Jon Golinger and the Telegraph Hill Neighbors refueled the torches they've been burning for the Coit Tower murals with news of a private dinner held last year in the tower. While no one disputes the murals need conservation, no one seems to be looking at actual pictures of the event, a dinner that had been auctioned at a Rec & Parks fundraiser and catered by chef Tyler Florence and event planner Laurie Arons. Adam Gottstein, whose grandfather Bernard Zakheim was one of the tower muralists, didn't bother look at the event pictures at the Laurie Arons Blog, giving the party a reckless, inebriated slant when he complained to the Arts Commission, pitchfork and pike at hand:
Holding private unsupervised functions complete with cocktails and burning candles within inches of these irreplaceable and already-damaged murals presents the possibility of obvious and potentially disastrous effects on the historic murals.We couldn't agree more, except there were no "candles within inches," those are tea lights floating in water, in hurricanes, and feet away from any painted surfaces. Not exactly incendiary. The "candles" on the stairs are plastic (photo at Arons' blog) with batteries and LED bulbs. And Gottstein ignores the fact that it was a dinner for a dozen people- not exactly the crowd that shows up on weekends. So we hope next time, party planners use LED "candles" instead of tea lights, like they do at the De Young. Having swank private dinners amidst the murals is an outstanding way of raising money to preserve them, from people with the cash to do so, and a lot less taxing on the murals than hordes of tourists armed with water bottles and trail mix.
· Coit Tower Benefit Dinner [Laurie Arons Blog]
· Dinner Party in Coit Tower Endangered Murals, Artist's Grandson Says [City Insider/SF Gate]
· Coit Tower, NIMBY Beacon to the World [Curbed SF] [Photo Credit: Meg Smith & Associates via Laurie Arons Blog]