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|Van Ness Avenue
Van Ness avenue is sole. Nowhere in the wide world does the proud and culminating automobile own and dominate such a wide and sweeping display boulevard.
The automobile, what a magnificent animal it is, long, low, luxurious, purring softly, full of a great reserve, ready to dart forward, not to the cruel touch of a spur or bit, but to the magic touch of a button. It is the culminating achievement of this period of the machine age. The airplane, clumsy and awkward as yet, belongs for its consummation to the men of tomorrow. The automobile is the zenith of today's accomplishment, and that is why men speak of it as "super" this and "super" that.
The machine age has its own cruelties and its own, ugliness, but it also has its own art and its own beauty, of which the automobile and the houses which men have built to accommodate it, are the consummate art. Not all will agree with me here. The critics will damn me with disdain, and the King of Van Ness, who ought to agree, but is too busy talking cars, will only remark, if he listens at all: "Pretty good dope at that." But argumentatively I proceed.
Not that I can name them. I am only sure, really sure, of a Ford. But I admire them with a great pride in my human kind. They sit so majestically in their palaces on Van Ness, great limousines, powerful roadsters, luxurious touring cars, waiting there on display and containing in themselves all the skill, energy, artifice, and beauty of line, color and trim that the machine age can produce.
And the buildings on Van Ness strike a new and independent note in architecture. All that the ages have contributed of arches, columns, coloring and lighting are utilized and made into palaces of great dignity and beauty. There is something about the arched and windowed walls and the spacious, open look of the buildings that is entirely distinctive and Van Ness. It is not Mission, Grecian or Colonial, but it is all of them. It is as new and distinctive as the service stations that have sprung out of the automobile needs. If we dared we would call it entirely American.
And the printing that high lights each building is an achievement in modern art. Who but Americans would dream of using printing instead of gargoyles or classic medallions as ornamentation. Some of it is very beautiful and almost none is ugly. The use of the word "Paige," the printing of "Buick," the "H" of Hupmobile, the Mercury "A" of Arnold are to me very beautiful.
Van Ness avenue. It is exactly like its name. A long wide sweep for the regal motor car, the most wonderful and proudest automobile row in the world. The ghosts of the old, aristocratic and residential before-the-fire Van Ness have seen to it that even commercialized it shall still be - Van Ness.