Nomenclature Update: Introducing “Sutrito Tower”

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, September 2011 - 04

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, West Side, September 2011 - 03

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, West Side, September 2011 - 10

There was another fashion shoot on Bernal Hill last week, only this time, the subject wasn’t a glamorous supermodel. Instead, photographer Rusty turned his camera toward the familiar microwave tower that sits atop the hill, to deftly capture its jaunty good looks.

This also provides a perfect opportunity to revisit a discussion that began back in June, regarding what to call the distinctive structure:

It occurred to me recently that Bernal’s iconic microwave tower really needs a name. Calling it “Microwave Tower” is pretty lame.

I don’t have any specific ideas per se, but I would generally propose that — like its bigger cousin Sutro Tower — the name should be simple and vaguely honorific.

Thus challenged, the Bernalwood Ad Hoc Nomenclature Committee met in open session a few weeks later, and the group quickly reached consensus around one naming candidate put forward by Reader Joe Thomas.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great solemnity that the Nomenclature Committee has dubbed that thing atop Bernal Hill “Sutrito Tower.” (Pro Tip: It’s pronounced Su-TREE-to; rhymes with “burrito.”)  A diminutive name, Sutrito provides loving recognition of our tower’s ambitious desire to be something more someday, and this photo should make the logic of the choice rather obvious:

Little Wannabe

So now it’s official. Please update your maps and guide books to reflect the new name, and let it be known as Sutrito Tower from this day forward.

PHOTOS: Top, Sutrito Tower, by rustymerin. Below, Sutro Tower with Sutrito Tower, by Telstar Logistics

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37 Responses to Nomenclature Update: Introducing “Sutrito Tower”

  1. GG says:

    I love it! But I think you mean it’s pronounced soo-TREE-toh, if it’s supposed to rhyme with burrito.

  2. JP says:

    ok, will accept…but I really wanted Torre Bernal (Bear – NAHL) : )

  3. Joe Thomas says:

    I’m honored!

  4. friscolex says:

    Hmm… I’m a fan of creative nomenclature, but I’ll wait to form an opinion on this one. Maybe I’m too stuck in my “Microwave Tower” ways, but I’ve always kind of liked that. And perhaps I see Sutro Tower and this structure as such different animals. Whenever I think of Sutro, I think eucalyptus like in Adolph’s beloved Sutro Forest, or maybe the ocean-facing baths and nearby park, but Bernal Hill seems so much more Wild West, rugged, cherty… This could all be the espresso talking, too…

    Lovely pics!

  5. contrarycomet says:

    Hmmm. Rhymes with “burrito”? I smell the funky influence of La Lengua Revolutionary Army. Has the BANC been infiltrated?

  6. Judge Crater says:

    I prefer the Emperor Norton Tower

  7. Joe Thomas says:

    Hmm… I’m not feeling the consensus. The way I first proposed it (“too obvious”, “too cheesy”) probably didn’t help. Perhaps I should work on a sales pitch.

    • SER says:

      Au contraire! I think that like all apt names, it seems obvious in retrospect. Bravo to you, sir!

      • Joe Thomas says:

        Thank you, sir. I regret my earlier lack of zeal: Hail Sutrito!

        To answer contrarycomet, I’m firmly rooted on the East side of the hill, far from La Lengua’s autonomous zone. I did, however, somewhat envy Mr. Justice’s success in Naming Things, and when I realized that Sutrito rhymed with burrito, that probably committed me to it, in some superstitious notion of sympathetic magic.

        [Wait, did I just admit to being a La Lengua sympathizer?]

      • Joe Thomas says:

        It occurs to me that I shouldn’t have presumed that SER is a sir. Sorry, SER.

  8. johnny0 says:

    Nous sommes tous La Lengue! (You guys are closer to France, sorry.)

  9. Rusty says:

    I’ve always referred to it as Bernal Hill Tower. One day I’ll try to get American Tower Corp to let me inside to photograph it.

  10. Rudha-an says:

    I like Sutrito. I’ve called it that since y’all first mentioned it. My vote doesn’t really count though as I live in The Portola. I’m just a neighbor and Bernalwood tourista. :)

  11. Joe Thomas says:

    Was the last picture taken from an airplane? I don’t know how you got it, but it’s awesome.

  12. Joe Thomas says:

    Ah, of course! For some reason, I thought Sutrito would look much smaller next to Sutro if the picture were taken from the Bayview. But an excursion just now established that the bottom picture was likely taken on Revere Ave, just west of the I-280 extension. I can literally see that spot out my back door. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a parking space with a decent view, or I’d be taking some time-lapse Sutro vs. fog video right now.

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