At the summit of historic Telegraph Hill sits the 210-foot Coit Tower, also known as Coit Memorial Tower. This elegant tapering column was built in 1933, the legacy of San Francisco’s colorful Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who left a $125,000 bequest "for the purpose of adding beauty to the city which I have always loved." The ground floor lobby is adorned with a series of fresco murals by some 30 local artists, depicting life in 1930s San Francisco. They were nationally controversial when opened to the public. The artists and murals were funded by President Roosevelt’s New Deal pilot art program, the Public Works of Art Project. The project was such a success, public buildings around the country were decorated with similar artwork. They remain a colorful, insightful look back to a difficult time, The Great Depression, in American history. Guided docent tours are available.
General Visitor Info
Advance elevator ride tickets to view spectacular 360 degree city views and reservations for guided docent led tours of the Tower murals are available on site or online.
Coit Tower Cafe (open daily, 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
Just a few steps away from Coit Tower is the Coit Tower Cafe. The cafe menu includes a variety of hot and cold drinks, pastries, paninis, pizza by the slice and frozen yogurt. Please note that food and drinks are not allowed in Coit Tower.
How to Get There
Public transportation is recommended for visitors who want to see Coit Tower. From the downtown area, you can take either the #30 or #45 line to Washington Square, located at the corners of Union & Columbus and transfer to the #39 Coit Tower bus.
For additional information, routes and schedules, please visit the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency or call 415.673.6864.
Get more information on the neighborhoods here.
Did You Know?
Movies that included the Coit Tower:
Dr. Doolittle (1998)
The Enforcer (1976)