Iconic Coit Tower in San Francisco reopens to tourists after 15 months

San Francisco: Coit Tower, the iconic white concrete column defining the San Francisco skyline since 1933, has reopened to tourists for the first time in 15 months.

The 210-foot welcoming beacon, which houses the largest Depression Era art collection in the US, normally sees up to 1,500 visitors a day, reports Xinhua news agency.

Health orders amid the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered this National Historic Site on March 15, 2020.

Guided tours of the artwork will be limited to six people at one time.

Coit Tower’s gift shop and cafe kiosk also re-opened Thursday.

“From its panoramic views to the Depression Era frescoes painted on its walls, Coit Tower gives visitors a glimpse of the city’s breathtaking beauty and the resilience of its residents,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday.

“I’m thrilled to open this beloved landmark to the public again.”

The tower, which provides 360-degree views of the city and bay including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, is named after Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy eccentric and patron of the city’s firefighters.

Coit died in 1929, leaving a substantial bequest “for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city I have always loved”.

The funds were used to build both the tower and a monument to Coit’s beloved volunteer firefighters, in nearby Washington Square.

The murals inside the tower’s base were painted in 1934 by a group of artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project, a precursor to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and depict life in California during the Depression.

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