The stunning view from San Francisco's big blue tower
Before the storm hit, I took some time to walk up into McLaren Park to the blue tower formally known as La Grande Tank, and the view was amazing.
State of play: The 80-foot-tall tank, perched upon McLaren Park in the Excelsior, was originally built in 1956.
- The big blue tower stores about 350,000 gallons of water, SF Curbed reports.
- Water gets pumped up to the tank and is stored to support the water pressure needs of the surrounding neighborhood, Walter Jebe Sr. wrote in his book "San Francisco's Excelsior District."
- "Since the city is built on a hill and water does not flow uphill on its own, it needs a little help," he wrote.
- In 2008, the tank underwent a nearly $7 million seismic retrofit as part of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Water System Improvement Program.
Of note: The tower's design was considered "sleek" when it was first built, according to nonprofit San Francisco Heritage, noting that a 1956 bulletin declared it "a monument that is as utilitarian as it is esthetic [sic] ... and looks like a kind of high-calorie Coit Tower."
What's next: Check it out for yourself! Put on your hiking boots (I wore running shoes) and walk up the 2.7-mile Philosopher's Way trail to the base of the tower.
- You'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson and downtown San Francisco.
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