I decided to go for a bit of titillation for today’s story, but it’s something that many of you may not know about it’s “titillating” background. Coit Tower was built in 1933 by the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city as well as to commemorate the firefighters of the city. In particular she was apparently rather fond of the firemen at Knickerbocker Engine Company No. 5.
It is said that the rather tall tower was to replicate in an art deco, abstract way a fire hose nozzle. Now I like firemen myself as they’ve helped us out on numerous occasions when my elderly parents and grandparents were alive. I am not leaving one-third of my estate to them though.
Lilian had a bit more of a how do I put this…”devotion” to the burly firemen of company No. 5 and some have said that it wasn’t a representation of a fire hose so much as it was a representation of, well, uhm, uh, a “fireman’s hose” if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Lillie was a bit of a randy sort of woman who was a character that made San Francisco what it is today in many ways. She was an avid gambler and cigar smoker and even dressed as a man to be able to get into gentlemen’s only gambling establishments. She wore pants before it was fashionable and loved to thumb her nose at the establishment. People forget that the 20’s was the decade of “free love” before the 60’s and there was lots of naughtiness going on around the country and especially in “Baghdad by the Bay“. Her “appreciation” of the fire department even earned her the title of “Honorary Fireman.” In addition to Coit Tower she also had a statue of three firemen carrying a woman, presumably her.
[mappress mapid=”31″]OK, enough about the randy old lady of San Francisco. Let me tell you a little bit about the tower itself. Well, it’s a tower, a big one and that’s pretty much it. But if you take a closer look when you walk inside you’ll notice murals on the walls that were painted as a part of the Public Works of Art Project that was to help employ artists during the depression. One of my aunts was an artist that painted the murals there.
While I’d love to say it’s free to ride to the top, it’s not, but it’s still pretty cheap. $4.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and $2.00 for children 6-12, under 6 is free. So why should you pay to ride an elevator? Well, when you get to the top you have a view of San Francisco that you won’t get anywhere else. 360° of pure beauty and you can stay and take pictures for as long as you want. It’s an open air rotunda that I’m surprised they haven’t put up anything to keep people from using it as a great place to have a last view of the city before jumping off to end it all. I guess it’s such a view that you don’t want to leave it all behind once you see it.