Upgrades to the Substation in the transitioning SOMA district at 8th and Mission are designed to enhance security while adding aesthetic appeal to the public realm. Designed by William Merchant and built in 1948, the brutalist, travertine clad structure features two WPA-style bas reliefs by local artist Robert B. Howard. The design replaces fence and barbed wire with a series of locally-crafted, ribbon-like steel plates -- assembled in an arc behind existing concrete planter walls – that twist and transition from an opaque screen at the bottom to an open grille at the top. The substation’s obsolete ventilation shaft was also repaired and reworked. Shielded with stainless steel mesh and resin panels, the lantern-like backlit grille glows softly at night.This project was the second in a series of improvements at PG&E substations b TEF, designed to meet the practical needs of the utility giant while enhancing the communities it serves.