After 45 years the tower is embedded in San Francisco’s self image and landscape; an image without it would be hard to imagine.
Two people opposed it. Only two people. Pete Ashen and me.
We were the only two people to testify at the only public hearing on the proposed tower in 1968.
Pete objected that the 1,000 tower could damage homes falling in an earthquake. So the engineers added more concrete to the base with no real technical benefits.
As a private pilot I argued that the tower was not visible enough for small planes. So the designers and engineers added cladding to the outside.
I also said that aesthetics supported removing the existing radio-TV towers. The committee chair promised that would be done. It still hasn't.
Unexpected and harmful consequences. You can find a photo at the bottom of this page that shows the tower before the cladding. It was more attractive and delicate than the final version.