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VIII. – APPENDIX No. 5.- REPORT OF INSPECTOR OF

BUILDINGS.

ENGINEER'S OFFICE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

November 22, 1876. SIR: I have the honor to transmit my annual report for the year ending November 30, 1876.

Tabular statement of permits issued for buildings from December 1, 1875,

to date.

Number and description.

Value.

717 brick dwellings .........
74 brick back-buildings.
48 brick stables, private....

2 brick churches ......
175 brick repairs, including vaults, areas, &c ......
118 brick stores ....

1 brick workshop. .......... 1 brick conservatory .................... 1 brick laboratory ........... 1 brick school-house........ 1 brick factory ............. 2 brick convents ........... 4 brick gas-works .............. 213 frame dwellings................... - frame school-houses ................

26 frame back-buildings ........ 24 frame stables.. 206 frame repairs, raising, lowering, &c ... 36 frame buildings removed........ 21 frame stores .... 4 frame offices .. 2 frame cburches ... 1 glass conservatory ..........

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4, 155, 177

............. ......................

1, 103 1, 167

Also permits issued for water, sewer, and gas by Assistant Inspector M. C. Rerdell and his predecessor in charge, viz: For water. For sewer........... ." For gas ....

519 Total.

.......... 2,789 The tabular statement of property owned and leased by the District, including wbarves and docks, in Washington and Georgetown.

The property-book prepared for the purpose of office records showing tabular reports, metes and bounds of lots improved and unimproved, carefully plotted by Mr. Forsyth therein.

The outlines and plans of buildings owned by the District should be drawn, also, showing sewer, water, and gas connections. This work is impracticable at this time for want of assistance. The tabular statement of repairs shows only such repairs as have been made under your direction and not those made under the supervision of other depart

ments of the government, which practice should be discontinued; for the reason that it is more expensive, and a careful examination would determine the fact. This department should be charged with the entire repairs of buildings; this being the only means of obtaining a correct record of the cost of repairs, or relieved from any portion thereof, except new or remodeling buildings. Insurance policies should be recorded in this office as provided for in the property.book, but I would recommend that the government in future assume its own risk on all buildings owned by it, except perhaps those in the county. This would be a sav. ing of about $2,000 per annum. Of all which I ask your favorable con. sideration.

The Berrett School building, referred to in my last report as in course of erection, has been completed, at a cost of $24,755.50.

The grounds should be inclosed with a plain, substantial iron fence, at an estimated cost of $1,000.

There has been erected during this year in the southwestern portion of the city a substantial ten-room brick school-building, at the very moderate cost of $23,670, for the use of the colored schools, called the Randall Building, and derives its name from one of the early teachers of colored schools in this city. These two buildings are thoroughly warmed with Gold heaters, giving very great satisfaction in quality of heat and economy of fuel as compared with other buildings.

The subject of new school-buildings, especially for the white schools referred to in my last report, claims a word.

The pumber of rented rooms for schools is on the increase, and a large majority of them are unfit for use, at the same time drawing from the treasury annually for rents and repairs—to say nothing of the expensive manner of heating, that of stoves-a sum aggregating $30,000.

To take the place of rented rooms and to supply the increased de. mand it will require from six to eight ten-room school-buildings carefully distributed through the school districts. These buildings completely fitted up, plain and substantial in their character, including grounds, would cost about $40,000 each. In view of these facts, there should be erected annually at least two of these buildings of the class named until the demand be met. At the same time ample accommodations should be made for the colored schools by the erection of two fourroom school-buildings.

For the necessities of the county schools I refer you to my last report, as follows:

Additional school-buildings are required as follows: A two-room brick building at Mount Pleasant and a four-room brick building in the vicinity of Tennallytown. This recommendation was made in my report last year. These two sections of the county are rapidly increasing in population, and have many children who are without school accommodations.

The property-book (now completed) contains plots or diagrams of land owned in the county. In many cases the metes and bounds are uncertain, and I recommend that the surveyor shall be directed, preparatory to setting new fencing, to run the lines of said lots.

MARKETS.

Under your direction the Western Market has been completed, giving to the dealers 105 stalls, with well-arrauged surroundings. The stalls have been sold for a term of years, realizing the sum of $

This market, in its arrangement and completeness of appointments, cannot be excelled in any city. The unsightly sheds on either side of K street will be removed and the sidewalks laid before winter sets in.

The Northern Liberty Market, situated at Seventh and O streets northwest, with its old sbeds, still exists, and I have to call your attention again to the increasing demand for market accommodations in this locality. During the present year between three and four hundred buildings have been erected in the north and northwestern portion of the city, in addition to fifty or more beautiful residences at Le Droit Park, thereby giving to this market the support of hundreds of families whose patronage it has not heretofore hail. A market-building should be at once erected on this or some adjacent site, which can be accomplished without one dollar of outlay for buildings or liability on the part of the Government. To all of which I invite your especial attention.

The northeastern market, located on H street, between Second and Tbird streets northeast, is built upon leased ground. Although at present but a limited business is done, yet it is destined at no distant day, judging from the improvements made in this section of the city during the past year, to become a flourishing and paying market.

The Georgetown market is located upon Bridge street, and extends to the north side of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. I recommend that forty feet of said market-house (now occupied as a fish-market) be cut off and added to the street, and that sheds be erected upon the bank of the canal for a fish-market. This would be a decided improvement to the market, giving additional stalls for general market purposes in the building, and also provide a turning place for wagons around the market-house.

HAY-SCALES. Hay-scales were sold in July last aggregating $2,036.50, being an excess over last year of $1,256.50. New scales have been set up in Georgetown at a cost of $230. Limited repairs have been made to other scales, amounting to $73. There will be required for repairs of scales for the ensuing year $150.

WEIGHERS AND MEASURERS. Some dissatisfaction having been expressed as to the manner in which the daties of sealers of weights and measures, weighers and measurers of wood, and counters of lumber, have been conducted, and in the proper performance of whose duties the people are so largely interested, Jwould suggest at as early a date as practicable a thorough re-organi. zation of these departments of the government, and especially the consolidation of the office of sealers of weights and measures should be done at once.

ENGINE-HOUSES. Engine-houses have been put in good repair. The interior of engine. house No. 1, so far as stalls are concerned, should be arranged similar to that of No. 2. Including these changes and incidental repairs for the ensuing year, estimated at $2,200, an addition of at least two enginebouses should be made at once. Some eight millions of dollars have been invested in private buildings by our citizens during the past two years, and possibly twenty millions since there has been an increase in the fire department.

No farther comment is necessary. Approximate estimates of repairs for the various departments of the government for the ensuing year, aggregating $17,750, will be found under the various heads.

STATION-HOUSES.

Station-bouses owned by the District and those leased for a term of years have been put in a good state of repair. Additional station-houses should be erected; one in the southern portion of the city to take the place of a rented building, and another in the portb western part of the city, both of which are unsuitable for the purposes of station houses.

Wbile additional accommodations for the police force should be provided, these two buildings, especially, should be provided for at an early day.

The only station-bouse for the accommodation of the county or mounted police being located on the Seventh street road, north of Boundary street, (and recently leased by the government,) and the territory pat. rolled by them being many miles remote, extending from Uniontown to Tennallytown, it is evident that additional accommodations are required, and should be provided, and I recommend that a small building be erected, with the necessary police accommodations, in Uniontown, and also one at Brightwood, where prisoners may be detained when necessary.

Repairs under your direction and my supervision have been made for the year ending November 30, 1876, in the sum of $18,433.83, on build. ings owned and leased by the District; and for the erection of new buildings, $94,874.24. Estimate for new buildings in accordance with recommendations, $313,000. (See schedule annexed.)

Probable result of sale of property recommended to be sold and applied as above, $197,700. (See schedule annexed.).

BUILDINGS FOR DISTRICT OFFICES, POLICE COURT, ETC.

. The necessity for providing for these buildings has been alluded to at length in a previous report, and I deem it unnecessary to make more than a passing remark at this time. It is fair to estimate that during the past ten years twenty millions of dollars have been invested in buildings by private enterprise in the District of Columbia, while insufficient accommodations for public offices bave existed and still exist for the departments named, and should be provided for at the earliest practicable moment. The energy of the government bas been put forth in extending our streets and avenues, and in beautifying the same by the expenditure of millions, and which has had the co-operation and met the approval of a very large majority of our citizens, as well as of the country at large, and I ask for your careful and favorable consideration and co-operation in bringing up this important department of the government to its proper standard.

WHARVES AND DOCKS.

By reference to the tabular statement it will be seen that the condition of the wharves in Georgetown, with but few exceptions, remains the same as last year, as reported by Mr. Williain Forsyth, surveyor.

The value of our water-line around the city has yearly grown into notice and importance; its commerce bas grown and its property value largely increased. New lines of steamers are being organized for local aud distant traffic, and the time is not far distant when the whole riverfront will be needed for the increasing demands of trade.

By reference to my last report it will be seen that the number of permits issued for buildings and additions for the year ending November 30, 1875, was 1,744, at a cost of $3,655,500. For the year ending No. vember 30, 1876—the present year-as predicted in my last year's report, the value of improvements exceed those of last year, being $4,155,177.

By reference to talular statement it will be seen that the number of buildings is less, showing conclusively that a better class and more business places have been erected; for instance, 25 brick stores for 1875, and 118 for this year; and while 837 brick dwellings cost $2,626,055 last year, 717 this year cost $2,851,067.

There is this year a decrease in the number of frame dwellings, being 254 for 1875 and 213 for 1876. There were 11 frame buildings removed last year from the fire districts, and this year there were 36. The removal of these buildings has, for the most part, taken place, and there have been erected in their stead substantial brick buildings.

These improvements have been distributed almost equally over the entire length and breadth of the city. The western and northwestern sections have kept pace in improvement with their usual activity, while in the southern, eastern, and northeastern portions there have been erected a greater number of buildings than in any previous year in the history of the city, an unmistakable evidence of prosperity and the confidence of our citizens in the govero ment, and their indorsement of the improvements that have been made in extending streets and avenues and beautifying the same.

We have been informed that real estate in many of our sister cities has depreciated to a considerable extent. We are happy to state that, from the best information we can obtain and from our own knowledge, Tral estate in our city maintains its status, or, at least, a slight decrease in its value, and this possibly only to the extent of reduced prices of labor and material. This might well be expected, as we approximate to a solid basis of cost of labor and material. Thus homes of small proportions have been erected in the last few years and provided with modern improveinents, giving to the occupants comfortable homes at figures within their means.

The number of buildings erected in Washington City prior to December 1, 1875, was 23,121. According to •the report of General M. C. Meigs of 1853, there were at that time 7,711 buildings in the city of Washington. In the twenty-two years between 1853 and 1875 there Tere therefore erected 15,410 new buildings.

The number of buildings erected in Washington and Georgetown Cities prior to December 1, 1875, was 25,283. During the year up to December 1, 1876, 1,161 new buildings have been added in those two cities, showing the number of buildings erected in the cities of Washington and Georgetown to date to be 26,444. This is exclusive of buildings owned by the United States.

The building regulations as enforced have had the tendency to produce better and more thoroughly constructed buildings in the District. Although very deficient in many respects, they have been complied with for the most part by our citizens and builders. Our builders have almost uniforinly conformed to the building regulations, and where violations bare occurred they willingly repaired the same upon notice, with but few exceptions, and where suits have been entered and tried the regulations in the most part bave been sustained by the court.

The commission appointed to draught building regulations for the con. struction of buildings in the District have performed that duty; providing therein for judicious regulations for all parts of buildings, which have been approved by the Commissioners. These building regulations

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