crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 10, no. 237: September 28, 1872

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031128_010_00000109

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE Vol. X. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1872. No. 237. Publislied Weekly bv THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS. One year. In advance......................56 00 All eommuuications should be addressed to C. "W. S^WEET. 7 AND 9 WARREN STBKET. No receipt for money due the Rral Estatr Rkcord will be acknowledged unless signed by one of our regular collectors. Henry D. Smith or Thomas F. Cummings. All bills for collection will be sent from the office on a regu¬ larly printed ferm. Special Notice. Wakted.—Twenty cents each \vill be paid for Nos. 199 and 207 of the Recobd. . NEW POST-OEFICE. Since we were destined, apparently, to have tlie new Post OfiRce located where it is—a choice of location which to this day appears to a large majority a very serious blunder—^it is at least a matter of congratulation that the unwelcome intruder promises to be a building worthy of this great metropolis. Whether judged by its internal arrangement, its solidity of construc¬ tion, or its effect externally, no public building hitherto erected in New York was ever more adapted to the purposes intended, or proved a greater ornament to the city than this will be when completed. Few who daily watch those enormous derricks lifting huge masses of granite weighing many tons, and placing them in their ■ bed as easily and mechanically as an elephant would napye a tAvig with his trunk, probably appreciate the vast size of this structure, and consequently the very great celerity -with which it has been reared so far, and is still advancing. Unlike other edifices, which have ordinarily to deal with only one or tAvo fronts, the new Post Office has four, embracing—with the breaks and recesses—a total of some 1,400 running feet of frontage; which is equivalent in length to 56 houses, of 25 feet frontage, placed side by side along a street. The length of frontage on Broadway and Park Kpw is 290 feet, on the north side facing the City HaU. 300 feet, and on the south side 130 feet. The cellar is 12 feet deep, in the clear, the basement 17 feet, the ground story 30 feet, the second story 23 feet, the third story 36 feet, the attic 18 feet, and the dome 32 feet; thus forming, from the ground linfe to the top of dome, a total height of over 125 feet; The excavation alone was somethiag enormous—100,000 cubic yards of solid earth having ha(i to be removed before the building could be commenced. Up to the pre¬ sent time it has consumed 450,000 cubic feet of granite, 4,500,000 lbs. of iron, and 6,500,000 bricks for the inner walls. Timber, as a ma¬ terial, has been utterly ignored throughout, except for the temporary purposes of scaffold¬ ing, etc. Ground was broken for the new Post Office in 1869, but OAving to the great amount of ex¬ cavation to be accomplished, for a building covering not less than an acre and an eighth of space, but still more owing to the difficulties of obtaining timely appropriations from Congress, the work seemed to hang heavUy in its first stages; as indeed all buildings do when engaged Avith their underAvorks; Avhere there is so much to be done, and yet, to the unpractised looker- on, so little to show for it. It was not till the spring of 1871 that it fairly commenced opera¬ tions above ground, and, the money supplies ha\ing since then been more regularly forth¬ coming, there can be no question that the works have been pushed vdth extraordinary celerity— especially during the present summer. So far advanced already are the inner walls, the prog¬ ress of Avhich, and the labor involved are but little appreciated by those who judge only from the exterior, that the Superintendent confident¬ ly expects to start the roof on Broadway by the end of October. An attempt was recently made in a daily contemporary to institute a comparison between the progress of the New Yorh Zeitung^s new building and that of the new Post Office. But such a comparison is altogether unfair ; the circumstances of the two buildings being so utterly dissimilar as to admit of no comparison whatever. As well attempt a race between the constiruction of a little pleasure yachtand an iron-clad man-of-war. The Zeitung building, a very creditable construction and very solidly built, is, nevertheless, quite insignificant along¬ side of the structure with which it was sought to compare it. It cannot have more than 300 feet of frontage, Avhereas, as we said before, th.e Post Office measures 1,400 feet. Indeed it would be no exaggeration to state that, by ac¬ tual measurement, the Zeitung building could, when completedj be conveniently put into the south-west projection of the new Post Office. Where the comparison can justly be made, and should be made, is between the latter building and that monstrous monument of degraded taste and official corruption—the Court House. And what a contrast! Here is a brulding of certainly not one-third the size of the new Post Office, cut out of soft marble and not hard granite, which took long years to reach even its present unfinished condition, and -which has probably already squandered some 11,000,000 of dollars, while the Post Offi.ce, of three times its size, buUt far more solidly, and erected com¬ plete in one-third -the time, -wiU not, at the utmost, exceed $4,000,000 in cost. If it should ultimately prove not to exceed that figure, it may be justly pronounced one of the cheapest buildings, public or private, ever erected in. this :city. ; . -■•■:■ We have hitherto spoken only cf the solid and material features of this building, but, taken in an artistic point of view, it AviU equally bear criticism. With the single exceptions of the Equitable Insurance building, and the new Masonic Temple, there is no civil building yet erected in this city, of a classical order, which can at all compare with it in solid and sub¬ stantial dignity, while its enormous size will enable it to overshadow both the last-mentioned structures. It is of the Rpman Doric order, with well-proportioned columns, pilasters and entablatures, enclosing arched windows of ex¬ tremely graceful dimensions, Avith deep and effective jambs and recesses which give an appearance at once of great strength and beauty. The idea of rusticating the columns and pilas-. ters of the first story ivill not be thoroughly appreciated until the building is complete; then it will be seen that having done so adds great massiveness and apparent strength to the lower story, which supports the great impend¬ ing mass of masonry. One very pleasing fea¬ ture is the skilfnlness with which the vario-os elevations have been adapted to the peculiar triangular form of the site; the building, -vdew- ed from each of the four comers, giving at every turn a fresh and varied aspect. Ti\Tien completed, the Post Office aviU completely dwarf all other objects in its immediate neigh¬ borhood. The Astor House and HeraM office wUl look as if they could be stowed away in some comer of its basement, and even the ven¬ erable City Hall Avill shrink into the dimensions of some old-fashioned toy. It may be, perhaps, to avoid this that some of our sapient city fathers have recently been agitating the ques¬ tion of croAvning the latter with a new story and a huge Mansart roof, as if such petty means could forestall the inevitable. They had much better leave such a notion alone* Instead of thereby adding anything to the dignity or beauty of the City HaU, they would only be converting that old structure, Avith which nobpdy at pres¬ ent finds fault, and for which every one feels a sort of local veneration, into a pitiful object of architectural pretension and absurdity. MECHA]SriCS' LIENS. NEW YORK. Sept. 20 Broadway, w. s. (Nos. 71(fe73), cok. Rector st. Kenyon & Newton agt. Edward Matthews................ $925 00 20 Same propekty. Kenyon, Newton (feScoviUe.agt. same.............. 1,000 00, 25 Eighty-fifth st., n. s., bet. 2d &1 Sdavs..........................I Eighty-sixth st., s. s., bet. 2d & f 3d avs..........................) Michael Horan agfc. Edw'd S. Innea 50 00