Completed in the summer of 1973, Sutro Tower is one of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks. The city’s residents regularly look to it, both on clear days and when a blanket of fog glides across its base, but they don’t usually get to see what the city looks like from the 298-meter (977-foot) high tower itself.
In this KQED News video from 2015, reporter Jessica Plazcek takes a once-in-a-lifetime trip in the tower’s slow and small cage elevator to see the view from the top.
The Sutro Tower™ is named for the hill at its base, Mount Sutro, which is named for Adolph Sutro, a Prussia-born Gold Rush engineer and real estate investor who was elected mayor of San Francisco in 1894. His grandson, Adolph G. Sutro, built a mansion on the hill in the 1930s and sold it in 1948 to American Broadcasting Company, for use as the transmitter site for its new television station, KGO-TV…
In the mid-1960s, Bay Area television stations were receiving complaints of poor reception in many parts of the area. They conceived a project to build a taller tower and a larger transmission building to accommodate most of the stations in the Bay Area… After years of hearings and litigation, construction of the $4 million Sutro Tower project began in 1971.
Related videos: The Unseen Sea, a time lapse of clouds and fog around San Francisco, The Solitary Life of Cranes, and changing a light bulb at the top of a 1500 foot TV tower.
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