Posts Tagged ‘observation’

Our Changing Presidio: A Military Observation Tower Located Just North of the Richmond Replaced by a Communications Tower

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

First, it was all like this:


Get all the deets here.

You see I’m six-foot-one and a ton of fun, so things were a bit wobbly on the staircase going up, back in the day. Empty beer cans are what you’d find up there.

But now the Presidio isn’t a military base – there’s no need to have an observation tower for training recruits anymore.

Radio communications, that’s the present need on this ridge, and it’s The Future as well.

Here’s how things look these days:

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This scene makes me think of the Old Days.


A Man In His Forties

The Shutdown, Brokedown Military Observation Tower of the Presidio Has Finally Been Removed, Replaced

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

I just found out that the Great Military Observation Tower of the Presidio is no more. It poked above the eucalyptus, so they had to they had to paint it #17875 White and #12197 Aviation Orange, just like Sutro Tower. But now this sweet tower is gone.

You could see the whole bay area from up there – probably with a similar view that you’d get atop a Golden Gate Bridge tower. And it was accessible – you could just hop the fence (while minding the concertina wire) and then use the internal staircase to get to the platform up top. It was sweet:

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But then then took out the first flight of stairs, so you couldn’t just walk up the thing and then they put up a cell tower right next door and then, not too long ago, they took the observation tower down.

So here’s the situation today. Cell tower on the left, and the site of the observation tower (the now-empty square) on the right:

The above shot via Google Maps is from 9-11-2010. (Google has no hassles photographing the Presidio from above, of course.)

Anyway, here’s how things look from Ashbury Heights – the cell tower is there, but the observation tower, Sutro Tower’s Little Buddy, is all gone:

Oh well.

The Sad End to the Super Sweet Military Observation Tower High in the Presidio

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Now back in the day, you could shimmy over a nine-foot cyclone fence and then just walk up the staircase to the top of this observation tower the U.S. Army used to operate in the Presidio. It was the coolest vantage point in town.

But now the barbed concertina wire is thicker than ever and the wobbly stairs up to the first landing have been removed. And perhaps there are new systems in place that would assist the park police as they catch any monkey trying to shimmy up to the top. (Perhaps means definitely, BTW.)

Oh well. It’s painted Sutro Tower white and red because it’s a hazard to aerial navigation peeking just above the Eucalyptus the way it do. Last time I was there, you could tell that people would go up to drink beer and have sex and whatnot.

You’d think the phone companies would have used this old tower for cell antennas but perhaps this old thing is too old. There’s a  new tower right next door but there’s not enough room to party up there even if you could try. The old tower has a roomy platform on top, made for a bunch of  generals and majors to reconnoiter and whatnot.  

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Oh well, it’s the end of an era….

The Coolest Vantage Point in San Francisco and Why You Should Never Ever Go There

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Not even sure what to call this ex-military observation tower as I am unaware of its name. But I’ll tell you, the views from up there are terrific and with none of those pesky trees in the way. It’s painted FAA red and white like Sutro Tower for a reason – it’s a hazard to navigation it’s so high.

Now, you can’t go there legally I don’t think, judging by the signs that I’m sure are posted on the fence you’d need to climb over to begin your climb. Speaking of which, this thing is all wobbly by design. And that’s fine, but you don’t know how it’s been maintained over the decades. Think about that if you try to climb up.

What’s it still doing standing above the eucalyptus if it no longer has a purpose?

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Last time I was up, there were empty beer cans strewn about, so that’s proof that somebody goes up there sometimes. Oh well.

You’ll just have to bide your time and wait for the Golden Gate Bridge to open up to climbers, whenever that happens…