There are certain locations at San Diego State that stir nostalgia for those who have spent time on the mesa. Buildings such as Hepner Hall, Scripps Cottage, and Aztec Bowl are beloved icons of SDSU.
Apparently, SDSU alums are not alone in this sentiment: In the mid 1990s, 13 structures were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. These structures, completed between 1930 and 1949, were deemed significant due to their architectural style, social history or engineering.
Eliciting similar nostalgia for bygone days are two forgotten Works Progress Administration (WPA) era murals painted by local artists and SDSU alumni George Sorenson and Genevieve Burgeson Bredo. They were "rediscovered" in Hardy Tower in 2004. Created in 1936, the murals depicted laborers employed in local industry; Bredo painted men unloading crates from a truck near Hillcrest while Sorenson's larger fresco depicts workers in San Diego's once thriving tuna fishing industry.
Uniquely representative of SDSU's rich heritage, the murals were believed to have been destroyed during building renovations in the late 1950s. However, the severely damaged murals were hidden from view behind ceiling tiles, sparing them from complete demolition.
SDSU anthropology Professor Seth Mallios and library Dean Connie Vinita Dowell worked tirelessly to increase community awareness of the murals and the need to secure resources for their restoration. They secured grants from SDSU's President's Leadership Fund and the Parker Foundation as well as some funding from library supporters. The funding will enable Bredo's mural to be removed, conserved and relocated to a prominent position under the SDSU Library's dome this fall.