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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL,
Washington, D. C., December 5, 1927. The VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D. C. SIR: I respectfully transmit herewith the annual report of the office of the Architect of the Capitol for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1927. Respectfully,
David LYNN, Architect of the Capitol.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL.
FISCAL YEAR 1927
In presenting the annual record of work done under the supervision of this office during the past fiscal year it seems appropriate to call attention to some things of seemingly little moment, that possibly pass unnoticed, but yet of such value that if the work were left undone the conditions resulting from such neglect would be considered a matter of great importance, and the lack of proper domestic service would without doubt be severely criticized.
Each morning at an early hour groups of laborers are at work in different sections of the Capitol, sweeping, scrubbing, and dusting. Inspectors of elevators are making their morning tour of inspection; from the electrical department men are visiting all sections of the Capitol replacing burned out electric bulbs, and carpenter and plumber are making minor repairs, best attended to before the occupant of the office arrives for the work of the day.
In a building the size of the Capitol many small items of service are rendered, seemingly as considered separately of but little importance, but in the aggregate amounting to more than 1,000 jobs during the fiscal year, and necessary when the comfort of the occupants is taken into consideration, and I wish to call attention to the fact that the services neglected would be a constant source of annoyance to many and that because of the attention to these small details the living conditions in the Capitol are rendered far more comfortable.
A very important item of work commenced during the last fiscal year is the pointing up of the marble wings of the Capitol. This has become necessary both for the appearance and the preservation of the building as the mortar used had become disintegrated by the action of the weather for more than 60 years.
The work referred to has progressed to the extent of pointing up the marble balustrade of both the Senate and House wings, and it is proposed to continue this work until all the joints of the two wings requiring repointing have been attended to.
Once in four years an extensive painting program is inaugurated throughout the Capitol Building, which not only includes interior work but the exterior of the central portion of the Capitol and the dome. This program necessitates an appropriation of more than usual size and averages in the neighborhood of $23,000.
As has been stated in former reports, the exterior of the central portion of the Capitol is composed of Aquia Creek sandstone, and as this portion of the building is more than 100 years old the care necessary is much greater than in the House and Senate wings, which are built of marble. By the means of painting the entire central portion of the exterior of the Capitol the action of the weather upon the sandstone is prevented and the color of the sandstone changed by painting to a tone corresponding as nearly as possible to the color of the marble used in the wings of the Capitol. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 gallons of paint are needed for this special work, which occurs once in four years. It should be remembered that the dome is composed of iron and that it is necessary to keep it painted in order to protect it from the action of the weather, which would soon weaken the structure through rust.
The painting program this year was commenced in the month of April, 1927, and was not all completed at the termination of the fiscal year of 1927 on June 30. It has been considered best to refer briefly to this general program of painting with the remark that it will be continued during the early part of the fiscal year of 1928 until the entire work has been completed. This painting is by far the most extensive item of repairs occurring once in four years, and it is necessary to employ a large number of painters recruited from outside painters in order that the work may be completed as expeditiously as possible. When the painting is completed the additional painters employed are dispensed with.
During the fiscal year for which this report is intended, in addition to the general painting of the exterior of the central portion and dome, the following work has been done in the interior of the Capitol : In the Senate wing the work may be classified as follows: Skylights, flagpoles, two toilets, committee room of Foreign Relations, Senate document room, Senate disbursing office, stairway leading to the subway, the northeast corridor of the gallery floor, the attic-floor corridor near the Senate library, the Senate terrace corridor and ceilings, and the ceilings and woodwork of the Senate kitchen have been painted and the northeast corridor of the gallery floor decorated, in addition to painting above referred to. The following rocms of the Senate wing were restored—that is, such necessary work painted as would place the rooms in a good condition: Committee on Privileges and Elections, Senate press gallery, one office in the room of Naval Affairs. The following work in touching up was given to such rooms as only needed a slight amount of work in order to make them presentable, as follows: Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Rules, Committee on Interstate Commerce, Committee on Claims, Committee on Commerce, Committee on the Judiciary. This same touching up was extended to two elevator shafts and the counter in the telegraph office.
In the central portion of the Capitol, at times referred to as the Supreme Court section, the rotunda and the Statuary Hall section, the walls of the Supreme Court room were painted and the woodwork touched up—touching up in the conference room of the Supreme Court and painting of the toilet of the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court attended to.
In the rotunda section of the Capitol the room for the use of the Capitol guides was painted, two small rooms painted, and two rooms used as offices touched up.
In the House wing of the Capitol, the room occupied by the Committee on Rules and the whip have been decorated, the room of the Committee on Reform in the Civil Service, the room on the ground floor of the House Committee on Appropriations, the room occupied by the House post office, the ladies' retiring room near Statuary Hall, and on the gallery floor, the House cloak rooms, the House folding room, a room for refrigeration of the House kitchen, one pantry, one office room, elevator shafts and one toilet room painted, four rooms restored, and the railroad-ticket office, the House press gallery, the House Chamber, the House corridors, one room of the House Committee on Appropriations, one office room, and one toilet touched up.
Under the painting work attended to should be mentioned the painting of traffic lines and lamp posts—216 in number-on the Capitol Grounds, the turbine room, the pump room, and the wash room of the Capitol power plant, as well as the entrance to that building, the painting of the roof of the Maltby Building and the Senate folding room, and the corridor and eight rooms of the Maltby Building
Repairs have been made in the steam-heating coils in the Senate loft, west and north terraces, and the Senate subway. In the Senate cottage a new steam trap and return have been installed. All steam traps of the Senate garage have been cleaned. In the Senate document room two new large radiators have been installed, replacing smaller radiators formerly in use. A new and larger coal range has replaced the former range in the Senate kitchen. This required some steam repairs and changes and resetting of a steam fixture. At the basement level of No. 4 elevator a new radiator has been installed and metal weather-strips used to equip all windows in this elevator shaft. All elevators in the Senate wing of the Capitol have been thoroughly overhauled and repaired as necessary, installing new cables when needed. On the east private elevator No. 2, a new thrust bearing was furnished, while the east public elevator has been reconditioned by a thorough overhauling, supplying a new set of cables, the worm shaft bearing rebabbitted, and switchboard relays repaired. New annunciators were furnished for No. 1 and No. 2 elevators. All mechanical equipment in the Senate wing has been placed in good condition and all airways and smoke flues cleaned.
Over the north portico of the Senate wing a new copper roof has been built and other improvements in the drainage of the roof made by the installation of a new copper gutter.
In the heating and ventilating department of the House wing of the Capitol necessary cleaning and repairing of all traps for steam lines and the removal of all dirt from pockets has been attended to, all coils and portions of the heating lines have been thoroughly repaired; necessary repairs and adjustments have been made to five elevator boards; while four elevators have been equipped with new cables, and one car has been supplied with new counter weights,