1360 Montgomery Street
The Malloch Apartments
Muralist Alfred Du Pont (also known as Dupont) was hired to design the images that grace the exterior 1360 Montgomery Street. Du Pont produced two 40-foot high silvery figures in sgraffito, or raised plaster, on the western facade of the building, and a third on the north side. Du Pont applied colored concrete to the exterior and carved it into shape.
Sgraffito on walls has been used in Europe since classical times, and it was common in Italy in the 16th century, and can be found in African art. In combination with ornamental decoration these techniques formed an alternative to the prevailing painting of walls. The procedures are similar to the painting of frescoes.
As a teenager Dupont ran away from home and rode the rails to San Francisco. His art studies were at the CSFA, UC, and CCAC. Active as a muralist in the 1930s, he painted ceilings at Hearst Castle and other public places in southern California. At the Golden Gate International Exhibition of 1939 he painted murals in the mining building. While serving in the Navy during WWII, he did illustrations of ships and manuals and painted portraits of Admirals Nimitz and Halsey. He received two Purple Hearts for wounds received when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941 and in the battle of Okinawa in 1945. After the war he settled in Laguna Beach and painted many marines and coastals of that area. On March 2, 1982 Dupont suffered a heart attack while driving in Newport Beach and died of the injuries.
The Malloch Building has a fascinating history and is well worth the read.