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The San Francisco Call, Friday, September 8, 1899
Vol. 86, No. 100

Guests of Mrs. Hearst View the Prize Plans

The elite of San Francisco society thronged the ferry building last evening to view the plans for California's university, which had been submitted by nearly a score of world famous artists in competition for the prize offered by Mrs. Phebe Hearst. It was not a public exhibition; that will come later, but the guests were all there by invitation of Mrs. Hearst. The drawings had been arranged along the sides of the east nave of the big building and an added artistic effect was produced by the drapings of Persian and Turkish rugs. On the east side, at about the center of the building, a canopy of these rugs had been erected, under which Mrs. Hearst received her guests, assisted by Mrs. W. K. Jones of Berkeley, Mrs. Edward Clark of New York, Mrs. Sanborn, Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Carriers, Miss Apperson and Miss Lane.

At the north end of the grand nave coat and cloak rooms had been partitioned off for the occasion and the brass-buttoned policemen who guarded the portals of the improvised gallery where the exhibition was being held, gave the affair the appearance of a State function. In the vacant space back of the long line of drawings, a band was stationed, and, thus screened from view, dispensed sweet music throughout the evening.

The reception began at 9 o'clock and for the next three hours the guests passed to and fro admiring the elaborate drawings and exchanging views as to their respective merits, as seen by the uninitiated eye, and paying their respects to Mrs. Hearst. While in the midst of this pleasant duty Mrs. Hearst was seized with a fainting spell. Restoratives were quickly applied and she recovered almost immediately and was taken home in her carriage. Her temporary indisposition was due to the somewhat vitiated atmosphere and the severe nervous strain under which she has been laboring for the past week as the result of her untiring interest in everything in any way connected with the competition.

The inspection of the marvelous productions of the famous architects proved a captivating form of recreation. The richly costumed ladies and men in full evening dress never seemed to tire of gazing at the drawings. M. Benard's plans, which were awarded first prize by the international judges imported to decide their respective merits, were naturally the center of attraction, as it is from them that the new university buildings are to be built. They were located at the south end of the nave, while the second, third and fourth prize winners were advantageously place along the sides and at the north end. All came in for volumes of praise and not quite all of those present agreed with the judges that M. Benard's plans were the most artistic, but then the amateur critics were but expressing their individual tastes and had not the slightest thought of doubting the justness of the award.

The judges, the regents of the university and Dr. Jordan of Stanford University were among the more prominent figures to be seen at the reception, and the former especially were the lions of the hour. It was past midnight before the last of the guests had departed.

 

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