Week Two – Windrim/Urban Correspondence

by

-Weekly Summary-

This week I spent time reviewing and analyzing the letters of correspondence between Windrim and Urban. I wasn’t able to transcribe the complete collection of letters so I finished them this week. They are my main source of information as the primary source for my research.

When reading the letters I focused on any changes in Urban and Windrim’s relationship, any personal or professional information shared or advice exchanged. The letters are very formal and are strictly professional with little to no personal expression listed. Although the letters have revealed how much trust and respect Windrim has for Urban’s work and skill as an architect. Urban is able to make suggestions, contribute input and express his personal thoughts and feelings about the Post Office’s construction. This freedom that Windrim has allowed Urban can serve as a direct correlation to Urban’s architectural success.

 

-Letters of Correspondence-

February 4th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            Referring to Department letter addressed to you December 17th, 1889, I have now to enclose copy of office letter which day addressed to Mr. G. C. Kennedy, Attorney at Law, Lancaster, Penn. In regard to the matter of execution of your bond for the faithful performance of your official duties, which explains itself.

            In a few days you will be further advised in regard to the approval of your new bond and the cancelation of the one previously furnished.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

February 5th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I have to advise you that the bond executed by you on the 4th of December last, for the faithful performance of your duties as Superintendent of Construction of the U.S. Post Office as Lancaster, PA., was approved on the 4th. Instant, and has been placed on file in this office.

            The bond executed by you on September 13th, 1889, has been marked cancelled, but as it forms a part of the files of this Department, it will be retained.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

April 17th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            Your letter of the 15th instant is received, and in view of statement made, your are hereby authorized to certify a voucher in duplicate, in your own favor for five days services rendered, in amount, thirty dollars ($30), charged to the appropriation for the building in your charge, and forward the same to this Department, when check in payment will be sent you.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

May 17th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            Your letter of the 14th. Instant is received, stating that the proprietor of the Fulton Opera House in your city, is desirous of erecting a fence on the Duke Street front of the site for the building in your charge, for advertising purposes.

            You are advised that for obvious reasons it is not deemed desirable to permit the use of fences around Government property for this purpose.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

 

 

October 9th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I have to invite your attention to Section XXII (par 3) “Instructions to Superintendents”, and to request that you comply therewith by endorsing an intelligent brief on all official communications to this Department; also that you precede that said brief by a reference to the initial on the upper right hand corner of the Department letter to which your communication is a response.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

October 13th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I enclose herewith advertisements and authorities for the insertion in the “Daily Examine”, “Daily Intelligence” and “New Era”, daily newspapers of your city, for the erection and completion, except heating apparatus, of the building in your charge. Please have the advertisement published as request by the authorities.

            I also transmit herewith six copies of the specification and sex sets of the drawings for said work; one copy of the former and one set of the latter you will please place on the files of your office, the others you will issue to competent parties in your vicinity, only, who may apply for them for the purpose of submitting bids.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

 

 

October 13th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            This office is in receipt of a voucher, certified by you, in your own favor, in the sum of ten dollars ($10), being the amount paid by you for cleaning weeds, rubbish from the site of the public building to be erected in your city. Please forward for attachment to the voucher, in accordance with the rules of the Department, the receipted bill of the party to whom the money was paid.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

November 11th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            In accordance with the approval of the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, I have accepted the proposal of Robert S. Johnston, of Trenton, New Jersey, the lowest received under public advertisement dated October 13, 1890 and opened at 2 o’clock P.M. on the 6th instant, for all the labor and materials required to erect and complete the building in your charge, except heating apparatus, in strict accordance with drawings numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,126,200,275,294, details, models, samples, etc. and the specification , for the sum of sixty-nine thousand eight hundred and twenty-five dollars ($69,825.00); also his proposal to substitute white oak, in lieu of white pine, for the interior finish of the first and second stories, in amount two thousand eight hundred and sixty dollars ($2,800.00) and his proposal to substitute American plate glass in lieu of sheet glass, for three hundred and fifty dollars ($350.00), making the aggregate for his accepted proposal, seventy-three thousand and thirty-five dollars ($73,035.00).

            The building is to be completed and ready for occupancy on, or before, December 25, 1891, and I have required the contractor to immediately correspond with you in regard to prosecuting the work.

            As soon as the contractors shall have executed a formal contract and bon din the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00) a copy thereof will be sent you for your further information and guidance.

            You are hereby authorized to certify and issue vouchers on account of the contract above referred to, in accordance with the terms thereof, and the requirements of the printed “Instructions to Superintendents”, approved May 8, 1886 (see Sections XXXIV to XLIII, inclusive), with the exception of the voucher for final payment, which must be subject to Section XL of the printed instructions named, and to charge the same against the appropriation for the building.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

December 5th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I have to advise you that the formal “Contract and Bond” for the faithful performance of the work embraced in the proposal of Mr. Robert S. Johnston, accepted November 11th, 1890 for the erection and completion of the building under your superintendence, was approved on this date, and to enclose herewith a certified copy of the same for your information, guidance and the files of your office.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

 

 

December 8th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            In response to your letter of the 5th instant, I have to inform you that it is the intention of the office letter of the 21st ultimo to assign you to duty, with pay, from and including the 24th ultimo.            

Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

December 24th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I have to request that hereafter, in preparing the quarterly photographs of the building under your superintendence, you will have written upon each negative a memorandum of the title and location of the building, the date at which and the point of view from which the photograph is taken. The following will serve as a model for the memorandum desired;

U.S. Ct. H. & P.O.,

            Keene, H.H.,

                        Dec. 31, 1890.

                                    From Northwest

            This should be scratched with a sharp pointed instrument upon the lower left hand corner of the film side of the negative in such a manner as to make a permanent record upon the photograph itself. It is to be noted that it will be necessary to write backwards upon the negative in order that that inscription may be legible upon the photograph.

            Your attention is also called to the desirability, for the convenience of this office, that the photographs should, as far as possible, be of uniform size about 8 inches by 12 inches.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

January 5th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I forward to you by this day’s mail, full size detailed drawings, Nos. 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39, for the exterior stone and copper work of the building under your charge, which I will thank you to deliver to the contractor. I also send tracings of the same for the files of your office.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

February 5th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

            Superintendent, Post Office,

                        Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

            I have your letter of the 2nd. Instant, enclosing tracing, calling attention to the 4 inch projection in the concrete near the Southeast corner of the building under your charge, which is not shown on the plan of the basement masonry. In executing the work you may omit this projection and the hollow space behind it, making the line of the concrete on that side straight, as marked on the tracing, which is herewith returned.

            Respectfully yours,

                        Windrim

            Supervising Architect.

 

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