SDSU Hardy Memorial Tower Murals – San Diego CA


"Two Works Progress Administration (WPA)-era murals from the 1930s, long thought to have been destroyed during subsequent building renovations, were uncovered in San Diego State Universitys (SDSU) Hardy Memorial Tower in August of 2004. Local student artists Genevieve Burgeson Bredo and George Sorenson completed these murals in 1936 at the entrance and in the hallway of the old library at SDSU, known at the time as San Diego State College. Although portions of the murals were obliterated during construction from 1957-59, some of the artwork remained intact. Non-destructive tile maintenance during the summer of 2004 exposed the murals, which have since been resealed behind the lowered ceiling."
– Mallios and Purvis

One mural by Bredo and parts of one by Sorenson are shown below. However, two other murals by Bredo and one by Ellamarie Packard Woolley have since been lost.

Bredo's 9'x5' "NRA Packages" was fully restored in 2007 and is now on display in the Reference Services area on the first floor of the Library Addition.

Portions of Sorenson's 25-foot "San Diego Industry" remain on Hardy Tower's bottom floor and plans for its restoration and transferal to the Library Addition are underway.

Source notes

For detailed information and more photos see:

Mallios, Seth, and Nicole J. Purvis. 'Uncovering Local Art and Industry: The Discovery of Hidden WPA Murals at San Diego State University.' The San Diego State University Occasional Archaeological Papers." Accessed at

"The Depression-Era Murals of San Diego State University."

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

5500 Campanile
San Diego, CA 92182

Location notes:
Location is the main street address.

Coordinates: 32.774900, -117.071000

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