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To the Honorable the Commissioners of Public Works --

Gentlemen: I beg to leave to make the following report on the operations of the Bureau of Building for the first six months under the new Charter.

Owing to a lack of funds to carry us through the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1900, this Bureau was unable to take charge of the Fire Department engine houses or of the school houses. The repairs and maintenance of these buildings was carried on by the Fire Department and the School Department.

On taking possession of City Hall we found it in a most dilapidated condition and so filthy as to be almost beyond description. The corridors were covered with the dirt of the ages; every closet in the building where dirt, ashes and rubbish could be stored was filled to overflowing; the rotunda and vestibule were coated with the original dirt, lime and mortar made in construction; the sub-basement was so filthy as to endanger the health of any person who was compelled to pass through it; several parts of it, which were below level, were filled with stagnant water; the leader pipes running to the sewer were broken in many places, and many of the sewer pipes opened directly into the sub-basement; the water closets and toilet rooms throughout the building were so unsanitary that the occupants of the building who had any regard for their health would not use them; the roof and dome were covered with dirt, rubbish and old lumber of every description, the roof itself leaked badly in every part, the windows were broken in many places, and all of them were so covered with dirt that many of the occupants thought it was done on purpose to exclude the sunlight; the window-cords were broken, and very few of the windows could be raised or lowered to ventilate the rooms or for the purpose of cleaning the glass; the carpenter work in all parts of the building was hacked and broken and perishing for the want of varnish and paint; the plumbing was badly out of repair and in a very unsanitary condition; the plastering in all of the corridors and in many of the rooms looked very much as if some person or persons had deliberately tried to remove it from the walls with a hatchet.

We have remedied all these matters as far as it is possible to do so in the time and with the limited amount of money available for such purposes. all of the mechanics employed in the building, the head janitor, the assistant head janitor and all the janitors, in fact, every one connected with the building, have earnestly co-operated to better the conditions as far as was possible for them to do, and I believe that the improved appearance and sanitary conditions of the building in all respect show how faithfully they have performed their duties and justify me in highly commending their services.

Respectfully Submitted,

Superintendent of Public Buildings
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