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Then & Now: The Casino Roadhouse

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Public spaces change fast here in San Francisco, and for better or worse, it can be pretty crazy when you see what the City used to look like. Every week, we'll bring you Then & Now, a comparison of historic photos of the Bay Area with current views from the same perspective. Have a suggestion for a photo comparison that looks totally different (or shockingly the same)? Drop us a tip in the Curbed Inbox or leave a comment after the jump.

Quick note: See that vertical green bar in the middle of the then and now photos? You can move it horizontally to see the photos side by side





[Then photo: SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY/ Now photo: Alex Bevk] San Francisco has always had a reputation as a drinking town, and things were no different in the 1890s. Located on Fulton between 24th & 25th Avenues, the Casino Roadhouse was a loud, boisterous restaurant and bar in a sparsely populated area of town, and was wildly successful.

Originally opened in the middle of Golden Gate Park near the Conservatory of Flowers in 1882, the Casino instantly got a bad reputation as spoiling the virtues of the park by inciting people to drink. Though successful, it closed for a few years and served as a small museum and park offices. By 1896, the building was relocated to Fulton between 24th & 25th Avenues as a roadhouse - outside the boundaries of the park in an area uninhabited enough that the patrons could be as loud as they wanted. It didn’t hurt that it was smack halfway between the bars of the Inner Richmond and the roadhouses by Ocean Beach. The building was torn down in 1922 for the construction of homes in the Richmond District.

Sanborn Insurance Map from 1913 showing the casino, with little else around it (click image to enlarge) [Photo: ProQuest Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970]

· The Casino [Western Neighborhood Project]