Remembering–and Saving–the Mothers Building Murals

Detail of a mural at the San Francisco Zoo's Mothers Building

“The first thing that stopped me in my tracks was the two mosaics from 1934 that flank the building’s original doors. Then I stepped in and saw the flowered wood paneling. Finally I lifted my head and saw the faded glorious interior murals by two important San Francisco artists — Helen K. Forbes and Dorothy W. Pucinelli, both working under the auspices of President Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA…. ‘Don’t forget to breathe,’ joked Joe Fitting, deputy director of the San Francisco Zoo.”


Read more about San Francisco Chronicle reporter Caille Millner’s visit to the SF Zoo Mothers Building here. Millner details efforts (helmed by Living New Deal friend Richard Rothman) to save the structure and its threatened New Deal artwork.

Gabriel Milner is Project Manager for The Living New Deal. He is a trained cultural historian who teaches courses in U.S. History at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

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