1898-99: An international design competition is held for a new look for the growing, but architecturally undistinguished, University of California. The UC regents request a new “City of Learning” in Berkeley with a physical presence that will have “an effect unique in the world.” Bernard Maybeck, UC’s first architecture instructor, proposes the event, which philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst funds.

Parisian Emile Bénard wins the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Competition. An early design of his shows six small towers scattered around campus; a later one includes five towers – one larger than the rest.