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Tenth. For laying asphalt walks in various reservations, $5,000. It is proposed to replace with first-class asphalt walks the gravel paths in Washington Circle, Mount Vernon Square, Executive Mansion Grounds (south side), Lincoln Square, Stanton Square, Folger Square, Marion Square, Henry and Seaton parks, and to renew those in Farragut Square and Iowa Circle. In the late fall, winter, and early spring these walks are muddy, and pedestrians seek the lawns, which are thus destroyed by trespassers. The amount of these paths which it is proposed to lay this year, is about 3,500 square yards. Each autumn it becomes necessary to put down plank walks, which must again be removed in the spring. If asphalt walks are laid the annual expense incident to plank walks will be avoided.
Eleventh. For improvement, care, and maintenance of various reservations, $20,000.
The funds required under this head are for the purchase of materials for, and the care of, the improved parks and for the improvement of as many as possible of the 227 unimproved reservations; each year from three to five are added to the list of improved reservations, and if the funds now requested become available eight or ten can be added during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890; as reservatious are thus improved the expense of the care of the whole is slightly increased, for the improvements must be maintained.
Twelfth. For the improvement, care, and maintenance of Smithsonian Grounds, including the construction of asphalt roads and paths, $8,000.
This reservation, covering an area of over 58 acres, is the largest and one of the handsomest in the city, and has within its limits the Smithsonian Building, the National Museum, and the new Army Medical Museum.
The roads and paths, with one or two exceptions, are of gravel, and become dusty in summer and muddy in winter; a first-class asphalt road pavement is now in course of construction in front of the Smithsonian Building, running from Seventh to Twelfth street, a distance of about 1,700 feet and covering an area of about 7,500 square yards; 5,400 square yards has been laid, and it is hoped that a sufficient appropriation will be made to complete the whole road during the season of 1888. With the appropriation now requested it is proposed to lay about 1,500 square yards of roadway pavement, about 1,000 square yards of asphalt paths leading through the park to the Museum, and to maintain in good condition the gravel roads and paths, gutters, lawns, trees, shrubs, and drainage of this handsome park.
Thirteenth.-For improvement, care, and maintenance of Henry (Armory) and Seaton parks, $2,500. These reservations, extending from Seventh street to the Botanical Gardens, cover an area of 34 acres, with road and walk surfaces of over 10,000 square yards. They are in an advanced state of improvement. Their beauty has been marred by the depot and tracks of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad. A mound has been constructed around the depot, upon which it is intended to plant trees and shrubs, so that in time the depot will be hidden partially from view. The materials for this mound have thus far been obtained free of expense to the United States, and it is now proposed to grade the mound and to seed and plant it. The funds requested are needed for this purpose, and for the care of roads, lawns, gutters, etc., and laying out additional paths.
Fourteenth.-For improvement, care, and maintenance of Judiciary Square, including grounds around the new Pension Building, $7,000.
This square contains an area of 20 acres, and includes within its limits the court-house and the new Pension Building. It is crowded daily with persons having business in these buildings. The appropriation now requested will be used, if granted, for completing the improvements around the Pension Building, including asphalt roads and paths leading thereto, and in the general care of this large reservation.
Fifteenth. For lodges for park watchmen in Stanton, Mount Vernon, Iowa, Du Pont, Thomas, McPherson, and Folger reservations, at $500 each, $3,500.
The watchmen in these reservations are exposed to the inclemency of the weather at all seasons of the year. Rain or shine, hot or cold, night or day, year in and out, they must be at their stations, and take shelter, when necessary, either under a tree or in such a dwelling or store as will offer its hospitality.
The dictates of humanity call for this appropriation.
Sixteenth. For supplying and keeping supplied the vases in the new Pension Building with suitable plants and shrubs, $1,000.
The joint resolution of Congress approved March 29, 1886, requires that the seventy-six large vases on the upper corridor of the new Pension Building shall be filled and kept filled with suitable plants and shrubs. This estimate is submitted in order that I may be able to comply with the terms of the law.
Seventeenth. For care, repair, and refurnishing the Executive Mansion, $16,000.
This old building needs continual repairs and repainting to maintain it in a neat and habitable condition. Much of the furniture is old and needs renewing, while new carpets are required in many of the rooms.
During the past eleven years the appropriations for this purpose have been as follows: 1878, $20,000; 1879, $25,000; 1880, $25,000; 1881, $20,000; 1882, 850,000; 1883, $40,000; 1884, $28,000; 1885, $22,500; 1886, $16,000, including $4,000 for new roof; 1887, $16,000; 1888, $16,000; 1889, $16,000. It will be observed that since July 1, 1885, the appropriations have been much less than previous to that time.
It is earnestly recommended that this appropriation be made, as it is. absolutely necessary in order to maintain in a neat and habitable condition the mansion provided for the office and the residence of the Chief Executive of the nation.
Eighteenth.-For care and necessary repair of greenhouses, $5,000. The sum appropriated for this purpose during the past five years has been annually only $4,000, while in previous years it was $5,500. The greenhouses were constructed previous to 1885 under appropriations made by Congress, and need continual repair; they require the constaut supervision of three experienced gardeners, while the assistance of laborers from time to time is necessary; at this time the wood-work of the superstructure of the main conservatory is in very bad condition and requires immediate and extensive repairs.
Nineteenth. For erecting seven lamp posts in the ellipse south of the Executive Mansion, from the top of which shall be shown electric lights, $1,000.
For electric lights for three hundred and sixty-five nights from seven lamps, at 70 cents per night each, $1,785.50.
The grounds south of the Executive Mansion, now highly improved, are without lights. It is believed that the electric lights mentioned above will shed a soft, mellow light over the entire reservation.
Twentieth. For replacing the overhead wires between the Capitol and the Departments with a duplicate underground six-wire cable, $8,500.
This subject has been discussed in the preceding pages of this report. The growth of the trees on the sidewalks renders it absolutely necessary, in order to maintain telegraphic communication over these wires, either to erect at once taller poles at a cost of about $1,600, or to lay an underground cable at a cost of $8,500. The former plan is but a tem porary expedient, as in time the overhead-wire system through cities must be abolished. The underground cable is far preferable, and favorable action upon this estimate is earnestly recommended.
Financial statement for fiscal year ending June 30, 1883.
It gives me pleasure again to express my appreciation of the efficient manner in which Mr. George H. Brown, the public gardener, and Mr. E. F. Concklin, the overseer and chief clerk, have performed their various and important duties. It has been my good fortune to have the assistance of these two gentlemen in the discharge of my official duties during the past three years, and I earnestly commend them for their untiring energy and their fidelity to the interests of the Government and the work committed to their charge.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. WILSON, Lieut. Col. Corps of Engineers, Colonel U. S. Army.
The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U. S. A.
Ꮓ Ꮓ 2.
REPORT, WITH ESTIMATE, RESPECTING A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF UNDERGROUND WIRES FOR TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE SERVICE TO CONNECT THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND BUREAUS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN WASHINGTON CITY.
OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS,
Washington, D. C., April 9, 1888. GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the following resolution of the United States Senate:
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
March 26, 1883.
Resolved, That the Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds is hereby directed to report to the Senate on or before Monday, the 16th day of April, 1888, a
comprehensive system of underground wires for telegraph and telephone service, to connect the several Departments and Bureaus of the Government in Washington City, presenting in detail the same, and an itemized estimate of cost. Attest:
In compliance with the terms of this resolution I have the honor to submit the following report:
At this time the United States has no established Government system of telephone wires connecting the various Departments, and with the exception of two 6-conductor Waring anti-induction underground cables running from the State, War, and Navy Building through the Executive Mansion to the Capitol, the Government is entirely dependent for telegraphic facilities upon overhead wires.
These cables were laid in the fall of 1883 free of cost to the United States by the Standard Underground Cable Company, with the understanding that they should "be maintained at the expense of the company until March 1, 1884," "and thereafter two of the cables
to remain in the possession of the United States."
The United States overhead wires are now strung on low poles, and are a nuisance to which the public should no longer be subjected. The growth of trees on the sidewalks along the lines has reached such a condition that during wet or windy weather the wires are almost useless. For several days after the severe storm of March 11, 1888, the overhead lines were in a most demoralized condition, and had it not been for the underground cable, telegraphic communication between the Capitol and the Executive Mansion would have been impossible.
I have the honor to submit herewith a map of the city of Washington, showing the proposed routes for a comprehensive system of telegraph and telephone underground wires, connecting the several Departments and Bureaus of the Government in this city.
It is proposed to connect the different Departments by trunk lines, with branch lines leading to subsidiary points. The trunk routes are laid down in heavy red lines, the branch routes in broken red lines. The Departments and Bureaus to be connected are as follows:
(1) TRUNK LINES.
Capitol, Government Printing Office, Pension Building, Interior Department, Post-Office Department, National Museum, Treasury Department, Department of Justice, Executive Mansion, State, War, and Navy Building.
(2) BRANCH LINES.
Winder Building, Signal Office, Naval Observatory, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Propagating Gardens, Agricultural Department, Smithsonian Institution, Army Medical Museum, Armory, Coast Survey Building, Washington Barracks, navy-yard, and Marine Barracks.
Letters of refer
ence on diagram B.
The number of conductors, the total number of feet of conductors, and the number of linear feet of trench box to be laid are given in the following table:
X. Branch line from B street to Bureau of Engraving and Printing..
Cross town line on Ninth street, Louisiana avenue, and Eighth
10,550 28, 600
1,040 800 9,270
6, 200 2,580 3,000
Navy-yard branch from main trench.
From navy-yard to Marine Barracks
Less cable already laid on B street route..
1,189, 045 187, 140
1, 001, 905