Coit Tower

Highly recommended
Towering 180ft above a 32ft rectangular base, this fluted, con-crete column (1934, Arthur Brown, Jr.)-which, despite persistent local lore, was not designed to resemble a firehose nozzle-ranks today among the city's best-known landmarks both for its lobby murals and for the splendid views its observation deck affords. The tower was an enduring gift to San Francisco's citizens from Firebelle Lillie Hitchcock Coit, an unusual woman who wished to add to the beauty of the city which I have always loved. The 19 fresco murals in the lobby of Coit Tower were the first major commission of the Depression-era Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), a New Deal initiative that engaged unemployed artists to decorate public buildings. Charged with depicting contemporary life in California, the painters wove into the murals powerful images that bluntly criticized the economic inequities of life during the Great Depression, raising the hackles of San Francisco's conservative elite, who demanded the works be destroyed. After vigorous debate, only the most blatant (hammer-and-sickle) symbols of left-wing sympathy were effaced, and the building was opened to the public in October 1934.A brief elevator ascent and a short flight of stairs take visitors to the observation deck. From here, panoramic views sweep Angel Island and Marin County to the north, the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island to the east, downtown San Francisco to the south, and Russian Hill and the Golden Gate Bridge to the west.

Useful information

Address:

1 Telegraph Hill Blvd., 94133 San Francisco

Phone:

+1 415-362-0808

Price:

7 $

Opening hours

[Mar-Sep: 10am-5.30pm, Oct-Feb: 9am-4.30pm. Free visit of the hall, access to top]

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