Mar 062013

1 Sansome Street
Open During Business Hours

The Star Girl at 1 Sansome StreetStar Maiden by Stirling Calder

(Alexander) Stirling Calder attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in 1885, at the age of 16. Here he studied under Thomas Eakins. He apprenticed as a sculptor the following year, working on his father’s extensive sculpture program for Philadelphia City Hall, and is reported to have modeled the arm of one of the figures. In 1890, he moved to Paris where he studied at the Académie Julian under Henri Michel Chapu, and then was accepted in the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts where he entered the atelier of Alexandre Falguière.

In 1912, he was named acting-chief (under Karl Bitter) of the sculpture program for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, a World’s Fair to open in San Francisco, California in February 1915. He obtained a studio in NYC and there employed the services of model Audrey Munson who posed for him for Star Maiden (1913–15) – (labeled Star Girl on this piece).

For the Exposition, Calder completed three massive sculpture groups, The Nations of the East and The Nations of the West, which crowned triumphal arches, and a fountain group, The Fountain of Energy.

Nations of the West was a massive sculpture group that crowned the Arch of the Setting Sun. The second group, The Nations of the East (including a life-size elephant), crowned the Arch of the Rising Sun.

Bronze’s, if the molds are available, are easy to replicate and therefore there can be many copies of an original piece. This replica was commissioned by Citigroup in 1985 with permission from Margaret Calder Hayes, daughter of Stirling Calder and brother of Alexander (Sandy) Calder.

1 Sansome Street POPOS


Star maiden sits in this atrium and is one of San Francisco’s many POPOS.  What is now the conservatory was the original structure of The Anglo and London Paris National Bank, which through a series of mergers and consolidations over the years became the Crocker Anglo Bank branch of the Crocker Bank in 1956 and continued to occupy the building through 1981.

Completed in 1910 by renowned San Francisco architect Albert Pissis as The Anglo and London Paris National Bank, the buildings original construction was a steel frame, reinforced concrete, granite clad two-story building constructed in traditional temple form complete with 38’ high Doric columns. Like many other banks built in San Francisco at the time, it was designed in the classical temple form to symbolize the significant role of the financial institution in the community.

In 1915 the bank expanded into the adjoining Holbrook Building at 58-64 Sutter Street, and in 1921 another San Francisco architect, George Kelham, was commissioned to design an addition to the building. The resulting design nearly tripled the area of the original building and expanded the Sansome Street frontage from one to five bays. The Kelham addition repeated the same giant order of the original building but placed the entrance in the recessed porch as it stands today.

CitiBank placed a 43-story office tower adjacent to the original bank structure in 1980, preserving only the original bank as the conservatory and a cutaway of the front that can be viewed if one enters the office tower lobby.

original 1 Sansome Street Building

  5 Responses to “Star Maiden a relic of the Pan Pacific Exposition”

  1. One of my very favorite statues! I visit her whenever I’m in the area. Sure would love to time travel back to the Expo…… thanks for the interesting info on the building.

  2. This is a very intriguing place I saw through its windows on a weekend day, but it was closed and I could not go inside. Thanks for the information on its history.

  3. […] 1920 she moved to New York to take classes at the Art Students League for one year under sculptors Stirling Calder and Leo Lentelli.  (She returned several years later to study drawing with Boardman […]

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