THE M CALL
F. W. KELLOGG, President and Publisher
JOHN D. SPRECKELS, Vice President and Treasurer
Godspeed to the New City Hall,
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
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
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
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
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
* * #
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
* * *
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!
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
The Episcopal Conven
American Church" Is
an Unwise Name —
Drunkenness as a Di
vorce Ground; Make
Separation More Dif
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
All Churches Interested in
Episcopal Change of
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
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
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
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
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
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
Easy divorce makes easy mar
riages, and easy marriages make
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
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
Blundering Marriages Only
Serve to Feed the Di
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
1,. A M. ALEXANDER * CO.
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