|This film shows the crowd gathered
in San Francisco for the dedication of the Dewey Monument in
Union Square, on Thursday, May 14, 1903, from 9:00am to 9:20am.
The Monument, which is still in place, commemorates the victory
of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish
forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during
the Spanish-American War. The monument is also a tribute to the
sailors of the U.S. Navy. Ground was broken for the monument by
President McKinley, Roosevelt's predecessor, on May 12, 1901.
The dedication of the monument was President Roosevelt's last
official act before leaving San Francisco. Union Square was -
and is - the center of San Francisco's retail district, and is
located two blocks north of Market Street. Originally a tall
sand dune, the square was set aside as a public park in 1850. It
got its name from the pro-Union rallies held there on the eve of
the Civil War.
The camera was located on the roof a building at
the southeast corner of Stockton Street and Union Square Avenue
(today's Maiden Lane).
Looking north on Stockton, the camera
pans left along Post Street, and across Union Square to Powell
Street and the St. Francis Hotel to the west. The pan continues
south to Geary Street and on to the Stockton Street
intersection, then sweeps back north to Stockton Street before
drifting back into the square.
||The following is a scene-by-scene
description of the film:
The opening view is north up Stockton
Street toward the eastern slope of Nob Hill. The large building
along Post Street is the Pacific Union Club, now located on Nob
Hill. In Union Square to the left of the flagpole is the
foliage "Arch of Triumph" through which the arriving and
departing President passed. Behind it across Post Street is the
Savoy Hotel. The Dewey Monument is at center and the
official dais below it to the left. The crowd is gathered for
the ceremony. In the background rises the Saint Francis Hotel,
which opened in 1904. The spire at right rear is the steeple of
the First Congregational Church at Post and Mason streets. A new
church was built on the site after 1906. Note men hanging from
the tall pole in the square, at right. After a cut, the
pan continues to the left. The view is west, along Geary Street.
Note the large Cordes Furniture Company Building (later Breuners
Furniture). The wall advertisement reads "Furniture, Carpets,
Draperies, Rugs, Mattings, Linoleums -- Your Credit is Good." At
the end of the southern pan, the distant, unfinished steel frame
of the Flood Building on Market Street can be seen. To the right
is the rear of Delmonico's Restaurant, which hides most of the
Alcazar Theater. Note the ice van at the corner of Geary and