Saturday, May 30, 2015

Coit Tower

I have to admit that I was kind of anxious about our day trip into San Francisco.  There's just so much traffic and I worried about where we would park to see the various things I had on my list.  Well, in general, it went very well and, luckily, Ron is a superb parallel parker.

Our first stop was Coit Tower, perched high atop Telegraph Hill.  I had read that the small parking lot is always full, so we decided to park close to the base of the hill and take the Filbert Steps.  Ron found a metered place not far from the steps. We deposited quite a few of our quarters and we were off.  (I think it was 7 minutes for a quarter.)

The steps (this is just the beginning of them) climbed right up the side of the hill, past houses where the residents must be in terrific shape.

We admired some beautifully landscaped yards.

Check out these roses.

I thought this painted wall was cute.

But I guess somebody didn't agree.

Built during the Great Depression in 1933, with money donated by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, the 210-foot tower resembles a fire hose nozzle.

Ms. Coit had a great affinity for the fire department and seems to have been an enthusiastic supporter.

Although she financed the tower, the fantastic murals inside were paid for with federal funds through the Public Works of Art Project, part of FDR's New Deal.  Twenty-five artists were paid about $1 per hour and, in just six months, created murals on 3,691 square feet of the tower's interior walls.

The theme of the murals is Life in California and each artist brought his or her own ideas and perspective to the project.  (There were 21 men and 4 women.)  I really like this 'Library' one.

This 'Around Town' one, had some disturbing aspects.

Especially the man being held up at gunpoint.

We could have spent all day just looking at the murals, but we paid our $5 (senior rate) and took the elevator to the top.  As you can see, it was a foggy morning, but isn't it always?

The 360-degree views are amazing.  There's Alcatraz in the distance.

I'm not sure why Christopher Columbus is in front of the tower.  It seems that a statue of a fireman would be more meaningful.

Then it was back to the car - a total of  442 steps from the base of the tower to street level. We counted on the way down.  Now that I read the AAA book a little more carefully, I think we should have taken the slightly less difficult Greenwich Steps up and the Filbert Steps down.  I would say, "Next time," but there's not going to be a next time.


  1. I have so many things to say about this post!
    1. My first image was Ron parallel parking the motor home with toad then I realized it was only the toad...OH
    2. Most people would look for a way Around the Stairs y'all paid to climb them..
    3. The new deal was an experiment in socialism and to me it was the most socially productive years in our history, no cards or letters plz.
    4. Alcatraz looks pretty good from here do they do tours of it?
    I am enjoying your coast line tour so much!!

  2. That guy robbing the man was probably to get more quarters for the parking meter... :c)

    7 minutes for a quarter constitutes highway robbery in my book!

  3. "there's not going to be a next time."
    Do you mean climbing the stairs or visiting San Francisco or both?

  4. Thank for sharing

  5. Wow ... that one mural seems to have quite a few "negative elements" in it. Probably an accurate portrayal of things that happen in a big city, but I'm surprised to see it anyway. Had no idea there were murals inside Coit Tower ... learned something new.

  6. I am shockingly more than a month behind on reading blogs, but having fun catching up with everyone's travels. You know the murals at Coit Tower are one my bucket list, right?? Glad you enjoyed them.