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THE AMERICAN ARCHITECT AND BUILDING NEws. 


VOL. Il.J 


Copyright, 1876, JAMES R. Oscoop & Co, 


LNO. 92. 








BOSTON, SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. 








CONTENTS. 
Summary: — 
The Inspector of Buildings and the Accident in Blackstone 

Square, Boston.—The Penalties of Bad Building. —The 

Fire at the Patent Office.— Frauds in bidding for Con- 

tracts. — The New Interest in Art, and how to direct it. — 

The Relations between Governments and Public Buildings. 309 
~em coon On Or. Peters... wt tt th whl we tO 
Tue REGULATION AND QuALITY OF THE SupPLy OF FreEsH AIR 

Me VOMRGATION 6 ct te te oe ee ee . oll 
Tne ILLustrations:— 
The Tower of the Cathedral of St. Giles. —The Queen’s Ins. 

Co.’s Building, New York.— Country House.— The Dome 

of St. Peter’s. — The Seats in Blackstone Square, Boston . 313 
CoRRESPONDENCE: — 

Tatter from: Chicagé). 2 6c ee te te we ee oo BB 
Tuer RELATION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC BuILp- 
INGS IN ENGLAND ANI) FRANCE . . 2. 2 2 2 © «© © © © « S14 
CoMMUNICATION: — 
The Blackstone Square Accident. — Reparations on the Ab- 
ge ae ee ae ee ee ee ee 
WOOWMG AO UCISPEINGR 2 0 wt tt th th tt tt tl ke 
Tue committee appointed to examine the construction of 
the platforms erected for spectators of the procession at the 
dedication of the monument in Boston, on the 17th inst., and 
to ascertain the cause of the fall of one of these structures, 
whereby many people were seriously injured, have reported 
that ‘*the structure was entirely inadequate for the purpose 
for which it was erected, every principle of strength being 
violated in its construction;’’ that it was nailed and not 
framed together; that the transverse braces were insuflicient, 
and that there were no longitudinal braces whatever. The 
committee acknowledge that their judgment is liable to be 
influenced by the event of the fall, but they ** cannot conceive 
how mechanics inspecting these structures with any care 
should have pronounced them safe.’’ ‘This is severe, but not 
in all respects satisfactory. It is impossible to conceive of 
a structure in which every principle of strength is disre- 
garded, and it is quite possible that no one but a skilled engi- 
neer could survey the staging as built and detail all its weak 
points. Such skill is not paid for, and we have no right to 
expect it in the Inspector of Buildings and his assistants ; 
but of course we have a right to expect from them such ele- 
ments of knowledge as might provide for the erection of rea- 
sonably secure stagings. ‘The joint committee of the Alder- 
men and Council have yet to report as to the causes and 
responsibility of the accident ; it is therefore proper to abstain 
from an expression of opinion, and to defer any remarks as 
to the published statements made by Mr. Paul, the alleged 
contractor. It is evident, however, that the Inspector or his 
assistants should be held to a strict accountability for their 
share, if any, in this unfortunate occurrence: a previous good 
record of vigilance and competence should of course have its 
due weight in summing up their case, and if, moreover, this 
accident may be properly laid up for their benefit as a lesson 
of experience impossible to be disregarded in the future, the 
public may be no loser by their retention in office. 





A srory is told of a retired architect in one of the provinces 
of France, who, induced by the requests of his neighbors, took 
up his pencil again, and prepared plans for a certain public 
building ; but with the express understanding that he was not 
to be concerned in the erection thereof. While in process of 
construction the building fell, or some portion of it proved 
insecure ; and the architect, notwithstanding the exceptional 
conditions of his service, was condemned under the strict laws 
of France, to fine and imprisonment. He was ruined in his 
estate, and died before his release; and his funeral was at- 
tended by the principal architects of the country, and by a 
great array of his fellow-citizens, who desired in this manner 


to bear testimony to their sympathy and respect. Doubtless | 


to the discipline of such laws, even though admitting of no dis- 
cretion on the part of those who administer them, is to be at- 
tributed the gradual formation of those traditions of construc- 





tion under which France now enjoys an almost complete im- 
munity from such catastrophes as we have grievous occasion 
to record every week in this country. A profession carrying 
with it such grave responsibilities would not be eagerly em- 
braced by half-instructed youths, who must needs complete 
their education at the expense of the indulgent relatives, 
friends, or neighbors who employ them, who must be depend- 
ent upon the skill of draughtsmen acting in the capacity 
of dry-nurse, and upon the honesty of contractors work- 
ing after impracticable plans. An architect liable to per- 
sonal punishment would take pains to calculate his strains, 
his weights, and the strength of his materials; to study his 
fire-escapes and other contrivances for the security of life, 
and zealously to supervise the construction of his piers and 
arches and ties; and a builder, under the same circumstances, 
would neither construct nor advise as to the construction 
of a staging, without far more careful consideration than he 
seems to bestow under our present happy-go-lucky system, 
in which neither forethought nor caution is encouraged. Yet 
it cannot be denied that such tragedies as the burning of the 
Brooklyn Theatre, of the Southern Hotel at St. Louis, of 
Hale’s piano-factory at New York, or the fall of the dome of 
the Rockford court-house, or of the roof of the New York 
Post Office, or even of the temporary staging in Blackstone 
Square, are impossible in Paris, and would be impossible in 
Brooklyn, St. Louis, New York, Rockford, and Boston under 
laws by which the safety of the citizen is secured by the peril 
of the builder. 





Tue burning of a part of the Patent Office at Washington 
gives in one catastrophe a compact and conspicuous example 
of both the value of fire-proot construction and the dangers 
of its neglect. The form of the building is well known. It 
was entirely isolated and occupied two blocks, extending from 
F Street to G, and from Seventh Street to Ninth,—a rect- 
angle with an open court in the middle. The floors were of 
brick and iron; but the roof, and we presume the ceiling of 
the upper story, was of wood. The whole of the upper story 
was devoted to the model rooms, which made the circuit of the 
building. Fire caught in the roof at the south-west angle, 
the corner of F and Ninth Streets, the wind being from that 
quarter, and swept round by the north-east to the north-east 
angle, at G and Seventh Streets, destroying the half of the 
model room in which the greater part of the models was stored. 
The fire-proof floors saved the contents of the two lower 
stories, in which were the records of the Patent, Pension, and 
Land Offices, from damage, except by water and efforts at re- 
moval. There are various estimates of the value of the 
models destroyed, probably all untrustworthy; but the cost 
and injury occasioned by the interruption of the public Musi- 
ness, and by the litigations which are likely to follow from the 
destruction of models and confusion of records due to hasty 
removal, are incalculable. There are also various conjectures 
of the cause of the fire ; but the cause matters little: the im- 
portant thing is that for want of some thousands of dollars 
spent in carrying out a system of construction that was well 
begun, public property and records of immense value have 
been destroyed or impaired, and a whole department of the 
government is thrown into disorder. Incidentally, too, we 
are reminded of the danger of storing enormous quantities of 
models, mostly built of inflammable materials, in immense 
halls unbroken by cross walls. 





Tue Boston Jerald draws attention to a scheme of 
fraud which has proved practicable under the system of sub- 
mitting public work to a public competition of tenders of 
contract or bids. Although this species of fraud and 
many others have been developed even in the experience 
of private practice, the unrestricted competition implied 
by advertising for proposals, as is very properly required in 
municipal work, .renders such work particularly liable to 
criminal practices on the part of the bidders. The especial 
instance of fraud noted by the Herald is a collusion between 
two competitors. The one figuring to be the lowest bidder 
frightens all other contestants from the enterprise by allow- 
ing the lowness of his estimate to be known among his craft 
before it is submitted. His coadjutor, on the other hand, 


ae : ie gee Soe 




















810 The American Architect and Building News. 


[SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. 








figures for a large profit. This arrangement practically con- 
fines the tenders to two. The award is made to the lower 
one, which is forthwith withdrawn, and the job.naturally falls 
to the secret associate. It is almost impossible to prove such 
attempts at imposition. The remedy proposed by the Herald 


‘ 


is to add to the order, compelling the award of contracts to | 


the lowest bidder, a provision requiring each competitor to 


file with his tender a satisfactory bond binding him to under- | 


take the work if he receives the contract. Such a provision, 
although it might act as a hardship in such cases as the sub- 
mission of a bid which is lowest by reason of a misapprehen- 
sion of the terms of the specification, or through an honest 
error of computation, or which is rendered unprofitable by an 
unforeseen rise in prices of labor or material, or by the with- 
drawal of a sub-bid, would even in such cases defend the 
public interests from carelessly-considered propositions and 
probably from most cases of intentional fraud. 





Tuere is exhibited at the opening of the first winter terms 





of the schools of high art and of industrial art throughout | 


the country, as might have been expected, an increased de- 
sire for instruction in these departments, and an increased 
appreciation of the importance of such knowledge as is to be 
obtained there. The applications, for instance, for admission 
to the School of Drawing and Painting connected with the 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, as compared with those of last 
year, are in number nearly or quite doubled. Thus after 
the long era of indifference comes the awakening; and the 
awakening is sudden and wide-spread. At the first Paris 
Exposition our government stood at the foot of the list of 
great nations in industrial art. Great Britain stood next, 
while Switzerland and Belgium were high up on the roll of 
honor, France meanwhile easily leading the world. But the 
Philadelphia Exposition changed the record ; and though we 
still occupied an inferior position on the list, England exhib- 
ited the advantages of that system of education in art which 
she has cultivated for the last fifteen years, and found 
herself among the foremost not in honor only, but in 
the profit accruing to her manufactures from the application 
to them of the true principles of design. We have, then, 





the advantage of her experience and her methods. It is im- | 


portant for us to understand in the outset, that the impulse 
given to these newly-awakened energies in our own country 
by the Centennial comparisons should be seconded by the 
establishment of proper systems of education in art; other- 


wise these precious forces will be wasted in unprofitable | 


channels. How to make the most of these energies, is no 
easy problem to solve. Of one thing, however, all aspirants 
may be assured: the system which makes the apparent prog- 
ress towards a knowledge of the principles of art easy and 
copfortable is to be distrusted. There is no way to such 
knowledge save by long and patient labor, skilfully guided 
by competent instructors and encouraged by museums of art. 
Where such instructors and museums exist, there is the place 
for the pupil in art. Without these, even genius is fatally 
delayed, and the most honest desire for improvement is of no 
avail. The processes of art are too difficult to be mastered 
without the aid of constant advice and the enlightenment of 
great examples. The city which fails to furnish these appli- 
ances of instruction in art fails in its duty to its citizens, and 
neglects what the development of civilization has plainly 
proved to be for its highest interests. 





Tue government buildings of a country must necessarily 
be considered the highest architectural expressions of the 
times in which they are erected, and therefore to this extent 
are typical. How the best ability of the profession is to be 
made available in the designing and building of these struc- 
tures becomes naturally a question of great importance ; and 
the practice of different countries in this respect presents 
curious contrasts. We have had frequent occasion to express 
the unanimous sentiment of the profession in this country as 
opposed to our own custom, which consists in the appoint- 
ment by the Secretary of the Treasury of a supervising archi- 
tect, to whom are committed the designing and construction 
of all the government buildings throughout the land, —a 





by the whole profession, have apparently fallen upon ears 
absolutely indifferent to the true interests of art, although 
these appeals have been presented to Congress in a form to 
be acted upon with intelligence and effect. If we have been 
disposed to consider the profession of architecture singularly 
unhappy in its relations with our government, and that these 
relations are indicative of a characteristic absence of one of 
the elements of civilization in our country, we may obtain 
some consolation by the reading of two noticeable articles in 
late numbers of the English Builder (pp. 852 and 897), en- 
titled ** The Story of the Government Oflices,’? and ‘+ Her 
Majesty’s Office of Works and Public Buildings.’’ Until 
shortly after the advent of the famous Mr. Ayrton as first 
commissioner in_this oflice, it enjoyed the professional advice 
successively of Mr. Pennethorne and Mr. Fergusson. Under 
the present administration the department seems to be a fair 
example of a ** circumlocution oflice,’’ with plenty of commis- 
sioners, secretaries, clerks, examiners, surveyors, and super- 
intendents, but no architect. Evidence lately given before a 
committee of the Commons by Mr. Mitford, first secretary of 
the office and author of ** Tales of Old Japan,’’ set forth the 
opinion of this official to the effect that he knew of no single 
building erected by architects within the last twenty years 
which has proved superior in any respect to the old building 
which it replaced, and that any new buildings which might be 


| hereafter required could be infinitely better built by the office 


itself without an architect, but with the assistance of a few 
temporary draughtsmen. The immediate cause of dissatis- 
faction seems to be the new Home and Colonial Offices lately 
erected in great splendor by Sir Gilbert Scott, but which, rea- 
sonably or not, the clerks of the government find less conven- 
ient than the bed-chambers in the old dwelling-houses to 
which they had previously accustomed themselves. After 
reading the temperate evidence of Sir Gilbert before the par- 
liamentary committee, we are strongly inclined to believe that 
these expressions of dissatisfaction on the part of the officials 
may be attributed rather to an unwillingness to change old 
habits than to any innate defects of design, and that the build- 
ings are a good deal better than the occupants deserve. But 
however this may be, it is in evidence that the English gov- 
ernment goes farther than ours in its uncivilized distrust of 
the profession, and prefers to have no architect at all. Our 


| government is indifferent to art; theirs seems to hate it. As 


regards the relations between the French government and 
its public buildings, as contrasted with those of the English, 
we refer our readers to another article from the Builder, 
which we venture to reprint in this number of our journal. 





THE DOME OF ST. PETER’S. —II. 
ITS PRESENT CONDITION. 


Ir is not easy to get from the information at our hand a 
precise and clear account of what has been done from time 
to time to strengthen the dome of St. Peter’s by iron bands 
and armatures. The writer in the Zodtchy, to whose article 
we referred in our last number, cites the indications which 
are to be seen on the model of the dome attributed to Michael 
Angelo, where marks are to be found that imply vertical bars 
through the height of each buttress, connected by two or 
three horizontal chains around the drum. He quotes also 
from a Russian work, the author unknown, which was printed 
in 1776, and contains information translated from a ** Voyage 
dun Frangais en Italie en 1765 et 1766,’’ published at 
Iverdun. ‘The author says: ** In order to consolidate as 
much as possible all the parts of the cupola, it was girt about 
at this time [the time of its building 7] with strong bands of 
iron, one of which was laid in the interior of the wall, and 
the other surrounded only the interior dome, at about a 
third of its height. A quantity of iron was likewise em- 
ployed for the anchoring of the vaulting. M. Rocca computes 
this quantity at 20,000 mares. The Marquis of Polemi thinks 
that this was done merely for the sake of embracing and tying 


_ the first round basement [the first counting from above appar- 


eustom against which the earnest remonstrances and recom- | 


mendations of the last two incumbents of the office, backed 


- «7m. 


ently, where, however, such assistance was least necessary], 
forming an opening at the top of the inner dome; and that 
he has seen a part of this iron with his own eyes, through 
openings ranged around the upper part of this interior 
dome, and close to the outer one, by help of the surrounding 
wall which forms the tambour of the lantern.’’ And again: 
‘* According to the third book of- the historic memoirs of the 


permite 


KFA EON TE 


Sige 


ESAS 





SePTEMBER 29, 1877.] 


The American Architect and Building News. 811 








Marquis of Poleni, several cracks were noticed in the dome 
in 1680, but no heed was paid to them till the accession of 
Pope Lambert.'| Then first it was remarked that there 
were serious fissures in the dome, the drum, and the but- 
tresses, which must be the result of insufficient connection 
between the buttresses and the drum. Architects and math- 
ematicians were called into counsel, who, in a unanimous re- 
port, which was rendered on March 9, 1743, declared it 
indispensable to strengthen the drum and dome by bands 
of iron. Five of these were applied in 1743 and 1744, 
distributed from the pedestals of the buttresses to the base 
of the lantern. Moreover, it was found in 1747, that the 
former iron band, laid around the inner dome as long ago as in 
the time of Sixtus V., had burst, which made it necessary to 
mend it. A new one was laid besides, on the outside dome, 
just under the first windows [dormers], and over against the 
broken band of the inner dome. According to the memoirs 
of the Marquis of Poleni, these repairs were made in 1748, 
and the six bands consumed more than a hundred thousand 
pounds of iron.”’ 

Of these various bands and armatures the Russian observ- 
ers detected four: two external bands at the levels of the 
first and second interior galleries; an interior armature or 
girdle around the base of the inner dome, a foot above the 
floor of the interior corridor, as we may call it, which is 
formed between the two shells where they first separate, by 
piercing the meridian ares or webs which connect them; and 
another lower down, bedded in the masonry of the attic on 
which the dome rests, at about seven feet above the main 
cornice of the drum. This last was indicated only by the 
projection from the masonry of its cramps and anchors ; that 
between the shells of the dome was of iron bars linked to- 
gether and keyed in the way shown in our illustration. 

Examination of the masonry showed that almost every 
part of the structure was more or less cracked and dislogated. 
The amount of deterioration shown by a careful scrutiny will 
be almost ineredible to those who have viewed the dome even 
from its own level only with the eye of a traveller or of an 
artist. ‘There were horizontal cracks in the wall of the stylo- 
bate itself, and the walls of the drum were, says the paper 
in the Zodichy, ** furrowed with a multitude of rifts.’’ These 
rifts are seen in the solid belt of the drum below the windows ; 
but are more numerous and larger above, especially in the 
window-heads, which show cracks of not less than a quarter 
of aninch in most of the piers. The buttresses appear to 
have suffered on the whole even more than the piers to which 
they are attached, some of the fissures, which increase up- 
vards, being not less than an inch wide at the tops. It was 
noticed, however, that three successive buttresses on the south- 
west quarter of the dome were entirely uninjured. (Our readers 
will remember that St. Peters, like most of the Cisalpine 
churches, is unoriented, and that it fronts towards the east.) 

It was observed that in general, not only were the upper 
parts of the drum and its supports more fissured than the 
lower, but the cracks, which had from time to time been 
pointed with cement, had constantly increased and re-opened. 
An ingenious system had been in use for indicating the 
changes that occurred. Marble tablets of dovetail shape 
had been set here and there across the cracks, and bedded in 
the masonry. The tablets were about five by twelve inches, 
and three-quarters of an inch thick. There were great num- 
bers of them, marked with the dates of their insertion, which 
ranged from 1819 to 1871, and so furnishing a sort of history 
of the progress of the deterioration during those years. In 
almost all cases, the tablets had either been broken or torn 
from their matrixes by the widening of the fissures. The 
rifts in the buttresses, approximately vertical, inclined in- 
ward toward the top, running diagonally downward therefore 
from the cornice of the drum to the outer edge of the but- 
tress at its base, as is indicated by the drawing of one of 
the buttresses in our illustrations. Another fact noticed 
was that the fissures were continuous, not following the 
joints of the masonry, but passing indifferently through the 
stones and the joints. This fact testifies at once to the 
quality of the masonry and to the enormous pressure upon 
it, while it does not encourage the theory of the book above 
cited, that the dislocation was caused by ‘* insufficient con- 
nection between the buttresses and the drum.’’ 

The inferences which were suggested to the examiners by 





1 Benedict XIV., 1740-08, 





the nature and direction of the fissures in the masonry were 
two: either that the drum, having the direct weight of the 
dome to carry, had settled more than the buttresses, and split 
away from them, or that the buttresses had been forced out- 
ward at the top by the thrust and spreading of the dome, and 
so split away from it. The first supposition, we are told, 
was set aside for want of evidence (perhaps too hastily) ; and 
the examiners, turning to the test of the plumb-line, found 
that the three buttresses, adjacent ones, which they plumbed, 
did in fact overhang from an inch to an inch and a half in 
their whole height, a deviation, however, which in a height 
of fifty feet is certainly not extreme. An elaborate compu- 
tation of the weight and thrust of the dome was made, on 
the other hand, and indicated a moment of rotation about the 
heel of the buttress of 1,060,547 pounds, due to the resultant 
pressure of the dome, and a resisting moment of the but- 
tresses equal to 1,470,024 pounds; so that according to this 
computation, the stability of the dome seemed secure. 

It is safer to refrain from comment till we hear the con- 
clusions of the Russian commission, which is deferred to a 
later article in the Zodtchy. We must notice, however, that 
the examination by the plumb-line was confined to the three 
adjacent buttresses which were sheltered from the wind when 
the observation was made ; that there is no record of a level- 
ling of the stylobate, which we should have thought an essen- 
tial element in the inquiry, nor ef the examination of any 
cracks in the dome itself, though these must have occurred 
and opened if it had continued to spread after the armatures 
were applied. The questions with which the writer of the 
interesting article in the Zodtchy closes, and to which he 
proposes to return, are: Ilow to explain the fact which is 
asserted, that the dislocation of the cupola was not immedi- 
ate, but began nearly a hundred years after the building was 
finished? How account for the buttresses being so unequally 
injured, and for three of them remaining unharmed to this 
day? Are the precautions which have been taken sufficient ? 
and if not, what shall be done? 





THE REGULATION AND QUALITY OF THE SUPPLY 
OF FRESH AIR IN VENTILATION. 


Paper read at the meeting of the Social Science Association at Saratoga, 
Sept. 6, 1877, by Frederic Tudor of Boston. ° 


In determining the quantity of air to be supplied to and re- 
moved from a building, and adjusting the corresponding capacity 


> 


of the air-shafts, it is customary to assume standard temperatures 
of the air inside of the building, and of that.outside which must 
be heated before distribution. The latter is taken as the average 
winter temperature. The height of the building and of the ex- 
haust shaft being known, it is easy to calculate the approximate 
sizes of the air-ducts required for the supply and removal of a 
required quantity of air in a certain time: say in cubic feet per 
minute. But the great range of temperature in our climate, often 
touching extremes as far as 50° Fah. apart within twenty-four 
hours, is a sufficient reason for not adopting any such rule, with- 
out taking extraordinary precautions. Supposing the flow of air 
in the shafts on a mild day to be represented by the number 25, 
the relative flow on a cold day would be 30. Economical consid- 
erations require that it should be just the reverse, since more fuel 
is required, first, to heat the extremely cold air; and second, to 
heat the increased quantity: which involves a waste amounting to 
17 per cent. Then the natural ventilation of the building — that 
which takes place through its cellar, walls, windows, doors, and 
roof, which is not taken into account in a scheme of ventilation 
— is materially increased in cold weather, and a large amount of 
heat must be expended to meet it. But the greatest obstacle of 
all is the prevalence of high winds which accompany, or rather 
bring on, a low temperature. 

The force which determines the movement of air in shafts is a 
very small quantity, being only the difference between the weights 
of a column of air as high as the exhaust shaft, having the tem- 
perature of the outflowing air, and of a similar column having the 
external temperature. This force is, in most cases, less than one- 
hundredth of that of a strong north-west wind. 

To counteract the effects of temperature and wind, supposing 
that there is no force employed except that obtained by heating 
the foul air in the exhaust shaft, the most careful study and judg- 
ment will need to be used in locating the fresh air openings, pro- 
portioning and arranging the flues, and in regulating the exhaust. 
Valves in the inlet shafts are usually employed; and since appli- 
ances to regulate the flow of air under varying conditions must be 
adopted, it is important that they should be few in number and 
simple in arrangement. The occupants will be fortunate if the 
ventilating apparatus of their building receives intelligent and 
faithful superintendence; and since the design is likely to be de- 
fective, and its working vexatious to the best-meaning manager, 


ee 




















ORAL at 


A LC eI et ants tte tatty 








prvea“ntpee 


812 The American Architect and Building News. 





[SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. 








there is no sense in blaming him for relying upon his own judgment, 
and securing what seem to him the best general results. Let there 
be but one inlet, with a valve to regulate the supply, and a press- 
ure meter to show at a glance the volume admitted per minute ; 
one heating chamber, with an arrangement for adjusting the tem- 
perature of the warmed air,—an indispensable but never-seen 
appliance; with a thermometer to show the temperature, and a 
valve in the only outlet shaft, operated from the same point as 
that in the inlet. With this arrangement only three simple ope- 
rations are required to regulate the quantity of air and its tem- 
perature, and the results of all are immediately manifest. If a 
mistake is made, it can be instantly corrected, without waiting 
for complaints from the suffering occupants above, since the engi- 
neer sees exactly what he is doing. If he once finds that he can 
easily make any required change, his interest and gratification are 
increased, and he will take a pride in the certainty with which he 
can secure exactness. 

The disposition of details in ventilating work must be directed 
by experience alone. The books on the subject, so far as they 
give us history and examples, are valuable; but even these are 
defective, since they seldom give well-observed facts and results. 
As to the purely theoretical works, they are of no practical value 
whatever. The formulas which they give are deduced from lim- 
ited data, derived from the simplest cases. The higher mathe- 
matics cannot deal with quantities made up of a large number of 
variables; and a scheme of ventilation is entirely composed of 
varying conditions, variously connected and growing out of each 
other. Mathematical and physical research do give valuable data 
for use in ventilation, but they do not teach the art, nor do they 
throw much light upon the more complicated details which are the 
chief embarrassment of the work. The art of ventilation must 
be learned like any other art or trade, by practice combined with 
instruction ; and expertness can be acquired by those only who are 
close observers, who have a certain intuitive judgment, and who 
have taken time to devote themselves to a thorough practical in- 
vestigation of the subject. 

Much care must be taken to avoid impairing the quality of the 
supplied fresh air in the process of warming it. The natural pur- 
ity of the fresh air may be diminished by contact with red-hot 
surfaces of iron, which will extract a portion of its oxygen, —es- 
pecially the oxygen which is united with hydrogen in the form of 
invisible vapor, — whereby the degree of humidity is reduced, and 
hydrogen set free in the air; which will charge it with the un- 
pleasant gases given off by dust and dirt which have been carried 
into the heating apparatus from the street, when heated to a high 
temperature, or by leakage of the products of combustion from 
the heating apparatus. The healthfulness of the air may be still 
further reduced by neglecting to add to the amount of its vapor 
while increasing its temperature. All these evils have been found 
to exist where furnaces of cast iron are used; and, without con- 
sidering whether they might be owing to defects of construction, 
it has been hastily assumed that the material — cast-iron — was 
the cause of them all. The partial investigations of MM. Deville 
and Troost, undertaken at the instance of Gen. Morin, have been 
accepted as finally condemnatory of cast iron as a material for 
stoves and furnaces. They in reality only prove that the appara- 
tus with which they experimented was imperfect in construction, 
as might be expected in a stove of the cheapest possible character. 
The competition to sell merchandise, and to buy the cheapest 
offered, has resulted in the gradual elimination of all qualities of 
excellence in warming apparatus. As to the diffusion of the poi- 
sonous gas —carbonic oxide —through the imaginary pores of 
cast iron, it amounts to nothing, and can scarcely be detected with 
the most extreme care, even in air exposed to prolonged contact 
with the hot iron; but the free passage of this gas through the im- 
perfect joints of the ordinary cheap furnace amounts to a great 
deal. And all the evils arising from over-heating will certainly 
be found when the heating surface has been so reduced as to 
make it necessary to keep it red-hot all the time. It is now gen- 
erally thought that wrought-iron is a more suitable material for 
furnaces than cast-iron. This is true, but is no new discovery. 
The objection to it has always been the great cost of working it; 
and, in order to compete with cast-iron furnaces of good quality, 
the makers have been compelled to omit the best features, and 
admit defects which make them in every way inferior to an 
old-fashioned, honestly-built, cast-iron furnace. A good wrought- 
iron furnace cannot be cheap; its cost should be certainly double 
that of a cast-iron furnace of equal power. Since, then, the latter 
can be made to answer all requirements at a less cost, it would 
seem to be better adapted for general use. 

But in any case, good results cannot be obtained from cheap and 
inferior apparatus. The tendency to cheapen every thing to the 
point where there is only an appearance of value, and only sub- 
stance enough to enable the object to stand up until its sale is 
completed, will overpower and destroy the wrought-iron furnace in 
its turn. It is now about to bring discredit upon steam-apparatus, 
and it is extremely doubtful if there is a single case of heating by 
steam on a small scale, which could not be better done by a good 
furnace at half the cost. For small dwellings and schools, where 
economy must be taken into account, liberal expenditure for the 
best, but only the best, furnace work will be infinitely better than 





| 


a cheap and half-complete steam-apparatus, constructed at nearly 
twice the cost. Lest these ideas should seem to be retrograde, let 
it be borne in mind that it is not the best that is sought for, but 
the best for the least money, which is a very different thing from 
the cheapest. In other words, a superior article of an inferior 
class is to be preferred to a poor article of a higher class, and it 
generally costs much less. 

There is another way in which the quality of the air is depend- 
ent upon the heating-apparatus. It is the means whereby the 
relative humidity is kept up, or moisture added in proportion to 
the increased temperature of the air. All natural air contains 
among other constituents a portion of watery vapor. The amount 
is very variable, but increases rapidly from lower to higher tem- 
peratures. By agreement among chemists, the total amount which 
the atmosphere can hold at each degree of the thermometer is 
called saturation. At 32° Fah. it is 2 grains, and at 70° it is 8 
grains per cubic foot. The excess above saturation is always 
manifest in the form of clouds, fog, dew, rain, or snow. The ac- 
tual amount found at any time is compared with the amount re- 
quired to saturate it at the same temperature, and is stated as so 
much per cent, and called the relative humidity. In the Northern 
States the average relative humidity is 70 per cent, in England 80 
per cent. Now, if we take air at 30°, of 50 per cent relative hu- 
midity, and heat it to 70° without adding moisture as nature does, 
we shall have a warm air of only 12 per cent humidity. It is 
sufficient to say that no observation of natural air has ever been 
made which showed so low a degree of humidity. As far as the 
writer knows, the lowest relative humidity is found in spring on 
the eastern coast of Massachusetts, during the prevalence of the 
so-called damp east winds. So far from being damp are they, 
that they are the very driest known, showing sometimes as low as 
30 per cent. They are, according to the writer's observation, 
always followed by epidemics of catarrhal troubles; are unspeaka- 
bly disagreeable, and detested by everybody. North-west winds in 
the early spring, when the earth is partially covered by melting 
snow, often show the same character, and are mistaken for east 
winds by unobserving people. The cause of their dryness is to be 
found in the absorption from the atmosphere of its vapor by the 
exceedingly cold water of the Arctic current east of New England. 
It seers paradoxical that water should absorb moisture from the 
air, but it takes place precisely as frost is deposited on a cold win- 
dow-pane. A melting block of ice placed in a dish, and balanced 
on a pair of scales in a warm atmosphere, will shortly weigh down 
the beam by aid of the weight of the moisture or dew precipitated 
upon it. In the same way the west wind, already comparatively 
dry, yields up its water to the masses of melting snow. The in- 
stinctive dread with which these winds are regarded is corrobora- 
tive proof of the close connection of the low rate of humidity with 
many diseases of the breathing-organs, without ascertained facts 
showing them to be the cause. But since the characteristic of 
spring air is its dryness, and during that time such disorders are 
prevalent, it is sate to conclude that dryness is the cause, or at 
least an accomplice. 

Such are the effects of a dry atmosphere at low temperatures, 
when the air although saturated holds but little water. What 
may be the effects of the dry air at the high temperature of our 
houses, which is relatively even dryer than the hated east wind, 
and which has five or six times the capacity for absorbing moist- 
ure from the lungs and skin which the colder natural air has? 
Perhaps the doctors can identify disorders, not febrile, but which 
could be explained by supposing the blood to have lost a portion 
of its water which in health is invariable in quantity. Would it 
be safe to hint that rheumatism and neuralgia might be some of 
these, and that there might be others, of a febrile nature with a 
specific cause, which owed their origin to the inability of the de- 
ranged blood to repair waste and fortify the system against at- 
tacks which healthy people in other climates are not subject to? 

It was said before that the relative humidity was variable even 
in natural air. In fact, it varies from hour to hour, but in pleas- 
ant climates it seldom falls below 65 per cent, and the more 
limited the range the more agreeable the climate. Increased ven- 
tilation means diminished humidity, since there are many unrec- 
ognized sources of moisture in every house, and if the air is 
frequently changed, of course these are less able to keep up the 
supply. In most well-ventilated furnace-heated houses, the hu- 
midity will not rise above 30 percent in cold weather, while in 
buildings heated by steam or hot water, on the indirect system, 
the amount will generally be below 20 per cent, sometimes at 15. 

It is important to avoid all schemes of ventilation which pro- 
vide for the admission of unwarmed air through windoWs or wall- 
openings. It is next to impossible to so arrange the distribution 
as to avoid draughts, which will certainly lead to the permanent 
closing and neglect of all such openings. ‘The more draughts 
there are, or the more rapid the movement of air in schoolrooms 
and halls, the higher should be the temperature and the relative 
humidity. All the sting is taken out of a draught, if it is warm 
and unable to chill the body by absorbing the insensible perspira- 
tion too rapidly, as it cannot do if near the point of saturation. 
But if the distribution is well managed it is safe to introduce air 
as low as 65°. Any plan of ventilation which involves a multipli- 
city and complication of details will be certain to fail, either from 





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ignorance of its construction and purpose, or from neglect and in- 
difference to results. Finally, the requisites of a successful scheme 
are, the reduction of the number of parts, control of the move- 
ment of air at one point by one operation, regulation of tempera- 
ture without interfering with the quantity of air supplie, accessi- 
bility to all parts so that they can be cleaned or repaired without 
trouble, all the unavoidable mechanical movements to be as sim- 
ple and self-evident as they can be made, and suitable apparatus 
for the evaporation of water to be included. It is safest that the 
entire plan of the heating and ventilating should be decided upon 
and incorporated into the general plans of a building, before the 
first step is taken towards its construction. 





THE ILLUSTRATIONS. 
TOWER AND LANTERN, ST. GILES’S CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH. 


Tue accompanying illustration which we take from the Building 
News of Sept. 7 makes its appearance just in time to illustrate the 
remarks we made last week when comparing the skeleton frame of 
the dome of St. Peter’s with the crown-topped Scotch towers. 

‘The Church of St. Giles dates as far back as the beginning of 
the twelfth century, since which period it has undergone numerous 
additions and alterations, s» much so that its earlier characteristics 
have entirely disappeared. The date of erection of the lantern is 
not quite certain, but it is supposed to have been about the middle 
of the fifteenth century, at which time the roof of the old church 
was raised, and a clerestory added. In 1571 the church was forci- 
bly taken possession of by Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange (in the 
interest of Mary, Queen of Scots), who placed in the steeple ‘thre 
pieces of brasin ordinance’ with which to assist in holding the city 
against Regent Murray’s forces. It was not till 1633 that Charles 
I. caused St. Giles’s to be constituted a ‘cathedral church, accord- 
ing to the first intention of the erectors and founders thairof.’? In 
1648, owing to the dangerous and ruinous state of the lantern, the 
magistrates had it thoroughly repaired; and it is probable that at 
this time the uppermost portion was rebuilt. Again, in 1829, the 
whole cathedral was restored and refaced in a style of Gothic pos- 
sessing no architectural interest whatever, that portion embodied in 
the subject of illustration being the only part left in its entirety. 
This species of lantern seems to be peculiar to North Britain, as 
it does not occur farther south than Newcastle, while we find speci- 
mens of it still remaining at the Iron Steeple, Glasgow, and King’s 
College, Aberdeen; and until recently it terminated the towers of 
Linlithgow and Haddington churches. Of all the Scottish ex- 
amples, that of St. Giles’s is the richest and lightest, being of an 
octagonal character, the others being merely formed by ribs spring- 
ing from each of the four corners of the tower. The cathedral 
stands on a high ridge of land running westward, and terminating 
with the Castle Rock; and from its elevated position the tower may 
be seen from almost any part of the city, forming a pleasing and 
picturesque feature in the view.” 

THE QUEEN’S INSURANCE COMPANY'S BUILDING, NEW YORK, N.Y. 
MESSRS. CLINTON AND PIRSSON, ARCHITECTS. 


(56 Wall Street, New York, N.Y.) 


This building covers a portion of the well-known Jauncey-court 
plat on Wall Street, New York. It measures 30 by 100 feet. The 
design is modified Victorian Gothic; the basement story is in 
light granite, with pillars and lintels. At the first floor the design 
becomes more elaborate. The entrance-door has a segmental 
arch, with voussoirs alternately of the ordinary brown stone and 
Wyoming blue stone. This last is at present rather a novelty, but 
its excellence must bring it into general use. On the recessed 
tympanum a medallion bust in blue stone of the Queen of Great 
Britain will be cut. The shafts on either side the door, as through- 
out the front, are in polished granite. The voussoirs over the 
great first floor window are all of blue stone, the variation being 
in the working of the face. The tympanum here is of red granite 
with polished face. The upper stories are in blue stone and red 
brick, with a belt course in red and black brick, below the fourth- 
story window-sills. ‘he entrance-section is carried up and empha- 
sized as a tower by arelief of 8 inches. Up to the main cornice 
the height will be 74 feet ; to the tower-cornice, 88 feet; and to 
the top over all, 110 feet. ‘The construction will be fire-proof, with 
iron beams, brick filling,ete. The planisa simple one, with stair- 
ways and elevator grouped in the centre. The finish of the first 
floor will be in mahogany. The upper floors will be finished in 
ash. The whole building is to cost, complete, about $125,000. 


THE DOME OF ST. PETER’S. 
See leading article. 


DIAGRAMS SHOWING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SEATS IN 
BLACKSTONE SQUARE, BOSTON. 


See article on this subject. 


DESIGN FOR A COUNTRY HOUSE. MR. F. M. WHITEHOUSE, 
ARCHITECT. 
(86 Clark St., Chicago, 11.) 





CORRESPONDENCE. 


COURT HOUSE BRICKS.—POLISHED GRANITE.—THE NEW CITY 
HALL TO BE COMMENCED. —THE EASTERN INSANE ASYLUM. — 
AN ARCHITECT APPOINTED WITHOUT COMPETITION. — THE 
INDIANA STATE HOUSE AGAIN. 

CHICAGO, September. 

Tue difficulty in establishing a standard for determining what 
constitutes a good common brick has had a practical illustration 
during the last few days. Our new County Court House, occupy- 
ing the east half of the Court House Square, has now reached the 
level for the second story beams, though some parts of the stone- 
work are not yet set. The contractor had agreed to furnish “ good, 
sound, hard-burned bricks, free from lime and ecracks.’’ He had 
hardly commenced work when members of the building committee 
induced the architect to order the contractor to furnish “sewer 
brick,” or such as would pass inspection in the Department of Public 
Works, for the first story. The architect does not seem to have 
had any authoritative directions from the building committee, but 
nevertheless he gave the order, and committed the county to the 
change. As soon as the second story was reached, the architect 
recommended to the board, and the committee approved the rec- 
ommendation, that the contractor be directed to use “ sewer brick ” 
for the second story walls, and be allowed $3 per thousand extra. 
A strong opposition immediately arose, and the matter is not yet 
settled. 

It is contended by some that the specifications from which I 
have quoted above called for as good as sewer brick, and that the 
architect had neither reason nor right in ordering the change 
which he now seeks to have carried out in the remainder of the 
building. This illustrates what I said before, that the only name 
for good bricks here is “sewer bricks.’”? The want of a common 
understanding of what description can be given to define a first- 
class brick, has been taken advantage of to saddle a large “extra” 
upon the county. The price demanded for the difference, if dif- 
ference there be, between the bricks specified and “ sewer bricks,’’ 
seems extravagant, for the Department of Public Works has always 
been able to procure all the “sewer bricks” it wanted for an ad- 
vance of $1 to $1.25 over regular prices. The government pays 
$1.50 more than ruling prices, and gets the best selected bricks, 
superior, if possible, to those used by the city in public works. 

The result of this discussion, which has now been taken up by 
the local papers, cannot fail to be of benefit to the public. It will 
induce architects to be more careful in specifying and inspecting 
brick-work, and bring the builders to a better understanding of 
the specifications they work under. It can only affect the brick- 
makers through the pressure that may be brought upon them by 
the contractors, forced to the fulfilment of their contracts by the 
architects. Meanwhile, for a time we will be deluged with the 
“culls” left over after the “sewer bricks” have been selected out, 
and architects will have to keep a sharp lookout lest they be in- 
troduced into building work. There is nothing that will bring 
brick-makers to their senses sooner than a good stock on hand of 
unsalable “ culls.”’ 

The polished granite for the Court House is now being set. All 
the stone-work about the entrances and public halls which can be 
touched by human hands will be of this material. The building 
has been somewhat delayed on account of the late day at which 
the granite was ordered. 

Meanwhile, during the wrangles of the Court House Building 
Committee, the contractors, and the architect, the City Hall on the 
opposite side of the square bids fair soon to be under way; the 
Law Department having decided that the City Hall Fund, amount- 
ing to over $600,000, though it had been used to make good other 
funds which had been appropriated unlawfully by the late city 
treasurer, Gage, was still intact; in other words, that the city was 
bound to make it good out of any moneys on hand. This decision 
enabled the aldermen to clearly see how the building could be 
commenced. On the 3d of this month, they passed the following 
short but comprehensive ordinance : — 


“Section 1. That the Department of Public Works, in connection with 
the building committee of this Council, be and they are hereby author- 
ized and empowered to take immediate measures to put in the founda- 
tions of the City Hall building upon its original site; and according to 
such plans and specifications Sod im such manner as they, or a majority 
of them, may decide upon; and to employ such help, and let such con- 
tracts in carrying on said work, as may seem proper and advisable, as 
provided by law. ; 

Secr. 2. This ordinance shall take effect, and be in force, from and 
after its passage.” 


This delegated the whole matter to the Department of Works 
(of which the mayor is the sole member) and the building com- 
mittee of the council. The building committee has an old archi- 
tect at its head, and several ex-builders in its number, after the 
manner of many other similar bodies. ‘The Department of Works 
is by the general law obliged to make all contracts for, and take 
charge of, all public buildings. It employs an architect on a sal- 
ary, not as an officer, but rather as an employee. He makes the 
drawings for all buildings erected by the city. The gentleman at 
present employed is a Mr. Artinstall. The Superintendent of 
Buildings is independent of the Department of Works, but it is 
understood that he will have supervisory powers in connection with 









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314 The American Architect and Building News. 


[SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. 





the new building. The present incumbent is Mr. L. D. Cleaveland, 
an architect of high standing. 

Long before any of the proceedings just mentioned took place, 
the city entered into an agreement with the county to erect a 
building uniform with that of the county in exterior design, when- 
ever it should be able to proceed with the work. This practically 
adopted Mr. Egan’s design without specifically employing him as 
architect. 

The building committee and the mayor have already held sev- 
eral conferences, some of which were secret, and some open. With 
a rather injudicious haste, they first decided to build without the 
use of piles under any part of the building, and to rest the entire 
building on a base course of concrete 3 feet thick, and of sufficient 
width to give a uniform bearing to the superstructure. This is 
directly contrary to the course taken with the county part, which 
is being erected on piles driven about 30 feet deep. 

The committee then made a written contract with Mr. Egan, 
architect of the county’s building, whereby in consideration of 
$5,000, he is to sell copies of every drawing made by him for the 
exterior of the county building. Mr. Egan is not, however, em- 
ployed as architect, and I presume assumes no responsibilities so 
tar as the City Hall is concerned. The city thus has the plans for 
a shell, and will have to provide an interior arrangement to suit it, 
and adapted to the wants of the city government. It is under- 
stood that overtures will be made to Mr. Egan for the copy of a 
plan which he once made for the interior arrangement for the 
city’s building, which was prepared with great care, and after con- 
sultation with the city officers. With this the Department of 
Works will have all the drawings for the exterior, and a general 
plan of the interior, supposing it to be satisfactory. Further ar- 
chitectural work than this, it is contemplated,—though not pos- 
itively determined, — will be done by employees of the department, 
subject to the approval of the building committee of the council. 
The superintendent of buildings will be consulting architect and 
superintendent in his official capacity. 

Thus it will be seen that we are to have a $2.000,000 building 
withoul an architect, though the credit of the main design will be 
with Mr. Egan. The city authorities are determined to exercise 
the greatest economy in the prosecution of the work. The two 
buildings, as to their exterior, will be twins. In interior work 
they will be about of equal value. It remains now to be seen which 
will be the most costly. 

There was recently a great “scramble ’’ — it cannot be called a 
competition —for the Eastern Insane Asylum to be erected at 
Kankakee in this State. Commissioners were appointed by the 
last Legislature, and $200,000 were appropriated for the commence- 
ment of the buildings. The act said that an architect should be 
employed at not exceeding two per cent commission, and that not 
more than $5 per day should be paid for superintendence. Last 
week the commissioners met in this city, and though no plans had 
ever been asked for, they were waited on by a score of architects, 
most of them with plans to offer. The commissioners, however, 
made a wise choice in employing Mr. James R. Willett of this 
city, as architect and superintendent. Mr. Willett had not made 
any plans. 

‘Thus one more public building has been disposed of without an 
architectural competition. The course taken by the commissioners 
is some indication of the direction of public opinion of late in 
this section of the country. Intelligent and honest men in posi- 
tions of trust are at last beginning to see that competitions among 
architects are a farce; that they generally lead to the employment 
of incompetent parties; and result in the erection of buildings, 
not only of little value artistically considered, but which, as ex- 
perience has shown in several cases lately, are as apt to fall down 
as to stand up. 

In Indiana the experts called in by the governor under the re- 
cent law have rejected all the old plans that had been submitted ; 
and new designs have been called for under the remarkable pro- 
visions of the act. Only ninety days are allowed, so there will be 
a good opportunity to bring out more ready-made state house plans, 
which are now in abundance in the West. 





THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS 
IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE. 


Tue story of the Government Offices, incidentally connected 
with the administration of public affairs in this country, affords a 
moral which reflects upon the character of a Constitution vaunted 
at home and envied abroad. That architecture ought to be a 
national appurtenance is unquestionable; that it should be a 
question of political party has been reserved for the edification 
of living men. 

Nothing perhaps will astonish the inhabitants of the Canadian 
Empire, or of the Australian and Polynesian kingdoms, more than 
the discovery that about nineteen hundred years after the sacrifice 
of Julius Casar— a short time before the rise of the British 
Republic — the inhabitants of this island determined the form and 
character of their administrative palaces on a principle of politi- 
cal selection. If the advisers of the Queen, whose sway the Brit- 
ish people then acknowledged, were politically “ blue, ’’ the island- 





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roofs and lofty chimneys; if politically “buff,” they dispensed 
altogether with roofs and chimney-shafts, put up columns instead 
of buttresses, and arched their doors or windows in a circular 
instead of a lancet form. When the “ buff” political chiefs were 
victorious, the islanders copied their palaces from some built in 
Italy about three hundred years previously ; if the “ blue ” chiefs 
were in power, the islanders altered the outsides of the same pal- 
aces to resemble some erected in Venice and France about six hun- 
dred years previously. The ‘* New Zealander” will probably 
prove to his countrymen that all the civilization of Australia and 
Polynesia is directly due to the perpetual strife which existed be- 
tween the “blues” and * buffs” of Britain. For ourselves, we 
can but say after a careful review of the circumstances relating 
to the erection of one block of four Public Offices between Parlia- 
ment-street and St. James’s Park, that the history of the last forty 
years —as far as her Majesty’s works and buildings go— seems 
already fortuitously blurred in an antagonistic concourse of “ blue” 
and ‘buff ” atoms. 

How so ungovernable a people as the Parisians manage their 
artistic difficulties, will, as we said last year,! astonish the First 
Commissioner and Mr. Mitford. The position of French profes- 
sional architects employed by the State is as happily onerous as it 
is successfully complicated. We find, to quote our own words, 
young M. Due (now one of the most distinguished men in the 
world of French art, and not to be confounded with M. Viollet-le- 
Duc).clerk of the works (inspecteur des travaux) under Alavoine, 
an architect employed at the beginning of the present century, to 
design a monument in commemoration of the destroyed Bastille ; 
we find the late M. Espérandieu, clerk of the works under the late 
M. Vaudoyer, at the new cathedral of Marseilles, and that at a 
time when the former was erecting in the same city one of the 
finest modern buildings in France. During the greater part of 
the Second Empire the capital was divided into eight “ circonscrip- 
tions” for the preservation and maintenance of public buildings ; 
and at the head of each was a professional architect. Thus, in 
1869, the Colonne de Juillet, which remained under the charge of 
its architect (M. Duc), was in the seventh “ circonscription,” of 
which M. Lefuel (then crown architect at the Tuileries) was the 
inspector-general ; while the Cour de Cassation of M. Duc, and the 
“cole des Beaux-Arts of the late M. Duban, were both in the third 
‘‘circonscription,’? of which M. Questel (then crown architect at 
the Chdteau de Versailles) was the inspector-general. The system 
pursued in Paris of appointing two or more really trained archi- 
tects to superintend the execution of alarge public building, under 
the superior orders of a professional senior, whose death or resigna- 
tion permits them to rise in grade or succeed to the chief direction, 
has been attended with results apparently admirable. It is, how- 
ever, sometimes said in Paris, particularly by the “ vérificateurs” 
and * métreurs,’ a class which responds to the London building- 
surveyor, that French architects are not “ practical” men; but as 
we are wise enough not to quibble over the English terms of 
‘architect’ or “surveyor,” so our architects may very well run 
the risk of being called “not practical,” if they will but produce 
buildings in London equal to the Cour de Cassation, both in an 
esthetic and a constructional point of view. The fact is, as we 
constantly repeat, Frenchmen, in spite of things moral and social, 
are ahead of their English neighbors in this particular by at least 
a hundred years. Their art academies are older by that period of 
time than any established én this country ; and intuitive respect 
for the arts comes by inheritance. Nor is the last Republic less 
favorably disposed to cultivated architects than the Empire which 
preceded it. A decree of 1871 re-established a permanent “ Ser- 
vice of Architecture,” at the head of which were three inspectors- 
general, MM. Bailly, Davioud, and Magne, professional architects 
of tried and distinguished accomplishments. A slight modifica- 
tion of that decree was made in 1876; the artistic inspection of 
Paris was then divided between MM. Ballu and Davioud, the 
three seniors, MM. Due, Bailly, and Magne, remaining in an honor- 
ary capacity. 

The duties of inspectors-general in Paris are varied and compre- 
hensive. They give opinions upon designs and estimates; they 
look after works in course of execution, as well as the “compta- 
bilité” of the architects intrusted with such works. Their “over- 
seeing ” more particularly regards the choice of materials, the dif- 
ference between estimate and outlay, the alterations made during 
the progress of the works, and such things. They are also expected 
to prepare, first, the programme of designs for new buildings,? and, 
if required, preliminary sketches for the same; and secondly, to 
inspect the works in the division to which each is attached. No 
official, no one man of artistic and esthetic experience approach- 
ing that of either Duc, Bailly, Magne, Ballu, or Davioud is at pre- 
sent engaged to serve the British capital as those excellent archi- 
tects serve the capital of France. Yet, to the good or bad organi- 
zation of her Majesty’s Office of Works, or to the absence of any 
organization at all, has been largely due the quality of the build- 
ings, new and old, in which various Departments of State are 
extravagantly crowded or magnificently lost. The bickerings of 





1 See the Builder for 1876, p. 181: “* Monsieur Duc and some of his colleagues.” 

2 SirGilbert Scott has stated in evidence that, before planning some of the new 
buildings in Parliament Street, he spent weeks in going from office to oflice con- 
sulting every head of department as to his own accommodation, ‘1 endeavored, 


ers erected tall towers, big buttresses and pointed pinnacles, steep | said he, “to carry out his wishes, whether right or wrong.’ | 





Aerap ting 


SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. ] 





The American Architect and Building News. 815 








officials have encouraged the blunders and concealed the cost of 
office. The Lords of the Treasury have squabbled with successive 
First Commissioners; Mr. James Wilson sparred with Sir Benja- 
Hall, Mr. Ayrton sparred with Mr. Layard, Mr. Lowe absolutely 
quarrelled with Mr. Ayrton; while a free fight of Departments pre- 
ceded the fall of Mr. Gladstone and the dispersion for a time of the 
Liberal party. — The Builder. 





THE BLACKSTONE SQUARE DISASTER. 
Boston, 25th Sept., 1877. 

Durine the past week the public mind has been agitated by the 
fall on Monday, the 17th inst., of the staging or stand erected upon 
Blackstone Square by direction of the committee upon the dedi- 
cation of the Soldiers’ Monument. 

This fallen staging on Blackstone Square, and also the one still 
standing on Franklin Square, have been visited by members of the 
Boston Society of Civil Engineers; careful measurements and ex- 
aminations have been made, and drawings of the same were pre- 
sented and discussed at the regular meeting of the Society on 
Wednesday last. 

A consideration of this topic from a purely engineering stand- 
point, will, it is thought, be of interest to the readers of the Ameri- 
can Architect, and is here presented. We will simply try to learn 
whether the fall resulted from faulty design or faulty execution, 
leaving to others the placing of the responsibility for the faults. 
The accompanying isometrical sketch will give a fair idea of 
the arrangement of parts of one of the horses or bents supporting 
the seats, which horses were placed about 6’ apart throughout the 
length of the structure. They were placed in an upright position, 
and connected with each other by the planks forming the seats, and 
by a single horizontal strip of board, 6” x 1”, about 2!’ from 
the ground, extending the length of the staging, and attached to 
each horse by two nails. The nails used throughout the structure 
were 34” long, and therefore; when used to attach planks of 2” 
thickness, could enter but 14” into the part to which the plank was 
attached. The load which such a structure should be capable of 
sustaining is, manifestly, its own weight and that of all the people 
who could get upon it. Leaving the former out of consideration 
as trivial, and assuming persons to be closely placed upon all the 
seats, occupying each 14” laterally, and having an average weight 
of 125 lbs., we shall have 4x 4.x 125 = 2,000 Ibs. vertical load upon 
each horse of the structure. An examination into the method 
of construction shows that the bearers, both horizontal and in- 
clined, upon which the seats rest, are in all cases attached to the 
right-hand side of the posts, as viewed from the rear. Such a con- 
dition must necessarily create a tendency to topple over to the 


- right, since a vertical plane through the centres of the bearers 


would pass to the right of the feet of the posts. That this tend- 
ency did exist, and was the cause of the fall, is indicated by the 
condition of the remains. The Blackstone Square stand fell toward 
the south. The Franklin Square stand, which faced this, remains, 
but leans to the north until the rear posts are nearly a foot out of the 
vertical, and until the front posts come in contact with, and obtain 
support from, the iron posts of the fence surrounding the square. 
The yielding was in both instances toward the right of the respec- 
tive stands when viewed from the rear. The tendency being for 
each horse to rotate about its foot, the effect of the vertical load 
on each seat to produce a horizontal pressure would vary as the 
height of each seat from the ground, or its distance from the 
centre of rotation. We find that the average distance from a 
vertical of the bearings of the four seats is about 14”, and the aver- 
age height of the seats from the ground is about 69”. With these 
data we ascertain that the 2,000 lbs. vertical load upon each horse 
will create a horizontal strain upon the top of the same amounting 
to about 45 lbs., and tending to push it over, or cause rotation about 
its foot. This is the effect of the dead weight alone. Any move- 
ment of a crowd, sudden jar, or whatever else might cause a shock, 
would serve to intensify this tendency by giving motion to the 
mass. 

What provision was made to resist this tendency ? Along the 
back of the stands, about 2}’ from the ground, is a horizontal 
piece 1” x 6”, attached in most instances by two nails, but in 
some cases by one only. The tendency in the case of rotation 
about the foot of a post is to twist these two nails off; and the ruins 
show this action to have taken place, the nails being bent sideways 
until they have broken off or their heads have pulled through the 
wood of the horizontal piece. In addition to this we have only the 
nails by which the seats are attached to the horses. The action 
upon these nails is precisely that of drawing with a claw hammer, — 
but in this case the handle of our hammer is 69” long, while the 
claw is but 1”, or the 45 lbs. of horizontal pressure becomes re- 
solved into 3,105 lbs. tending to pull out ten nails each entering 1}". 
That is all! 

Is there any wonder that the structure failed ? No doubt the 
nailing was too slight for safety, but it was not in the nailing that 
the failure occurred; and as the nailing is very nearly uniform 
throughout, it is evident that this -matter was not left to the 
individual caprice of the workmen employed, but was itself a part 
of the design. But even had the horses consisted of one solid 
piece, yet if the load had been applied as it was, and no provision 








rotation, the result must have been the same. The conclusion is 
inevitable, — the fault was in the original design. 

It has been alleged that in case of people being concentrated 
upon the upper seat, there was danger of the structure tilting over 
backward. We will examine into the strains tending to produce 
such action. The rear post inclines toward the front about 6”. Its 
foot is about 4” across. The upper seat is set about 6” back from 
the front face of the post, and its width is about 10”. Its centre is 
therefore but one inch outside the toe of the post. The maximum 
load on the upper seat would be the weight of four people, or 4 x 
125 = 500 lbs. The weight of the portion of the stand below the 
upper seat is approximately 260 lbs., and this acts with a lever arm 
of about 4’ or 48” to hold the front down. Resolving these two 
forces of 500 lbs. with a lever arm of 1” and 260 lbs. with a lever 
arm of 48”, into their horizontal components, we find a tendency 
of 54 Ibs. to go over, resisted by more than 13,000 lbs. to remain 
quiescent. It would seem that no danger need be apprehended from 
the tendency of the stand to overturn backward under any load that 


could possibly be placed upon the upper seat. L. F. BR. 





SOME INTERESTING WORK OF REPARATION ON 
THE ABBEY ST. ALBAN’S. 


Tue work of moving masses of masonry or entire buildings 
by the application of jack-screws, hydraulic pressure, and other 
mechanical appliances, is more unusual in England than in this 
country. Operations of this nature which are familiar to us in the 
frequent process of raising grades and widening streets are consid- 
ered in the old country almost incredible instances of hardihood; 
but in the reparation of St. Alban’s Abbey under the charge of 
Sir Gilbert Scott, expedients not unlike our own and hardly infe- 
rior in ingenuity and boldness of contrivance are to be used. The 
manner in which this reparation is to be carried out is explained 
by the Building News as follows : — 

“For some weeks past workmen have been busily engaged in 
excavating the floor of the nave, and around the basesof the great 
piers of the south arcade; these latter spaces have been filled with 
concrete as a preparatory measure to the erection of the ponderous 
trusses and shoring with which it is intended to lift off the roof. 
At the junction of the early English work of Abbot Trumpington 
with that of the Decorated of Abbots Hugh de Eversden and 
Richard Wallingford, the roof will be severed, and by means of 
powerful screws the western portion, about 120 feet long, lifted off 
the walls. The next proceeding, after centring all the arches with 
massive timbers, will be that of forcing the whole mass of Trump- 
ington’s work, the triforium and clerestory, with all its beautiful 
arcades, to an upright position. As this wall now leans over two 
feet four inches towards the south, and is upwards of 80 feet in 
height, some anxiety is manifested as to the success of the under- 
taking. Iron ties from north to south will be inserted in two tiers 
through the spandrels, with coupling screws in the middle, as were 
so successfully used in repairing the great centrai tower; the three 
tiers of raking shores already in position will be added to con- 
siderably; and four hydraulic rams will be used simultaneously 
with powerful screw-jacks and other mechanical appliances, to move 
the great mass. Raking shores will be applied inside the building 
at every vantage point; and two enormous horizontal trusses, the 
whole area of the section of the nave under repair, will be placed 
at the heights of 30 and 50 feet respectively, in order to regulate 
the distance to which the arcading is to be forced. Every precau- 
tion is being taken to render the bold undertaking a successful 
one. After the wall has assumed its upright position the roof will 
then be lowered on it in its proper place, and meanwhile four fly- 
ing buttresses will be constructed to keep up the work so moved. 
These buttresses will be very massive, the abutments above 
ground projecting no less than nine feet from the south wall, with, of 
course, foundations far beyond. In excavating for the western- 
most of these, the workmen have unearthed the foundations of one 
of the great western towers which was begun to be built by 
Abbot John de Cella, about A.D. 1209. The whole of the five 
western bays of the south aisle are to be groined as of old, the 
former groining having been destroyed, and the roof of this aisle 
is to assume its ancient high pitch. After these works are com- 
pleted, the next section to undergo repair will be the four bays of 
the nave next eastward. ‘The piers here of Hugh de Eversden, 
which were erected after the great fall of this portion of the abbey 
in 1323, show signs of weakness, being split vertically in many 
places. At present, as a precautionary measure, and with the view 
of preventing danger from any possible additional weight being 
thrown on them, it is intended to grip them with trussed balks, 
strongly bolted together.”’ 





Tur DrespEN THEATRE. — The theatre of Dresden, which re- 
places the structure on the banks of the Elbe, burned down some 


| years ago to the regret of every lover of art, bids fair to rival the 


made for lateral bracing to resist the horizontal strain tending to | 


Paris Opera House in the magnificence of its decorations. The best 
artists of Germany are at work upon them. <A colossal group by 
Schilling is to adorn the principal entrance, while eight groups, rep- 
resenting poetry, are to be placed along the side colonnades. Some 
of the statues rescued from the old theatre will find niches in the 
new. 






































































_ 
— 














316 The American Architect and Building News. 


[SEPTEMBER 29, 1877. 








NOTES AND CLIPPINGS. 


THE VENTILATION OF THE HALL OF REPRESENTATIVES. — The 
new ventilating and heating apparatus of the House hall has proved 
to be a great success. The new plan was introduced by Edward 
Clark, architect of the Capitol, in accordance with the report of the 
Board of United States officers, convened at the request of the Com- 
mittee on Public Buildings in the last House, and for which an appro- 
priation of $33,000 was made. The fresh air is now taken direct from 
the grounds of the Capitol through the terrace, and is tempered by 
the warm air in winter from the hot-water coils, while in summer it 
is thrown into the building direct from the grounds. A series of ven- 
tilators to carry off the foul air have taken the place of some orna- 
mental pendants in the ceiling. 

DEDICATION OF A MonUMENT. — The dedication of the new monu- 
ment at Paoli, Penn., in commemoration of the fifty-three American 
soldiers under Gen. Anthony Wayne, who were killed by British 
troops under Gen. Gray one hundred years ago, took place Sept. 20. 
The monument is of Quincy granite, and bears the inscription, 
** Erected by citizens of Chester and Delaware Counties, Sept. 20, 
1877, being the centennial anniversary of the Paoli massacre.”’ 


ELEVATOR ACCIDENT. — On Sept. 15, the packing of the second 
tube of the hydraulic elevator in the New-York post-office became 
loosened, and allowed the water to pour out into the lower story of 
the building. The safety apparatus prevented the fall of the elevator 
car. 





MonvuMENT. — A soldiers’ monument was dedicated Sept. 14, at 
Dover, N.H. 


EVENING DrawinG Scnoo.is. — The free evening drawing schools 
maintained by the city of Boston will begin their winter work on 
Oct. 1. 


PHILADELPHIA Fire Sratistics.— A comparison of the fires 
which occurred in Philadelphia during the preceding two months and 
those of the corresponding months of 1876 shows that there is quite a 
decrease this year. In July, 1876, there were one hundred and twelve 
nres, the loss by which was $170,335.09, having an insurance of $1,- 
243,324.61. In August there were sixty-seven fires, causing a loss of 
$49,423.39, upon which there was an insurance of $22,075. This year 
there were sixty-one fires in July, the loss being $25,435.45, and the 
insurance $310,450. During August there were forty-one fires, involv- 
ing a loss of $6,935.85, upon which there was an insurance of 
$37,199.08. ° 





Tue Evectric Licnt To BE TresTeD InN AMERICAN CrTrEs. — A 
dynamo-electric machine, capable of producing not less than 1,200 
eandles’ light, is to be purchased by the Franklin Institute of Phila- 
delphia, which society will experiment with such machines as are 
offered to it for trial. This will afford an excellent opportunity to 
test the value of electrical lights, such as have been used in hotels and 
industrial works in France. The cost of the light as to running ex- 
penses and repairs, and its value in buildings containing machinery 
and large columns which will obstruct the light, are questions which 
a committee of the practical workers in the Franklin Institute will 
not fail to investigate. 


BLow1nG Orr STEAM. — A Mr. Shaw has invented a nozzle which 
will allow steam to blow off without making the usual deafening roar. 
It operates by breaking the waves of sound, the escaping steam being 
surrounded with a wire helix. A report adopted by the Committee 
on Science and Arts of the Franklin Institute says: ‘‘ In view of the 
annoyance, fright, and danger arising from the roar of escaping steam, 
and of the completeness with which the nozzle destroys this roar, we 
are of the opinion that Mr. Shaw has done a great service to the com- 
munity, and especially to the transportation interests, in overcoming 
an obnoxious and dangerous feature in the use of steam ; and we 
recommend the award to him of the Scott legacy premium and medal 
for his spiral exhaust nozzle.” 


A MemorIAL PAVEMENT.— The grounds surrounding the war 
monument at Berlin are to be paved with stones from the several bat- 
tle-fields of the Franco-Prussian war. 


Fire tn Dieppe. — The burning of a large portion of the town of 
Dieppe, France, on the 11th inst., shows that even French building 
laws are not perfect. 





PRESENCE OF Mrnp. —Some repairs being in progress to the roof 
of a house in High Street, Barnstaple, says the Builder, a ladder 
fifty feet long was reared from the roadway. A mason’s laborer 
named Charles Jones, when nearly at the top of the ladder, but not 
sufficiently so to deposit a heavy load of mortar on the roof, was 
observed by George Cross the mason, who was waiting to take the 
load from him, to suddenly stop and to be in a fainting condition. 
Cross immediately went down the ladder, and removed the load 
from the fainting man’s shoulder on to the roof. He then descended 
to the assistance of Jones, whom he found in a fit ready to fall, but 
this he happily prevented by getting across him, and holding him 
tightly by hand and leg. Jones, in his fit, fixed his teeth in Cross’s 
arm, and trembled violently as well as struggled to get free. For fif- 
teen minutes the people below witnessed the struggle, afraid to ascend, 
until another brave fellow, named William Richards, a driver of a 
van, ran up the ladder to the assistance of the mason. In the mean 
time the fire-escape ladder was brought to the spot, and in the nick, of 
time the police ascended; and the leather belt belonging to the escape 
being fastened round Jones, he was lowered, still in the fit, to the 
ground unhurt. The mason Cross was much exhausted, and when he 
regained the ground fainted. 





Ant AT Home. — The Macmillans of London have in preparation, 
besides those already announced, the following volumes for their 
‘“*Art at Home” series: ‘‘ The Bedroom and Boudoir,’? by Lady 
Barker; ‘* The Dining-Room,’’ by Mrs. Loftie; and ‘* The Drawing- 
Room,” by Mrs. Orrinsmith. All these will be profusely illustrated 
and will be published in the course of the autumn. 





A New Monocrapn. — Messrs. Virtue & Co., publishers, London, 
announce among new fine-art publications for 1878, ‘‘ The Albert 
Memorial: its History and Description,’”’ by James Dafforne. 


Tue CANnossA MonumMEeNT.— The Canossa monument, which 
was unveiled on Aug. 26, at Bismarckstein, at the highest peak of 
the Burgberg, near the village of Harzburg, is a granite obelisk, 
nearly fifty feet high, showing a bronze medallion of Prince Bismarck 
on the front, and on the opposite side the famous words: ‘* Nach 
Canossa gehen wir nicht.”?” The Burgberg is the site of a castle 
which belonged to the German emperor who did go to Canossa. The 
director of the Harzburg mines, and Dr. Flotho of Jena, delivered 
addresses, when this defiant column was dedicated in the name of 
civil and religious liberty. 





STATUES FOR THE Frencn Exurpirion. — Twenty-one statues, 
symbolical of the different countries exhibiting, are being prepared 
by several French sculptors of note. They are to form part of the 
decoration of the fagade of the palace of the Champ-de-Mars. 


ARTESIAN WELL. — Work is about to be resumed by the city upon 
the artesian well in the Place Hébert, Paris. It has already reached 
a depth of more than 2,200 feet without reaching a spring. The cost 
has been already more than $500,000, 





Tue West InprA Docks. —The West India Docks, in the Isle of 
Dogs, formed in 1800 and 1802, cover 68 acres, and the buildings, ete., 
72 acres. They cost $1,590,000, and hold 204 vessels. The shed near 
the quays is a quarter of a mile long, and the framework and sup- 
ports are wholly iron. Beneath are extensive vaults for rum and 
spirits, wholly lighted by daylight reflectors and reflections. 


QvuICKLIME IN ARTIFICIAL SToNE.—A Frenchman, M. Ducour- 
neau, who had become convinced that the cracking of concrete blocks 
and artificial stones was due to the slacking of particles of quicklime 
contained in them in the same way that the bricks of Chicago are 
cracked, as was recently shown by our correspondent, has invented a 
process for neutralizing this action. With the mixture of hydraulic 
lime and broken stone, marble, sand, or flint, whichever substance 
may be used, is mixed a very fine silicious powder which has been 
treated with dilute azotie acid. This process has been employed with 
admirable results in the forts that have lately been built around Paris. 


Damp Watts. —A correspondent of La Semaine des Construc- 
teurs, who has been troubled by the condensation of moisture on the in- 
ner faces of stone or plastered walls of houses built near large forests 
or damp places, has overcome the difficulty by interposing between the 
air and the impermeable wall a permeable substance. This he 
effected by furring off upon the damp walls with laths, and nailing 
upon this furring a lining of stout linen. The wall-paper was pasted 
upon this; and the walls no longer reek with moisture, 


Fire ALArm.— The Watkins automatic fire-alarm apparatus is 
simple, and consists of a small copper tube about three inches long, 
called a thermostat, which contains a spiral strip of metal, so 
arranged that the expansion due to a rise of thirty degrees above the 
ordinary temperature of the room in which it is placed will close the 
connection between the two poles of a battery, and produce an 
electric current, which passing through a small iron box containing 
a clock-work and circuit-breaker, called a transmitter, at once strikes 
a bell and starts a register at the protective station, which gives the 
number of the building and the room in which the fire has broken out. 
The thermostats are placed at intervals of twenty-five feet through- 
out the building, and a transmitter in every room that requires a 
separate signal. This, with the connecting wires, is all that is neces- 
sary inside the building; the battery, recording instruments, etc., for 
the whole city being placed at the protective stations. If the main 
wires be disabled, either inside or outside of the building, notice is at 
once given at the protective station by a bell, which continues to ring 
till the trouble is remedied, alarms meanwhile being carried by the 
earth-circuit as accurately and promptly as if the wires were in perfect 
condition. This, we believe, has never before been accomplished, 
and can only be effected by the Watkins combined metallic and earth- 
circuit. 





A CEMENT For Inon AND STONE. —It is customary to use melted 
lead to secure the jointing of iron with stone, and it is perhaps the 
best material for the purpose; but the cost of the metal has led to 
the introduction of several substitutes. Sulphur is often employed, 
though it is not very firm, and is always more or less destructive 
to the iron. A cement composed of a resin and powdered brick-dust 
has been found to answer in all respects, and cam be recommended. 
It unites itself closely with the iron and stone, is insoluble in water, 
and causes no rust. The resin (either rosin and gum mastic, or 
pitch and shellac) is melted, and sufficient brick-dust added to give 
consistency, though not so much as to prevent its flowing readily when 
warmed; the addition of a few iron filings is an improvement. If 
the space to be filled is large, fragments of brick or stone can be 
wedged in before the cement is used. This cannot be done where 
lead is used. 


SvicripEs. —During the last three years four hundred and fifty- 
three persons have met their death by jumping or falling from the 
high monuments and buildings of Paris. 





ney 


SR TED Ol ere ys et