Posts Tagged ‘sutro’

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.  

My Two San Francisco Skunk Sightings: 1) Japanese Tea Garden, 2004; and 2) Mount Sutro, Yesterday

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

From back before the time our Japanese Tea Garden cut down its free hours by about 90% – this was at about 7:00 PM or so, in 2004:

_o8f9828-copy1

And here’s yesterday up in UCSF’s so-called cloud* forest:

7J7C6755 copy

That shot was as I was leaving – it was the only time this critter looked at me. It was busy digging along a line. It looked like it was farming or something.

And here’s the other shot, with its hair akimbo, like Robert Smith of The Cure. This animal needs some product:

7J7C6748 copy

It wasn’t threatening me or anything, it was just digging away.

(Of course, I’ve seen more coyotes, foxes and raccoons in Frisco. Skunks is rare.)

In closing, Disintegration is the best album ever.

*Not a forest and not a cloud forest. If you want to call it a stand of exotic trees in a sometimes foggy area, then we can agree. 

Sutro Tower is Everywhere

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Those from the North and East Bay(s) should consider that Frisco already has a symbol to rally around, you know, in case our historic City Flag isn’t good enough for them.

7J7C7420 copy

AH-1W SuperCobra Helicopters Buzz Sutro Tower in Honor of Barack Obama’s Visit

Friday, June 24th, 2016

A Whiskey Cobra, AFAIK:

7J7C7673 copy

Looks like good old #465, or something:

7J7C7662 copy

Sandra Lee Fewer Looks Unbeatable for District One Supervisor – Campaign Kickoff at Sutro Elementary

Monday, April 11th, 2016

I was in the nabe, so I dropped by at the campaign kickoff the other day:

7J7C4163 copy

Left early, but it ended up looking like this:

CfpX59sVIAEhtNl copy

I’ve heard nothing from these people…

Sherman D’Silva, Richie Greenberg, Brian Larkin, Jonathan Lyens, Marjan Philhour, Andy Thornley

…so it looks like SLF is going to win come November.

(Wake me up if anything changes)

The Massive, Tumble-Down WHAT’S-IT That’s Now Sitting Near the Base of Sutro Tower – What is This Thing?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

To me at first, it looked like a building what had fallen down:

7J7C0746 copy

Keep in mind that the legs of the tower are 50 yards apart.

Here’s your close-up:

7J7C0775 copy

And here’s how things look from Google Maps, from above:

Capturehdfff copy

It’s a mystery…

Suffer Our Local Porn Industry, Under the Constant Threat of California Condom Requirements

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

What’s next for this rather large building?

7J7C1862 copy

A NIMBY Victory: Sutro Tower Inc Buys $8000 Broadband Field Meters for Midtown Terrace Residents to Use?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Well, this is news to me.

Via Omar Masry, here’s this:

9f554ae0-b47c-4893-9acb-59a79b32efdb-large copy

(Science, meet Local Politics! Local Politics, meet Science!)

Myself, I don’t approve of this Clintonian-style compromise, but that’s just me. And of course, I’m not the Emissions Czar of San Francisco, so carry on, NIMBYs.

Carry on.

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