King of the Hill: Locals, Tourists Converge on Coit Tower

Visitors, City Leaders Celebrate 75 Years

San Francisco firefighters, Mayor Gavin Newsom and local officials celebrated the 75th anniversary of an Art Deco monument that punctuates the city's skyline, and was built during the Great Depression.

Coit Tower, a 210-foot monument on Telegraph Hill in North Beach  that overlooks the eastern side of the city, was erected as a dedication to  Lillie Hitchcock Coit.

Coit, who left one third of her fortune to beautify the city, "was like a mascot for the fire department," said fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

City officials thought it would be appropriate to use some of the money for the tower and dedicate it to her because she was so admirable of the firefighters.

"People have said it looks like a firehouse or a fire hose nozzle, but that's kind of a legend," Talmadge said.

Guests at today's ceremony joined in singing the national anthem and watched as 10  firefighters lifted a 65-foot, wooden ladder from the 70s. Talmadge said the  ladder was taken out of commission because it did not fit on the newer  engines.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also attended today's event.

The 210-foot tower that sits on top of Telegraph Hill was built for $115,000 in 1933.

Coit Tower has become a San Francisco icon and popular tourist attraction, with more than 2.3 million people visiting last year.

Visitors can take an elevator to the top for sweeping views of the city and San Francisco Bay. Or they can check out inside murals that depict the city as it was during the 1930s.

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
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