Graves and Christopher VerPlanck are developing a study of New Deal era buildings, artworks, open spaces and infrastructure. The project also includes city landmark nominations for three schools built or enhanced with WPA funds: George Washington High School, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, and the Sunshine School.
Murals at George Washington High School by Victor Arnautoff show the first president's life and work in San Francisco's largest fresco project.
Arnautoff, an active leftist, included several scenes of African American workers. In the 1960s, the murals became a source of outspoken anger from students who found the depictions of enslaved African Americans shucking corn, picking cotton, and loading barges as servile and humiliating. The school's Afro-American Club convinced the SF Unified School District to commission response murals by the young artist Dewey Crumpler. His series of paintings, Multi-Ethnic Heritage: Black, Asian, Native/Latin American, were installed in 1974.