So the mural was put in storage until 1961 when the college brought it out to hang in the entryway of the student theater.
But Maynez says the space is just too small. "You should be able to get as far away from a work of art as it is wide," he says. "Well this is 74 feet wide and you can only get back 14 feet."
He compared seeing the mural up close to viewing it through a keyhole. He says so many nuances of the work are hard to absorb up close.
The college wants to construct a new building that could house the mural appropriately, ideally as part of a new arts complex across the street. But funds for the building, and for moving the enormous piece of art, are needed.
That's part of the reason Carlos Felix, the Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, signed a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Don Griffin the president of City College.
Felix says the Mexican government is happy to help with fundraising for a new building, and also provide expertise on the conservation of the mural: "We have experts for preservation of that characteristic that is contained in the mural." He says they also have experts in moving murals like these.
Felix says he especially appreciates the artwork's message of unity between Mexico and the US: "The message [Rivera] wanted to express in 1940, is still right now well something that is alive and we need to continue spreading that message."
Felix, pointing to panels about the ancient culture of Mexico, alongside a portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in 'The Great Dictator," says the historical breadth of the piece is also amazing.
"So you see the components too about the Nazis," Felix says "So that this is a strong message about how it is necessary not to forget bad things in the future."
The first bit of work towards finding a new home for the painting starts in June, when workers will knock a small hole in the wall supporting the mural to feed in a fiber optic cable and confirm how the pieces of the fresco are mounted. That will help determine the cost of moving and remounting it.
Maynez says while San Francisco City College and the Mexican Consulate have worked together for many years, the memorandum of understanding is all about the long term future of the art work.