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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 08, 1899, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1899-09-08/ed-1/seq-1/

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KHO^O+O^OK ♦O^O+C ♦ O ♦ <>♦©♦©
Mrs. Phebe Hearst's
Splendid Prize Has
Been Awarded.
Four American Architects Divide
the Remaining Honors of Comp
etition and Receive Rewards.
THE International contest for th<
Phebe Hearst architectural plar
for the University of California
has ended. A'fr a competltloi
in which the leading arch 11 ot
ih<- world took part the prize has beer
awarded tp R Benard of Paris. Nev< i
in the history of the world has then
bixn such n contest a^d in the opir.ioi
of the greatest Ilvirifr architects no
where in the world is there such ar
!<l<^:il university as has been plannec
for TVi Ut-iey. It remains now to deter
mine xvrtethor ov not the gorgeous de
s'rn of tfcr Ffercri architect shall tak<:
for'rn in ihr beautiful college town.
It vil! tnliH millions upon millions ol
dollars to make; the picture what it if
inter.d-d in represent, and another
it."-. -, r. t •<.'!' may lie the firrt to* see the
archi'trct's dn»am a reality. Bat the
gigantic arid dazzling project has be
gun ar.d its promoters say that millions
of dollar^ are already promised for its
accomplishment! The pian is nothing
Jess thtin stupendous.. It involves the
removal of every building on the uni
versity grounds ar.u the creation of a
new city of learning which will stretch
fmm the top of Grizzly Peak down the
heights and past the present campus.
Provision Is made for every con
ceivable department of learning from
a theater to a gymnasium, and in the
bewildering prospect the thought of
beauty has prevailed. There is not In
the world euch another university. In
beauty of location, adaptability of
buildings to their uses, in grouping and
in artistic effects the design of the
French master presents a picture that
hr.r no counterpart.
This result, which may give to Cali
fornia an everlasting monument, is the
work of Mrs. PI ■ ■■■ Hearst. It was sho
who inaugurated he contest and now
pledges a princely fortune to achieve
a substantial result. It was Mrs.
Hearst who brought the master archi
tects at the world into Eh< sternest" of
competitions and one that was without
parallel. The victor in yesterday's
award may say that twice ho met the
lead architects of all countries and
twice he won. More than this, the re
gents of the University of California,
to whom the plan will be submitted,
r.ir say that they have before them the
best that the civilized world can pro
duce in architecture.
As already described the plan to se
cure an Ideal university for Berkeley
was without parallel. Mrs. Hearst be
gan it early two years ago Large
sums of money were expended in pre
liminary work. Experts were sent to
Europe to -study different universities
and to invite interest In the new and
gigantic project. Pamphlets were cir
culated in the Uuited States and sent
The San Francisco Call.
to Germany, England. France and
Italy, and eminent architects were in
vited to compete in designing a perfect
university for Berkeley.
The missionary work was well done.
The leading architects of the world en
tered the field, for the prize of money
was worth the winning and the pros
pect of new honors worth the trial.
Ninety-eight eminent architects sub
mitted signs, which on September 30.
IS9S, were submitted to a jury at Ant
werp. This jury, competent to judge,
worked by elimination and after the
first trial only forty-four designs re
mained. Fifty-four had been rejected,
so searching and exacting had been the
standard of. excellence.
After the second trial only twenty
one designs remained as eligible.
Then there was a third examina
tion and only the creations of eleven
architects escaped the fire. It was re
markable that all of 'these designs' re
ceived the unanimous approval of the
jury. These eleven plans were brought
to this city and it Is from them that the
jury has drawn thai of Benard as the
best. His victory has been well won.
His v, irk. under the fire of every pos
sible criticism, should be the best that
the world can give. It Is a signal tri
umph for French architecture.
Benard's design being adjudged the
finest of. the eleven in the final contest
was awarded the first prize of $10,000.
All the other prize winners are Ameri
cans, although graduates of the French
school of architecture. They are:
Howeris. Stokes .v Ilornbostel. New
York, second, $4000; Despardelles &
Stephen Codman, Boston, third, $3000;
Howard & Cauldwell, New York,
fourth, $2000; Lord. Hewlett & Hull,
New York, fifth. $1000.
The jury has not yet completed its
report of the work, but this will be
finished to-day or to-morrow and will
be filed » with, the_^ university regents,
bffore if i? made public.
The report will discuss at great
length the merits, demerits, faults and
fine points of all the plans submitted.
The outcome of the contest is looked
upon as a decided triumph for the
French school of art. No fault is found
with the jury's award. The members
worked conscientiously and were not
swayed in their judgment by partiality
or bias. As a matter of fact even if
they were inclined that way there was
no opportunity for unfairness in mak
ing the • awards. None of the plans
bore the names of the designers and
the coats of arms were covered and
sealed and were not exposed Until the
jury had reached its final decision.
Many things were taken into consid
eration in making .the decision — the
grouping of the different buildings, the
Monsleur Benard, whose plans for the new Stai.- University were awarded the first prize by the jury of archi
tects, was born ai Goderville, Department of the Lower Seine, France, in 1844. He is a diplomat Eeole de Beaux Arts
and holder of the Grand Prix de Rome. He Ins been piominently identified with some of the greatest modern archi
tectural undertakings of France.
variety of design and their adaptability
to the present university site.
The Benard plans present marvelous
perfection. None of the other designs
ipproach them in the qualification!
nentioned. They are foi a series 01
itrucfures commencftig weßt of th»
•resent campus and extending to th<
limit of the university property and far
up f> the summit of Grizzly Peak,
where the proposed observatory euild
lng is to be located.
A /Magnificent City of
Learning Is Finally
Millions of Dollars and Years of
Time yv\*jst Be Given to Make a
Brilliant Dream a Reality.
In making his designs Eenard has
utilized to the very best advantage the
grounds as they are; that is. he has
preserved the contour of the property
:as much as possible. The jury consid
! ered that a decidedly favorable .
jas the excavations proposed in some
i of the plans would have been extreme
ly expensive and would have destroyed
many of the beauties of the surround
ings. Even the oak trees and! the lit
tle streams in the iniversity grounda
have been taken Into consideration by j
Mr. Benard, and his buildings ai
arranged that none of them will b
turbed. In the main the sty!.- of archi
tecture adopted is modern, but oat
terned after the classics. Mr. Benard
was inspired by and followed closely
upon classic lines. He has leaned
somewhat to the Roman lonic order.
Opening off University avenue is the
great court, which the architect des
ignates the Fin>- Arts Square. Around
this he has grouped the educational
buildings, strictly speaking. To the
south are the theaters, two in number,
and structures of imposing design.
East of the Fine Arts Square at the
end of an avenue upon which face the
ancient and modern history. English,
the library, the administration buildin-r
and the department of jurisprudence, is
the athletic field, backed up by the ath
letic hall and gymnasium. At the
sides of the athletic court are the
tribunes, and the gymnasium is a most
beautiful structure. North of th? ath
letic building and east is the military
department. These buildings are so lo
cated that crowds can pass to and from
the athletic section without going
through the main grounds.
Up on the rising ground toward Griz
zly Peak are located the natural his
tory group — the -departments of zoo
logy, botany and similar branches. A
museum of zoology is included in the
group. The observatory i : located at
the top of Grizzly Pef>k and is a prom
inent feature of the plans.
Down in the park where the hot
houses now stand the architect has
placed a number of smal' dwellings,
presumably for the use of members of
the faculty. A 1 the other extreme of
the grounds, remote from all other
buildings, is the infirmary. The dormi
tories are situated on the hillside and
the club houses are west of the athletic
It was the spacious opening court
and the general laying out of the plan
that won it favor with the jury. The
arrangement of the buildings on the hill
was not considered quite perfection or
in any comparison with the lower
groups, hut the excellence of the latter
overbalanced whatever deficiencies
I there were in the balance of the gen
eral plan and prompted the Jury to
award Mr. Benard's designs the first
The architect has not lost sight of the
educational features of the university
in making his plans. The gymnasium,
military department, dormitories, club
houses, etc., have been made secondary
features to the main educational build
ings. They are finely grouped, with
plenty of provision made for expansion.
While ;the dormitories are separated
somewhat from the main groups they
are conveniently located to both the
athletic field, the gymnasium and the
classical departments.
Mr. Benard'a plans, aside from their
merit as architectural designs, are
works of art. They are all wash draw
ings most artistically executed. As ,to
the detail of the buildings, that is a
matter of after consideration. The
plans are drawn to represent stone, and*
more than likely that is the material
that will be used in their construction.
The cost of the buildings has not been
computed, but when it is taken Into
consideration that the plans call fop
from fifty to seventy-five structures,
many of which are more imposing than
any building in this city, a fair idea,
may be formed of the outlay necessary,
to construct the new university.
Howells, Stokes & Hornbostel. whose
designs won second place, worked on
an entirely different idea from Mr. Bt-»
nard. They gave prominence to th»
dormitory. features of their plans, ,-:iv%
ing these buildings bo much space that
the educational departments were sad*.
ly crowded. The classical buildings
are placed on the plateau at the foot
of the hill. The athletic section is Drac*
tically placed the same as in the Be*
nard plan, although they have treated
in it the amphitheater form. The ar«
rangement of the grounds provides fo9
two main entrances; one from Univex>«
sity avenue and the other from Tele
graph avenue, the main thorouglriard
leading from Oakland. Mr. Howells of!
this firm is son of William Dean How*
ells, the novelist.
Despardelles & Codman, who cams
third in the contest, went outside of
the limits of the university territory.
They planned a university on a seal*
of .grandeur that is almost appalling.
Great tracts of land on both sides oC
the present site are taken in and coy-«
en 1 with buildings of gigantic propor
tions. The fault the jurors found with
these designs was that in carrying out
a very artistic idea the architects
divided the university by a wide pub-,
lie boulevard, extending in . a semi-«
circle from the end of University
avenue to Telegraph avenue. This
practically cut in twain the groups oC
buildings. The athletic section is given

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