Archive for the ‘Jamie McCulloch’ Category

Windrim-Urban Week One

March 9, 2012

Stephen McCulloch

Windrim-Urban Correspondence

This weeks goal was to visit the Lancaster Historical Society and look at the letters of correspondence from James Windrim to Emlen Urban in regards to the construction of the First Post Office here in Lancaster. Windrim is the Supervising Architect and is writing to Urban from his location in Washington D.C. Urban is the On-Sight architect, basically there to ensure that Windrim’s requests and plans are executed as wished. Urban assumes an apprentice type position under the guidance of Windrim and through the various letters one can begin to better understand their relationship.

I used primary sources from the Lancaster Historical Society’s archives. These documents were the letters from Windrim (located in Washington D.C.) to Urban (located in Lancaster) they are dated from late 1889 to early 1990 and include the various discussions pertaining to the construction of the first Post Office in Lancaster.

The information below is verbatim from the letters.

September 25, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

Your letter of the 16th. Instant is received, and you are advised that your recommendation that the street curb on the Duke Street side of the building under your charge and the gas and water pipes be brought within the curb line, before the street is paved, is approved.

Please obtain and forward with your recommendation proposals for furnishing and setting to city grade, granite street curb 6” X 2’, also for bringing the gas and water pipes within the curb line and connecting same to mains in the street. The pipes to be brought in at point nearest the airshaft up which the risers will go. Also for removing the two large trees which interfere with the setting of the curb. The sewer will not go out on the Duke Street side.

You will further advised in regard to your assignment to duty as soon as a decision is made on the bids received for the masonry of the building.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

October 18, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, enclosing proposals for furnishing and pleading street curb for the building under your charge.

As you state that the parties bidding will furnish curb at a lower rate per lineal foot if the depth of the curb averages 2’, i.e., 1’ 10” at one end and 2’ 2” at the other end, instead of it being 2’ in depth, I will thank you to obtain revised proposals in one lump sum for the curbing required, and on receipt of said proposals forward to this office with your recommendations.

In inviting proposals you will please give your careful attention to Section XXX of the printed “Instructions to Superintendents.”

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

October 18, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, and you are hereby authorized to accept the proposal enclosed therein, of Messre. Flinn and Breneman, in amount twelve dollars and sixty cents (12.80) to lay complete 2” diameter galvanized wrought-iron service-pipe from the city main on Duke Street to the inside of curb line of the building under your charge, the city main to be tapped full size, to be supplied with the Corporation stop-eoek at curb. In accordance with the city regulations, price being deemed reasonable and a public exigency requiring the immediate performance of the work.

Upon completion of the work to your entire satisfaction you will forward a voucher for payment, to this office, the amount to be charged against the appropriation for the building.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

October 22, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 19th instant with reference to the number of inviting proposals for furnishing and placing the street curb for the building under your charge.

In reply I have to advise you that said proposals should be invited by circular letter, prepared by you and addressed to three or more responsible parties in your vicinity.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

October 23, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

Referring to proposals received under advertisement dated August 24th, 1889, and opened at this office at 2 o’clock P.M., on the 17th day of September, 1889, for the stone and brick masonry, etc. for the building under your charge, you are advised that the Department having directed that all action pertaining to the construction of said building be deferred until it is determined whether Congress will increase the limit of cost of site and building, all the bids received under the advertisement have been rejected.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

October 29, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 24th instant enclosing two proposals, unopened, which you received under circular letter issued from your office.

You are hereby authorized to accept the bid of Messrs. R.S. Oster & Bro., in amount two hundred and nineteen dollars ($219.00) for furnishing and setting on the Duke Street front of the building under your charge, Maine granite curbing six (6) inches wide on top and averaging two (2) feet deep, good axed work, including return stone on Marion Street, and the removal of two large trees, etc., the price being deemed reasonable and a public exigency requiring the immediate performance of the work, which is to be paid for from the appropriation for the building.

Upon the completion of the work to your entire satisfaction you will please report to this office in accordance with the requirements of the Section XL of the printed “Instructions to Superintendents.” Page 2, 6.E.U.

I have to call your attention to a careful perusal of Section XXX of the printed Instructions named, and in this connection especially to the third line of Part 2 of said section, relative to opening bids.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

November 14th, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

You are hereby requested and instructed to prepare and forward to this office on Saturday of each week, in connection with the building under your charge a letter giving:

1st.            A description of the work done under each contract during the week.

2nd.            A statement as to whether in your opinion the work embraced in each contract is being so prosecuted as will secure its completion within the stipulated time.

3rd.            A statement as to the condition of the building, and whether the general conduct of all is satisfactory.

The above instructions must not be constructed as in any way modifying the requirements of paragraph 14 of Section LIV of the printed “Instructions to Superintendents”, and “Circular letter” dated May 1st, 1889 in regard thereto.

Please promptly acknowledge the receipt of this letter.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

December 3, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

Your letter of the 29th ultimo is received, stating the necessity of repairing sidewalk on the Duke Street side of the building in your charge.

Please forward an estimate of the cost of doing this work, and you are advised that, either an estimate of the cost of proposals for doing any work not included in contracts, should accompany your recommendations or requisitions of this character, so that immediate action can be taken.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

December 9, 1889

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

In view of the recommendation contained in your letter of the 4th. Instant, and the public exigency requiring the immediate delivery of the articles and performance of the work, you are hereby authorized to incur an expenditure not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25) for repairing the sidewalk on the Duke Street side of the building under your charge.

Please certify and forward to this Department vouchere therefore, for payment from the appropriation for the building.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

January 6th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

This office is in receipt, of what purports to be a statement from you of the completion of the work embraced in the proposal of R.S. Oyster and Brother, accepted October 29th, 1889, for labor and material, for curbing on Duke and Marion Streets, and the removal of two trees from the site, for the proposed new building in your city.

I have therefore caused to be prepared and herewith enclose, a voucher in duplicate in favor of the contractors, in the full amount of their proposal, viz:- two hundred and nineteen dollars ($219.00), and if the work has been completed to your satisfaction please certify, cause the same to be receipted by the contractors and return it to the Department for payment.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

January 24th, 1890

Mr. C. Emlen Urban,

Superintendent, Post Office,

Lancaster, Pa.

Sir:

As requested in your letter of the 2oth.  Instant, I have caused to be prepared and herewith enclose, a voucher, in duplicate, drawn in favor of Film and Breneman, in the amount of their proposal accepted October 18th, 1889, viz:- twelve and 60/100 dollars ($12.60), for laying complete 2” galvanized wrought iron service pipe to curb line of the building in your charge, the work having been satisfactorily completed, as per your report.

Please certify the voucher and return it to this office, for completion and payment, from the appropriation for the building, as authorized.

Respectfully yours,

Windrim

Supervising Architect.

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19-35 E. King St. and Courthouse

February 17, 2012

19-21 E. King St. This building is a new addition to the block and houses a subway on the first level and offices on the second story. The design is very current-times and neat. The use of red brick to flank the storefront gives the building a sophisticated appearance. Glass extends the length of the building for maximization of sunlight.

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23 E. King St. This building is out dated and the exterior beholds a 70’s style design. The building has black sheet metal, concrete and glass windows with no signage or aesthetic design. The conclusion that this building is strictly used for office space can confidently be made.

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25-27 E. King St. This building is interesting in that there are relatively no windows and the face of the building is a wall of concrete. There aren’t any doors at least through the front and at the top of the structure there appears to be vents. This building is some type of ventilation or utilities for the rest of the block.

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29-35 E. King St. This is the second largest property on the block. It has seen renovations since the original construction and utilizes red brick for a neat but attractive appearance. There is a store on the first level that has large glass windows that allow for natural sunlight and a view into the store from the street. There are offices upstairs that each have windows and on the third floor there are small extensions that extend from the building. They are made of glass and add another dimension of design to the building.

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Courthouse. The Courthouse is a beautiful building that has seen multiple additions but has maintained its old world design and craftsmanship. A large sweeping set of stairs lead up to the buildings entrance that is adorned with arches and large pillars. These architectural facets give the building a sense of power, respect and tradition. The metal dorm on the roof sets the building apart from the industrial and commercial properties around the courthouse. There is ashlar masonry all along the building and an overall superb attention to detail in the stone and glass.

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Keppel’s Confectionery Factory

February 16, 2012

Utilitas

This building has a very functional appearance hence it was a candy factory with a storefront and offices located upstairs. From first glance the viewer can see a metal shaft running from street level to the roof, presumably used as ventilation or transportation of confectionery products. It does not mesh very well with the architecture of the block and thus has a purely functional purpose. The upper floors and windows appear simple in design and were used as offices or workspace. At street level there is a shop that has a large storefront glass window and ornate masonry which has an appealing effect on those walking by. The aesthetic décor on the buildings stone does not continue past the first floor.

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Venustas

The Keppel factory is a classical or neoclassical design with Greek and Roman influences. The building has a classic C. Emlen Urban design and is similar to that of other commercial properties by Urban. There is evidence of ashlar masonry on the doorways and around the parapet. The windows feature transoms and decorative motifs such as bounds reeds. The windows and doorways utilize the trabeated design. The cornice features modillions, console brackets and a central cartouche, topped by a parapet decorated with classical triglyphs. Emlen used a symmetric plan when designing and constructing the Keppel factory thus the series of identical windows and the ornate sculpture around the main doorways.

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Firmitas

From the street view the building seems to have a predominately stone structure that is most likely built around a steel frame. The buildings foundation consists of large slabs of granite, a very strong rock resulting in little heaving or movement over time. The inside of the building has red brick walls and hard wood floors that are original to the buildings construction. There are two main pillars that extend from street level to the roof that appear to offer structural support to the building.

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Sketch of East King Street 19-35

February 13, 2012

Sketch of East King Street 19-35

Courthouse

1886

Courthouse is far simpler in construction. No dual offices located in the front of the building as they can be found in 1929. The structure of the courthouse rear is also not as large as it is in 1929, sign of a later edition. The sweeping staircase in front and metal dome on the roof exist in the 1886 map.

1891

The courthouse has the same construction as 1886 with no additions or structural changes.

1912

There have been some significant additions to the Courthouse on the 1912 map. The rear of the building is the same as the construction found on the 1929 map. The offices that flank the grand stairs at the courthouse entrance have not been constructed yet. The 1929 and 1912 maps both include details about a night watchman, lack of a clock and lack of a fire apparatus.

35 E. King St.

1886

The building is one less square foot wide in 1929 as the 1886 map reads. The markings for the pipes and number of stories of the building are the same on the two maps. Front of the building is 3 stories and the back is 2 stories. The function of the building is still the same, Dry Goods with an office in the back.

1891

The building has the same width (40feet) and 3 stories as the 1929 map. There is a different store in the buildings rear. The script was not legible but on the 1929 map it says the building or room was an office.

1912

Again the two maps have the same width and number of stories. The function and owners of the building are the same. Where there was an office on the 1929 map there was a dwelling on the 1912 map. If I read the map right, in 1912 there was a pool in the rear of the building but by 1929 that location was a dwelling.

31-33 E. King St.

1886

Theres a large opening between buildings 29 and 31 that leads to a large open lot in the middle of the buildings. The building is one less story in 1886 as compared to 1929. The function of the building, it belongs to M. T. Garvin & Co.-Dry Goods. In 1929 automatic sprinklers were installed in the building. There was rear and front access to the open lot through E. king Street and E. Grant Street.

1891

The passage way between 29 and 31 is no longer in existence. The open lot and rear entrance through E. Grant Street are still there. The function is still the same (Dry Goods) and there was a ware house located in the back of the building on E. Grant Street. The building is one story shorter in 1891. The automatic sprinklers are not installed yet.

1912

The first building is the same 4 number of stories and the back 2 are three stories (one less than 1929) and same width. The function of the building was still for Dry Goods.

25-27 E. King Street

1886

The open lot on the 1886 map is no longer in existence instead there is an addition to the surrounding buildings and the driveway way from E. Grant St has also been built on. The store has changed hands and is now a furniture store, it was part of the Dry Goods company. From 1886 to 1929 the store went up one story and the additions made it 11 feet wider.

1891

Three front buildings are 3 stories and the middle two are 2 stories. The rest of the buildings are 1 story until you reach the rear of the complex where the last two buildings are again 2 stories. In 1886 there was a shed behind the first few buildings in an open lot area. The rear 2-story building was used as a stable in 1886, presumably to house horses that were used to transport Dry Goods.

1912

In 1912 the building was taken over by Sprecher & Gans Hardware and Paints & Oils by 1929 the building had switched hands and was owned by Harold Furniture. It was the same four stories on both maps and the boiler room in the rear of the building had a 3 story construction.

23 E. King Street

1886

The two maps indicate that the building had the same number of stories, was the same width and was used as a bank from the time of 1886 to 1929. The building did double in size with a new addition from the 1886 map to the 1929 map. The shed behind the building and the boiler in the rear are in existence on both maps as well.

1891

The building is still a bank but the addition that exists on the 1929 map does not appear on the 1891 map. There is an open lot just behind the bank that is still there in 1929. There is the same leather shop in the rear on E. Grant Street on both maps. The bank is 3 stories high with a decrease to 2 stories in the back of the bank. Both maps indicate the building to be 40 feet wide and the leather shop to be 2 stories in construction.

1912

Again the building is still functioning as a bank but lacks the addition that the 1929 map shows. Same 2-3 story construction, 40 feet wide and the leather store in the rear.

19-21 E. King Street

1886

The front building is a photo shop and the back building is tobacco store which is the same as 1929. The front building is 3 stories and the middle is 2, this is the same as 1929. The rear building is one less story in 1886 as in 1929.

1891

Everything is the same between the two maps.

1912

Everything is still the same. The tobacco store in the rear has added heat-steam and electric-lights. The automatic sprinklers are still not installed in 1912.

Breneman Tombstone

February 13, 2012

Breneman Tombstone

The tombstone I was assigned to contained 4 names on it.  All of these names ended with Breneman.  During my search for any interesting or normal history on this family, I could not find much information.  I learned that Mary Elizabeth Breneman, who was born on February 17, 1845 and died on February 22, 1907, was a boarder at 128 East Walnut Street.

Mary Elizabeth Breneman

February 3, 2012

The tombstone I was assigned to contained 4 names on it.  All of these names ended with Breneman.  During my search for any interesting or normal history on this family, I could not find much information.  I learned that Mary Elizabeth Breneman, who was born on February 17, 1845 and died on February 22, 1907, was a boarder at 128 East Walnut Street.

East King Street 19-35

February 3, 2012

Courthouse

1886

Courthouse is far simpler in construction. No dual offices located in the front of the building as they can be found in 1929. The structure of the courthouse rear is also not as large as it is in 1929, sign of a later edition. The sweeping staircase in front and metal dome on the roof exist in the 1886 map.

1891

The courthouse has the same construction as 1886 with no additions or structural changes.

1912

There have been some significant additions to the Courthouse on the 1912 map. The rear of the building is the same as the construction found on the 1929 map. The offices that flank the grand stairs at the courthouse entrance have not been constructed yet. The 1929 and 1912 maps both include details about a night watchman, lack of a clock and lack of a fire apparatus.

35 E. King St.

1886

The building is one less square foot wide in 1929 as the 1886 map reads. The markings for the pipes and number of stories of the building are the same on the two maps. Front of the building is 3 stories and the back is 2 stories. The function of the building is still the same, Dry Goods with an office in the back.

1891

The building has the same width (40feet) and 3 stories as the 1929 map. There is a different store in the buildings rear. The script was not legible but on the 1929 map it says the building or room was an office.

1912

Again the two maps have the same width and number of stories. The function and owners of the building are the same. Where there was an office on the 1929 map there was a dwelling on the 1912 map. If I read the map right, in 1912 there was a pool in the rear of the building but by 1929 that location was a dwelling.

31-33 E. King St.

1886

Theres a large opening between buildings 29 and 31 that leads to a large open lot in the middle of the buildings. The building is one less story in 1886 as compared to 1929. The function of the building, it belongs to M. T. Garvin & Co.-Dry Goods. In 1929 automatic sprinklers were installed in the building. There was rear and front access to the open lot through E. king Street and E. Grant Street.

1891

The passage way between 29 and 31 is no longer in existence. The open lot and rear entrance through E. Grant Street are still there. The function is still the same (Dry Goods) and there was a ware house located in the back of the building on E. Grant Street. The building is one story shorter in 1891. The automatic sprinklers are not installed yet.

1912

The first building is the same 4 number of stories and the back 2 are three stories (one less than 1929) and same width. The function of the building was still for Dry Goods.

25-27 E. King Street

1886

The open lot on the 1886 map is no longer in existence instead there is an addition to the surrounding buildings and the driveway way from E. Grant St has also been built on. The store has changed hands and is now a furniture store, it was part of the Dry Goods company. From 1886 to 1929 the store went up one story and the additions made it 11 feet wider.

1891

Three front buildings are 3 stories and the middle two are 2 stories. The rest of the buildings are 1 story until you reach the rear of the complex where the last two buildings are again 2 stories. In 1886 there was a shed behind the first few buildings in an open lot area. The rear 2-story building was used as a stable in 1886, presumably to house horses that were used to transport Dry Goods.

1912

In 1912 the building was taken over by Sprecher & Gans Hardware and Paints & Oils by 1929 the building had switched hands and was owned by Harold Furniture. It was the same four stories on both maps and the boiler room in the rear of the building had a 3 story construction.

23 E. King Street

1886

The two maps indicate that the building had the same number of stories, was the same width and was used as a bank from the time of 1886 to 1929. The building did double in size with a new addition from the 1886 map to the 1929 map. The shed behind the building and the boiler in the rear are in existence on both maps as well.

1891

The building is still a bank but the addition that exists on the 1929 map does not appear on the 1891 map. There is an open lot just behind the bank that is still there in 1929. There is the same leather shop in the rear on E. Grant Street on both maps. The bank is 3 stories high with a decrease to 2 stories in the back of the bank. Both maps indicate the building to be 40 feet wide and the leather shop to be 2 stories in construction.

1912

Again the building is still functioning as a bank but lacks the addition that the 1929 map shows. Same 2-3 story construction, 40 feet wide and the leather store in the rear.

19-21 E. King Street

1886

The front building is a photo shop and the back building is tobacco store which is the same as 1929. The front building is 3 stories and the middle is 2, this is the same as 1929. The rear building is one less story in 1886 as in 1929.

1891

Everything is the same between the two maps.

1912

Everything is still the same. The tobacco store in the rear has added heat-steam and electric-lights. The automatic sprinklers are still not installed in 1912.