Newspaper Page Text
THE M CALL F. W. KELLOGG, President and Publisher JOHN D. SPRECKELS, Vice President and Treasurer Godspeed to the New City Hall, Started Today Cornerstone of Municipality Home Laid Today—Structure to Be Finished in 1915 Today a great block of granite was slipped into place by Mayor Rolph and the construction of San Francisco's new city hall in the civic center was formally under way. It seems that San Francisco is always having a "new city hall." The great triangular conglomerate which stood off Marshall square until it came to an untimely tumble in 1906 was the "new city hall" for 30 years. It was an elephantine structure that did not reach its maturity until a quarter of a century after the corner stone was laid. All that time, of course, it was the "new" city hall, for a building is new at least until it is finished. Now we have another new. or at least temporary, city hall in Market street near Eighth, a provisional building which is to be turned into a hotel when the city is through with it—speed the day. But today the "next" city hall will get its start, and let it be hoped that it will be finished expeditiously; 1915 is the mystic year—San Francisco's gorgeous millennium —when the completed structure is to be turned over to the city. For years to come may San Francisco hold to its city hall as a building which we may well be proud of. On March 28, 1912, the voters of the city authorized a bond issue of $8,800,000 for the acquisition of land for a civic center and the construction of a city hall. The city hall is to cost between $3,500,000 and $4,000,000. The building will be located between Van Ness avenue and Polk street, in the civic center site. To the southeast of the city hall is now being constructed by the Panama- Pacific International Exposition company the $1,000,000 audi torium, the gift of the exposition company to the city. The plans for the city hall, drawn by Bakewell and Brown, were chosen from 75 sets submitted in a competition. The build ing is of four floors, surmounted by a dome. Of the suitableness of a dome for the edifice there has been dispute among architects. The successful designers call the dome "the noblest of all archi tectural forms." Other architects consider a dome trite, "the in evitable dome, the dear old comfortable, fat, familiar dome." Architecture is a noble profession, but architects have their failings and one .man's palace is always a rival's prison. However, the plans for the city hall were selected by a committee of competent architects and should give to San Francisco a monumental structure. Mayor Rolph has insisted from the first that the city hall be ready for occupancy in 1915. San Francisco was rebuilt in three years—why can't one build ing be completed in two? The Brown Rat in His Hole In Golden Gate Park He Never Goes Over to Look at the Pacific Ocean. His Hole in the Ground Interests Him He is a friendly big rat, with deep brown fur like that of a mink. Perhaps his father or mother was some unusual rat escaped from a zoo. You pass his hole at the foot of a small tree on the east side of the drive near the Dutch windmill in Golden Gate park. When you watch him he watches you. He does not go down into his hole unless you presume too much and get close enough to see his eyes distinctly. Then he goes down, but soon comes up and keeps the tree between you and him. He does not like to miss the end of the day. He is wonderfully active, alert and EFFICIENT. He lives happy in his domain, never doubting that the whole park was made for him, as we little beings believe the whole uni verse was made for us. He is quite sure that the motors rushing by his rathole on the drive are NOT inhabited, and that no intelli gent mind created them. He is an agnostic—you can't make him believe anything that he can not understand and prove—and, as he can not understand or prove very much, he is a happy and self satisfied rat, and knows that the yarn about the park being laid out and the oiled drive made "on purpose" is a fairy story not to be swallowed by any AGNOSTIC rat. He is a good rat, however; minds his own business, keeps reg ular hours and never goes over to look at the Pacific ocean. You can see many rats like him in any part of any big city. They are humans, not rodents, two legged and without fur, but intellectually they, too, are rats. They live in their little holes and have their little runways. They deny what they can't understand, and they never look at the big ocean, which, to human beings walking erect, is a great, mys terious sky of night with all its beauty and grandeur. Beautiful is the Pacific ocean, that the brown rat has never seen, although he might reach it in two minutes from his hole. The sun is down, leaving behind him enough light to cover the water with deep, dark purple. The rising moon fights with pale light against thin clouds and against the bright memory of the sun just gone. A wind full of life and power blows across the water, carrying cold with it. Those that must walk by the sea hurry and shiver. In the southwest one great planet shines with pure light When you will have been dead a million years that noble light will shine in that same spot, and then, perhaps, men will begin to know and appreciate "the sea" near which they live. It is the sea of infinite space and unending time, the sea of the stars and planets, comets and nebulae—the sea in which solar sys- I ems are the units, the Milky Way a single current and we micro scopic atoms of life clinging to a grain of sand. The brown rat of Golden Gate park never sees the great sea a few hundred feet from his hole—lo,ooo,ooo miles could not sep arate him from it more completely. And if he did see it it would mean to him only dreariness, horror and terror —it is too big for his brain, too overwhelming for his courage. We rats that live here do not see OUR great sea, the eternal, infinite universe in which our grain of sand is rolling. And because we are cosmic rats, and less than rats, we recoil from it in terror and horror, as that brown rat would recoil from the sea so near him. We invent time and space and the clock to comfort us. We plan a gilded heaven at the top of infinity and a painful hell at the bottom. We can not bear to look at it as it is. We c*rj no bear to face it, study it and revere it. But man, built to stand straight and look at the sky, will not forever be a human rat, living in an intellectual hole in the ground. The stars that come out one by one and look down so coldly will see a different race as the thousands of centuries go by. They will see us always tiny, feeble, pitiful little beginnings pf thought, for we can not rise above our planet. But they will see man at least not afraid to face his destiny and study the universe that con tains him. »t Man will find the courage to live mentally and to THINK as far out in the universe as his telescope will carry him—and far beyond. He will glory in the fact that he dwells in the infinite and can think in the infinite. He will not be forever the mental brother of the rat of Golden Gate park. THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL Cheer up, we'll have 287 days of this in 1915. » # * If you have any money left on Monday—do your Christmas shopping early. * * # In celebrating the discovery of the Pacific ocean, it is just as well that there isn't much left to discover in Pacific street. * ♦ * The king's chamberlain has censored Gaby Desly's play in London. It's horrid how those monarchies conspire against that poor, hardworking girl. * * * Chanute, Kan., is commanding the wave of tights to stand by pasting over all theatrical posters that display the human form. The town will doubtless have the same well known success that attended the efforts of King Canute to stop other waves- LAYING THE CORNER STONE IT'S NEVER TOO LATE! Evening Calls Tomorrow morning—the big long sleep. * ♦ ♦ Go to it, you can sleep all day Sunday. ' « * • Mrs. Fankhurst deserves a treat. Let her come out here next month and watch San Francisco women vote. * * * There is a golf tournament in Ingleside. What, haven't you heard the cheers of the hundreds of thousands of bleacherttes? » » # The senate has added another amendment to the Declaration of Inde pendence, lt has decided that sailors are also created "free and equal." * # * The International Dry Farming congress was to meet at Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday. But it rained and none of the dry farmers had an umbrella to his name. Meeting adjourned. OCTOBER 25, 1913 Dr. Parkhurst's Article =ON= The Episcopal Conven tion—Why ''The American Church" Is an Unwise Name — Drunkenness as a Di vorce Ground; Make Separation More Dif ficult. DR. CHAS. H. PARKHURST THE forty-third annual con vention of the Protestant Episcopal church held its first session October 8. Its proceedings will be watched with wide interest. The two parties composing its membership are so nearly matched numerically that the discussion engaged in will be of a seriousness and vigor that will draw to them the at tention of all, far and near, who are at all concerned in matters of church life and polity. The High Church and the Low Church parties are arrayed against each other, and that out of a total vote of 500 for presid ing officer the candidate of the Low church faction should have won by a margin of only 16 indicates that there is to be a kind of "tug of war,'' yet con ducted, of course, by gracious and pacific methods—although there have been church conven tions where ecclesiastical tran quillity crowded close on mili tancy. All Churches Interested in Episcopal Change of Name One of the questions that are to come up for debate has to do with the change of name. It is the desire of a considerable ele ment of the Episcopal body that it should be rechristened under the title of "The American Church." Although this is a matter in which Episcopalians themselves are primarily concerned and which it will be for them, and for no one else, to decide, yet it is of interest to other denomina tions, whether Catholic or Prot estant, and even to those who are not actively affiliated with any denomination. The criticism which has been expressed that such a designa tion shows a leaning toward the union of church and state has no great force, for the sharp dis crimination between the two is too deeply imbedded in the American mind to allow of any solicitude in that direction, or to warrant the suspicion that any number of Episcopalians are pressing toward such an aim. However closely related church and state may be in certain points, the two are organically distinct, and no one supposes that on American ground they will ever be anything else. There is more force in the other criticism, made not only by nonconformists, but by many members of the Episcopal body, that such a name carries upon it the aspect of attempted monop oly. At the first look of the thing it would seem like the case of a boy—one of many brothers —who should say, "I, mother and father are all that there are of us." We should not like to suppose that such an idea lies in any- Episcopal mind. I am only speaking of the first look of the thing. The Episcopal is an American church, but it is not THE American church, and any action on its part that should Editorials Instructive Editor The Callt We And your editorials very Instructive and educational. We were very much Interested In the article of the Elevator Mm.'-' In the hotel where we ■ formerly stopped there waa an elevator boy who was very polite and obliging, and we took aura a fancy to htm that We gave him a small position In oar More. He Improved rapidly, and In three year*' time we advance* hi an to the position of manager for one of onr branches. But he proved very ungrateful. Wo have alao secured a great many pesltlona for stenogra pher*, without making any charge to them, and It would even look like making such a claim would only put farther off that church unity of which the Episcopal church has been so stalwart an advocate. Under the auspices of a society of which the archbishop of Can terbury is president, Dr. Woods Hutchinson has been delivering an address on divorce, in which he urges that drunkenness should be considered sufficient ground for breaking the mar riage contract. Without raising any question as to the soundness of Doctor Hutchinson's position, a line of thought like that which he pur sues in his address raises the question whether we may not be talking and writing too much about the way by which mar ried people can get out of matri mony and too little about the straight and narrow way by which alone unmarried people ought to be allowed to enter into matrimony. Easy divorce makes easy mar riages, and easy marriages make easy divorce. The moral soundness of so ciety depends in very consider able measure upon the solidity and durability of the marriage tie, and every new divorce is an other blow to social integrity and to the wholesomeness of popular sentiment and life. The cordiality accorded to divorced parties, who, half a century ago, would have been regarded as so cial outcasts, indicates the ease and rapidity with which the moral sense of the public has become weakened and debased. The greater the ease with which the contract can be broken, the larger the part which will be played by incon siderate passion in forming the contract. Great credit is due to the Catholic church for the rigid position which it continues to maintain. The Episcopal church holds to the old ground with almost the same intensity of tenure. "Till death do xxi part" is the pledge insisted upon in its marriage service. Blundering Marriages Only Serve to Feed the Di vorce Courts That same service furthermore insists that the "holy estate is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but rev erently, discreetly, advisedly, so berly, and in the fear df God." It is just the lack of this, the habit of blundering into mar riage, that feeds the divorce court. Courtship would be a dif ferent thing and be conducted with an altered spirit if it were understood by each of the par ties that once the contract is consummated death of one or the other of the two is the only way out of it, and that "Till death do us part" is not merely a phrase, but a solemn covenant that can not be broken. Better than a plan for getting out of trouble is a policy for not getting into it, and the easier it is to get out the more there will be that will get in. surprise you to know that in many Inatnuces we never hear or see them again. We would suggest your writing: a strong editorial on the question of "Ingratitude." We believe each an article In needed at thla time, for, while there are a great many people Who are grateful for kindnesses and favors, yet there are many more who ahow an utter lack of appreciation ■ndi ought lo be taught that ln gratitude* i« about the mean rat spirit to pri**Va«. VnMurlna you that yon well deaerve the aneceea yon are meeting with, we remain yours respectfully, 1,. A M. ALEXANDER * CO.