Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Yujung Cho of Seoul photographs herself in front of Victor Arnautoff's mural "City Life" at Coit Tower in San Francisco. Mineral blooms on the pillar's interior walls have marred the Depression-era frescoes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

The tower atop Telegraph Hill was built in 1933, thanks to a vague bequest from Lillie Hitchcock Coit.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Former state librarian Kevin Starr, left, and UC San Diego professor Bram Dijkstra view the mural "Department Store."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Bernard Zakheim's mural "Library" features news items from the Depression era. His daughter deplores the neglect of the murals.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Visitors walk past the mural "Industries of California" by artist Ralph Stackpole, which was patterned after a Diego Rivera mural at Rockefeller Center that had been destroyed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

The mural "City Life" by artist Victor Arnautoff depicts a Depression-era street scene in San Francisco.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

A visitor to Coit Tower explores the monument's interior murals, which were painted in 1934 and depict life in California during the Great Depression.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Bernard Zakheim's mural "Library" depicts his daughter, Ruth Gottstein, center left.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

A visitor to Coit Tower views the mural "City Life" by artist Victor Arnautoff in San Francisco.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Local residents oppose a city plan to host private parties on top of Coit Tower to raise funds for the Recreation & Parks department budget. A neighborhood association has drafted a ballot initiative that would strictly limit commercial activity and private events at the landmark art deco structure and prioritize all revenues raised there for the tower’s upkeep.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

The mural "Picking Oranges" by artist Maxine Albro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

A tour group led by Richard Rothman, left, of City Guides views the first-floor murals inside Coit Tower in San Francisco.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Detail of the mural "City Life" by artist Victor Arnautoff depicts a child witnessing a robbery. Also evident are scratches and scuffs to the surface of the fresco.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

The mural "Department Store" by artist Frede Vidar shows evidence of damage from a phenomenon known as efflorescence, wherein evaporating water leaves behind salt deposits.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Detail of the second-floor mural "Sports" by artist Edward Terada.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Detail of the second-floor mural "Home Life" by artist Jane Berlandina shows wear inflicted by visitors.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

Overlooking San Francisco's famous ferry terminal, Coit Tower stands in stark relief atop Telegraph Hill. Inside the Tower, Depression-era murals have fallen into disrepair. A city plan to raise money for the Recreation & Parks department budget by hosting private parties at the tower has upset local residents who believe revenues should flow to the icon’s upkeep.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

San Francisco's iconic skyline is characterized by the city's famous bridges, the distinctively-shaped Transamerica building and Coit Tower, which stands alone atop Telegraph Hill.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dave Getzschman / For The Times

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | April 16, 2015

In Thursday's Pictures in the News, strong winds were enough to part a beard, -- in this case, B. Singh's as he makes his way up Winnetka Ave. in Winnetka on Wednesday. Strong...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Times' Scout Party trips to Death Valley

In the 1930s and '40s, Los Angeles Times Outdoor Editor Lynn J. Rogers wrote the "Scout Party" travelogue column on day trips around Southern California. Death Valley was one of...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | November 13, 2014

Thursday's Pictures in the News begins with a view of Cathedral Rocks in Yosemite. John Muir, who saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system, is now being...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | May 20, 2014

In Tuesday's Pictures in the News, lightning is reflected in water during an evening thunderstorm in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Sakai, Japan: A huge paper doll of...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

The Week in Pictures | Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, 2014

This week's roundup of best images culled from the wires and taken by our staff photographers.  View Post»

   

Betfair World Matchplay dart tournament

Betfair World Matchplay Dart Tournament

The game of darts finds its target audience in England, under the Olympic radar. On the eve of the London Games, some wonder (seriously) why the popular pub game isn't an...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | May 16, 2012

Wednesday's Pictures in the News begins in Germany, where protesters are splattered in paint in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt where police tried to clear their...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | July 25, 2011

Monday's Pictures in the News begins in Norway, where a minute of silence was observed across Norway at midday, an hour before the confessed perpetrator was due in court for his...   View Post»

   

San Francisco's Coit Tower murals

Pictures in the News | Aug. 31, 2010

In today's Pictures in the News, we have the arrest of drug trafficker Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez by Mexican federal police; the black-and-blue face of Spanish activist Carmen...   View Post»

San Francisco’s Coit Tower murals

The frescoes encapsulate Depression-era California: Scenes depicting idyllic farm and factory life roll out beside those of grueling economic hardship. Urban shoppers browse for toys. A small boy witnesses a mugging.

No one disputes their historical value. But the works — along with their iconic Art Deco home, San Francisco’s fluted Coit Tower — are in trouble.

Read the full story by Lee Romney, “Hard times for a tower and its murals

Photos by Dave Getzschman / For The Times

2 Comments

  1. January 3, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Thanks! I was not aware of these pictures. Can't wait to see them in real life.

    By: bobhgg
  2. January 4, 2012, 9:21 pm

    You do your best to keep your children healthy, but sickness and accidents are a part of life. Getting health insurance for your children gives you peace of mind knowing they have health coverage when they need it. Search one the web "Penny Medical" for kids they are the best.

    By: FelixVJohnson

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published