580 Pacific

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I would like to know the full history of 580 Pacific, a building in what was once called the "first settlement district" as well find more extensive photos of the interior of the building when in operation over the years...any idea how i could get them? only able to find a few exterior shots as well as street.

-- caroline brown (caroline@thebrowncompanies.net), March 10, 2005


I think you mean International Settlement, instead of “Original Settlement.” This is what I got from the Convention and Visitors Bureau website when I googled for the address.

You should also try looking for “Barbary Coast” – some histories run the two districts right together, with good reason: I used to work in the 500 block of Pacific and remember the uproar caused when renovation unsealed a forgotten opium den under one of the brick buildings. They pulled out so many pipes and drug paraphernalia that we had the DEA all over us. Fortunately it was really obvious the stuff was over 100 years old, so they went away and left us alone.

From http://www.sfcvb.org/travel_media/press.asp?rid=70

“Renovation of Pacific Avenue's 500 block uplifted from raffishness to refinement what was once the notorious Barbary Coast and as recently as 1955, a garish honky-tonk strip inaptly named "The International Settlement." In place of barkers and burlesque queens you'll find antique and home furnishings outlets intermixed with offices of the upwardly mobile. The little yellow brick building at 580 Pacific occupies the original site of Diana's, a rip-roaring 1860's saloon. The eye-catcher across the street at 555 Pacific with its curved, circus-like facade; swinging doors with beveled glass ovals; fanlights, and dimpled rosettes, opened as a dance hall in 1907. “

-- Rosa (rosadebon@yahoo.com), March 11, 2005.

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