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Local Lifestyle

March 15, 2018 By Jerry Mulenburg

Visit to Coit Tower

While the bus full of Paradise Valley Estates residents was traveling on Interstate 80 for on our trip to Coit Tower in San Francisco, a traffic alert about a delay on Highway 80 triggered our driver Paul to smoothly alter our route via Concord and the Caldecott Tunnel to the Bay Bridge.

Coit Tower is a prominent city landmark located in Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill in the city and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1933 with a bequest from Lillie Hitchcock Coit who, in 1927, left one-third of her estate to “beautify the city.” She was a cigar smoking, eccentric character who dressed in men’s trousers so she could gamble in the men only North Beach gambling houses. Lillie was a life-long fire engine chaser and supporter of the SF Fire Department.

Many like to think that the 210-foot-high art deco tower represents a fire hose nozzle (and it kind of does).

Debarking the bus, we viewed the recently restored and awesome fresco murals depicting early California life painted by renowned artists in the 1930s under the Federal Public Works of Art program. Taking the elevator to the top of the tower was like a trip into the past with an original iron-lattice gate and human operator.

The tower’s top windows provided awesome, unimpeded views of major city landmarks from the Bay itself to the top of the city’s hills.

For Judy and me, finding Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral where we were married was a special treat. Stopping for lunch at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero and with the sun coming out on schedule about noon, we had a wide range of options for eating inside or out. Our group scattered among the many venues and regrouped later in front of Starbucks where several of us met up for a caffeine jolt and pastry. A fun trip with fun people to a fun place!

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