Lasers to illuminate Sutro Tower for 50th anniversary, but will other SF landmarks get the same?

For the nonprofit's founder, the display is way to highlight the beauty of San Francisco and take away the "doom loop" narrative.

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Lasers to light up SF's Sutro Tower for 50th anniversary
EMBED <>More Videos

Look up at San Francisco's Sutro Tower any night this week and catch a glimpse of the new laser display celebrating its 50th anniversary.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Look up at Sutro Tower any night this week and you'll be greeted with something that looks like this: a new art installation of lasers celebrating the tower's 50th anniversary on the Fourth of July.

"It is a bit of an icon in San Francisco. It's one of the very few things in the city that can be seen from just about every point," said Raul Velez, Sutro Tower's chief operating officer.

The new light display will run from Tuesday through Saturday and is put on by local nonprofit, Illuminate, the group who also runs the lasers down Market Street during Pride weekend.

"The plan is to run 12 lights around the base of the tower, shooting through the center of the tower and up to the heavens," Velez said.

MORE: Video captures moment lightning strikes SF's Sutro Tower, Transamerica Pyramid

The Sutro Tower display is one of several Illuminate has planned for the city. They also want to do installations at Coit Tower, as well as at Grace Cathedral.

"It's going to be a spectacular summer in San Francisco. The 'Summer of Awe' here in the city of awe, San Francisco," said Illuminate's founder, Ben Davis.

Some of those plans, however, have run into problems.

The planned site at Coit Tower, which is meant to run from July 14 through 16, still hasn't been formally approved by the city's Rec and Park Department.

70 Years of ABC7: From haunted house to top television station

The uncertainty even getting the attention of several local politicians. Despite that, Davis believes the project will ultimately go through.

"Everybody's aligned with what's best for the city's interest and we're all moving forward like one great city should," he said.

Because for him, it's more than just a passion project. It's a way to highlight the beauty of San Francisco and take away from the "doom loop" narrative that's surrounded it.

"This is an antidote to that. This is to bring light and love and show our true spirit in really dramatic ways," said Davis.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live