Coit Tower is a typical San Francisco landmark located on Telegraph Hill to the north side of the Financial District. Coit Tower could be seen from many places of the city, and is reachable via a steep road and from the usual walking path. Coit Tower stands 210 feet tall, and many visitors like to climb to the top of the tower for eye-catching vistas of San Francisco and the nearby areas. Coit Tower also features a series of murals painted in the Works Progress Administration, portraying local occupations and neighborhoods.
Coit Tower was built with funds provided by Elizabeth Wythe Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who donated a third of her fortune upon her death during 1929 to smarten the city of San Francisco. Lillie Coit was a world voyager, and brought back many relics from her travels, but in fact regarded San Francisco as her true home and wanted to remain a permanent legacy to the city. The funds were used to build two memorials: Coit Tower, and a sculpture in Washington Square that depicts three firemen.
It is generally believed that Coit Tower was built as a memorial to the firemen of San Francisco, as Lillie Coit was a lifelong supporter of the fire department. However, in spite of the tower’s similarity to a fire nozzle, many historians agree that Coit Tower was just built to improve the beauty of the city. Coit Tower is surrounded by steep scenic grounds which are pleasant to walk through.
Visitors to Coit Tower can drive to the top and a small parking lot, or walk from nearby Fisherman??ª?s Wharf. Along the way, there is great scenery and a walk by the murals. The murals have been refurbished to their former glory, and are considered a vital part of the history of San Francisco. Among other things, the murals portray farmers in the fields, a bank robbery, and a view into the port, a busy city street, and a variety of other scenes. There were 27 artists who worked onsite to create these murals back in the day.
Some of the San Francisco Shuttle Tours will take you to Coit Tower in which the murals are explained in detail. The walk is physically demanding, and space for cars is also limited. If you have the time and have wondered what the lone tower is on the hill overlooking the bay, this is your chance to take a small detour and experience a monument from the past and a view to remember.