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in consequence the windows were broken, walls defaced, and ceilings displaced, with other like injury. The collector's neglect is inexcusable. I directed his deputy (the collector being absent) to cause the windows to be glazed, the doors repaired and locked, and to keep the keys thereafter at the custom-house.
The building is not required for hospital use, and in all human probability never will be. The commerce of the lake, from physical causes, cannot grow to an extent to make it a necessity for a century.
As no power exists to sell the property without the authority of Congress, no present disposal of the premises can be made. They should not, however, be permitted to go to ruin by neglect. I have therefore instructed the collector to make inquiry for some careful and competent person who would occupy the premises and keep them in condition in licu of rent. His action under this instruction has not yet been reported. Total amount of appropriation.
$43,650 00 Amount expended to September 30, 1861.
l'pon inspecting the marine hospital at Portland, Maine, the present season, I found the general condition of the building to be good, and the premises kept in excellent order by its present officers. The roof of the building was badly constructed, being faulty both in plan and execution. It is very flat, totally unsuited to the climate, and the floor beneath unfinished.
The heavy snows in this locality remain upon the flat surface of the roof, and when wet impose an enormous weight upon it, straining open the joints of the galvanized iron, flattening the corrugation between the struts, and converting the whole surface into numerous dishes, which are cracked and rent by the superincumbent pressure. Through these rents the rain readily finds its way to the uncovered arches of the floor beneath, and from these to the walls and ceil. ings below, throwing off and displacing the plastering, and interfering with the sanitary usefulness of the hospital. I was at some loss what course to pursue in reference to this hospital.
A true economy would doubtless dictate the non-use of the building. It is a beautiful and imposing structure, admirably located for its purpose, capable of accommodating with ease 150 patients at a time, and could be made to properly care for 200, with economy of room. This fine building, with a full corps of officers, ministers to the wants of seven (7) patients. They could be well cared for by contract at a tithe of the cost of organization.
But the department was powerless without congressional action to make other disposition of it than that designed by the act of appropriation authorizing its construction. Yet the building should be protected. To remain as I found it, it would soon be ruined. I saw no better way than to construct a new roof. No amount of repair on the present one could remedy its organic defects.
Under your instructions, I have therefore contracted for an entire new roof, to be constructed of narrow boards, tongued and groved, securely nailed and covered with slate, of a pitch not less than one foot in six, to be placed above the present one, its eaves to terminate at the level of the top of the base board of the present blocking course, to allow the snow to slide off, and still have the water drop into the present gutters for interior use; removing the baseboard and lattice work of the blocking course, leaving only its piers and copings. I believe this will be effectual; I think nothing short of it would be.
The contractors are now at work upon the new roof, and expect to have it
completed before the weather is too cold for out-door work; and its cost, with other expenses, will not exceed the available amount of the appropriation. Total amount of appropriation....
99,000 00 Amount expended to Setember 30, 1861.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.
No work has been performed during the past year upon the sewer of the marine hospital at St. Louis. Its construction is, without doubt, a necessity. There is now no outlet for the water of the hospital, and everything is required to be carried from it by hand. The accumulated offal about the premises seriously affects the hospital's usefulness. Some repairs are also needed, but the estimate for them and for the sewer, which have been hitherto submitted to this bureau by the resident officers, have been so excessive that I have not recommended them for your approval.
Application has been made by the owner of the adjoining property for an exchange of a small triangular part of the front of the hospital grounds for an equal area of land upon the rear of the lot. From a personal inspection of the premises I cannot recommend this exchange; the rear land that would be thus acquired would not, for hospital uses, be worth enclosing; while the triangular front corner, though not needed for the hospital, has a value which may be made available for its repair. I respectfully recommend that Congress be asked for authority to sell this portion before it is enclosed, and apply the avails of the sale to the much needed repairs upon the building.
Nothing has been done during the past year in reference to enclosing the grounds. The appropriation for the work (represented by the available balance herewith reported) will probably be sufficient, but it cannot be economically or judiciously expended until the city of St. Louis completes the grading of the street on the rear of the hospital lot. Total amount of appropriation.
$119,574 Amount withdrawn to September 30, 1860.
Upon an inspection of the marine hospital at Louisville I found the general condition of the building to be good, but from neglect some of its conveniences were rendered worse than useless.
A special agent, under your instructions, examined the building, and recommended the construction of rooms out of filled areas on each side of the basement, for a kitchen and a laundry. He also employed an architect to make an examination, who recommended the construction of rooms in the centre of the basement for a like
purpose. Upon a personal examination of the premises I could not recommend the adoption of either the plan of the special agent or of the architect employed, for the following reasons:
The rooms so created would, of necessity, be damp and unhealthful, and be but indifferently lighted, with the best constructed areas. The building is on low, flat land, and without a thorough and very expensive system of drainage the basement walls would always be damp. The change would be a costly one, while more room is not a necessity. The hospital will accommodate one hundred patients; with economy of space it can be made serviceable for one hundred and fitty. It has now but fifteen, and the physician reports that it will average only forty. I could not, therefore, see the necessity of thus virtually adding a story to the building at a large cost. The present kitchen and laundry could be made all that is necessary by removing the old stove from the former (which is now burnt out and worthless) and substituting a range. This would not only give more room, but better suit the operatives. A new stove was also a necessity in the laundry, which would make the room complete for its uses, and satisfy the occupants.
The water closets and cesspools were a nuisance; their condition was entirely the fault of the steward. Twice within the past few years they have been put in complete order at a large cost, in the same manner and by the same man as those at Evansville; and while those have not been an expense of a shilling to the government, these, though not as old, have been a ceaseless cost, and now require almost entire refitting. There is no mechanical skill or ingenuity proof against a careless steward for these indispensable conveniences to a hospital.
(pon your instructions, these matters are now being remedied at a minimum cost, which will be chargeable to the fund for annual repairs, the appropriation for the work having been exhausted.
The marine hospital at Cincinnati has been temporarily transferred to the War Department for the use of sick and wounded soldiers. Some repairs and alterations were of absolute necessity, which are being made under my charge, by your instructions, after conferring with the Secretary of War, to be paid for from the proper fund within the control of the War Department. Total amount of appropriation...
$1$6,000 00 Amount expended to September 30, 1861.
Balance carried to surplus fund.
Reference is respectfully made to my previous annual reports upon the necessity of protecting the river front of the site of the marine hospital at Evansville.
No opportunity has occurred for inspecting the premises the present season, but upon examining them last year, and carefully noticing the additional loss of land since the previous report was rendered, the opinion then expressed was confirmed, of the imperative necessity of the work, but that it would be of comparatively little use to slope and grade the bank until the owners of the adjoining property should do the same. The work should be concurrent upon the whole exposed portion within the bend below the city to be of permanent value.
The available balance of the appropriation for this work I do not deemn sufficient for properly protecting the bank. It would probably require from $7,000 to $8,000 to perform the work thoroughly and make it permanent. Total amount of appropriation....
$62,500 00 Amount expended to September 30, 1861..
COURT-HOUSES, POST OFFICES, &c.
RUTLAND, VERMONT. In my last annual report I called the attention of your predecessor to an alleged imperfect construction of the work in fencing and grading the grounds about the Rutland court-house and post office. Since rendering that report I have inspected the work, and found that the reports which had reached the department of its inferior character were not in the least exaggerated. The flag. ging was disreputably done, disgraceful alike to the contractor and the government. It was laid on an insufficient foundation, and had been thrown by the frost entirely out of place, while it was originally placed below the curbing. The attempted fittings about the posts, steps, &c., were wretchedly executed; the stones were mangled, not cut, and in some places were two to three inches away from a joint.
The only remedy was entirely to relay the walk, and to do this properly with the present stone would necessarily narrow the walk about three inches, as the curbing would be required to be moved inward thus much to take the place of the flagging which would be lost in redressing.
Under your instructions I notified the contractor that the stones must be taken up and relaid, with extra ballasting, and the ground differently graded. This is now being done under the superintendence of the Hon. Solomon Foot, who cheerfully and gratuitously complied with your request to supervise the work while it was in progress, as there was no local superintendent at the work. It is expected to be completed before the coming session of Congress.
Some work of minor importance has been done within the building, which was made necessary by the generous gift to the government of a valuable library (by the Hon. S. Foot) for the use of the courts. The large number of volumes presented by this liberal gentleman made extra cases a necessity, which have been authorized, and his munificent donation is now properly placed in the rooms set apart for the purpose. Total amount of appropriations..
$75,900 00 Amount withdrawn to September 30, 1861.
A contract for a new court-house at Baltimore was executed by your predecessor, under the direction of the President of the United States, and the work commenced. Under your instructions the work has been stopped and all operations suspended. The contractor felt aggrieved at this stoppage, and has repeatedly applied for permission to go on with the work, which he had given bonds to complete within a specified time, but the exigencies of the public service have not yet permitted the resumption of the work. As soon as it can consistently be done, it is desirable to push the work to completion, as the streets adjacent are cumbered with materials, which the local authorities have ordered to be removed. The late superintendent of the work is now an officer in the
Total amount of appropriation....
123,667 37 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA.
The work under existing contracts for the Indianapolis court-house and post office has been mainly finished, and the building only waits the completion of some minor matters to be occupied. It will be occupied as a post office the present season, and the United States courts will be held within its walls in November. The principal work under contract has not been as well executed as is desirable, nor as well as is usually required under this bureau, the contractor having been sustained in his course by an influence which has operated to the prejudice of the work and nullified the efforts of this bureau to obtain a better class of work. It has, however, been accepted and paid for, and will be turned over to the department whose officers are to occupy it.
The remainder of the appropriation will be insufficient to properly grade anel enclose the grounds, (so much of the original appropriation having been absorbed by the extra allowance to a contractor,) and a further appropriation will be required to complete the approaches to the building. Total amount of appropriation.
$163,700 00 Amount expended to September 30, 1861.
TERRITORIAL BUILDINGS. In my last annual report I submitted to your predecessor the condition of the appropriations for the Territory of New Mexico, the plans requiring the Secretary's approval before any portion of the appropriation could be expended.
These plans have since been approved by you, but nothing has been done upon the work. The existing liabilities against the government buildings in the Territory have been paid. Total amount of appropriation.
$130,000 00 Amount expended to September 30, 1861...
The work upon the treasury extension the past year has been very limitedtoo much so for a proper economy. Under the general instructions of your predecessor, I did not feel at liberty to push the west wing to completion. A representation of the true economy that would result, and the real necessity that existed for prosecuting the work, with an application for authority to pursue it, was early made to you from this bureau. Your verbal instructions limited me to the most economical expenditure. I have therefore been governed by the instructions of your predecessor, except when altered by your special order. The necessity for the additional room of the west wing is now a daily hindrance to business, and the economy of an earlier construction is painfully apparent in the injury accruing to the accumulated materials, which are scattered through the streets and avenues adjacent to the building.
I respectfully recommend that the construction of the remainder of the extension be authorized for the ensuing spring, and that the present Congress be asked for an appropriation of $500,000 for the purpose. The vastly increased force of the various bureaus of your department, consequent upon the immense