Coit Tower gearing up for various fixes

Courtesy PhotoHigh and dry: Waterproofing

Commission hears about roof repair and other structural plans for the Telegraph Hill landmark.

The 210-foot concrete tower, erected in 1933, was the subject of debate in the June 5 election when proponents of the successful Proposition B argued that The City’s Recreation and Park Department was not taking good care of the structure and its Depression-era murals. However, the fixes now under consideration were planned and announced by Mayor Ed Lee in the days leading up to the election and technically have nothing to do with the ballot measure.

The repairs, totaling $1.5 million, will include waterproofing, concrete and roof repair, more restroom ventilation and more signage. A parallel effort to address water damage to the murals could cost up to $250,000 and is set to be undertaken by The City’s Arts Commission once the structural work is completed. Most of the work on the tower is scheduled to begin in mid-January and last until May, although the roof work is to be completed by early November, before the rainy season.

A report that circulated at City Hall last spring showed major structural cracks in the tower, which the analysis said could result in falling debris.

Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg — who opposed the somewhat vague policy statement of Prop. B to “strictly limit” private events at the tower and to “prioritize” funding earned there for its upkeep — has said he hopes conditions will improve when a contract with a new concessionaire is finalized. Coit Tower generates money for the department — more than $600,000 per year — through food sales and an elevator fee.

In September, the Board of Supervisors asked for more specific financial data about the tower to decide how to institute the new voter-approved policy.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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