Coit Tower News - October 2013


  COIT TOWER NEWS – October 2013


Two years after issuing a request for proposals to replace the concession company that has run the gift shop and elevator concession at Coit Tower, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has announced that it has a new plan and intends to move it forward soon. 

At a community meeting in North Beach on October 30, representatives from the Recreation and Park Department discussed the details of the draft 5 year lease they have negotiated with Terry Grimm, the owner of Coit Tower, LLC, for the management of the Coit Tower gift shop, elevator, a new Coit Tower mural education and tour program, and a new outside food and drink cart in the area behind Coit Tower.  In recognition of the strong public opposition to the original proposal by the city to begin closing off Coit Tower for private parties and events, the proposed lease drops that plan and prohibits any such events from being held within Coit Tower that would exclude the public. This is great news.

Read the draft lease at

Members of the public are invited and encourage to provide feedback on and suggested revisions to the proposed lease agreement at two upcoming public meetings of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission:  Thursday, November 7 at 10:00 am in SF City Hall, Room 416 and Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 pm in SF City Hall, Room 416.



Beginning on Monday, November 18, the city is scheduled to begin a series of major repairs and renovations of the Coit Tower exterior, interior, and a restoration of the damaged historic murals.  The anticipated schedule of the project is mid-November through mid-April, 2014.  The city plans to close Coit Tower to the public for most of that time to expedite the repairs.

Read more in the Oct. 17 front page story in the SF Chronicle, “Coit Tower To Shut For Repairs – High Time, Critics Say,” by clicking here.



On October 8, 2013, dozens of San Franciscans gathered together atop Telegraph Hill with relatives of Lillie Hitchcock Coit and families of some of the original Coit Tower muralists together to celebrate the 80th. birthday of the one and only Coit Tower.  They spoke, laughed, sang “Happy Birthday Coit Tower,” and unveiled a huge Coit Tower birthday cake custom-made for the event by Victoria Pastry in North Beach.

That afternoon and evening, several hundred people enjoyed a one-day-only Coit Tower art show at Live Worms Gallery in North Beach that featured fabulous art by Coit Tower muralists Otis Oldfield, Ralph Chesse, Victor Arnautoff, and Bernard Zakheim along with Coit Tower inspired art by talented San Francisco artists working today, including Paul Madonna, Dennis Hearne, Daniel Macchiarini, John Mattos, Richard Zimmerman, and Mel Solomon.  The show was co-sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission, Telegraph Hill Dwellers, the National New Deal Preservation Association, Living New Deal, and the North Beach Business Association.

A huge Coit Tower thank you goes to artists Julie Jaycox and Jennifer Morningstar for co-curating the art show event and for Richard Zimmerman for providing invaluable support.  A big thank you also goes to Angelo Figone for his contribution to help rent the gallery space and to Paul Madonna for his donation of art for the Coit Tower Party & Art Show poster and to John Mattos for his incredible poster design.

For a taste of the events, watch the NBC News story “Happy 80th Birthday to Coit Tower” by clicking here.

Here's to many more Happy Birthdays for Coit Tower in the years to come!

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