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October 1, 1875. Sir: On the 1st day of January, 1875, I assumed the duties of the Office of the Supervisiug Architect of this Department, and have the bonor to submit herewith a report of the works under its charge during the past fiscal year, and their present condition; the progress of the work during the first six months being determined from the records and files of the Office.




That portion of this building for which plans were prepared by the late Supervising Architect was nearly completed when I took possession of the Office and is now finished, partially furnished, and is occupied by the post office and the office of the assistant treasurer.

In consequence of the order making the subtreasury at Boston a place of deposit for silver coin, it was found necessary to increase the strength of the flooring sustaining the vaults to carry the additional weight, which was accomplished at a small cost. Total amount appropriated for that portion of the building already erected

$3,017, 085 08 Total amount expended thereon to September 30, 1875..

3, 017, 085 08


The stone-work of this building and the approaches may be said to be completed. A portion of the iron-work of the roof is received and is ready to be put in place, and contracts have been entered into for the completion of the iron-work. The building will be ready for occupancy before the close of the present fiscal year. The amount appropriated at the last session of Congress is sufficient to meet all the expenditures anticipated on account of the work. Total amount appropriated for completion of building on modified designs.

$698, 915 43 Total amount expended to September 30, 1875..

510,791 17

Balance in Treasury...

188, 124 26


As soon after taking charge of the Office as my duties would periit. I visited Chicago, I., to inform myself as to the condition and prog. ress of the work, and, upon inspection of the building, I discovered serious cracks in the walls and defects in the stone, which excited considerable anxiety in my mind as to the stability of the foundations and the fitness of the materials used in the construction of a building of its magnitude and character, and upon my return, as soon as the condition of the ground would admit of an examination of the foundation, I directed two of my assistants to visit Chicago and make an examination as to the cause of the cracks and the apparent unequal movement in the walls. The result of this investigation confirmed my fears; and, upon your attention being called to the matter, work was suspended in accord. ance with your directions, and a commission of three experts, not connected with the public service, was appointed to make a thorough test of the foundation and an examination of the materials used in the construction of the building. The report of this commission substantiated that made by the officers of the Department above referred to. Upon the publication of this report, the mayor of Chicago, in compliance with a resolution of the council of that city, appointed a commission of seven local architects and engineers to perform similar duties to those assigued to the commission appointed by you and to report to bim their finding. A copy of the resolution of the city council was forwarded to this Department, with the request that permission might be given to these gentlemen to make the necessary examination and tests, which permission you granted. The report of the local commission differing essentially from that of the gentlemen appointed by the Department, a third commission, equal in number to the second, consisting of engineers, architects and builders, was appointed by you, and upon the receipt of their report resumption of the work was directed by you, and it is now in progress. Copies of the reports of these commissions, and the indorsements thereon, are bereunto appended. (See Appendix A.)

The condition of the building at the date of the suspension of the work, May, 1875, was as follows: The stone-work of the first story, on the Adams, Dearborn, and Jackson streets fronts, had been set and backed up with brick backing, and the entire iron-work of that story set in place. The first story of the Clark street front was nearly finished, and the cutting of the stone for the second story was nearly completed. Total amount appropriated for this work..

$4,300,000 (0 Total amount expended to September 30, 1875..

3,322, 293 (8 Balance in Treasury September 30.

977, 706 92 CINCINNATI CUSTOM-HOUSE, ETC. On June 30, 1874, a site was acquired and the excavation commenced, but very little work had been done thereon. Since that date the exca. vation has been completed, concrete foundations laid, and the basement and area walls carried up to their full height. The red granite with which the basement, area walls, and first four courses of the superstructure are faced is very nearly all supplied, and the contract will soon be completed. Of the gray granite for the superstructure, the first story is already cut, and also a large portion of the second story. Total amount appropriated for this work...

$2,630, 000 00 Total amount expended to September 30, 1875.

1,772, 050 62

Balance in Treasury September 30.

877, 939 38

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