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Science in the City
Sutro Tower: From Eyesore to Icon (Clip)
Date: July 9, 2014

Looming over San Francisco since 1973, Sutro Tower's antennas transmit and receive radio and television signals to the nine county SF Bay Area. Perched above the Twin Peaks neighborhood, obscured by fog most days in the summer, the tower has become a local icon, now revered as much as it was abhorred when first built. Its tapered yet ungainly form can be found embroidered in to dish towels, designed into product labels, and reimagined as art. August’s episode of SITC takes a visit to the tower 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.