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 Stories for April 1, 1998:

Happy 100th Birthday to the Campus Plan

by Steve Finacom Physical and Environmental Planning
posted Apr. 1, 1998

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the official opening of the Hearst Architectural Competition for a physical plan for the Berkeley campus.

The competition shaped the physical character of the campus in a manner and style unequaled before or since. Many of our most prominent and be-loved campus features – Sather Gate, Sather Tower, Hearst Mining Buil-ding, Doe Library, Wheeler Hall – resulted from the competition and the ultimate selection of fourth-place winner John Galen Howard to be the architect charged with implementing the Hearst Plan.

In many respects the competition was also the starting point for modern planning and the study of architecture at Berkeley, since Howard became the founding head of a vigorous Department of Architecture.

On Jan. 5, 1898, prospective competitors in the Hearst Competition could receive and open their informational packets, if they were outside Europe. If they were in Europe, they had to wait until Jan. 15, 1898. The 10-day difference was so those outside Europe would not be at a time disadvantage in completing their entries and shipping them to Antwerp for the judging.

Three visionaries – regent and benefactor Phoebe Hearst, regent and alumnus Jacob Reinstein and drawing instructor Bernard Maybeck – got the competition underway.

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