This untitled mosaic is one of a series of mosaics designed by Lucien Laubdt and installed by Primo Caredio during the WPA era at the historic Beach Chalet at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California. The “1900” on the mosaic commemorates the year when jursidiction of San Francisco’s parks passed from the state legislature to the city’s own government.
ARG Conservation Services (ARG/CS) was contracted by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to perform conservation treatments and stabilize and restore the entryway mosaic. The mosaic had been damaged by high levels of foot traffic over the years and the tesserae tiles of the mosaic have deteriorated to varying degrees along its surface. The deteriorated tesserae exhibited delamination and surface loss. There was one major crack that extended diagonally through the mosaic from the restaurant entry to the outer edge of the front steps. Along this crack, the tesserae and mortar joints were spalled. Other minor cracks were located throughout the mosaic. Previous repairs using pigmented mortar were identified. These repairs appeared unstable and visually interrupted the overall design.
Stabilization and restoration treatments included cleaning the mosaic surface, injecting grout into the major crack to stabilize the artwork, filling all minor cracks with a compatible grout, selectively removing damaged tesserae and previous patching repairs, and selectively replacing missing and damaged tiles with new materials to match the existing design. All work was carried out in accordance with the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco, California