Exploratorium home Exploratorium home Explo.tv
Science in the City
Sutro Tower: From Eyesore to Icon (Clip)
Date: August 13, 2014
Running Time: 00:10:06

Looming over San Francisco since 1973, Sutro Tower's antennae transmit and receive radio and television signals to the nine-county SF Bay Area. Perched above Twin Peaks and sometimes obscured by fog, the tower has become a local icon, now revered as much as it was abhorred when first built. Its form can be found embroidered in to dish towels, designed into product labels, and reimagined as art. Visit the tower with us to find out what’s on it, what’s underneath it, and its history, including its transformation from eyesore to icon.
Urban environments like San Francisco are full of mysterious natural and human-made phenomena. Why are there so many one-footed pigeons? Where does the sewage go? Why is our “summer” in May and September? The Exploratorium is “taking it outside" to explore these and other questions in engineering, ecology, optics, waves, geology, architecture, weather, and more. Look for new episodes once a month.

Upcoming

00:05:00
Sound Restoration (Clip)
6/10/2015   
Experimental physicist Carl Haber optically scans antique audio recordings, such as wax cylinde ...

Featured

00:05:16
The Science of Firefighting: Cisterns (Clip)
9/10/2014   
Ever notice a brick-lined circle embedded into a street intersection? Keep an eye out and y ...
 
00:05:26
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Clip)
4/8/2014   
Join Exploratorium staff scientist Ron Hipschman as we visit Dan Werthimer, Director ...
 
00:04:45
Flight Simulation (Clip)
7/10/2013   
Virgin America's Captain Christopher Owens gives us a tour of their high-tech flight simulator ...
 
00:12:40
The Making of a Bell (Clip)
4/10/2013   
For our first episode in a new season of "Science in the City," we explore the creation ...
 
00:07:03
Altamont Wind Farms (Clip)
9/12/2012   
Southeast of San Francisco, on the way out to California's Central Valley, thousands ...

Recent

00:10:45
Living With Wildlife in the Bay Area (Clip)
5/13/2015   
With the ever shifting boundaries between humans and wildlife in the Bay Area, the da ...
 
00:05:00
Tofu (Clip)
4/8/2015   
Curious about Tofu? The folks over at Hodo Soy Beanery tell us everything we ever wanted to know ...
 
00:06:00
Guide Dogs (Clip)
3/11/2015   
Navigating bustling city streets can be a challenge for anyone at times. Can you imagine crossi ...
 
00:09:00
Buried Treasure: Recovering the Charles Hare Lighter (Clip)
2/11/2015   
Buried in a cove that later became downtown San Francisco, a Gold Rush-era cargo sh ...
 
00:06:30
Restoring the Salt Ponds (Clip)
10/7/2014   
What are salt ponds and why are they are being restored to their natural habitat? The South Bay S ...