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San Francisco, California: 1921 Terracotta Cadillac V8 Engine Block

Former Automobile Row dealership has a terracotta carving of an engine block over the entrance.

1000 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA
Van Ness Avenue at O'Farrell. Visible from the street above the main entrance of the building.
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Engine building ornament.

1921 Terracotta Cadillac V8 Engine Block

As far as I know this is the only example of a 1921 V8 Cadillac engine block made of terracotta in existence. And naturally it's in San Francisco. In 1918 the Cadillac dealership commissioned well know sculptor Jo Mora to create terracotta architectural embellishments for its showroom at 1000 Van Ness Avenue's on Automobile Row. The result was a composition made up of two seated figures on either side of the Cadillac Coat of Arms titled "Symbols of Industry."

The figure seated on the right depicts a mechanic holding a wrench in one hand while the other hand rests on a wheel that is leaning against the engine block. The entire sculpture is mounted above the entry of the building and no doubt many people have passed by this site for the past 88 years never noticing this one-of-a-kind engine.

[Phil Pasquini, 01/07/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Tommy's JoyntTommy's Joynt, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Hotel VertigoHotel Vertigo, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat MuseumComic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Grave of the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, Oakland, CA - 10 mi.

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