The new home of Claus Spreckels on Van Ness Avenue
The newly completed mansion of Mr Claus Spreckels, on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Clay Street, is the supreme representative of the tendency toward a higher and more substantial domestic architecture in the city.
The principal front faces the east on Van Ness Avenue, and is characterized by the rich and highly artistic treatment of the central portion throughout the whole height of the structure, from foundation to roof.
Directly opposite the street entrance double doors open from the vestibule to the great hall which constitutes the central and most imposing feature of the mansion. The two salient characteristics of the hall are its vast size and its splendid adornment. It is twenty-eight feet wide and forty-eight feet long.
The size of the hall, however, is even less impressive than its glowing beauty and magnificent splendor. Floored with mosaic, wainscoted with Algerian marble, whose decorated panels show the luxury of the art of the Renaissance; the walls covered with priceless tapestries from the looms of France, and divided by columns of polished marble; surrounded at the second floor by a balcony railed by red marble and paved with mosaic, curving on each side into projecting alcoves overlooking the floor below; the noble hall rises through two floors to the height of thirty-four feet, and is roofed with art glass through which the light streams soft and mellow as the beams of a summer moon when all the sky is cloudless.