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          San Francisco, October 17, 1865.

          Hon. Charles James,
          Collector of the Port of San Francisco.

          Sir:–

          In conformity with your instructions the undersigned beg leave to report that upon a careful and thorough inspection of every portion of the Custom House building immediately after the shock of the earthquake of Sunday October 8, find that the entire structure from the floor upon which the Post Office is located, has sustained a considerable degree of damage. The greater portion of the injury done, consists of cracks, and fractures, running through the brickwork of the exterior,–as well as through the walls of the safes;–and other portions of the interior walls adjoining the stairways and at the landings thereof. The cracks in the interior run the entire height of the walls of those portions of the building we have designated,–and the separations vary from the most minute fracture to the width of half an inch, and as a natural consequence, the plastering is shattered and broken to a very great extent, from the Post Office floor which is the first above the basement as we proceed upward through the building.

          A considerable portion of the plaster ornaments and mouldings in the Custom House room, and others places have fallen, and other portions including plain work, mouldings, lentils and modillions,–the weight of which renders them liable to fall at any time upon the slightest jar or concussion of this building,–are so shattered and broken as to make them insecure and unsafe.

          The late earthquake has demonstrated the fact that the style of plaster finish of the Custom House room (although beautiful in itself as originally executed) is entirely unsuitable for the future in this City,–consequently we deem it our duty to furnish the estimate marked "A" for an entirely different style of finish; we further herewith submit the estimate marked "B" for the actual repairs and finish of this portion according to its original style,–in other words as it was before the occurrence of the earthquake. As a natural consequence the repairs of these injuries will involve the necessity of coloring or whitening the entire interior of the building.

          The repairs of the exterior walls, –as well as the existing condition of the mastic finish of the same further establish the necessity of painting those portions,–even for preservation which reasoning also required the painting of the roof. A considerable portion of the brickwork will require to be removed and rebuilt with iron anchors,–and the item of masons work will extend to painting and repairs in connection with the outside steps and granite work,–for all of which the following estimates have been made, of the actual damage sustained in the premises, and the consequent expense involved in the necessary repairs and finish of the same. In addition to the damages we have particularized and specially set forth in this connection, there are many minor injuries, requiring repairs,–such as the tin work of the roof and the pipes and plumbing apparatus,–and many of the doors and windows require attention. There area also many minor matters connected with the whole subject,–the setting forth of which in detail, would involve a prolixity, and expenditure of words which we do not deem necessary to include within the limits of this statement.

          The San Francisco Custom House is a massive, and substantial brick building,–with a store basement and solid foundation resting upon piles,–of various lengths from twenty five to sixty feet. It has always been regarded by competent judges as one of the most superior and substantially built structures erected on the Pacific coast.

          There are marks on the plans and photograph accompanying this which will to that extent indicate points where the walls of the building have sustained injury.
          Estimate of the cost of the work contemplated. "A"

          For masons working including plastering and iron work.

          $3,800.00

          For Painting certain portions of the interior

          500.00

          For Painting exterior including the roof.

          3,300.00

          For repairs of plumbing and tin work.

          600.00

          For Painting the Custom House room imitation of fresco.

          [and,]

          For dispensing with plaster ornaments therein.

          1,500.00

          For incidental expenses.

          485.00

          Total...

          $10,185.00


          Estimate of the cost of the work contemplated. "B"

          For masons work including plastering and iron work.

          $5,100.00

          For Painting certain portions of the interior

          500.00

          For Painting exterior including the roof.

          3,300.00

          For repairs of plumbing and tin work.

          600.00

          For incidental expenses.

          475.00

          Total...

          $9,975.00

          We would desire to say,– in conclusion, that as our estimate of the extent of these injuries,– and the expense involved in their repairs are based upon our actual survey and thorough examination of the same in detail,–the foregoing expenditures cannot be reduced in any particular, without involving an unfaithful,–insecure, and consequently unsafe execution of the work.

          All of which is respectfully submitted.

          William Craine, architect.
          George Cofran, builder

          Done in duplicate.
          Craine, William "Report of damage to Custom House by the earthquake of Oct. 8, 1865 [dated] Oct. 17, 1865," by William Craine and George Cofran.
          Original manuscript and photocopy are held by the Earthquake Engineering
          Research Center Library, U.C. Berkeley.