The "Court of the Universe" complex at the San Francisco 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition was designed by architect William Faville of Sausalito. There were twelve 100 ft. flag poles edging the complex each with an African Gray elephant at the base. All the buildings and statues at the expo were made of paper mache and most were destroyed at the end of the fair; the famous exception is the "Palace of Fine Arts".
Faville saved two of the elephant flagpoles and also an Italianate fountain he designed for the "Palace of Education" and had them moved to Sausalito at the close of the exposition. They now sit in Viña del Mar park in downtown Sausalito.
The industrial strength paper mache materials began to decompose in the mid- 1930's. A mold was made of one of the elephants and was used to pour the two identical cement elephants that are seen today.