Nestled between 19th Avenue and Stern Grove's concert amphitheater, the iconic Trocadero Clubhouse, a designated San Francisco Historical Landmark, became the latest victim at the hands of this week's atmospheric river.
The building suffered significant damage early Saturday morning after, amid the rain, an approximately 85-foot eucalyptus tree fell onto the structure, according to a press release from the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
One 85-foot tree — about 10 stories tall — fell on the Clubhouse around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, triggering an alarm, the statement describes. Rangers responded quickly and discovered that its roof and eaves were partially crushed, while the inside was flooded from its sprinkler system bursting.
Luckily, it seems that no one was inside when the tree was felled, and no injuries were reported.
The Clubhouse originally served as an inn/roadhouse around 1900, offering salacious dancing and gambling. It was once San Francisco’s “most notorious Wild West hideout,” according to SFGate. Today, it’s the city’s last intact example of a 19th Century roadhouse and a prime example of the turn-of-the-20th-century Stick-Eastlake architectural style, according to SF Parks and Rec. The SF Heritage organization calls it the oldest building the Parkside District area.
The historic building, today used mostly as a venue for weddings and events, has been red-tagged due to both the structural and water damage, meaning its not safe for people to enter. People with upcoming reservations are going to be notified and offered refunds or alternative locations, the city said.
This latest downed tree adds to the latest of Stern Grove’s troubles — the park has been closed since the end of 2022, after the storms at that time caused major damage throughout the park. Some other trees from the grove had already fallen, blocking pathways and requiring cleanup, and flooding has also occurred throughout the park.
“This is soul crushing. The Trocadero and Stern Grove are San Francisco treasures. It will take political leadership, resources and community resolve to put the Trocadero back together again,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg in the statement.
Featured image via SF Parks & Rec.