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rolled; gutters and drain-traps cleaned; trees and shrubs pruned, mulched, and watered; lawns covered with a mixture of guano and soil in the winter and mown from time to time during the summer season; and thirty flower-beds prepared and planted with ornamental foliage and flowering plants in the spring.
In the autumn of 1887 the flower-beds in Lincoln and Stanton parks were planted with 2,000 crocuses, 2,000 tulips, and 850 hyacinths; these added greatly to the beauty of the parks when they bloomed in the spring.
The trouble still continues in protecting the flower-beds in this section of the city; the blooming hyacinths and tulips have been plucked from time to time, and in May, 1888, over 100 vinca plants just set out were stolen in one night; in Folger and Stanton parks the flower-beds have been greatly damaged by dogs; much annoyance is also caused by chickens running at large and destroying the lawns and flower-beds.
The fountains in Lincoln and Stanton parks were repaired and put in working order. At the close of the year all the improved reservations in this section of the city were in comparatively good order.
RESERVATION NO. 17-GARFIELD PARK.
This large reservation, situated south of the Capitol, between South Capitol and Third streets east, contains an area of 24 acres. It is located in a section of the city which up to this time has not been highly improved by private enterprise; the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks run just outside its southern border, encroaching at one place upon the reservation.
The work of improvement was commenced in 1883 and up to the close of the present fiscal year the sum of $90,000 has been appropriated, all of which, with the exception of $1,500 returned to the Treasury in 1885, has been expended.
The original estimate of cost of the improvement was $135,000, it will require further expenditures of $45,000 to complete the work, of which $10,000 can be profitably used during the next fiscal year.
During the year the general work of the park consisted in mowing lawn surfaces twice each month between May and November, watering lawns and newly-planted trees and shrubs, repairing, raking, rolling, and edging roads and walks, and removing dead wood from trees and shrubs. The special work of improvement consisted of the following: Three gravel paths were constructed, aggregating 900 feet long with a width of 10 feet and covering an area of 1,000 square yards; these paths were excavated to an average depth of 8 inches, the foundations formed of rubble stone and coarse gravel laid 5 inches deep and covered with 4 inches of fine gravel raked to an even surface and compactly rolled; about 165 yards of rubble and coarse gravel and 110 yards of fine gravel were used in this work; the borders of the walks were afterwards sodded and trimmed to proper outlines. Gravel roads were constructed connecting with the central drive in the western section of the park, from South Capitol street and Virginia avenue, Canal street and E street, New Jersey avenue and E street, and New Jersey avenue and F street; the aggregate length of these roads was about 1,200 feet with a width of 30 feet, and covering an area of about 4,000 square yards; a road about 900 feet long and 40 feet wide was partially constructed on the line of Virginia avenue to the intersection of New Jersey avenue and H street in the southern portion of the reservation.
These roads were excavated about 12 inches in depth, the foundationcourses, 9 inches deep, formed of rough rubble and coarse gravel, well
rolled and packed, and, with the exception of the last mentioned, covered with about 6 inches of fine gravel, raked and rolled.
In these roads about 1,800 cubic yards of rubble and coarse gravel and about 700 yards of screened gravel were used.
The ground in the vicinity of the Virginia avenue road was graded and partially covered with soil preparatory to making lawn surfaces. Paved entrances to park roads were constructed at the intersection of Virginia avenue and New Jersey avenue, E street and Canal street, and New Jersey avenue near E street; a coarse gravel bed for an entrance at the intersection of Second and I streets was also laid.
At these paved entrances blue-stone curbing was laid, and 630 square feet of block pavement and 133 square yards of cobble-stone pavement put down. About 800 linear feet of cobble-stone gutters of an average
width of 2 feet was laid bordering the new roads.
During the year there have been planted in the park 322 deciduous trees, 136 evergreen trees, and 1,632 flowering shrubs; about 400 cubic yards of soil were used in planting these trees and shrubs; the trees were firmly secured in position by stakes and wires. About 6,500 trees and shrubs have been planted in this park during the past three years. Portions of the improved grounds, formerly brought to established grades, where heavy fills had been made, had settled perceptibly in past years; these were heavily dressed with good soil.
The winter of 1887-'88 was very severe on the young grass; the growth of the previous season and a portion of that on the lawn surface in the eastern section was killed; this was raked out, sown with rye and grass seed, and by June, 1888, was in excellent condition.
A number of trespass paths were raked, sown with seed, and protected by wire fences.
The improvement of the eastern section of the park is practically com pleted, and during the coming fiscal year it is hoped that considerable progress will be made in the improvement of the western section.
PUBLIC RESERVATIONS OCCUPIED BY THE BALTIMORE AND POTOMAC COMPANY AND THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD
Attention is invited to the recommendation contained in my annual reports for 1886 and 1887 in reference to reservation No. 101.
This reservation, lying just south of the Smithsonian Park, contains about 2 acres and is unimproved; it is partly occupied by the Balti more and Potomac Railroad Company, the tracks of which run through the reservation. The laws under which the company claim authority for their occupancy are fully set forth in my report for 1886.
The return of the reservation to the purpose for which it was origi nally intended, namely, a public park, for the adornment of the city, is earnestly urged by citizens living in the vicinity. Attention is invited to the fact that without authority of law, and in violation of section 223 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia, the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Company is now occupying United States reservations No. 174, 178, 241, and 309, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company is occupying Reservation No. 201.
I have reported fully, from time to time, the facts of the occupancy of these reservations by the railroad companies and the subject has been referred to the law officers of the Government.
Under date of September 12, 1887, Citizens' Association No. 3, through its secretary, Mr. Samuel H. Walker, requested me to include Reserva
tion No. 201, now occupied by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, in my estimates for improvements during the coming year; the reservation covers an area of over a half acre, and its improvement will cost, including a post-and-chain fence around it, about $1,000; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company claim that they are occupying the reservation with the assent of the District Commissioners, which they received in 1884, and that the company was offered a lease of the ground at that time.
Until the law officers of the Government succeed in dispossessing the company of the ground, or the company abandons it of its own volition, it will be useless to make any appropriation for its improvement. Under date of October 15, 1887, I called upon the company in writing to remove its tracks from the reservation, and under date of October 20, 1887, received a reply, stating that it was the intention of the company to make, as soon as practicable, such other arrangements as would enable it to remove its tracks from the premises in question. At the close of the fiscal year the reservation was still occupied by the company.
It is hoped that some action will be taken to protect the property of the United States from being occupied by the railroad companies without authority of law.
SETTEES, MANURE, PAINTING IRON FENCES, TOOLS, AND REMOVING SNOW AND ICE.
One hundred and fifty new park settees were purchased during the year and distributed throughout the parks, making a total on the public grounds of 1,787; 233 old settees have been repaired and 292 repainted. About 1,000 cubic yards of manure and 700 cubic yards of soil were purchased and, thoroughly incorporated into rich compost; this was used in spreading over lawns and around trees and shrubs. In addi tion to the compost, 10 tons of guano was mixed with fine soil, and scattered over the lawns in the parks where compost was not used.
In addition to the removal of high iron fences and the erection of post-and-chain fences, as mentioned in the foregoing portions of this report, the iron fences, lamp-posts, drinking-fountains, vases, etc., have been painted at Lincoln, Stanton, and Folger parks, at 19 smaller reservations in the eastern section of the city on Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina avenues, at Farragut Square, McPherson Square, DuPont Circle, Iowa Circle, Mount Vernon Square, 2 reservations on Connecticut avenue, 5 on Massachusetts avenue west, 2 at Scott Circle, 1 near Iowa Circle, 4 on Rhode Island avenue, and 6 on New York avenue.
The large fountains in Mount Vernon Park, at the intersection of Pennsylvania avenue and Twenty-eighth street, were painted, and also the vases and drinking-fountains in Judiciary Square, Washington Circle, Smithsonian Park, Lafayette Square, Lincoln Square, Franklin Square, and in various triangular parks throughout the city.
A blacksmith and helper were employed during the year repairing tools in daily use and new tools were purchased from time to time when needed; a large 600-gallon patent sprinkling-wagon, for use in keeping down the dust in summer, was purchased in May, 1888.
A large temporary force was employed after each snow-storm during the months of December, January, February, and March removing snow and ice.
The season was one of unexampled severity, and there were twelve
snow-storms of more or less violence, requiring the removal of snow immediately after their cessation.
The first occurred on December 17 the fall was heavy, and necessitated the employment of about 150 men, at a cost of $200. The storm of January 25 was also a heavy one, necessitating the employment of over 200 men, at a cost of $275.
The total length of the paths and sidewalks under supervision of this office, from which snow must be removed after each storm, is about 16 miles, the area being over 30 acres; this year the appropriation was exhausted by March 15.
Owing to the small amounts heretofore appropriated the work is not always done satisfactorily, and frequently only one-half the sidewalks can be cleaned off; this sometimes causes bitter complaint from citizens, who blame the officer in charge for not doing better, when he is doing all that is possible with the means at his command.
It is earnestly recommended that an appropriation of $1,500 be made for removing snow and ice during the coming fiscal year.
FOUNTAINS, WATER-PIPES, AND FIRE-PLUGS.
There are 21 fountains with basins in charge of this office, located as follows: Executive Mansion Grounds, 2; Lincoln Square, 2; Stanton Square, 2; Rawlins Square, 2; and 1 each in Folger Square, Judiciary Square, Mount Vernon Square, Franklin Square, Iowa Circle and the reservations at Massachusetts avenue and Twentieth street, New York avenue and Third street, New York avenue and Tenth street, Pennsylvania avenue and Ninth street, Pennsylvania avenue and Nineteenth street, Pennsylvania avenue and Twenty-first street, Pennsylvania avenue and Twenty-eighth street, and Delaware avenue and First street, east. There are 25 drinking-fountains in the various parks.
All the fountains with basins have been repaired and put in good order, but owing to the limited supply of water it has been necessary to restrict their flow, except those in the Executive Mansion Grounds, to two or three hours daily. Repairs are constantly necessary to all the fountains, and much trouble has arisen from injury to the drains by sticks and stones thrown into the basins by children.
It becomes necessary to renew every spring the cups attached to the drinking-fountains, as during the year the chains are broken and cups
The necessary care was bestowed upon the water-pipes during the year; repairs were made from time to time; and in the late autumn the water was shut off from the parks, the hose-valves removed and stored for the winter. The valves were replaced in the spring and water turned
Water-pipes were introduced into the reservations at the intersection of Indian avenue and Third street west, Eighth and B streets southeast, and Ninth and A street northeast.
Extensive improvements were made in connections of the greenhouses and nurseries with the water-mains in the Monument grounds and a much better supply of water obtained.
Seventeen hundred and fifty feet of hose has been purchased and used in connection with extending water-pipes.
Repairs were made from time to time to the pipes conveying the water from the spring situated in the new reservoir to the Capitol.
It was found that the pipe leading to the Capitol had been tapped for use of the Government Printing Office in May, 1885, and that the
supply of water for the Capitol had been consequently reduced. At the request of this office, in November, 1887, the Public Printer directed that the pipe leading to his office should be disconnected. It is believed that other connections have been made with the pipe, but at what places has not yet been discovered.
In August, 1886, the spring-house was cleaned out and the connec tion with the main pipe carefully examined.
On laying bare the pipe at the spring-house a dip was discovered about 5 feet from the house, and a stop-valve, which was covered with 2 feet of earth. The fall of the pipe was about one-quarter of an inch to the foot. A wooden plug was found jammed in the joint of the pipe at the dip, which had evidently obstructed the flow of water for many years.
The outlet pipe passes diagonally through a stone block in the foundation; the chamber through the stone was cut down, the outlet lowered 5 inches, the stop-cock placed inside the spring-house, and four lengths of pipe relaid in a concrete foundation with an even fall from the spring to the connection with the pipe-line.
South of the spring-house a space about 10 feet by 6 feet was laid bare to the foundation and two other pipes discovered, an upper one of wood and lower of iron; the upper was disconnected, but the lower was found to be connected with it about 5 feet below the surface; these pipes were at once closed with concrete so that the entire water supply should be used for the purposes originally intended. Since the completion of this work there appears to have been an ample supply of water at the Capitol. Mr. Clifford Richardson, the chemist of the District of Columbia, who has recently made analyses of the water from the Franklin Square spring, the Capitol spring, the city spring at C street, Young's spring, C street, a well at Seventeenth and K streets, and the Potomac River, informed me under date of December 19, 1887, that the water from the Capitol spring was by far the purest that we have in the city.
PARK LAMPS AND LIGHTING.
The usual attention was given to the lamps during the year; a large number of lamp-posts were repainted, several lanterns replaced with larger ones, and others repaired where necessary.
The ornamental lamp-posts and lanterns were removed from the spurs of the pedestal of the statue at Thomas Circle and re-erected upon marble pedestals placed at the extremities of diameters of the circle, thus affording better light upon sidewalks.
There are in all 406 lamps and 481 burners belonging to the Department; one lamp was removed and one erected during the year.
The average number of lamps not connected with meters burning during the year was 318; each lamp burned about 2,600 hours and consumed about 15,600 feet of gas. In addition to these there were 71 lamps within the Executive Mansion Grounds, connected with the meter of the Mansion.
Attention is invited to the fact that the Grounds, south of the Executive Mansion, known as the White Lot, are without lamps of any kind. I suggested last year a tower 150 feet high, from which 6 arc lamps of 2,000-candle power each should be shown. Further consideration of the subject leads me to believe that a tower standing in the middle of the beautiful ellipse, with its guys to various points, would greatly disfigure it, and I therefore recommend that 7 iron posts, each 25 feet high, be erected around the ellipse, from which electric lights shall be shown