For some unknown reason, I thought I would look into San Francisco’s 10 most popular tourist attractions–after all, I am told that tourism is the city’s biggest industry. While I was not shocked to find that the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz made the list, I was surprised to see “high tea at the Westin St. Francis,” in the top 10…with no mention of Coit Tower, which catches my eye almost every day.
A little research unearthed the fact that we have Lillie Hitchcock Coit to thank for Coit Tower, which sits atop Telegraph Hill. Apparently, she was an eccentric North Beach character from the 1860s–an avid gambler who smoked cigars, dressed like a man in order to gamble in male-only clubs, and liked to chase fires (she eventually became something of a mascot to the city’s fire department). Coit Tower was financed with money left from her estate. Some claim that the tower was designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle due to Coit’s affinity to the San Francisco firefighters of her day.
Though Coit Tower didn’t make the top 10 list, it remains an iconic San Francisco edifice. Perhaps it will make a top 10 list in the future along with some of San Francisco’s newer developments. Indeed, while the new (and reopened) Salesforce Transit Center doesn’t have the gravitas nor patina of, say, the Palace of Fine Arts or Legion of Honor, I submit that it will become one of the top San Francisco tourist attractions in the (very) near future.
For more on this wonderful attraction, check out this Insight.
The near future brings excitement for LISA, too. This spring, Bay Area teams compete to rebuild the Transamerica Pyramid. Click here to learn more.