Coit Tower News - May 2014

  COIT TOWER NEWS – May 2014
Two years after San Francisco voters approved the Coit Tower Preservation ballot measure Proposition B in 2012, Coit Tower has been rehabilitated, the historic murals restored, and new education and damage-prevention measures put in place.  May 14, 2014 was a gloriously beautiful day in San Francisco, and nowhere more so than on top of Telegraph Hill standing next to Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s gift to “the city I have always loved.”  Along with Donna “Lillie Coit” Huggins, Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz Band, the fire and police chiefs and assorted city officials, a beaming group of relatives of the Coit Tower artists came together with Coit Tower supporters from across San Francisco to celebrate this long-awaited day.  Special thanks to the Coit Tower artists’ relatives who came together in 2012 to urge voters to approve the Coit Tower ballot measure and who again made special trips to be there for the grand reopening:  Bruce Chesse (son of Coit Tower painter Ralph Chesse) Pete Arnautoff (grandson of Coit Tower artist Victor Arnautoff), Jayne Oldfield Blatchly, Ellen Fortier, and Rachel Prescott (daughter and granddaughters of Coit Tower artist Otis Oldfield), and Ruth and Adam Gottstein (daughter and grandson of Coit Tower artist Bernard Zakheim).
On the eve of the Coit Tower reopening, Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a fascinating front page feature story about Otis Oldfield and Jayne Oldfield Blatchly, the “keeper of the flame” of Oldfield’s art.  The Chronicle story reads as a wonderful window into life on Telegraph Hill in the 1930s when Oldfield and his family lived on unpaved Montgomery Street and he painted his Coit Tower art.  Click on this link to read the story online and see some fabulous photos of Otis and Jayne.
Special thanks also to Harvey Smith of the National New Deal Preservation Association and to the San Francisco Arts Commission for their collaboration to create a brand new set of artist informational plaques that now tell visitors who each Coit Tower artist was and provide some context for their art.
Watch this terrific ABC news story about the grand reopening of Coit Tower by clicking here:
Photos from Restored Coit Tower Reopening, May 14, 2014
photos courtesy of Richard Zimmerman

Pete Arnautoff, Jon Golinger, Ruth Gottstein, Bruce Chesse, Julie Jaycox








Jon Golinger, Donna “Lillie Coit” Huggins    


Maxine Albro’s restored mural “California”


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