Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEW YOEK, SATUEDAY, FEBEUAEY 19, 1876.
Published Weekly by
THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION,
C. W. SWEET...............President and Treasurer
PEESTON I. SWEET...........Secretary.
L. ISRAELS.........................Business Ma.nageh
ONE YBAU, ill advance___$10 00.
Communications should be addressed to
C. SV. SITTEET,
Nos. 345 AND 34^ Bboadwat
THE PEOPOSED BUEEAU OF AE-
FUETHEE INTEEVIEWS WITH AECHITEOTSâ€”THE
BILL IN FULL AS INTEODUCED IN CONGEESS.
We continue to-day the report of interviews
had with leading New York architects in relaÂ¬
tion to the proposed New Bureau oi" ArchitectÂ¬
ure, and "at the same time give a complete copy
of the bill in the shape it has been introduced
in the lower house of the Federal Congress.
Mr. Eichard M. Hunt, President of. the New
York Chapter of Architects, waa seen at his house
in Thirty-fifth street. In answer to a request
for his views on the subject, he said:
Why, bless your heart! it's a splendid thing,
and shoidd have been inaugurated long ago.
The matter has been agitated since the GovernÂ¬
ment first began to erect these public buildings.
Why, just think of one architect undertaking
to do justice to works extending from Dan even
unto Beersheeba, as one might say. You might
aa well talk of one lawyer doing ail the business
of the country, or one doctor doing all the
business of a continent. This is not the way
things are attended to in England, which is
about the size of New England. It would
be more consonant with common sense if there
was but one man in a small country like
England, but there they manage matters the
same as this bill provides for. The idea of
one man doing all the architectural work of a
mighty continent like this! It can't be done,
I teU you. The work itself is very good,
but they pay twice as much for it as
they ought. Now, take the case of the New
York Post-office. Five firms of us here were
requested to prepare a design. Well, we
met and drew up a design, but'when it was
submitted to Mullett, and when he saw our
estimateâ€”three millions and a halfâ€”he said it
ought to be built for three millions; and what
do you think they have actually paid for it?
Why, they have paid every dollar of seven
millions for it. And then look at the ax-grindÂ¬
ing and wire-pulling that ensues under the
present system,- or, rather, under the system as
superintended by Mullett. When our measure
was about to be introduced into Cpagress, we
heard that the gentleman from Maine, for inÂ¬
stance, would not vote for it unless such
a man in his constituency had the granite,
work. And then another would not vote
for it unless the iron work was assured to
a friend of his. WeU, when I saw how
the thing was going, I got out of it. I was not
going to be made a cat's-paw of, I can tell you.
I think this bill ought to pass; though, to tell
you the truth, I don't expect it will. They will
regret it to their dying day if they don't pass it.
Why, it is a physical and mental impossibility for
one man to do aU the work, and supervise so
that the community wUl not suffer extortion
from the payments. A few yeara ago I had
about forty different things going on at once in
my office, and I nearly run myself under the
ground in attending to this immense business.
And as regards jobbery, there was Mullett, who
had about thirty to forty millions of dollars
worth of work going on in his ofiBce in the
course of a year. But everything of this kind
is provided for in the bill, and I really think it
ought to pass.
Mr. Griffith Thomas, 346 Broadway, New
York Life Insurance Company's building, was
seen at his office.
He said he had not read the bill, but the genÂ¬
eral idea was good. He did not belong to the
American Institute of Architects, nor would he.
His old friend, just deceased, Mr. Astor, and
Moses Taylor, and Mr. Stewart, and Mr. Cisco,
all told him not to belong to any society when
he commenced practice. He thought that their
system of per centages on the cost of building
was not the right thing, for it almost always led
to extras, on which they also got their per
centage of three or five per cent. There was no
reason in-the world why there should be an extra
of $100 on the architect's plan, if he were at
As he understood the bill, it was that each State
should have control of the Government buildÂ¬
ings erected therein. That is, if New York
wanted a Custom-house, the architects of the
State of New York should be requested to preÂ¬
sent their plans, and the body of experts at
Washington would then pass upon the best.
That, he thought, would be a good thing. If it
prevented the ' 'extra" system itwould be a good
thing. As for himself, he never charged on exÂ¬
tras. When he altered the old Astor House,
lately, of course in the alteration it was imposÂ¬
sible to avoid extras, and there were only five
thousand dollars of extras on the two hundred
thousand dollars that it cost to put the building
in its present state. But he had erected buildÂ¬
ings costing half a million aad a million of dolÂ¬
lars, and there have not been a hundred dollars
of extras on the whole thing. There was no exÂ¬
cuse for an architect to have any extras at all.
Mr. Stephen D. Hatch, of 119 Broadway,
thought that the bill was good in its general
idea, but that second clause in it which tended
to create a ring in the American Institute was
open to criticism. It seemed tp ignore the fact
that there were just as good architects outside
of that body as in it. He should advise that
the Government Architect be appointed from
among those of so many years' standing. This
would do away with the chance of having any
more Mulletts to supervise our pubhe buildings.
CABD TBOItl MB. JASDISS.
New Yoek, Feb. 12, 1876.
To the Editor of the Beal Estate Record:
Sib: In your article, "A Talk with ArchiÂ¬
tects," my remarks to your reporter have been
somewhat misconstrued. I told him that I had
not seen the proposed law, knew nothing about
it, and therefore did not wish to be quoted as
giving an opinion as to its merits. I did not
even know that the bill was drawn by a ComÂ¬
mittee of the American Institute of Architects.
Far be it from me to impute to the gentlemen of
that Association anything savoring of dishonor,
which the term "Eing" impliesâ€”I believe them
to be above suspicion..
The "Bill for the Admeasurement of BuildÂ¬
ings," erroneously so called by your reporter,
was the proposed Building Law for New York
City, and which was not passed by the LegisÂ¬
As to the question of iron and wooden columns,
my meaning was that Mr. Eenwick would not be
likely to recommend wooden columns in fireÂ¬
proof buildings, although, of course, cast iron
for that purpose is objectionable.
The question of the relative merits of iron
and other materials for building purposes in
general was not broached.
Yours respectfully, J. Jabdese,
of D. &"J. Jardine, Architects.
The foUowing is the
BUJi TO ESTABIASH A BXIBEATJ OF ABCHITECTTJBE.
Be it enacted hy the Senate and Housp- of RepreÂ¬
sentatives of the United States of America, in
Section 1. That, for the purpose of securing
artistic merit as weU as intrinsic value in the
public edifices to be erected by the Government
of the United States, a Bureau of Architecture
in the Treasury Department be, and the same is
hereby created by authority of law, for the purÂ¬
pose of providing for the discharge of all the
duties appertaining to the general supervision,
inspection, decoratioh and repairs of all the
buUdings and grounds of the Government of the
United States, exclusive of military and naval
structures, such as fortifications, docks, arsenals,
navy yards and lighthouses.
Sec. 2. That this Bureau shall be under the
charge and direction of one chief, to be named
and styled the "Government Ai-chitect,'' who
shaU be appointed by the President of the
United States from among the Fellows or AsÂ¬
sociates of the American fiistitute of Architects,
by and with the advice and consent of the SenÂ¬
ate, and with special consideration and regard
to his professional capabUities and accomplishÂ¬
ments. The Government Architect shall receive
a salary of------dollars per annum, and he shaU
be allowed an assistant architect of his own apÂ¬
pointing, whose salary shall be------dollars per
annum; and the Government Architect and his
assistant shaU be allowed, in addition to their
salaries, their actual traveling expenses when
traveling on duty. It shaU not be lawful for
the Government Architect or his assistant to enÂ¬
gage in private practice.
Sec. 3. That the Government Architect shall
be and he is hereby authorized and directed to
appoint and employ in the said Bureau one chief
clerk, with a salary of------doUars per annum,
and a further clerical force not exceeding------;
also------messengers and watchmen, and their
salaries shaU correspond with those of clerks
and employes of equal grade in other Bureaus.
Sec. 4. That, in addition to the clerical
force, provided for in the foregoing section, the
Government Architect shaU be authorized to
employ the services of technical assistants and
experts, whenever required for the public inÂ¬
terest, wto shall each be paid at the rate of not
exceedfrig------doUars per diem. The GovernÂ¬
ment Architect shaU render to the Secretary of
the Treasury, immediately preceding each sesÂ¬
sion of Congress, an annual report, the said
report to embrace estimates of the amounts reÂ¬
quired for the expenses of his Bureau, during
the year next ensuing.
Sec. 5. That the Government Architect shall
institute and cause competitions to take place for
the design of aU and any architectural work under
his jiirisdietion, except in case of alterations and
repairs of public buUdings, and he shaU estabÂ¬
lish uniform and equitable rules for a regular sysÂ¬
tem of such competitions, of which the principal