Walking around Civic Center, admiring the new 92-ft Venus statue at Trinity Place (on 8th just off Market) it's easy to overlook this mid-century industrial beauty on at 8th and Mission.
Built in 1948, it was designed by San Francisco architect William Merchant. Merchant trained with John Galen Howard, architect of the University of California Berkeley, and Bernard Maybeck, best known for the Palace of Fine Arts. Merchant did a restoration of the Palace of Fine Arts in the 1960s.
Merchant got Galen Howard's son, John Boardman Howard to do the sculptures on the front of the building. The one on the right represents Light and on the left is Power. The undulating fence along the Mission Street side dresses up the building's B-side which would otherwise be plain and forbidding.