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The San Francisco Call, Thursday,
August 31, 1899
Famous Architects From Abroad Come to Judge University Plans
A Distinguished Quartet From Germany,
England, France and America Arrive.
Dr. G. Paul Wallot of Dresden, Germany; J. L. Pascal of Paris, France; John Belcher of London, England, and Walter Cook of New York, the four famous architects who, with Regents J. B. Reinstein, constitute the commission selected to pass upon the merits of the designs submitted for the new buildings for the University of California, at Berkeley, arrived in San Francisco yesterday morning in their private car, which was attached to the Oregon express. They were escorted across the bay by Professor William Carey Jones and registered at the Palace Hotel.
Last evening the distinguished quartet were tendered a reception by Mayor Phelan in his office in the City Hall. Two hundred of San Francisco's most prominent citizens, including nearly all the city and county officials and many leading architects, were present to greet them, while the great rotunda was filled with people attracted by the music of the Park band, which was stationed on the main floor within.
Although wearied by their long journey across the continent, which was made with a brief stop at Niagara Falls, the distinguished guests were in excellent spirits, and filled with wonder at the vastness of the great republic. They had been taken over to Berkeley in the afternoon by Mrs. Hearst, the generous donor of the $100,000 fund which is to pay all expenses of securing the design for a group of model university buildings, for the purpose of obtaining a preliminary view of the site and to meet the faculty, and they were filled with delight over what they saw and heard.
"It is the finest building site in the world," declared Dr. Wallot enthusiastically. Dr. Wallot also went into raptures over the Palace Hotel. "It is grand--beautiful," he said, "but such a court, which is its most beautiful feature, would not be possible in Europe, owning to climatic conditions."
M. Pascal was also very favorably impressed with the university site and greatly admired the view of the city as seen from the bay.
Mr. Belcher, the English member, was not on the original commission, and therefore has not seen the eleven designs which were selected at the Antwerp session of the commission from the 105 submitted.
"I came as Mr. Norman Shaw's substitute," he said, "so, you see, I am completely in the dark as to the relative merits of the designs which we have to pass upon. I consider the site very fine, but of course we had little opportunity to-day to make a thorough inspection, and I cannot tell very much about it until after I have examined the designs."
"The site is all right," said Mr. Cook, "but I wish there was some water in those confounded brooks."
He was assured that in a few months there would be enough water in the brooks to satisfy the most exacting. The reception lasted from 9:30 until 10:30 o'clock, champagne punch and cigars being served meantime, and then the visiting architects were driven back to the Palace under the canopy of electric lights that blazed the entire length of Market street.
M. Pascal is president of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris; Dr. Wallot is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Germany and the designer of the famous Reichstag building; Mr. Belcher is one of the great architects of London, and Mr. Cook enjoys a similar distinction in New York. The other members of the party are: Mr. Hoe, Mrs. Hearst's representative at Washington; P. B. Tuzo, who holds a similar position in Paris; Mr. and Mrs. John M. Carrere of London; Mrs. Belcher and Mrs. Tuzo.
To-day the commission will inspect the plans in the ferry building and this evening they will be banqueted at the Palace. Saturday they will be the guests of the Harbor Commissioners on a trip around the bay and a trip to Mount Tamalpais, where they will spend the night. On Sunday they will be taken for another trip around the bay and then go by special train to Pleasanton, where they will be entertained by Mrs. Hearst. On Monday they will be taken for a drive about the city by Adolph Spreckels, winding up at the Cliff House, where they will be guests at a luncheon given by the American Institute of Architects.
The special object of their visit to the university was to make a preliminary inspection of the college site. The party went over on the 1 o'clock boat from San Francisco, reaching the university town shortly before 2 o'clock. At the train they were met by a committee of the Berkeley faculty and taken in carriages to the grounds, where the students, drawn up in line on the campus, received them with enthusiastic cheers. They were driven to the library, where a short address of welcome was delivered by Professor LeConte on behalf of the faculty, after which the party was driven over the grounds and returned to San Francisco early in the evening.
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