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in ashlar work, and as much beyond what is the custom of the trade, or what the contract would authorize.-(See Ex. Doc. 96, page 91, 1st session 34th Congress.)
Question. Do you know of a roof having been put upon the Treasury extension which proved a failure? If so, state the effect upon the ceilings, &c., and whether a good architect or builder would have done such work.
Answer. I do know of a roof being put upon the Treasury extension which leaked badly, and the effect was to seriously damage the ceilings and stucco work in the several stories below, which have since heen repaired. No first class architect or builder would have done such work. It certainly proved a failure, as I noticed last season the taking off of this roof and replacing it with another.
Question. How long had a slate roof ought to last on a building if properly put on ?
Answer. With ordinary repairs slate roofs will last indefinitely. I know buildings built many years ago where the roofs have not had to be replaced or even repaired. A hundred years is not a long time for a slate roof to last if properly cared for.
Question. Would it be proper to speak of the slate roof put on the south wing of the Treasury extension as “an old roof?”
Answer. Not unless you would call the south wing “an old building.”
JUNE 22, 1862. Committee met. Present: Messrs. Sargent, Wall, and Chamberlain.
C. B. CLUSKEY sworn and examined:
Question. Have you ever been employed to design and superintend the construction of public buildings, and other public works? And if so, state some of the buildings and works upon which you have been engaged. Answer. I designed the Government House at Milledgeville
. Georgia, and the Medical College of Georgia, at Augusta, and superintended the erection of the latter, (vide Sherwood's Gazetteer, i the Congressional Library:) designed the court-houses of Scriven and Baldwin counties, in that State. The original plan of the court-house in the city of Savannah was altered by me, at the desire of the jus: tices of the court, and was the consulting architect during its erection. The original plan of the custom-house in that city was de signed by me, and I also designed and superintended the erection of one of the orphan asylums of that city. I was the surveyor and engineer of the city of Savannah, and subsequently of this city for years, and as such superintended and directed all improvements connected with these offices. I was employed by the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds of the 30th Congress to examine and report on the condition of the public buildings in this city, (vide report No. 90, 30th Congress, 2d session.) That Congress appropriated $30,000 towards the completion of the City Hall in this city, and on my alteration of the original plan the improvement was carried out. The custom-house at Galveston, Texas, was designed by me, Congress having authorized, in 1859, the adoption of my plan in place of the one prepared at the office of construction, although the work on the building had, to some extent, progressed. Since then I have been employed by the corporations of Washington and Georgetown on the improvement of the channel of the river, and designed and superintended the erection of the central guard-house for the corporation of Washington.
Question. What connexion or opportunities for knowledge have you had with the extension of the treasury building?
Answer. Proposals having been invited in June, 1855, for furnishing all the materials for the exterior walls of the south wing, I aided in preparing estimates for material and labor, agreeably to the advertisement, and the drawings, specifications, and bill of quantities prepared in the office of construction, copies of which were handed to me and, I presume, to such others as were interested in the contract. My business with that department since then, and particularly during the years 1858, '59, and part of '60, having frequently carried me to the building, I then and since have noticed the work and the manner in which it is being constructed and progressing.
Question. Do you know the nature of the original plans for the extension of the building; by whom they were prepared; were they sufficiently full for an architect to prepare such working drawings, specifications, and bills of quantities by as to enable him to compute accurately, so as to arrive at close estimates of cost; were they adopted by Congress, and is the work being executed and the architecture of the building being carried out agreeably to them?
Answer. The plans for the extension consisted of principal floor plan, geometrical elevations, and perspective of the south and west fronts; were prepared by Thomas U. Walter, and were sufficiently full for any competent architect to prepare such working drawings, specifications, and bills of quantities by as were necessary to enable him, or any competent expert, to arrive at close estimates of cost. The plans were approved by Congress, but the work is not being executed or the architecture of the building carried out agreeably to them.
Question. In what consists the difference?
Answer. The approved plan was in strict conformity with the architecture of the original; the colonade then erected fronting on 15th street, whilst the south and west fronts, the former recently finished and the latter now in course of construction, and the portico "in antis," also recently finished, which connects with the south end of the colonade, are not. Many of the distinguishing characteristic features of the style being altered and others, somewhat grotesque, introduced or substituted, none of which are admissible where a proper appreciation of the best models and correct taste prevails. For example, the form of the shafts of the columns of the extension have been changed, with a view, doubtless, to produce, in the judg. ment of its author, a more graceful appearance than that of the original, but like all such efforts has failed; for, in substituting the irregular curve contour for the straight line, it gives the shafts a swelled, unseemly appearance. Again, the spaces between the ante, which are plain in the original, are crowded with a medley of moldings of every shape, the separation between the several stories being marked throughout with heavy cornices, the jambs of the windows being moulded to excess, and the material part of the moulding of the base of the antæ continued around the entire building, thus giving the composition a confused appearance, and destroying the effect which the repose of plain surface between the antæ would have given to the whole, by throwing out prominently the principle features
, the columns, the antæ, and the entablature, had the original plan of the building been adhered to. Again, within the east and west recessed portico in antis, without regard to the classic character of the stroture, shelves (balconies ?] of granite slabs protrude from the walls. at the back of the columns, on a level with the second story floor, and in length to the extent of the recess. Why such unsightly append. ages were thus projected is only known to their author; for, hor. ever useful a balcony may be to a building for a different purpose and style of architecture, there is neither fitnesss nor elegance in its application to this, and is therefore an excrescence on the recognized standards of adaptation and taste. There are other blemishes of some of the details which I shall pass over.
Question. Were the drawings and other papers prepared in the office of construction and presented to those who desired to estimate for the granite and marble for the extension, under the department's advertisement of the 20th of June, 1855, such as they should have been in view of the extent of the contract and the amount involved?
Answer. The drawings were, as far as they went, but not snch as they should have been, for they only embraced the columns, ante. entablature, and balustrade; and the bill of quantities was so los and indefinite, and the quantity required and its value - about $200,000–80 small, compared with the amount reported to have been used and paid for, as to render a contract based on such papers wone than useless for the government, and from the evidence now preduced but a waste of time for those who estimated and proposed for it under the department's invitation; for it was at the option of the Office of Construction to award it to whom they pleased by simply a change of quantities, dimensions of stock, and style of finish of work.
Question. In what respect does the granite work executed and in progress of construction, differ from the drawings and other papers presented to those who proposed for the granite and marble work in 1855 ?
Answer. The antæ and window jambs are all in one piece, placed on their ends. The transoms which the jambs support are also in one piece, instead of the whole being of plain ashlar bonding in courses
throughout the face of all the walls, as was intended and then understood.
Question. Does the change of the character of the work, by hav. ing the antæ and jambs on their ends, give additional strength and permanency to the building?
Answer. It does not; on the contrary, it would be more permanent and better construction were it of heavy ashlar properly bonded, as is the case with the Capitol, Patent Office, and Post Office, and in this opinion I find, from a report-No. 73, page 13—made to the 25th Congress, 2d session, on the Treasury building, that Thomas U. Walter and Alexander Parish, the architects who reported, concur.
Question. Have you examined Ex. Doc. No. 96, 34th Congress, 1st session, and Ex. Doc. No. 41, 35th Congress, 2d session, on the subject of the Treasury extension contracts, &c., and if so, state whether the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder as the synopsis of bids of 1855, and results therein contained purports to have been done?
Answer. I have, and find on a careful examination it was not.
Question. How, then, was Beals & Dixon made the lowest bidders, as shown in Ex. Doc. No. 96, page 4?
Answer. By the Office of Construction increasing the size of the 16,000 cubic feet of rough stock for the antæ from 30 to 330 cubic feet, and other stock, after the proposals were received, and by an incorrect classification of Beals & Dixon's lowest price for cutting (No. 3) the cornice, architraves, caps of columns and antæ, and shafts of columns, (No. 2,) against the prices for cutting in the best manner by his competitors the same amount of material. The difference in the value of this work alone, according to Beals & Dixon's prices, is $21, 299, which, added to the aggregate of their bid, $243,556, would make it $264,855. But it would be further altered, and against Beals & Dixon's bid, making several of their competitors lower than they, by a fair construction of the proposition of J. B. Emery and others for the stock, or by adhering to what the drawings, bill of quantities, schedule, and advertisement for proposals, declare on their face; and such, I presume, will be conceded was the bases and rule that should have governed the computations of the several bids and the awarding of the contract.
Question. To what extent did the change of the 16,000 cubic feet of stock for the antæ from 30 to 330, and finally to 412 cubic feet average, increase the ultimate cost; and what amount was paid for the stock in the antæ ?
Answer. The change increased the cost from $7,040 to $71,933, the amount paid—(see Ex. Doc. No. 41, page 5)—a difference of $64,863.
Question. To what extent did the change increase the proposals of the other bidders for that item?
Answer. The following is a list of the bidders and their prices, with and without the changes; from which it will be seen, from the construction put upon the proposals and the rule of computation adopted by the Office of Construction, that M. G. Emery's bid was increased from $8,000 to $509,736—a difference of $501, 736; and J. B. Emery's from $7,680 to $426, 159; a difference of $418,479. I have selected these bids, being the highest increase, to show the absurdity of the construction put upon the proposals, and the rule by which these aggregates were determined; for it is not to be presumed that these bidders would make proposals that would admit of such construction and results :
Question. It is stated in Ex. Doc. No. 41, page 8, that “the 49 antæ estimated in the schedule of 1855 were in three stones,” but that in 1856 the Secretary of the Treasury authorized their being constructed out of one piece, and approved the difference of costwere they computed in the schedule of 1855 as throe stones? Answer. They were not; but as one stone averaging 330 cubic feet
, had they been in three the average would have been 110 cubic feet.
Question. What would have been the difference of cost between the antæ in three pieces, as stated they were to be, and in one piece, as constructed ?
Answer. The antæ in three pieces would have cost $16,640; whilst they have cost $71,933; difference, $55,203—the cost of the several dimensions of stock being as follows: Maximum quantity 30 cubic feet...
$7.040 In three pieces, averaging 110 cubic feet.
16.640 In one stone, averaging 330.... do .. do ... In one stone, as constructed, 412 do .. do ......
... 71,933 Question. Were the caps for the buttresses of the south portico, the dimensions of which are 18 feet 8 inches long and 1 foot 9 inches thick, the value of the rough stock in which has been estimated by the sworn measurer at $34, 104 51 each, but which Beals & Dixon have settled for at $5,500 each, shown on the approved plan, and were they embraced in the schedule of quantities, price, and amount