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The Story of Sutro Tower: Eyesore or Icon?

KQED details the San Francisco broadcast tower’s complicated history

The San Francisco Bay area is filled with a number of iconic landmarks — the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Alcatraz — but depending on who you ask, Sutro Tower may or not may be included as one of them.

The broadcast tower finished construction in 1973 and stands 977 feet on top of Mount Sutro overlooking the city. Today many broadcast engineers consider the tower to be one of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks; however, some locals see it as an eyesore.

As part of its “Bay Curious” series, KQED News ran a featured article detailing the history of Sutro Tower, “Sutro Tower: The Origins of an Eyesore.” From planning to construction and all the way up to today, it details the tower’s original design, the San Francisco Chronicle’s shifting allegiance with the tower, and even some hindsight from the tower’s general manager, Eric Dausman.