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should be given to all parties interested at least three months prior to the commencement of the building season, say April 1 next.

The fire-limits, prior to their enforcement, should be extended as provided for therein, including the whole of Washington and Georgetown and the towns of the county. There will be, doubtless, arguments both for and against this proposition.

It is a fact that very many of frame, or so-called frame, buildings, for wbich permits have been issued in localities permitted by the regulations, can scarcely be considered frame dwellings, but simply inclosed sheds; in very many cases so poorly constructed as to answer the pur. pose of shelter but for a short time, and money expended in this direction is simply thrown away. In these poorly-constructed tenements the laboring man defeats the object be bas in view; that of providing for himself and family, or investing the savings of years. It is a fact that cannot be controverted, that wherever frame buildings of the class indi. cated are erected, the value of the property adjoining the same, and sometimes the wbole square, deteriorates from five to twenty per cent. These buildings should be prohibited by law. With the comparative cheapness of bricks and mortar, we would find neat and comfortable tenements of limited proportions arise in their stead; for this class of buildings can be constructed at a very small percentage over the cost of frame. This leads us to notice the responsibility and mechanical ability of persons applying for permits for the erection and construction of buildings. In other departments of the government permits are issued only to those known to be skilled mechanics; while no safeguards of this character are thrown around the erection of buildings wherein necessarily the lives of our citizens are jeopardized or secured by secure or insecure construction. This is a matter in which our citizens, one and all, are deeply interested, and our government, to some extent, responsible for its practice.

And now, in conclusion, I would suggest the propriety of taking some steps looking to the consolidation of a grand union depot of all the railroads entering the city, and ihe removal of the two railroad depots from the center of the city; and in this connection I beg leave to offer the following suggestions:

That the government reclaim, by filling in and the erection of wharves and docks, the marsh south of the White House and foot of Seventeenth street, by which several hundred acres of very valuable land could be utilized, and upon which there could be located a union depot, built either by the Government or private enterprise. By this means the unsightly sheds and depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad would be removed, and all that portion of the city benefited, enabling that portion to keep pace in the way of improvements with all other sections, besides bringing the vessels and railroads together and materially les. sening the cost of transfers.

During the past year your attention has been called by the inspector to the manner of putting up and constructing of awnings and sigus, many of them jeopardizing the lives of citizens; but a remedy for these has been provided for in the new building regulations.

During the past year the duties of the inspector have been arduous and difficult; and while this is true, it has been my endeavor to discharge my duties to the government with fidelity and fairness to the citizens. How far I bave succeeded it is left to my fellow-citizens to say. To you I am indebted for uniform courtesy and assistance.

In the discharge of my duties I have been ably assisted by the assistant inspector, Mr. Rerdell, whose services have been invaluable to this departinent. I am, sir, very respectfully,


Inspector of Buildings. To Lient. R. L. HOXIE, U. S. A.

Engineer of District of Columbia.

For two new school-buildings and sites in Washington and Georgetown, white

and colored
For new school-house at Mount Pleasant

$80,000 For new school-bouse at Tennallytown.

4,000 For repairs, painting, &c., county school-houses

1,000 For eotting away 40 feet of the south end of Georgetown market

3,000 For erection of market building, Seventh and 0 streets, 200 stalls.




For purchase station-house on Tenth street northwest, (recently leased)..
For purchase of station-house, Massachusetts avenue
For purehase station-house, first precinct
For the erection of station-house at Uniontown..
For one additional station-house and site in the city
For incidental repairs for station-bouses, including painting and fencing.

12,000 12, 000 12,000

6, 000 14,000 1,400


For erection of additional engine-house in northwestern portion, including

site.... For the erection of additional engine-house on site owned by the city. For repairs of engine-houses....

14,000 8,000 2, 200


For repair of hay-scales

150 For erection of police court on site owned by the city.

14,000 For repairs of school-houses, white and colored, cities of Washington and Georgetown, painting, repairs, fencing, additional heating-surfaces, waterclosets, &c....


30, 750 I recommend that the following property be sold and applied to the purposes above named: The central guard-house on Louisiana avenue, estimated value..

$40,000 The lot corner of Ninth street and New York avenue, recently occupied as police-station

7,500 The lot on Eighth street, purchased from Mayor Wallach for an engine-house, (unsuitable)

3,500 The old town hall, Georgetown

6,000 The powder-magazine, Georgetown heights.

700 The sale of 200 stalls in building to be erected at Seventh and 0 streets northwest, for market purposes....

140,000 197, 700

Expenditures for repairs under direction of engineer for year ending November 30, 1876.


Wallach Cranch Jefferson Berrett

$1,402 00

560 00 1,500 00 10, 284 00

$13, 746 00


Soldiers' Home ...

$215 00

$434 70

43 00

E street, between Tbird and Four-and-a-balf streets, south-

Corner High street and the canal, Georgetown..
K street, between Twentieth and Twenty-first streets, north-

Tenth street, between D and E, northwest..
Massachusetts avenue, between Ninth and Tentb, northwest.
South Caroliva avenue, between Fifth and Sixth streets, south-

Police court.
Seventh precinct.

61 00 1,047 09

267 73

4 87 158 00 555 00

2,571 39


D street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets, northwest.
Virginia avenue, near Four-and-a-half street, southwest.....

[blocks in formation]


Northern Liberty,(hay-scales)

108 00

65 11 178 33 73 00

424 44

Total .....

18,433 83



Washington, November 30, 1876. SIR: I have the honor to submit my annual report of the operations of this office from December 1, 1875, to date.

The employés under me have been engaged in repairing the various streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, roads, bridges, sewers, sewer-traps, and pumps, and the cleaning of sewers and sewer-traps and making permanent improvements by completing work commenced by contractors and left unfinished by reason of joint resolution of March 14, 1876, upon various streets and avenues.

PUMPS. There are in the city and Georgetown 449 pumps ; 13 of these were put in during the year. Seventeen wells have been deepened ; 26 wells have been cleaned; 7 pumps have been removed, and the wells filled, and 1,160 repairs have been made.

COUNTY ROADS AND BRIDGES. Continual repairs are necessary on the various county roads in order to keep them in suitable condition for travel. The heavy rains during the past summer caused large washes and carried away culverts on various roads, and demonstrated the incapacity of several brick and pipe culverts. It required quite a large sum of money to repair the damages these roads sustained, and especially on the New Cut, Woodley Lane, Ridge, and Seventh street roads. While these repairs were being made culverts were enlarged, aud the improvements made with a view to make them as permanent as possible with the limited means at the disposal of the engineer.


The gravel pits at the head of the main sewers accomplish the purposes for which they were intended. The following is the amount of gravel and sand removed from each pit during the year: From Fifteenth and Boundary, northeast, 300 yards ; Tenth and Boundary, northeast, 200 yards; First and Boundary, north west, 300 yards; Gales's woods, 2,252 yards; Eighth and Grant avenue, 1,480 yards; Eighteenth and Boundary, 668 yards; making a total of 5,200 yards. This amount will be greatly decieased when the improvements suggested by you are completed. The material removed from the pits is claimed by the parties owning the ground on wbich they are situated.


There are in the city and Georgetown 516 corporation traps, 732 Chase traps, 323 Gleason traps; 3 wooden traps, 47 shoots, and 838 drops; making a total of 2,459. There are employed on this work one suboverseer, four trappers, and three horses, carts, and drivers. The traps are cleaned four times per year at a cost of 43 cents per trap. I respectfally recommend that this force be increased by the addition of two trappers and two horses, carts, and drivers, so that the traps could be cleaned seven tiines per year. The traps in the vicinity of and on the animproved streets and alleys become foul much oftener than those on improved streets and alleys, and in order to keep them in perfect san. itary condition it becomes necessary to break the gang, which causes a considerable loss of time. The additional force asked for could be used to a very great advantage in performing this service in remote places.


The sewer-cleaners have been employed in cleaning brick and pipe sewers and the gravel-pits. The 15-inch pipe-sewer on Thirteenth-and-ahalf street southwest, between B and D, put down in November, 1875, by Samuel Cook, had to be taken up to be cleaned. It was relaid at the expense of the contractor, and is now in perfect working order. Sixinch pipe has in some cases been used in connecting the traps with the reservoirs, which is found to be too small, as it is easily obstructed. Twelve-inch pipe has been substituted. The brick and pipe sewers in this city and Georgetown are in good condition, with few exceptions, where complaints are made relative to overflow and back-water. This is generally attributed to the incapacity of a number of small pipe-sewers which were laid by the board of public works. The only remedy for this whole difficulty will be the laying of a number of auxiliary sewers. To accomplish this will require quite a large outlay. Your attention is especially called to the large number of cast-iron man-hole covers that have been stolen during the year. The junk-shops and founderies have been searched, but none have been recovered. I respectfully recom mend that a lock be attached to each, which can be done at a small expense. Chains and staples have been tried as an experiment on some of them and bave proved useless.


The alleys are now cleaned at a much less cost than any previous year. Those that are paved with cobble-stones are constantly in need of repairs. I suggest that hereafter all alleys which are unimproved or need extensive repairs be concreted. Machinery can be procured for this purpose at a small outlay, and all necessary repairs upon streets and avenues paved with concrete could be made at a moderate cost.


The cleaning of streets and avenues has been done in a satisfactory manner. The present contractor has been at work for the past seven months, and the amount saved during this period in comparison with the price paid last year is $9,111, a very considerable item. The following streets and avenues should be cleaned twice a week: Pemsylvania avenue, from First to Seventeenth; Fifteenth, from Pennsylvania to New York avenue; B north and south, from First east to First west; First east and west, from B north to B south; B north, from Seventh to Twelfth; F, from Fifth to Fifteenth; G, from New Jersey avenue to Fifteenth; Ninth, from B north to M; Seventh, from B north to Q; and Bridge, from Rock Creek to Market street, Georgetown. All other paved streets should be cleaned once a week. Under the present sys. tem the majority of the streets and avenues are cleaned once a month, and the residents thereon complain that they are slighted, and they certainly have just cause for complaint, especially during the autumn months when the leaves are falling from the trees. A number of arrests have been made (not by the police) of parties sweeping rubbish into the streets from their stores. Under the existing law they are entitled to twenty-four hours to remove it. This should be changed by striking out the twenty-four-hour clause.


It is greatly to be deplored that the city railroad companies persist in repairing between their tracks with cobble and other irregular stones, as it is constantly being repaired, and destroys the appearance of the street.


Very few repairs have been made upon wood pavements during the past season, and those only when found absolutely necessary to prevent accidents. I recommend that hereafter all repairs to wood pavements be made by filling the holes with gravel, as the blocks are in such a state of decay that it would be useless to repair them with the same material.


I desire to call your attention to the great nuisance caused by the obstruction of streets by the wagons of dealers, in the vicinity of the several market-houses, especially Seventh and Ninth streets, between B north and Pennsylvania avenue. These two streets are thoroughfares that are in constant use, and at times on market days it is impossible for carriages to pass. The carriage way on B street north, between Seventh and Twelfth streets, was made of an extraordinary width for the purpose of parking wagons thereon. I suggest that some measures be taken to enforce this rule and keep these streets clear.

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