Desperately seeking salvation at Coit Tower
The murals in Coit Tower, with their poignant view of a troubled time gone by, are in a state of benign neglect.
Things are even growing on them.
The effort to protect and restore the historic artwork, created in the 1930s, painted by artists who worked with mural giant Diego Rivera, is a disjointed one.
It’s further complicated by the city Parks and Recreation Department’s decision to change things up at Coit Tower, offering more opportunities for private parties to be held there, and assigning the concession responsibilities to a new vendor.
What’s important is the art.
If you’ve visited the tower, then you know about the magnificence of its murals. They’re dated, certainly, done in a style of art that we don’t frequently see nowadays. They depict a time that’s so similar to ours in many ways – economic hardship, time of great change, but also time of progress - but what’s most noticeable is the lack of technology.
Viewing the murals again recently made me realize how much things have truly changed in the world today. Our number one way of interacting with each other today is not in person, or even by a telephone, but through the conduit of this computer at which I sit. It’s something the people who painted the murals never experienced, and it’s changed who we are as a society. For good or bad, the people reading books and newspapers in one of the CT murals would now all be on iPhones or Kindles.
These murals are worth saving. It will take some diligent outside fundraising to do so. The city doesn’t have the money.
Here’s hoping this storied resource, giving us a glimpse to our not-so-distant past, gets the attention and funds it deserves.