The cast aluminum decoration, designed by architectural sculptor O.C. Malmquist of San Francisco, which adorns the entrance, provides that grandeur. He designed the ten aluminum panels on the facade of the portico of the East Annex and the seven panels surrounding the entrance doors. The building panels portray examples of California flora and fauna while the entrance represents various scenes in the state's history dealing with industry, transportation, science and education.
The central entry door is crowned with a large reproduction of the Great Seal of California. Malmquist was born in Connecticut and studied at Yale University and the American Academy in Rome. After coming to San Francisco in 1922, he created numerous sculptures on buildings in Northern California. His greatest body of work was done in 1939 for the Golden Gate International Exhibition on Treasure Island. He died in San Francisco in 1975.
Art Deco and Art Moderne
The Art Deco and Art Moderne movements were interconnected with the Machine Age view that science and technology could lead to economic prosperity and personal freedom.
The images surrounding the East Annex entrance are consistent with these ideals. They represent California's emerging economic power in the post World War II era—expressed through its industry, science, natural resources, commerce, and transportation.
Machine Age Patterns
Modern elements in the Art Deco and Moderne styles included echoing machine patterns and shapes such as stylized gears and wheels, or natural elements such as sunbursts and flowers.
These largely French-inspired architectural styles centered on cubistic structures that were embellished by the use of florid ornament inspired by the Paris Exposition of 1925 (Art Deco) and later by sleek streamlined ornament that influenced the Paris Exposition of 1937 (Art Moderne).