Four on the hill

Not to be confused with the ‘The Fool on the Hill’, although sometimes lately my head is in a cloud like his is. That probably comes from breathing too much of my own carbon dioxide in my safety mask. I was feeling a little restless in the office yesterday, so I decided to head over to Telegraph Hill after my last client left. It’s peaceful and quiet up there and there’s been plenty of parking lately, although there were a lot more people on top of “Telygraft Hill” yesterday than there has been in months.

THillsailorsuseSailors enjoying the view from Pioneer Park behind Coit Tower, either in the late 1930s or during World War Two; I couldn’t get a date on this fine picture. (

THillBalastradeuseI’m assuming the artist Luigi Kasimir wouldn’t have drawn this terrific sketch looking northwest from the steps of Coit Tower in the 1930s if the portable bathroom and concession stand were there then, the trees blocked the view like today, and the balustrade wasn’t there. You can barely see the Marin County hills through the trees and glare in my picture. (

THillAptuse1360 Montgomery Street, the most famous apartment building on Telegraph Hill: It was here that Humphrey Bogart hid out with Lauren Bacall in the 1947 film ‘Dark Passage’. (, posted by Cory Doctorow)

THillFStepsredoLooking down the Filbert Steps toward Montgomery Street in 1959: You have to get a little closer to the street to see the view from here today. I picked up a dragonfly at the top of my picture. (Gene Wright)







3 thoughts on “Four on the hill

  • Vegetation gets in the way sometimes!
    I was just explaining to a colleague that some of the best views from residential backyards in parts of San Francisco are obscured by shrubbery that so-called ‘gardeners’ allowed to get too bulky. It is nice to obscure the views of rooftops and backyards below, but it is nicer to be able to see over and beyond the shrubbery too.

    • The view from the parking lot of Coit Tower, which used to be so enjoyable, is almost completely obscured by trees now. I’ve never been able to understand why they do not cut them back. The telescopes around the parking lot are absolutely worthless. It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but I wonder if it’s being done to force visitors to pay for the ride to the top of Coit Tower. I have absolutely nothing against the view from Coit Tower, but it would be nice sometimes just to enjoy the view from the top of Telegraph Hill without having to ride to the top of the tower in that claustrophobic elevator!

      • Unfortunately, there are a few unreasonable and crazy tree huggers in San Francisco. They protest the removal of very dangerous blue gum eucalyptus.

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