The ever-changing skyline of San Francisco has seen a lot of changes over the past decade, however there are some iconic attractions that will forever be included, no matter how much they are dwarfed by the new Salesforce building. The earthquake-friendly Transamerica Building, The Bay Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower will always hold a place in people’s hearts as they gaze at the beautiful city by the bay.

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At only 210 feet, Coit Tower doesn’t even get close to being on the list of tallest buildings in San Francisco, however its placement on top of the 285 ft Telegraph Hill, high above North Beach, allows for prime placement in the San Francisco skyline. The unassuming tower may not look like much at first glance, but there is a lot more than meets the eye.

Coit Tower was opened in 1933, but the motivation for the tower started back in the mid 1800s. Built using a donation by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, The Tower was dedicated to all of the volunteer fireman who died as a result of San Francisco’s five fires, including the Great Fire of 1849 and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Although the tower does have a striking resemblance to a fire hose nozzle, which would make sense considering the dedication, Coit claimed it was completely coincidental.

oit tower is a great place to visit, but not only for the views. The observation deck at the top of the tower takes advantage of its prime location on telegraph hill offering 360 degree views of the city. However, inside of the tower, you will find a beautiful surprise. Rather than just seeing cold, concrete walls, the tower is filled with murals painted by 27 different artists. The artwork was called the Public Works Art Project, which was one of the first programs inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Visiting the tower doesn’t cost anything, so you can view the murals for free, however the elevator to the observation deck costs up to $9.

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