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.
San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts on a foggy morning before it is overrun with tourists. Designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition; it has been restored three times since then. Great piece of San Francisco history.
Palace of Fine Arts, Panama - Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, Ca. 1915. Designed by Bernard Maybeck. Original RPPC (real photo post card) hand tinted on Noko paper. 3.5 x 5.5 in.. Cardinell - Vincent Co., official photographers for the exposition.