Sutro Tower's Journey From Eyesore to Icon

8 min
An aerial view of Sutro Tower.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Back in the 1960s, San Francisco had really bad television reception. By many accounts, it was the worst of any city in America.

Good reception required a clear line of sight from the broadcast tower to your TV antenna, and in hilly San Francisco this was a challenge. Broadcasters began the hunt for a location to build a very tall tower that could send a clear TV signal far and wide.

A site was selected and plans were drawn up — but not without a bounty of controversy.

Read the full web story: Sutro Tower: The Origins of an 'Eyesore'

Video from Jessica's trip to the top: A Trip to the Top of Sutro Tower

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This episode first aired on Jan. 5, 2017. It features question asker Craig Rubens.

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Reported by Jessica Placzek.

Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Adam Grossberg and Katie McMurran. Additional support from Julie Caine, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Ethan Lindsey and Patricia Yollin.

Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.

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Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.