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November 17, 2014: Coit Tower visitor leans directly on a historic New Deal-era Coit Tower mural with no guard present to prevent it or ask him to remove his hand from the fragile artwork, which would happen at any other art museum of importance in the world. Now this recently restored mural has new damage which is only getting worse. Six months after a restored Coit Tower reopened, it’s now time for the city’s own independent report recommending that “Having a live guard staff would help minimize any negative impact of visitors, and be a benign reminder of the value and importance of the artwork” to be implemented without delay.
Ruth Gottstein, daughter of Coit Tower muralist Bernard Zakheim takes Rec and Parks to task for their mistreatment of Coit Tower in the Examiner.
Here’s a quote:
Unfortunately, the Recreation and Park Department has stubbornly continued to divert 90 percent of the elevator revenue generated at Coit Tower away from it to other purposes. This has left the person who was newly hired to run the elevator and gift shop on The City’s behalf in a very difficult state where he finds himself losing money while doing a good job. But, instead of fixing this by spending the Coit Tower elevator revenue to upkeep the tower as the voters mandated, the Recreation and Park Department instead is proposing to construct a concession stand building outside to sell more things and make more money.
As members of the family of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, whose generous bequest originally built Coit Tower, wrote in a letter recently: “If Coit Tower is generating more than enough money right now from elevator fees to pay the people the city has hired to run Coit Tower to continue doing a quality job to operate and maintain it, isn’t that exactly what the voters of San Francisco said should be done, before squeezing Coit Tower to generate money for other purposes?”
Read the entire piece here.
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