Coit Tower is a special place. It’s an iconic symbol of our unique city, known to every San Franciscan and instantly recognized around the world. Inside Coit Tower are 27 powerful WPA murals by 25 artists from the 1930s that vividly depict the reality of life in California during the tumultuous era in which they were painted.
But sadly, Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s generous gift to San Francisco is now in serious trouble due to neglect, decay, and lax oversight by the city. Inside Coit Tower, lead paint peels from the ceiling, broken lights go unrepaired, leaking water seeps through and corrodes the murals, chunks have been carelessly carved out of the art, and gashes and chips mar many of the exposed and fragile frescoes.
This has all been allowed to happen despite the fact that Coit Tower already generates more than enough revenue for the city every year to keep it in good shape. According to city records, the city has been receiving $633,000 annually from Coit Tower concessions and elevator fees but spending just 7% of that – less than $44,000 a year – on Coit Tower!
That's why a broad coalition of artists, environmentalists, public park advocates, and neighborhood leaders from across San Francisco worked together to pass Proposition B on the June 5, 2012 city ballot.
Proposition B was put on the ballot after 16,300 city voters signed initiative petitions. Prop. B put in place a new policy directing city officials to more wisely use some of the existing resources generated by Coit Tower concession and elevator operations to preserve and protect it, while keeping commercial activities and private events appropriately limited so Coit Tower remains a public place, not a private party venue for sale to the highest bidder.
Here is the full text of Proposition B:
It shall be the policy of the People of the City and County of San Francisco to protect Coit Tower and preserve the historic murals inside Coit Tower by strictly limiting commercial activities and private events at Coit Tower and by prioritizing the funds received by the City from any concession operations at Coit Tower for preserving the Coit Tower murals, protecting and maintaining the Coit Tower building, and beautifying Pioneer Park around Coit Tower.
Coit Tower and its murals are unique and priceless San Francisco treasures. Let’s protect Coit Tower.
To help or for more information contact us at ProtectCoitTower@gmail.com