On May 14th of 2014, soaring spirits matched soaring temperatures as San Francisco's favorite tower was re-opened. With much pageantry and fanfare, including classic jazz tunes and several speeches by politicians, locally beloved Coit Tower was again open to the public.
Coit Tower, white and bright, rises majestically from the top of Telegraph Hill. Lillie Hitchcock, a true San Francisco character and devoted patron of the city’s firefighters, funded the original Coit Tower, which was completed in 1933. The Tower has become one of the city’s most beloved and iconic landmarks, welcoming visitors and residents to marvel at the 360-degree views from the Tower’s observation deck.
Coit Tower — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
“Our City’s treasured Coit Tower provides residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about San Francisco’s unique history through its iconic architecture and art murals commissioned during the Great Depression that put our residents back to work,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Today we celebrate this successfully restored San Francisco landmark and iconic art projects for the entire world to enjoy.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee speaks before the re-opening of Coit Tower. — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
The 27 murals that adorn the interior of the Tower represent one of the City’s most important cultural treasures. Completed in 1934 by a group of artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project, the frescos provide a snapshot of life in California during the Great Depression.
Art of this size and cultural importance should be seen firsthand, just another reason to include Coit Tower in your San Francisco vacation.
Visitors enjoy the refurbished murals after the re-opening ceremony. — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
The Tower was closed to the public in October of 2013 to undergo this extensive restoration, the most thorough in its history. Many improvements were made, including replacing the roof; repainting the lobby ceiling and fixtures to bring it as close to its original state as possible; renovating the bathrooms; and performing various upgrades to make the space more accessible.
Although many visitors appreciate the sight of Coit Tower when they are returning from Sausalito on the ferry, not as many brave the steep walk up Telegraph Hill to visit the tower itself. Their loss. The view from the tower is one of the most dramatic and distinct the city has to offer.
Visitor captures just one of the stunning views from the Coit Tower area. — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
And that's just the view from the tower grounds. If you're willing to pay $7, you can take the elevator all the way to the top for a view you'll remember for a lifetime.
All this and an impressive gift shop for those important souvenirs to bring home.
Visitors enjoy the refurbished gift shop at Coit Tower. — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
If you've walked the Golden Gate Bridge, strolled through Chinatown, and eaten in North Beach and feel you've experienced everything the city has to offer, head to Coit Tower. It's where San Francisco locals happily become tourists for the day.