SAN FRANCISCO’s BEST ●Attractions●Historical Sites
At top of Lombard St., North Beach. Fee.
This 210-foot-tall tower (approximately 18 stories) located atop fashionable Telegraph Hill offers a magnificent 360-degree view that includes the Golden Gate and Bay bridges and Lombard Street. Resembling the nozzle of a fire hose, it was built in 1933 as a memorial to the city’s volunteer fire department. Colorful murals painted on the ground floor walls in 1934 depict area activities during the Depression. They were controversial at the time because of left-wing political content. More murals on the second floor depict people playing sports. Admission fee includes an attendant-operated elevator ride to the top. Parking is extremely limited.
Visitors can take the 39 Coit bus up, then walk down the Filbert Street Steps (keep an eye and ear out for the wild parrots that live in this area—made famous by Mark Bittner’s book and movie, “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”--and for Napier Lane—made famous by Armistead Maupin’s novel, “Tales of the City”) and see some charming 19th-century cottages as well as the Grace Marchant Garden, exiting onto Levi Plaza near Battery Street.