SAN FRANCISCO, CA – An approximately 85-foot eucalyptus tree fell onto the Trocadero Clubhouse in Sigmund Stern Grove early this morning, causing severe damage to the San Francisco Historical Landmark, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced.
Rangers responding to an alarm at the Trocadero Clubhouse at 5:30 a.m. found the structure’s roof and eave partially crushed. The interior was flooded with water from the damaged sprinkler system. The Department of Building Inspection subsequently red-tagged the building due to both structural and water damage.
“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.
Virtually all of Stern Grove has been closed to the public since late last year due to numerous trees felled or made unstable by winter storms. A portion of the park has remained closed since August
, 2021 due to SFPUC construction to repair flood damage caused by a broken pipe. The Trocadero, a popular spot for weddings and other events, had been available for reservation only on weekends due to the construction. Rec and Park officials will contact those with upcoming events at the Trocadero and offer them alternate venues or refunds.
The Board of Supervisors approved the Trocadero’s designation as a San Francisco Designated Landmark on April 5, 2022. Built in 1892, it boasts a colorful history as a roadhouse at the turn of the 20th century, when it offered dancing and gambling at roulette tables. This was followed by a series of operators who leased the resort, including sugar magnate Adolph Spreckels who took over for a brief period. In an infamous moment in 1907, notorious political grafter Abe Ruef used the out-of-the-way place as a hideout from an indictment court date.
It is architecturally and historically significant as an example of Stick-Eastlake architectural style and as the city’s last intact example of a 19th Century roadhouse. It was renovated in 1986 due to extensive use and weathering.