Posts Tagged ‘Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization’

Frisco’s Highest Elevator Car

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here it is:

7J7C6826 copy

I don’t think it ever gets level, so you’re standing on a sloping floor the whole time:

7J7C6840 copy

And then you go up up up to the highest horizontal point of Sutro Tower:

7J7C6841 copy

I haven’t seen it in action lately, but here’s a shot from aught-four:

IMG_3240-copy

And more recently:

7J7C2752-copy

Or you can take the stairs I guess…

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

7J7C6741 copy

So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

San Francisco’s Best (If Scariest) Commute: Riding the Elevator Basket Up Sutro Tower

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

As seen a few days back – that square, that’s your elevator car. Haven’t seen it in a while:

7J7C2752 copy

And here’s the close-up color version, from all the way back in 2004:

IMG_3240-copy

(I remember thinking how the workers in the basket should have appeared clearer in this photo. I guess I was super-far away, oh well.)

In closing, take that, Great Pyramid. Pwned:

july-david_sutro-tower-height-comparison

Never Walk the Stairs to the Top of Sutro Tower – Just Take the Elevator

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Like these guys.

It would take forever to make it up the stairs to the top of controversial landmark Sutro Tower, so a swaying elevator car is the preferred method.  

Click to expand to get a closer look at a sunnier, more colorful San Francisco:

Take the tour.

Our New and Improved Sutro Tower Now Has New and Improved Digital Broadcasts

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Not that you’d really be able to tell, though. Sutro Tower Inc. has just finished a project that had some of the digital TV broadcast antennas (not “antennae” – that plural term is only used for bugs in our silly English language) gaining a higher altitude.

Not much howver, maybe a seven-percent increase, max. Does that make a big difference? No, not for most people, but at least STI is trying.

Here’s the antenna of KPIX-TV (OMG, that’s the home of Eye on Blogs – big ups, Brittney Gilbert!) a way up top, like 1700 feet above sea level. Now Channel 5 is as high as possible:

IMG_9606 copy

Click to expand

The Future is Now, and what’s labeled “CURRENT” is history:

current_and_future

From this:

IMG_8489-copy

To this:

IMG_7979-copy

Well, they were still wrapping the KPIX, KRON, KTVU antenna assembly, but you get the idea.

So it looks like we’re all set with the Great Digital TV Conversion of 2009. As long as Sutro Tower doesn’t get hit by a shooting star….

img_0070a copy

…we’ll be all right.

Sutro Tower Has Regrown Its Antenna Antlers – Now Ready for a Digital Future

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

San Francisco’s famous Sutro Tower (owned by Sutro Tower, Inc., the buyer-offer and $hutter-upperof San Francisco’s mid-town NIMBYs) has a new look for Fall.

Here’s Before (a way back in August 2009)…

IMG_8489-copy

und jetzt After, the way it looks these days (when being buzzed by a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 NG heading to El Lay, camera right, see it?)

IMG_7979 copy

Click to expand

Très chic! Non?

Now, she’s all set for the next meteor shower:

img_0070a

Courage.

After a Late Rutting Season, Sutro Tower Starts to Lose its Antenna Antlers

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Well here’s this scene this morning up on Mount Sutro (former home to the SF-89C Mount Sutro Nike Missile Control Station, don’t you know.) Can you see what’s missing?

Sutro Tower is losing antennas (that’s right, not antennae or antennea or anything else) and getting other updates all in the name of Our Digital Future. Get some deets here at the Burrito Justice.

IMG_8489 copy

The West Stack appears all nubbed out these days, no? Click to expand.

Make your necessary adjustments and your Wheel will come in just fine every evening, as per usual. 

 IMG_8494 copy

Touch me.

How can it be.

Believe me

The Sun always shines on TV

Sutro Tower, Digital Television, and Buying Off the NIMBYs of Twin Peaks

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

All right, you already know about Sutro Tower, right? Well, here’s an update. Digital TV is here, not that you care, cause you get cable from the Comcast monopoly. 

But, just in case you’re struggling with a free digital to analog converter box you just got from the govmint, there might be some good news coming in a few months when they lift the digital antennas up higher on the tower.

So, do you see this vertical array in the middle of this photo? Them’s the digital antennas: 

go8f3272a

Click to expand.

Kind of an afterthought, they were, so there was a big fuss about getting them up there. They weigh a ton (or rather 10 tons, actually). I’m a little hazy on all the deets of high-def and digital and whatnot, but whatever, this 125-foot long array is not long for this world. Check it:

current_and_future

See? All the “DT” antennas are going up all the way to the top (and losing the DT suffix). Match up the chart with real life here:

IMG_8925 copy

So what this all adds up to is that there’s a chance your reception will improve in a few months. No promises, however. Most of the people who are bummed with DTV are still going to be bummed with DTV, but it’s a Worthy Effort. Listen to a KQED Forum podcast from Scott Shafer and Glenn Phillips, field agent for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

And, as always, re-scan if you run into trouble. What’s that? You still can’t see Wheel and all your stories? Sorry.

Oh, and what about the Not In My Back Yard millionaires who never cottoned to Sutro Tower in the first place? Well, they’ve been bought off for peanuts.

Check it:

13. STI agrees to contribute:

a. $ 3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year.

b. $ 4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $ 6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest [sic] Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls [sic again – Run Forrest Run!] entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.

How’s them apples?

Anyway, hang your antenna high and hope for the best.