 12.5 (2002): 58-89. Print

Posner, Nick. “Gian Lorenzo Bernini.” Sixteenth Century Artist 34.7 (1997): 24-56. Print