The buck has always been the bottom line on San Francisco's Polk Street, a coveted bloc of central city space long zoned by the City as a commercial corridor. The economic principles that would help create a gay neighborhood in the late 1950s -- and facilitate the growth of gay economic, social, and political strength -- would also lead to its demise by the early 2000s. This essay is not a comprehensive history of Polk Street. Instead, it is an attempt to trace the street’s primary economic shifts over the past sixty years in the context of both a changing city and GLBT political center.