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San Francisco - Telegraph Hill: Coit Tower - Animal Force and Machine Force

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San Francisco - Telegraph Hill: Coit Tower - Animal Force and Machine Force
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Animal Force and Machine Force, located out the inner west wall of Coit Tower's rotunda, was executed by Roy Bonton, in 1934. The interior walls of the tower are decorated with murals, mostly done in fresco, carried out by 26 artists under the auspices of the Public Works Project. The muralists, who were mainly faculty and students were supervised by Ralph Stackpole and Bernard Zakheim. Artists included Maxine Albro, Victor Arnautoff, Ray Bertrand, Rinaldo Cuneo, Mallette Harold Dean, Clifford Wight, Edith Hamlin, George Harris, Robert B. Howard, Otis Oldfield, Suzanne Scheuer, Hebe Daum and Frede Vidar.

Coit Tower, sitting in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill, was built in 1933 by architects Arthur Brown, Jr. and Henry Howard, at the bequest of Lillian Hitchcock Coit for the purposes of beautification of the City of San Francisco. The 210-foot tall, unpainted, reinforced concrete, Art Deco tower resembles a fire hose nozzle. However, even though Lillie Coit was a big supporter of the city's fireman, contrary to urban legend the tower does not serve as a memorial in wake of the 1906 earthquake. Over 250,000 visitors come to Coit Tower annually to take the elevator ride up to the 360-degree observation deck, which sits 179-feet high and 542-feet above sea level. There is a small studio apartment on the first level of the tower, which was originally used as lodging for the structure's caretaker.

Pioneer Park, one of the first dedicated parks in San Francisco, was established atop Telegraph Hill in 1876. Telegraph Hill earned its name from the marine semaphore telegraph which was posted there in the 1850's, providing notification of arriving ships.

National Register #07001468 (2007)


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