This was a fun afternoon! Just opened to the public last year for the first time since 1935. Tower tour tickets include admission to the Museum of Man since you have to enter the museum to get to the tower. You still pay for tower tickets even when admission to all the museums is free on Tuesdays.
There are 125 steps from the entrance of the tower to the view deck which is on the 8th floor. The stairs are the only way up !
The views are beautiful! Going at sunset was pretty but could not see downtown very well.
This the view to the southeast.
And this is directly east with the Laguna Mountains in the background.
And here is the view in 1915 when many of the buildings were just made of chicken wire and plaster for the Exposition, later to be rebuilt as solid structures.
This early photo shows a lake that was made in the canyon under the Cabrillo Bridge!
The California Tower and Museum of Man were inspired by churches in Mexico and Spain by their architect Bertram Goodhue but was never a church and have been exhibition halls from the start.
You cannot climb past the viewing deck because each floor gets smaller and smaller and hard to fit many people at one time.
This is the view West with the Cabrillo Bridge leading the way to the Bay.
The California Tower has featured in many movies. The most famous is Citizen Kane (1941) In the movie the California Building doubles as Xanadu, Charles Foster Kane's mansion in Florida. It was also in Top Dog (1995) with Chuck Norris featuring scenes inside the California Tower.