The Castro as described on the SFResidence neighborhood guide:
“The Castro district, the haven of the gay and lesbian community has the landmark Castro Theater where viewers line up to see such drag queen specials as “Sound of Music” sing alongs. After the World War II many of the dishonorable discharged soldiers due to their sexual orientation remained in San Francisco known for its’ tolerance and diversity since the Gold Rush days rather than return to mid-western homes known for their intolerance of gays, blacks, etc. The gentrification of this working class district began in the 60′s and 70′s when well-educated middle-class white gay men were drawn to the Victorian architecture of the Castro and 18th Street area of Eureka Valley. Check out the “Crusin the Castro” walking tour written by Trevor Hailey if you wish to learn about the colorful history. Or just walk along the Castro and experience the trendy shops, mainstream restaurants, leather bars and clubs side-by-side, etc. filled with alternative lifestyle individuals.”
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
“If only the Mexican land barons and European homesteaders who built the Castro district could see it — and the price of its real estate — today. What was once dairy farms and dirt roads is now one of the city’s most vibrant and cohesive communities, saturated with stylish shops and bars so popular that patrons spill out onto the street. Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants came to the outskirts of San Francisco in search of cheap land, which became bona fide suburbs after 1887 when the Market Street Cable Railway linked Eureka Valley, as it was then called, with the rest of the city. Thanks to these homesteaders, who built large, handsome Victorian houses for their large families, today’s residents have someplace to pour their money, and the vast majority of the neighborhood’s classic homes have been lovingly and artfully restored…”
Read the rest of the article here.
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- Mick Orton
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