In this light, the gray granite fades to a gray shroud. The statue adds perspective, scale and distance, directing attention to the silhouette of both. Built after the earthquake of 1906, Former Mayor Willie Brown renovated it in 1998. He did a great job and the City should be thankful for the sensitive attention to preservation.
The projecting drinking fountain is an obstruction. With these metal scrolls extending to the floor, a person with poor vision using a cane could detect the obstruction and walk around it. If new, the water fountain would probably be recessed into a niche. In this case, it was probably not possible and the designers came up with this solution. You probably won't see this solution used in many places, but it works here.