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Coit Tower - Getting a Sweeping View of San Francisco


The realization of Coit Tower was made possible through the generous bequest of the uniquely eccentric Lillie Hitchcock Coit. In her will, she allocated one third of her fortune, totaling $118,000, with the directive to "be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved."

Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite, gained fame for her adventurous spirit in chasing fires during the city's early days. Her special connection with San Francisco firefighters, whom she fervently supported, earned her recognition as an honorary firefighter throughout her youth and adulthood. To this day, she is revered as the matron saint of San Francisco firefighters.


While some suggest that the tower's design resembles a fire hose nozzle in homage to Coit's affinity with firefighters, its designer, Arthur Brown, Jr., denied this claim. The initial plan included a restaurant, later transformed into an exhibition area in the final design. Visitors are treated to sweeping views of waterfront vistas from both the parking lot and observation deck, surrounded by the scenic Pioneer Park.

The lobby's murals, painted by 25 artists as part of a Public Works of Art Project, are a captivating highlight. Mainly faculty and students of the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), these artists depicted sympathetic portrayals of the daily life of working-class Californians during the depression, conveying messages of racial equality and leftist political ideas.

Planning to visit Coit Tower? Here are essential details to assist you:

Address: 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hours: Check tower hours here.
Reservations: Not required
Cost: Lobby murals and outside vista points are free, but elevator admission is charged.

How Long: Allow half an hour for a leisurely walk and enjoyment of the scenery. Allocate one to two hours if you opt for the elevator or City Guides tour.

Guided Tours: Docent tours offer a comprehensive exploration of the Tower, including the murals, with a maximum of eight participants. The tour lasts approximately 30-40 minutes, covering the Tower's inception, the influence of Public Work of Art Projects, and the history of the twenty-six artists. A $7 fee applies for mural tours; for more information, visit

Best Time to Visit: Anytime is ideal, but be mindful of crowded parking lots during peak tourist seasons. Sunset offers the best views.

Planning to visit and stay in San Francisco? Look no further for accommodation! We're a budget-friendly hotel in the heart of San Francisco. San Francisco Inn is your ideal choice! Book with us now or call (415) 431-5131.
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