Trying to Preserve a Piece of San Francisco History

San Francisco's Coit Tower is one of the city's historic and iconic buildings, and it's also home to a collection of historic fresco paintings of Depression-era California. But the building and its paintings are falling apart.

"Mineral blooms on the concrete pillar's interior walls, a byproduct of this city's legendary fog, have marred the earth- and jewel-toned images. Their surfaces bear chips and scratches from the indiscreet hands of countless visitors. The ceiling plaster is peeling. The lighting is dim.

'San Francisco cannot continue to position itself as a great city of arts and culture when it behaves this way,' former state librarian and California historian Kevin Starr said after admiring the frescoes during a recent tour with friends. 'Imagine if we treated Rockefeller Center like this.'

Starr's voice is the latest in a rising chorus of concern over conditions at Coit Tower."

Neighborhood groups and local preservationists are calling on the city to preserve the art within the tower, and a preservationist has been called out to assess the damage.

Thanks to Nate Berg

Full Story: Hard times for a tower and its murals

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95