Photo of Nandina (a member of the bamboo family) in the early morning frost taken by Laurie Hedger

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Coit Tower San Francisco
Its History and Art
By Masha Zakheim with photos by Don Beatty
An updated release of COIT TOWER SAN FRANCISCO: Its History and Art, by Masha Zakheim, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Tower is now available.

First published in 1983, the 2009 edition includes newly discovered information, as well as insightful essays by leading art historians Francis O'Connor and Linda Bank Downs. Jeffrey Tilman, author of a book on the architect Arthur Brown, Jr., contributes a detailed account of the construction of the tower.

Since the Tower was first opened to the public during the turbulent times of the 1930s, there’s been increased interest in the Public Works Art Project (PWAP), recognized today as the most significant collection of New Deal art. The influence of renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera has focused additional attention on the murals, since some of the 26 Tower artists had studied with him.

Author Masha Zakheim, daughter of one of the Tower muralists, had the unique opportunity to interview many of the artists in the 1970's, all of them gone now, making this a stand-alone connection to the past.

In 2008, the Tower was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources.

“A vital and enlightening history that is a tribute to the legacy of the New Deal – a time when both government and individuals worked for the common good to create a matrix of municipal buildings, infrastructure, and public art that we still benefit from and enjoy today.”

Lisa Eriksen, California Historical Society, Living New Deal Project

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