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Surrounded by the Pioneer Park, the Coit Tower is a 210 feet monument, built on top of the Telegraph Hill, dedicated to San Francisco Firemen. The tower was erected in 1933, after five years of construction, through the donations of a wealthy San Francisco heiress, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite who was best known for her support of local firemen. The tower was funded by Coit and her fortune until four years after her death.

The tower, although seeming like a fire hose nozzle, was not designed to look like such. The structure is made of unpainted reinforced concrete. A small studio apartment originally used as accommodation for the caretaker of the tower can be seen on the first level. The interior is decorated by nineteen murals, which themes focus mainly on "leftist" and socialist topics, prevalent in the 1930s, carried out under the sponsorships of the Public Works of Art Project and through the hands of 26 different WPA artists. One of the murals became controversial. The mural ?Man at the Crossroads? by Diego Rivera was destroyed by the tower?s Rockefeller Center patrons for the inclusion of an image of Lenin. This circumstance led to the protests of the Tower?s muralists who started incorporating leftist ideas and composition in their works. Some of the famous murals found in the tower include the ?Library?, by Bernard Zakheim, that illustrates John Langley Howard (one of his fellow artists) scrunching a newspaper in his left hand while his right hand was reaching a copy of Karl Marx?s ?Das Kapital? from the shelf; ?City Life? by Victor Arnautoff that features ?The New Masses? and ?The Daily Worker? periodicals in news stand rack and ?Industries of California? by Stackpole. Another mural in the tower, which portrays an ethnically diverse Labor March as well as showing a deprived family panning for gold while a rich family observes, was created by John Langley Howard. There are also two murals of San Francisco Bay setting. Most of these murals are done in fresco except for the one in egg tempura and the one in oil on canvas but all are protected as historical treasure. The idea in collecting these murals was a result of the so-called ?New Deal? that the federal government initiated to create as many jobs as possible for the numerous unemployed, including many artists.

To reach the Coit Tower, visitors can go by foot, by bus or by car. Preferably, walking up the Greenwich steps or via the Filbert Steps at Montgomery Street will provide for a scenic view of the tower and to have a 360 degree view of San Francisco, the Tower?s observation platform is the best place to be at.
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