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Coit Tower in San Francisco is the best place to go get incredible view of the city. It is located away from the downtown area on Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill. It was constructed in 1933 as a monument to the firefighters of San Francisco. The tower was paid for by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who was a wealthy socialite but also a volunteer firefighter, which earned her the nickname, "Firebelle Lil."
Coit was an eccentric character who was known to love gambling and smoking cigars, well before it was socially acceptable for women to do so. It was said that she even shaved her head and dressed like a man so she could gamble in all-male establishments. She was also fascinated by firefighting since an early age.
The Coit tower which followed an art deco style and was designed by architects, Arthur Brown, Jr. and Henry Howard at the request of Coit after her death. He said that she wanted to build a monument which would add to the beauty of the city which loved.One third of her funds were used for the building, made of reinforced concrete, which turned out to be 210 feet tall. There are also 26 murals inside the tower which feature various artists.
The Coit Tower which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Placesis located atop of Telegraph Hill between Fisherman's Wharf and the Financial District. It provides spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and many of its attractions such as Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and the Transamerica Pyramid.
Coit Tower can be accessed by foot using the Telegraph Hill Boulevard through the popular Lombard Street. However, many will find this walk strenuous because of the steep hill. There are also many stairs that take up to the tower called the Filbert Steps. Also because Coit Tower is such a popular tourist attraction, the street is usually clogged up with tourists and cars, and it can take a while to get up there. Besides walking and driving, you can also take the #39 Coit bus which leaves every twenty minutes from Fisherman's Wharf.
Visiting Coit Tower is free, but if you want to take the elevator up the tower to get a great view of the city, you will have to pay $7. You might have to wait a long time in the line to get on the elevators, but the view is so amazing, that it is more than worth the wait. So don't forget your camera. Also there is a green area outside where you can have a picnic and enjoy the views. It's also a popular spot to watch the fireworks.
The view is not the only thing to discover at the Coit Tower. Be sure to full explore the incredible murals inside the tower. These murals were done by San Francisco- area artists in 1930s, under the New Deal federal program, the Public Works of Art Project. Many of the murals feature leftist themes and many other controversial issues. Most of the murals are available for free public viewing. Other murals are available during special San Francisco City Guides tours every Saturday and Wednesday of the month at 11 am.
Coit Tower is located at 1, Telegraph Hill Boulevard at Greenwich Street