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March 22, 1925 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1925-03-22

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VOL. XXXV. No. 129

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 1925

EIGHT PAGES

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DISTURBING

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____ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ____ ___ ____ ___ _- ti?

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Legend Concerning Old Statue of Benjamin Franklin Which Once Decorated The Campus Leads To Ar

┬░chaeological

Investigation of Debris Beneath University Hall

Early Swing-Out Practice of Senior Laws

Is Found To Have Cost The Institution A Traditional Figure

4'

By Robert S. Mansfield and
Willard B. Crosby
ARCHAEOLOGICAL research, while gener
ally admitted to be limited to material
whose age can be written in three or four
figures, cannot be wholly confined to such
limits. The foundation for such research is always
some legend, more or less substantiated, which
deals with hidden treasures of art or architecture,
and The Daily's campus archaeological expedition
was founded on no less a base.
Rumors, vague and uncertain, concerning a statue
of heroic proportions portraying Benjamin Frank-
lin which formerly stood on the campus near the
LaW building came to .be heard. The rumors were
trailed to earth, and the meat of the legend dis-
covered.
.In the days when the entire campus was en-
closed by a picket fence, the statue mentioned was
located in the open air somewhere between the
Law building and Mason hall. The University had
gilded the monument at the time of first installin
it. on its high base, and the sun shone down re-
splendent upon the sturdy figure. Then came the
spring, and with it swing-out in some ancient form.
The seniors of the I sw school, feeling the time op-
portune, descended upon the statue by night, and in
the morning the rising sun found its erstwhile
gilded the abused Franklin. This irked the Laws.
The University gasped, appeared horrified, and re-
gilded the tbused Franklin. This irked the Yaws.
A tradition had been established, and in the follow-
ing spring with the coming of swing-out, the Law
seniors again decorated the statue according to their
;n41re or less artistic tates. The University sighed
and again added gilt..- And so for many years the
contest went on. To be sure, the Universty had the
best of it, for their work lasted all through the- year,
while that of the seniors only remained for public
view a single day.
There came a time at last when, either due to a
lack of gilt paint or to the rapidly increasing obesity
of the figure, the University removed the statue from
its place of honor. Swing-out came again, and the
Laws turned their paint brushes to other things.
But of the statue no more was heard. It disappeared
with an uncanniness comparable to the genii of an-
tiquity. Here the legend ends and the work of the
archaelogist takes the stage.
Careful inquiry revealed the fact that under sev-
eral of the older University buildings were stored
old and broken bits of statuary which had once dec-
orated the campus. Access to these subterranean
vaults was found to be difficult and hazardous. Old
University hall was the first building visited by our
party, and after much maneuvering, we stood at
length in the dust coated chamber far beneath the
active tread of passing students. There in the pale
light admitted by a solitary window above our heads
we caught our first glimpse of miscellaneous
sculpture heaped together in one corner of the room.
Light was provided, and we set about our search.
Directly before us, mounted on a base bearing the
inscription "John Adams," stood the lower half of
a portly gentleman. Cut off at the waist, the half
crooked knees of the once dignified figu-re lent an
air of utter dejection to the mass of plaster before
us. Behind the unbodied trunk stood other bits of
the sculptor's art stacked together in a heterogen-
eous mess which faded to dim obscurity in the far
corner. To the right a colossal reproduction of a
civil war soldier leaning upon the empty space
where once had been his musket stood silent guard
over the treasures which we had come to disturb.
It was near the feet of this soldier that we found
the upper half of John Adams. Lying face down in
the dirt and rubble underfoot, with one arm missing
from the shoulder, the portly trunk showed the rav-
aging effects of time. But still, we were most con-
cerned with finding the Franklin monument, and
turned our attention temporarily to the other objects
of art which surrounded us in all their dusty glory.
Two statues of seated women, done in the old
Greek style next caught our attention. They stood
near each other, one nearly intact, the other lack-
ing an arm and with a portion of the decorative
base broken away. The bases of both remained suf-
ficiently, however, for us to discover that one repre-
sented Victory and the other History. History was
the more demolished of the two, and we paused to
search for her missing arm. Once found, we dis-
covered it to be holding a laurel wreath extended
,toward the observer.
But Franklin was not to be found. Lont we
searched, but no trace of the much-painted figure

,was to be found. We left the place, and entered the
basement of the Law building where a kindly janitor
~ to thn more remote nnrts of the cellar.

It was with a feeling of vague disappointment that
we turned at last to retrace our way to the break
in the wall which marked ou rpoint of egress. We
moved over a slightly different route on the return
to daylight, to be halted suddenly by a bulk of rock
which barred our path. Under the rays of the torch
the rock proved to be but a block of plaster, dec-
orated with a form of stippling work, and bearing
the impression of several letters upon one surface.
"MACKOL" were the letters, and beneath them we
could find traces of other lettering which had been
raised above the surrounding flat surface, but which
the ravages of time had so obliterated as to make
illegible.
Leaving the Law building, we visited other possibe
sites where the object of our search might be found.
No vestige of the missing statue could be located,
and we turned again to the collection in the sub-
cellar of University hall to seek more thoroughly
for some possible clue.
There is a certain fascination about piecing to-

-ether broken bits of statuary whether those bits
are of the marble of the ancients or of simple plaster.
It may have been a form of archaeological fever
which possessed us, for we spent hours in fitting
this head to that body, this hand to that arm, this
foot to that ankle.
Our search led us to the dim corner at the back
of the heap of interesting rubble, and there we found
may smaller works in has relief. They deplicted
everything from flying angels to children playing
with a hoop, touching on their way upon the like-
nesses of scholars and soldiers. Some of the pieces
were marked with numbers, the significance of which
was then unknown to us. Further we searched, to
discover what had evidently been a group of three
statues, now broken apart from one another, and bat-
tered to some extent. These figures, too, were num-
bered; and we left the scene temporarily to find
the meaning of this marking.
In the Library a copy of an old catalogue of cam -
pus art works gave us the clue we sought, and thus

armed we returned to the vault for further investi-
gation. The trio last discovered proved to be a
group representing Colonial times, copied from the
Richmond monument. Each of the three female fig-
ures was seated on a broken cannon. One held a
quil in one hand ,resting the other on a staff, as
we later determined in the process of assembling
fragmentary parts. Of the other two, one lacked
both arms and the other held a volume in the crook
of her one remaining upper limb.
Near at hand stood a nearly complete statue
marked "Isaac." Upon consulting the catalogue we
found that the figure was intended to represent the
character at rest, quite contrary to our earlier con-
jecture that he had been about to draw his sword.
Feeling somewhat chagrined at our error, we turned
our attention to a tall and dignified looking monu-
ment which took the form of an ancient Greek stand-
ing majestic and calm, but wholly lacking in cere-
bral capacity-the head was missing. We instigated
a search, but to no avail-the head wast lost-not

The

Union's Completion

An interior view of
the Edward Waldo
Pendleton Memorial
Library in the Union
which will be official-

ljp opened

Tuesda

with appropriate cere-
monies. The room is
the gift of Mrs. Pen-
dieton.

even the spre head of a notherwise lost civil war
soldier would fit.
It was at about this juncture that we hit upon
the unfortunate idea of proceeding through the
heating tunnel to such a sub-cellar as Mason hall
might cover in search of the elusive Franklin. We
set off, facing the almost overwhelming heat of the
tunnel in high hopes of finding the long sought after
statue. The darkness increased with the heat, and
our torch seemed to be struggling to penetrate the
murky blackness which enveloped us. We stumbled
upon a block of plaster which turned out to be a
head, the face of which wore abored and rather
supercilious expression. Leaving the head to be
picked up on the return trip, we proceeded down the
sweltering tunnel until we reached a spot where the
pipes headed straight for China,leaving us facing
a blank wall. Dripping with perspiration, we made
our way back to the open chamber, carrying back
the head with us.
It was somewhat of a blow to find that the late
stumbling block slipped with unexpected ease onto
the severed neck of the dignified Greek. There may
have been a trifle of grim satisfaction in our
thoughts when we found ourselves unable to identify
the statue from the catalogue. To remain unidenti-
fied seemed the proper punishment for the mocking
glance with which he viewed our efforts.
The process of identification went on again, this
time more systematized. Two figures were found to
be identical except in size, and by mentally group-
ing the unbroken parts of one with the unbroken
parts of the other we finally managed to reconstruct'
a kneeling female figure evidently in the act of
gleaning grain. To our complete vindication, we
found the work listed in the catalogue as "Ruth"
Two sections of an ornamental base next caught
our eye. Upon the sides had been pasted lines of
printed paper apparently clipped from some news-
paper of earlier days. The inscription dealt with
President Lincoln, sneaking as though his death were
an occurence of the day before the lines had been
printed. The context showed that the statue which
had once occupied that base must have been present-
ed to the University by some group connected with
the state of Pennsylvania. No trace of the statue,
probably of 'Lincoln, could be found. Another base
which lacked a statue we found to be numbered,
and the catalogue indicated that upon it had once
stood a figmre of Aesclapeus.
nd then we found a hand, broken off at the mid-
forearm. The sleeve which covered the arm was
evidently not related to any of the clothing on the
surrounding statues. For a moment our hopes rose.
Perhaps we had at last found a fragment of the
Franklin monument. We sought some other piece
which might confirm our hopes, but again we met
with disappointment. Still, we had the hand and
lower arm-there was as yet nothing to indicate
that we had not found part of the Franklin. Then
the requirement of many coats of paint came to our
minds, and we scraped at the surface in a vain at-
tempt to find the pigment.
Our last hope of finding the legendary statue of
Franklin gone, we resolved to list the works which
we had found and been able to identify. Two figures,
identified as India lovers, Atala and Chactas were
preserved practically intact. Several small decora-
tive groups of children at their play were there, to-
gether with a representation of an Indian fisher--
girl. The colossal soldiers we found to have at one
time stood in the office of President Hudson during
his administration of the University. Most of the
material was listed as having been located in the old
University Library.
In a portion of the catalogue devoted to the old
library we found a reference to the "Whispering
Gallery"-one of a very few of its kind in the coun-
try. Like its famous counterpart in.Washington, the
gallery had not been originally intended to carry the
powerful echo attributed to it, but had merely been
one of those freaks of architecture resulting from
certain angles of wall relation. From other sources
we gleaned further information with regard to the
gallery, including an anecdote which proved nothing
further about human nature save that it never
changes, and we had guessed that before.
When the old library served as a combination art
museum and file for books, the collection of statuary
which filled its halls had attained considerable fame
throughout the state at least. A closing hour for
the gallery was established with a strict injunction
that no visitors were to be admitted after that time.
Frequently, however, tourists arriving just after the
wead-line would plead with the atteldants until they
were admitted. Their quite plausible reasons-love

of art, last opportunity to view the collection, and
the like-sounded sincere, but almost invari-
bly after the kind hearted attendants had admitted

ME

A FTER serving for more than six years as a
bare meeting room for various organizations,
a practice room for orchestras, a general
catch all for the Union and multitudinous
other purposes, the large room in the front on the
second floor of the Union has been completed.
Since the days when the Union was used as quarters
for men in the Student Army Training Corps here
during the World War, the .big Troom on the second
floor has been bare, marring the appearance of the
building and forming an ugly break in an otherwise
beautiful building.
After finishing the main departments of ' the
building, the Union ran short of money and was un-
able to finish the proposed library on the second
floor and the swimming pool in the basement. This
situation continued until in June 1923 money was
donated to complete the library and last fall suffic-
ient funds were raised, with the aid of the Alumni
association, to complete the pool. This week the
opening of both the tank and the library will mark
the entire completion of the Union building.
On June 4, 1923, a letter from Mrs. Catherine B.
Pendleton of Detroit was received by President
Emeritus Harry B. Hutchins, offering to supply the
money needed to finish the second floor library. As
Mrs. Pendleton was leaving shortly for Europe at
this time, she appointed Dr. Hutchins her representa-
tive and made arrangements which would enable the
Union to begin construction work on the library im-
mediately. Contracts were let and work began on
the last unfiinished part of the Union.
Mrs. Pendleton's gift is in memory of her hus-
band, the late Edward Waldo Pendleton, '72, a form-
er active alumnus of the University and one of the
first directors of the Alumni association when it was
re-organized in 1897. Mr. Pendleton received his de-
gree from the University in 1872, after which lie
taught school in Owosso for two years, returning
later to continue his studies here and receiving his
master's degree in 1875. Mr. Pendleton was a prom-
inent citizen of Detroit, taking part in the civic ac-

quired $6,400 to finish. The woodwork extends
three-quarters of the way tn the walls on the sides
and is laid in panels. Furnitude cost $6,300, the
best of chairs and davenports being secured for the
room. The upholstering on the furniture is vari-
colored, with bright shades entering into the scheme
but the whole color combination enters into the color
plan of the room itself and of the scheme of the en-
tire building.
I ighting fixtures took from the total fund, $3,420.
The fixtures hang from the ceiling in clusters and
indirect lighting is the plan. A great number of
floor and table lamps are placed about the room
so that when the main lights are turned off and the
lamps lighted, the room presents a unique appear-
ance of perfect harmony and subdued lighting. Rugs
for the room cost $1,000, about half of the floor space
being carpeted and the rest being bare patterned
marble. The laying of the marble base and flag
stones cost $4,000. The remaining amount was
spent for a bronze memorial tablet to be mounted.
At the west end of'the room on the wall at each
side of a huge fireplace, large portraits of former
President James Burrill Angell and President Emeri-
tus 11ar-ry :B. Hutchins have been placed. The por-
trait of President Angell is by William M. Chase
and that of President Hutchins is by Ralph Clarkson.
The room is high, extending through two stories
to the fourth floor and presents a spacious and dig-
nified appearance. A solid row of tali windows on
bsth the north and east side affords ample daylight
to all -arts of the library during the day and the
numerous lights make the place bright in the night
time. Numerous long tables are placed about the
room, affording space for studying, and writing
desks are set against the walls.
One entrance gives access to the room, triple
doors opening into the library from the second floor
corridor at the center of the south wall. Large
built-in book cases have been placed against the
east wall and these will be filled largely with books
which were formerly in Mr. Pendletlon's own library.

be open for inspection and ladies who are accom-
panied by Union members or who have guest cards
are invited to inspect the room. After Tuesday, the
library will become a part of the Union and will be
only for the use of men who are members. A pro-
gram of some kind will be arranged for the after-
noon of the reception.
After the library is turned over to the Union it
will be open every day from 11 o'clock to 11 o'clock.
An attendant will be in charge of the room and will
be stationed just inside the door to the right as one
enters. The books in the stacks will be for the use
of members and magazines will be placed on the
tables. The room is somewhat more elaborate than
the reading rooms on the first floor of the building
and while a definite plan of procedure has not yet
been arranged, it is probable that the"library will
be conducted more upon the plan of a quiet, reading
room where students may spend their spare time
reading or studying and where they will not be dis-
turbed by the noises of the lobby as is the case ix
the lower reading rooms.
With the opening of the library Tuesday, the last
unit of the Union will be complete. Throughout the
entire building, one plan of architecture has been
adhered to, even those portions such as the Pendle-
ton library, which were finished long after the main
departments were built. The general scheme is the
work of Pond and Pond of Chicago, the architects
who planned the building. Both the partners of
Pond and Pond are Michigan graduates and frequent
visitors of the Union.
The finishing of the pool' and library marks the
entire construction of what is conceded to be the
finest building of its kind in the United States. No-
where in the east, the middle west nor the west is
there a college Union which can compare with
Michigan's men's club. A large number of schools
throughout the country are either building or plan-
ning to build Unions and in practically every case,
they turn to the Michigan Union for advice, sug-

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