Pioneering lesbian feminist activists Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin met in 1950 and moved in together on Valentine's Day 1953 . They purchased the house at 651 Duncan St. in 1955. The couple lived there together until Martin's death in 2008. Phyllis Lyon lived on in the home until her death in April 2020.
The Lyon-Martin House, a 756-square-foot cottage on a 5,700-square-foot double lot in Noe Valley, recently sold for $2.25M. In an article announcing the sale, SFGATE touts the redevelopment potential of the site by saying:" a turnover of this property could be very profitable."
For five decades, the Lyon-Martin House provided both a cozy home for the couple and a meeting space and mailing address for queer, feminist and progressive organizing. The structure and the surrounding property are a historical site of international significance.
It is time for San Francisco to recognize the importance of the Lyon-Martin House and preserve this landmark for future generations.
I do think this is clearly a home of historic value and needs to have that recognized and honored over time. Whatever we can do to help with that effort, we are happy to do.
San Francisco Supervisor, District 8
I can see it in the future being a destination as an archival site for GLBTQ rights and women's rights here in San Francisco.
Executive Director, GLBT Historical Society