Covid did something to us all, and it affected Americans like nothing else has in this generation. Some places like San Francisco have not recovered. When you go there it’s shocking how fewer people walk the streets to go to work or to shop.
Videos of coyotes howling in the streets and an empty Golden Gate Bridge shocked even the strongest of people. A building on California St. makes it worse.
The Grim Reaper Building:
The “Grim Reaper” building is at 580 California Street in San Francisco’s Financial District. The statues on top of the building are named the “12 Corporate Goddesses” by the artist and sculptor Muriel Castanis. They depict 12 females who are 12 feet tall and faceless. They are in white robes and have 3 statues on each side of the building in different poses.
The statues are difficult to see from the ground, but if you use your zoom feature on your camera they are visible. According to the “Lost San Francisco” Facebook page, the statues were delivered to their final resting place in 1984 and the building was finished in 1985. They explain the story in depth.
Before the Building was finished, they had to fly the 12-foot statues by helicopter atop the building. They must have looked like dementors from the Harry Potter series.
What Do the 12 Goddesses Mean?:
Before the statues were allowed, the board of supervisors were not pleased about it. They thought they were morbid and much debate occurred before they were approved.
The meaning of the statues has been debated for over 40 years. Some say the building is haunted and are fearful of them. Window washers said they are bad luck. Some say they are angels looking down on San Francisco to protect it. Others say they are grim reapers watching over the corporations to make sure they are honest.
Haunting or beautiful, they are another part of San Francisco lore that makes it such a fascinating place.
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