From Atop Coit Tower


The Ferry Building sits at the end of Market Street in San Francisco and has been the primary fixture of the Embarcadero forever. The clock tower highlights it on the waterfront. Behind is the Bay Bridge.

Special things stand out and catch your eye. If it’s a tower on top of a hill then it grabs your attention any time you’re near by. Coit Tower is such a place and it stood within easy walking distance of where I disembarked from Alcatraz. 

Coit Tower stands in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.  (For me, that last sentence was loaded with place names from my youth.) 

The tower itself was built with a $100,000 donation from Lillie Hitchcock Coit to be used by the city to beautify San Francsico. The interior of the tower is lined with 1930s paintings promoting California agriculture; the work was funded by the WPA to support the arts during the Depression. I’m not sure the tower ever served much of a practical purpose but it certainly achieves its funder’s ambition. It is beautiful and views from the top are remarkable. A tiny elevator takes a few people at a time to the observation level and below are examples of what can be seen.

Alcatraz over the shoulder of Christopher Columbus.

Pier 35, one of many along the waterfront.

Treasure Island, the site of SF’s first airport and the 1939 World’s Fair.

Container ships entering past piers of the Embarcadero.

The signature piece of SF’s skyline, the Transamerica Pyramid.


linkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *