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Cover Photo | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard
A mural on the side of the Castro Republic Food & Bar.
Cover Photo | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard A mural on the side of the Castro Republic Food & Bar.

San Francisco’s Castro District: A Photo Essay

Picture of Sydney Maynard
Updated: 28 November 2016
The Castro is a symbol of both the San Francisco culture and the LGBTQ movement. The rise of its gay community came in the 1960s, when gay-rights activist Harvey Milk was its most influential member. Milk was assassinated in 1978, before the AIDS outbreak of the 1980s. Today the Castro is both a tourist attraction and a destination for people of the LGBTQ community. These photos were taken on two different days with the purpose of capturing the vibrant energy of the Castro on any day of the year.

PHOTO 1_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 1 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The Castro Republic Food & Bar resides in the northeast region of the Castro.

2281 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, USA, +(415) 934-0525.

PHOTO 2_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 2 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

A man waits at the MUNI stop on 17th and Castro streets.

PHOTO 3_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 3 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

Twin Peaks Tavern, at the intersection of 17th and Castro streets, was given landmark status in 2013. It features full-length plate glass windows, the first gay bar in the United States to do so.

PHOTO 4_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 4 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

401 Castro St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, USA, +(415) 864-9470.

 

The Castro Theatre was built in 1922 and became a San Francisco historic landmark in 1977. Its marquee recognizes the Orlando tragedy and Harvey Milk.

429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, USA, +(415) 621-6350.

PHOTO 5_ SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 5 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The ornate entrance and ticket booth of the Castro Theatre.

PHOTO 6_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 6 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

 

The rainbow crosswalk at 18th and Castro streets.

PHOTO 7_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 7 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The Castro is dominated by Victorian houses that have been converted into businesses and safe havens like the Castro Country Club.

4058 18th St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, USA, +(415) 552-6102.

PHOTO 8_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 8 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The phrase ‘Love Wins’ can be found throughout the Castro.

PHOTO 9_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 9 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

A rainbow heart sits in a store’s window display.

PHOTO 10_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 10 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

A memorial has been erected at the corner of Castro and 18th streets in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

PHOTO 11_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 11 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The Rainbow Honor Walk pays tribute to heroes and heroines of LGBTQ communities. Those honored include Allen Ginsberg, Harry Hay, Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde.

PHOTO 12_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 12 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

This false advertising sign is right at home in the Castro.

PHOTO 13_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 13 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

Beaux resides at 2344 Market St., previously the location of The Missouri Mule, Castro’s first gay bar that opened in 1963.

PHOTO 14_ SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 14 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The risqué shops of the Castro offer a variety of revealing and flashy outfits and costumes. The sign promotes this shop as a safe zone.

PHOTO 15_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 15 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The Moby Dick Bar has been a staple of the Castro since 1977. It has an aquarium over the bar and was voted the ‘Best Gay Bar in San Francisco’ by the 2016 Nitey Awards.

4049 18th St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, USA, +(415) 294-0731.

PHOTO 16_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 16 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The view down Castro Street with The Castro Theatre in the distance.

PHOTO 17_SF'S CASTRO DISTRICT PHOTO ESSAY

Photo 17 | Courtesy of Sydney Maynard

The view down Castro Street from 18th Street. Rainbow flags and Victorian houses line the street.