This Is What Bernal Heights Looks Like from Atop Sutro Tower


Every citizen of Bernalwood knows what it’s like to gaze out to the west from Bernal Hill and feel the sculptural, sci-fi presence of Sutro Tower standing proud above the City, Twin Peaks, and even Karl the Fog. For example, yesterday.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like to stand on Sutro Tower and look back at Bernal Hill?

Well, now you know, courtesy of the screengrab image above. From way up there, we look… unbig.

Earlier this month, the ever-awesome Exploratorium released a short documentary that provides a very satisfyingly geeky tour of the Sutro Tower complex, as well as lots of satisfyingly geeky history about how the tower works and how it came to be.

Of particular note to local YIMBYs will be the section at the end where the Sutro Tower spokesman considers the structure in the broader context of San Francisco’s other landmarks— while backhandedly suggesting that each generation’s Enemies of Progress should get over themselves:

“Everything that gets built in San Francisco is generally a problem when it gets built. The Transamerica Pyramid, certainly, and Sutro Tower very soon thereafter. Both have become icons of the City. People opposed the Golden Gate Bridge when it was built. But over time, people come to recognize it, and cherish it, and it’s become an icon and a real symbol of the City.”

Amen, and Hail Lord Sutro!

Here’s the video. The Bernal Hill cameo comes at around 02:15…

3 thoughts on “This Is What Bernal Heights Looks Like from Atop Sutro Tower

  1. When I was a reporter at KRON, eons ago, I went up in the tower with a cameraman to get some shots for a series on disaster preparedness I was doing. We took an early ENG (digital) camera with us, and the radiation from the tower completely fried the images. Had to go back with an old fashioned 16mm film rig to get the shots.

    I somehow managed to father three children after that episode, which was a relief, all things considered.

    The views are spectacular, all right, but for someone with acrophobia, it’s hard to appreciate them because the death grip on the rail can cloud one’s vision.

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