Page images
PDF
EPUB

surrender possession of the property to the purchaser and legal owner; also, on the 14th of November following, to Hon. Lyman Trumbull, United States Senate, to the same effect, the department being prohibited, by that act, from affording Mr. Joy any relief.

No action having been taken by Congress upon these suggestions, all negotiations for the purchase of a site having proved unsuccessful, and the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 17th of December, 1866, in relation to the erection of the hospital, clearly indicating that the law directing its construction would not be repealed, but that the immediate prosecution of the work was expected, I proceeded to Chicago, and, within two weeks after the adoption of the above resolution, effected the purchase, for the sum of $10,000, of ten acres of land on the lake shore, admirably adapted for hospital purposes, the title to which was subsequently approved by the Attorney General. That this property was purchased at a remarkably low figure-indeed below its value_has never been questioned, and it certainly was the cheapest property offered to the department.

A site having been obtained it became my duty to prepare plans for a building of sufficient capacity to meet the requirements of the marine hospital establishment for the port of Chicago, and, as a consequence, the size and cost of the proposed hospital was determined by the necessities of the service, and not by the amount of the appropriation, which it was evident was entirely inadequate. There remained but three courses open to the department.

First. Not to build a hospital.

Second. To erect a building within the amount of the appropriation without regard to the necessities of the service for which it was intended.

Third. To commence a durable and suitable building of sufficient capacity to provide the requisite accommodations

The first course had been recommended by the department, but, as previously shown, not authorized by Congress; and as any further delay would only increase the amount of damages due Mr. Joy, the department did not feel justified in pursuing that course.

The second course, it is obvious, would have been a culpable and unjustifiable waste of the public funds, and would in all probability have resulted in the sale of the so-called hospital at a fraction of its cost, as in the case of the marine hospitals at Burlington, Vermont; Burlington, Iowa; Cincinnati, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; Evansville, Indiana, and Galena, Mlinois, and it could not for a moment be supposed that such was the intention of Congress. There remained, therefore, but the third alternative.

Before, however, determining the course of the department, an examination of the precedents in similar cases was made, the result of which is embodied in the accompanying table marked No. 1, from an examination of which it will be seen that in no case has any important structure ever been erected within the limit fixed by the original appropriation therefor, whether erected by days' work or under contract, even in cases where the law had expressly provided that the work should not be commenced until a contract had been executed for the completion of the building within the amount of the appropriation; on the contrary, Congress has invariably sanctioned the construction that the limitation was not intended to compel the erection of an unsuitable or inadequate structure, but as a restriction to the absolute necessities of the government. The same precedent will be found in all appropriations for public improvement, under any department of the government.

It may, however, be objected that the building has been unnecessarily

costly, and that a suitable hospital could have been erected for the amount of the appropriation. I have, therefore, prepared table No. 2, which exhibits the cost of the hospitals erected under the supervision of my predecessors and prior to 1860, from which it will be seen that the cost per cubic foot and the cost per bed will be less in the new hospital (taking the highest estimate for its completion) than in buildings erected prior to the war.

At the same time the building is far superior to them, the exterior walls being of Joliet and Athens stone, with a roof of copper and slate, no pains being spared to make it permanent, while the buildings with which it is compared are principally of brick, with cast-iron dressings and corrugated iron roofs, and so badly constructed that they have either been remodelled and recovered at great expense, or must be as rapidly as appropriations can be obtained therefor.

In the preparation of plans for the building I availed myself as well of the counsel of eminent physicians of large experience in hospital matters and of the officers of the department in charge of the marine hospital establishment, as of the recorded results of the various structural and sanitary experiments which had been made in that branch of the service since its foundation, my aim being to produce an edifice better adapted for marine hospital purposes than any previously constructed, which would not only be a credit to the government, an ornament to the city of Chicago, and supply the increasing wants of that rapidly growing city, but which would fully meet the requirements of the marine hospital establishment in the northwest, thereby rendering the construction of other buildings for marine hospital purposes in that section unnecessary.

Instances are not wanting in the history of the marine hospital establishment where large sums of money have been expended for buildings entirely disproportionate to the requirements of that branch of the service at the points where the buildings were authorized by law to be erected. On the other hand, many of the public buildings erected in accordance with the letter of the law have either been built of such inferior materials and in such unworkmanlike manner, or, where well constructed, so entirely inadequate to the wants of the service that it has become neces. sary to make further and larger appropriations to provide adequate and suitable accommodations in accordance with the original intent of the law. My object, therefore, was to avoid either of these extremes of precedent, which, although established under the sanction of the letter of the law, were manifestly failures to fulfil the objects which the law had in view, beside involving in each instance useless expenditures of the public moneys, and to accomplish what the law in this particular instance evidently contemplated, viz., the erection of a building at Chicago which would meet the wants of that branch of the service for which it was designedl; and that, so far as the plans I have prepared, and the progress of the construction of the building thus far are concerned, I have been successful in my efforts in that direction, has never, so far as I am aware, been questioned.

The unvarying result of observation and experience in the wide field for practice and experiment in hospital matters afforded by the late war had demonstrated the fact that the best hygienic results are attained by isolating the sick wards from other parts of the building and restricting the number of longitudinal rows of beds to two instead of four or six, as formerly, and also exposing the external walls of each ward to the atmosphere. The correctness of this principle has now become so generally recognized that I much doubt if any first-class hospital will hereafter be constructed upon any other.

It is obvious, however, that while this principle of construction is demanded by sanitary considerations, a hospital built in accordance with it must cost far more in proportion to the number of patients to be accommodated than if built in the old manner, the number of superficial feet of exterior walls and roofing being much greater. The plans tlus prepared in accordance with this principle were submitted to a committee composed of surgeons and physicians of highest professional ability and experience, both in military and civil hospital practice, and by them approved.

In a letter dated April 30, 1867, addressed to this committee at the time the plans were submitted to them, I requested them to make any suggestions reducing the expense," but the only alterations suggested, so far from reducing, would have greatly increased it.

Since I have had occasion to refer to this committee I deem it due to the gentlemen composing it to say that this valuable service was rendered by them without cost to the government.

The accompanying correspondence will show that in the construction of the building thus far every practical suggestion made with a view to economize the cost of the structuie has been adopted by this office; and while it will be observed that the execution of the plans by the superintendent in a superior (and consequently somewhat more costly) manner to the requirements of the specifications has evoked censure from this office, I have no hesitation in saying that I regard the work done as reflecting great credit upon his professional judgment and ability, and as being no better than a first-class government building should be.

As all the expenditures made by the superintendent for labor, material, &c., have been reported to this office, I am enabled to say that the prices are reasonable, and average rather below than above market rates. The high character and reputation General Webster has sustained, both in military and civil lite, are sufficient guarantees that the money has been honestly expended.

The amount of the proceeds from the sale of the old marine hospital property has not as yet been exhausted, but the execution of the present plans will considerably exceed it, the estimated cost of the building complete being $369,779 27.

The only contract entered into is for brick, a copy of which contract is herewith transmitted, together with copies of all the letters and papers referred to in this report and called for in the resolution. Very respectfully,

. A. B. MULLETT,

Supervising Architect. Hon. Hugh McCULLOCH,

Secretary of the Treasury.

THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION-CONGRESS OF THE UNITED

STATES.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

December 17, 1866. Mr. Wentworth submitted the following, which was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury communicate to this house what progress has been made in the erection of the new marine hospital at Chicago, provided for in the law authorizing the sale of the old one, and if a site has been purchased, state of whom, when, and the price thereof, with the estimate for the cost of the building. Attest:

EDWARD MCPHERSON, Clerk.

CHICAGO, ILL., January 5, 1867. SIR: I have at last succeeded in getting a site for the new marine hospital that I consider a decided bargain. I have bought 10 acres right on the lake shore for $10,000, which is less than half the price than any other place. I now wish you to send without delay a copy of the printed requirements of the Attorney General's office to Hon. Jesse O. Norton, United States district attorney, Chicago, Illinois I forgot to bring one with me; please attend to this at once.

I shall leave to-night for Dubuque, and hope to be home in about a week.

I have been here three days and had almost made up my mind not to buy. Yours, truly,

A. B. MULLETT,

Supervising Architect. B. OERTLY, Esq.,

Acting Supervising Architect.

SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, D. C., May 30, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to state that, in accordance with your letter of the 13th ultimo, and the permission of the Surgeon General granted on the 20th, I have made a careful examination of the plans for a marine hospital at Chicago, Illinois, prepared by Mr. A. B. Mullett, supervising architect of the Treasury Department.

The plans as completed by Mr. Mullet appear to me to be well adapted to the purposes to be attained. The arrangements are excellent, and the mode of ventilation and warming proposed will, I doubt not, be efficient. I have only to regret that Mr. Mullett feels compelled by economical considerations to make the wards three stories high. In the plan adopted for post hospitals in the army, a copy of which I herewith transmit, the wards are but one story high, and during the late war strict adherence to one storied hospitals was admitted by all to give the best results. In permanent buildings, otherwise well constructed, wards in the second story do not appear to me very objectionable, but the addition of third is certainly to be regarded as increasing the ratio of pupulation to surface beyond what is compatible with the best hygienic results; with this exception, the plan appears to me in every way satisfactory. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. J. WOODWARD,

Brt. Lieut. Col. and Asst. Surgeon U. S. A. Hon. Hugh McCULLOCH,

Secretary of the Treasury.

CHICAGO, ILL., August 22, 1867. SIR: Your letter of the 14th instant was duly received. I have made inquiry as to the relative cost of brick and stone for the proposed marine hospital. Broken ashlar and “rock work” will probably cost 33 per cent. more than brick. Rubble, or what is so called by the masons here, is not used for buildings, i. e., walls above ground. Common þrick (run of the kiln) are now selling for about nine dollars per thousand, pressed $20. Tbe pressed brick made here are not of the best quality. They could be brought from Milwaukee for about $24. Bricks laid in the wall cost $14 per thousand. The difference stated above is for the locality of the hospital, in the city there is not so much difference. Brick can be made in the vicinity, but stone must all be hauled from the city. The estimate is by a mason of experience.

It is a very good time to purchase lumber now. It will be higher when the fall trade opens. I would suggest that the lumber for the hospital be advertised for at once, if it is proposed to purchase the material and put up the building by days' work, which seems to me the best way. The foundations also need to be commenced pretty soon to get them out of the way of frost. Foundations, curb walls, &c., are costing in the city from $20 to $23 per cord (100 cubic feet) of canal stone rubble. If any further information is desired please let me know. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. WEBSTER. A. B. MULLETT, Esq.,

Supervising Architect Treasury Department.

CUSTOM-HOUSE, CHICAGO, ILL.,

Collector's Office, September 3, 1867. SIR: I have the honor to enclose my band as disbursing agent of the new marine hospital, with certificate of Judge Thomas Drummond, district judge United States court.

Judge Jesse O. Norton, United States district attorney, is not here and I could not procure his certificate. Your most obedient servant,

WALTER B. SCATES,

Collector. Hon. HUGH MCCULLOCH,

Secretary of the Treasury.

CHICAGO, ILL., September 4, 1867. SIR: Your letter of the 26th ultimo, instructing me to commence work on the new United States hospital, and that of the 28th ultimo, accompanying blanks for the use of my office, were duly received.

I had an interview on the 30th ultimo with Mr. Oertly, assistant supervising architect, and on the 31st visited the site of the hospital with that gentleman. He left with me a memorandum of the views of the depart. ment as to the commencement of the work, and plans of the foundations and basement.

I am now sending to the site lumber for a small office, to be built at once, and will in a few days be ready to submit a project of operations for the month.

In the meantime I would request that the proposed height of the basement and entrance story be furnished me soon as possible. I am, very respectfully,

J. D. WEBSTER,

Superintendent. A. B. MULLETT, Esq.,

Supervising Architect.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »