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Records Relating To
National Zoological Park Ownership
Of The Land

Document Date Contents Notes Source
1890 to 1899
Suggestions offered by W.R. Emerson with reference to the repairs to the Holt House 5/12/1890 'Balcony on the righ and left of the south front to be torn away entirely, and the cellar windows underneith to be enlarged. At AA cut windows (See sketch) - Take bars away from all cellar windows; all wood work to be removed, and as much light and air as possible put into the cellars. Ground to be excavated, and area built outside the basement windows. A window as large as possible to be placed in each wing of the basement, and to be dropped within three feet of the floor - In the lower hall, do not touch windows in entrance; put in new door sill of oak 2 1/2 inches thick. - Floor of basement hall (or center room) to be taken up; concrete laid underneath and new floor put down. About $40.00 for concreting. Put a portable furnace in each wing to heat upper part of building. (Mr. E. thinks they should not cost over $200.00 each). Around the building, dig to the bottom of the foundation wall at bottom against outside wall with properly inclined drain and fill in with cement. This for dryness. Leave all closets and cupboards as they are. Upper floor: (Wall at top of stairs to be cut away and all the space thrown into one big room.) To do this the posts dividing the door must be taken away. - The outer floor to come up and a new hard pine floor laid level; all the rotten timbers that exist must be renewed. - (Ginger jars.) Skylight in the roof of the large room to be considered later. - Outside: Patch up the plastering on the outside walls, so as to leave it exactly as now. Give the whole outside a good coat of yellow wash. Roof to be reshingled, and probably new roof boarding throughout. - Chimneys to be taken down to some solid and convenient place, and then rebuilt anew with common bricks, and plaster like the base of the present ones. - All old tin gutters and conductors to be stripped off and new ones subsituted; these to lead as far as practicable to the cistern. - Front steps on north-westerly side to be entirely taken away, and somewhat similar structure of wood to take its place. All old structures and outhouses to be taken down. Old ruins near the foot bridge to be strengthened; a floor to be run over each and then surmounted by a roof on poles, so as to be open on all sides. This will be a convenience for foot passengers. - NOTE. These suggestions were offered by Mr. Emerson on the spot after a personal examinations of the premises.' Provides verbal description of Holt House at this time; note that there was also reference made to plastering, painting, wood-work, etc. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 4
Letter to Secretary Langley From W.R. Emerson, Architect 6/30/1890 'Appropriation would not cover, I feared, all that the Holt House required, so I was forced to omit some things at first, which could be added later:-perhaps the skylight over the main room might be omitted...' In regard to Emerson's suggestions, see also document of 5/12/1890. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 4
Letter to Dr. Baker from Assistant Inspector of Buildings (no name given) 8/13/1890 '...I have examined the walls of the building known as Holt Mansion...and find them to be old delapidated and out of repair, and in my judgement entirely unfit for the purpose of a permanent building. To repair them probably should cost nearly if not as much as to rebuild them. And when repaired you would have nothing but an old building. I have no hesitation in recomending their condemnation and removal...' At this time Holt House was in need of repairs if it was to function as an administrative building for the zoo. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 8
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Secretary Langley 11/7/1890 'I note by your statement that $1575.10 of the $2000.00 appropriated for the Holt House, have already been expended and that of this, $786.10 have gone to labor, $697.06 for materials and $91.88 for office furniture. - I am afraid that I have not made my wishes heretofore as clear as I had intended. These were; that unless the Comptroller objected, no expendse should be put upon this appropriation except for materials and the unavoidable services of laborers. I quite approve, for instance, the item of $91.98 as indispensable to the furnishing of your office in this building, but if I have approved this as a charge on the Holt House, where the articles cannot be used for an indefinate time to come, I must have done so inadvertently; and I may say the same of the regular employes like Mr. Reed, whose services I should have preferred to see charged to a different account. - At any rate, we have now before us the fact that only $424.90 of this appropriation remain unexpended, that the building is the only place where our workmen and others can be sheltered during winter, and that we must get it protected against the inclemency of the weather, at least so far as to secure what has already been done before this cold weather comes. Please, therefore, bear in mind what I have just said in assigning any future expenditures to this account.' See Baker's Letter to Langley dated 11/5/1890 regarding work he wanted done at Holt House. It is clear that only 'necessary' repairs could be afforded at this time. SIA RU 34 Box 25 Outgoing Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 5.1
Letter to Superintendent Baker from Glenn Brown, Architect 5/9/1896 'Estimate for repairs to the Holt House including, but not only, doors, brick, plastering, stairs, two porches, etc. Totalling an amount of $4,103.06.' Architect's estimate and suggestion for repairs to the Holt House. Note that this work was not done. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 1
Letter to Dr. Baker From Glenn Brown, Architect 6/27/1898 '...in reference to the repairs of the Holt House...iron beams should replace the wooden lintels and that the present walls should be underpinned...' Structural Repairs were suggested for walls of Holt House. Walls were in fact underpinned. See Director's Diary entry dated 8/6/1898. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 13
Letter to Superindendent Baker From Glenn Brown, Architect 10/11/1898 Mentions that he had submitted drawings with an estimate on the proposed improvements to the Holt House. States that '...the floor of the basement room has been arranged so it will be above the outside grade...I think it would injure the effect of the entrance way to alter it...' Discussion by Secretary Langley of lowering the grade of the floors in the basement 'one more foot' in a letter of 9/27/1898 appears to be an idea rejected by the architect. Note that although plans are discussed, none follow this document. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 1
William T. Hornaday Real Estate Record Book - Acquisition and Assessment 1/1/1889 'Property- 13 75/100 Acres on Jackson Hill, near Rock Creek - Improvements- The only improvement is the house...said to be about 45 years old, and in need of repairs. Anyone buying this tract would undoubtedly pull down this house - Price- Dr. Holt stated that his price is...$59,875 for the whole - Assessed Value-...in 1886 $108 per acre; Estimated value in 1889...estimated at $40,000...appraised at $35,000 - Desireability-an unfortunate necessity to include the Holt property...' Holt House was to be included as zoo property only because it was necessary to zoo plan; house was in obviously poor condition. - Note underestimation of age of house. - SIA RU 74 Box 289 Added Accession: NZP Commission Records, 1888-1891 Folder 9 p. 12
Circular to Dr. Holt, From Langley, Secretary 1/1/1889 Circular states intent of zoo commission to purchase land 'appropriate for a zoological park' and requests owner to 'furnish them...with a written statement of the lowest price at which you will agree to sell...13 3/4 Acres, more or less. Situated near Rock Creek, and bounded on three sides by a tract known as Columbia Mill Property.' NZP was interested in purchase of Holt House and property. SIA RU 74 Added Accession, NZP Box 289 Folder 8-NZP: Real Estate Material Kept by W.T. Hornaday
William T. Hornaday Real Estate Record Book - Acquisition and Assessment 1/1/1889 Document listing Holt Property and Papers Furnished as 'Abstract of Title. Copy of Deed.' - Note on document to 'Get from King or Gordan and Gordan' The zoo apparently was to obtain a title and deed to Holt property, which was not furnished here, from King or Gordan and Gordan- position and relavence are not known. SIA RU 74 Added Accession Box 289 Folder 8
Letter to National Zoological Park Commission - Sender unknown 1/1/1889 In regard to land value of proposed park grounds- Dr. Holt's property was listed as having an area of 13 3/4 acres and an estimated value of $35000. Where 'in every case, the estimate includes the house...' Note: Sender's name is cut-off from bottom of letter. SIA RU 74 Added Accession, NZP Commission Records, 1888-1891 Box 289 Folder 8
Letter To Dr. H.C. Holt From S.P. Langley, Commisssioner and Secretary 7/02/1889 'The Commission having received your letter of June 28, offering to take $40,000.00 for your property, called Jackson Hill, containing thirteen and three-quarter acres, more or less...hereby accept the offer...' Written agreement sent to Dr. Holt accepting stated price for his property. SIA RU 74 Added Accession.NZP Box 289 Folder 2: Journal of NZP Commission, 1889-1890
Memorandum from the National Zoological Park 1/1/1890 'Specification of the material to be furnished and labour to be performed in the alterations and additions to restore in good condition the Old Holt House. - Papers filed in drawer on right hand side of desk. NZP' Document is dated 'Summer, 1890' Because of date, the specifications probably refer to those the architect W.R. Emerson had done around this period. SIA RU 74 Box 48 Folder 15
Journal of National Zoological Park Commission, 1889-1890 1/1/1890 NZP resolved under the 'direction of the Act of Congress...does now select from that district of country, a tract of land comprised of the following several parcels: Of the Property Known as the Holt Property...13 acres $35,000.00...That the Commissioners accept the offer of Doctor H.C. Holt, at Forty thousand dollars...' Two conflicting values appear in one document as to the price agreed upon for the Holt Property. SIA RU 74 Added Accession NZP Box 289 Folder 2
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to the Old Holt House National Zoological Park. 1/1/1890 'The House upon which these alterations and additions are to be made is situated within the National Zoological Park, a short distance to the north of Columbia Road, D.C. It has already been partially dismantled, the roof and a considerable portion of the plastering having been removed. General Conditions. The contractor is to provide at his own expense all the plant, materials, and labor necessary for the complete and substantial execution of everything described, shown, or reasonably implied in the drawings and specifications, including all transportation. He must give his own personal superintendence to the work during its progress, and see that everything is constructed in the most careful manner, and according to the true intent and meaning of these drawings and specifications, all of which are attached to the contract, and form a part thereof. These specifications and accompanying drawings are intended to correspond and be illustrative of each other, so that any work shown in the one and not in the other is to be executed the same as if in both. All materials and fixtures throughout are to be the best of their respective kinds, and all work throughout is to be done in a good, substantial, workmanlike manner, and to the satisfaction of the Acting Manager of the Park or his agent. During the progress of the entire work great care must be taken not to injure the shrubbery and vines upon and around the building. The contractor will be held responsible for injury done them, other than that necessary for cutting the walls, and for any such injury deduction will be made. The contractor will cover and protect the work and materials from all danger during the progress of operations, and will clear away from time to time, as may be necessary, all dirt and rubbish resulting from the work. On completion he will throughly clean all doors and windows, and leave the premises in good order. The contractor will subsitute at his own cost and without delay, satisfactory work and materials for any that may be rejected, and make good other work that may be disturbed thereby. The entire work must be completed and delivered within sixty calendar days from the award of the contract, and for each and every day's delay after that period shall have expired, the sum of twenty dollars ($20.00) per day will be forfeited, the forfeiture to be enforced at the discretion of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. These specifications and the accompanying drawings are intended to express all that is necessary to enable the Government to aquire a first-class piece of work...'(cont. next entry) Specifications for contractor with regard to Holt House repairs and Alterations (cont.) SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7
Specificaitons for Repairs and alterations to the Old Holt House National Zoological Park. 1/1/1890 '...thoroughly done in every respect, but if any omission or error be discovered in the drawings or specifications the contractor will not take advantage of it, but will refer for information to the Acting Manager or his agent, the Government reserving the right to order any details to be provided without additional cost, should it be evident from the general tenor of these specifications that such detais were originally intended or that they are essential to the proper workmanlike construction and completion of the work. - Bids are requested as follows: - 1. For the entire work described in the specifications. - 2. For the entire work omitting the following in the basement. - a. Walls not to be built above offsets. - b. Windows not to be cut down. - c. Inside doors and door-frames not to be fitted. Outside dorrs must be furnished and fitted as specified. - d. Floors not to be laid except brick floor of furnace room. Concrete and sleepers must be laid as specified. - e. Plastering not to be done. - f. Westerly room to be left unfinished except outside door and windows. - Excavating and Concreting. Excavate the entire basement, including the south entrance, to the depth of eight inches, and lay a bed of tar concrete two inches thick over the whole surface, except in the furnace rooms. Upon this layer place and level sleepers of #1 Georgia pine, two inches by three inches, spaced 16 inches from centers. Fill in between the sleepers with tar concrete well rolled, level with the tops of the same. Grade off the ground on the North and South sides sufficient to come below the sills of the windows of the basement story when the same shall be extended as described in the specifications for brick-work. - Carpenter's Specifications. Timber. All timber, except where otherwise specified, to be good, sound, well seasoned, Virginia pine, free from large knots, waney pieces and shakes, and cut straight to full size. Roof. Frame the new roofs of 2-inch by 6-inch rafters, spaced 24 inches from centers, with collar-beams 1 inch by 6 inches by 8 feet on each rafter. Sheath with 1-inch sheathing, laid close and nailed with three nails in each board over 10 inches wide, and for other widths in proportion. Then shingle all roofs and cornices, including eaves on roof over south entrance with #1 heart cypress shingles...' Specifications for Holt House Alterations, see also document of 6/3/1890: Emerson specifications. (Cont.) SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to the Old Holt House National Zoological Park. Cont. 1/1/1890 '...6 inches by 20 inches, laid 6 inches to the weather. Before laying all shingles must be completely dipped in boiled linseed oil stained with Venetian red. Cornices, etc. Make good with new material all cornices and other wood not perfectly sound; all new work to conform to the old in general style. Skylight. Frame holes in roof and ceiling of upper story for sky- and ceiling-lights as shown in drawings. Put in a ridge skylight, Bickelhoupt Brothers' patent, 7 feet by 7 feet, with ventilator (Note. Shown in fig. 65 of O.L. Wolfsteiner & Co.'s catalogue.) and a ceiling-light 8 feet by 8 feet, as shown on drawings. The frame of the ceiling-light will be of wood. Glaze both lights with fluted glass 1/4 inch thick. Trap Door. Cut out a trap 2 feet by 3 feet in the roof of the east side of the west wing at the south end of the water tank to be hereafter described. Make a trap-door to be covered with tin. Arrange traps so that it can be fastened from the outside. Water-tank. Over water-closets in west end of building, between ceiling-joists and rafters, construct a water-tank of white pine well-seasoned as shown by detailed drawings. The sides to be in one piece and to be tongued into the bottom and the ends into the sides, and securely nailed with twenty-penny nails. Across the bottom, in each space between ceiling-joists, screw with three-inch a batten, 1 3/8 by 5 inches. Each side of the tank must run three inches beyond the ends. Put two iron tie rods, 5/8 inches in diameter, across each end and through the projecting sides, securing the rod by a head on one side and a nut on the other, and also by an iron strip, 1/2 by 2 inches and 2 feet 2 inches long, with holes for the rods to pass through. The tank must be supported as shown on detailed drawings, and two frames put around it to keep it from spreading. Make cover for tank of 7/8-inch white pine in three pieces. Ceiling. Remove the joists of the ceiling of the upper story and replace them by 2 by 8-inch joists spaced 16 inches from centers. Floors. Remove all floors and floor joists. Put in new joists of the sizes given on plans. Double them under all partitions and around chimneys and well-holes. All floor-joists to be well bridged with 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch Virginia bridging, cut to fit the joists and securely nailed with two ten-penny nails in each end. Put three rows of this bridging under the floor of the large central room, two rows under all other floors. The floors are to be 7/8 inch, #1 Georgia pine flooring, not over three inches wide, well driven up and blind nailed into every joist or sleeper....' Continued specifications for Alterations to Holt House (Note: See other documents of this date). SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to the Old Holt House National Zoological Park. 1/1/1890 '...Partitions. Carefully remove all wooden partitions, and take down all doors. Put up all partitions with new three by four-inch studding, spaced 16 inches from centers. The partition north of the large central room must have one row of cross bridging through the center. The partition supporting the tank must be framed in the manner shown in drawings. To the water-closets put up a partition and front of #1 Virginia pine partition stuff. Door Frames. In all new partitions, for the outside door of the ladies' room and for all openings in brick walls in the basement, make new door frames of 1 3/4 inch white pine, with 18-inch pivoted transoms. A new Georgia pine lintel must be put over the door at the south entrance to the basement. Doors. All old doors in good condition may be hung in the places where they were before. Make new all doors marked on plan and all other doors that may be in bad condition. All outside doors must be 1 3/4 inches thick. At the water-closet door openings hang white pine slat doors 1 3/8 inches by 2 feet by 5 feet. Hang all doors with 4 by 4-inch japanned acorn hinges, and wherever directed fit them with good mortise tumbler locks, with bronze knobs and trimmings. Window Frames and Sash. Box all window frames and hang sash with pulleys, weights and Silver Lake braided cord. Make new all frames, sash and sills that may be decayed or broken. Put new window frames and sash into all window openings of the basement and the ladies' room and the side windows of the large central room. Glaze sash with double thick German glass and fit with sash-locks. The by twelve-inch, four-light sash of the ladies' room must be hinged and fitted with suitable catches. Bath-tub and closets. Trim bath-tub and water-closets with ash, the tub to be panelled and the closet seats and flaps to be hinged with cast brass hinges. Trimmings. Furnish and put up new all necessary trimmings. The wash-board and trimmings to be the same size and style as the old, the carpet sills to be 1/2 by 4-inch hard wood. Mantels. Take down all old mantels, repair or make good all parts that may be broken or decayed and replace them as before. New wooden mantels of styles similar to the old ones and to be approved by the acting manager will be put in places shown on plans. Stairways. Build two stairways at situations shown on drawings, leading from basement to first floor. Steps to be #1 Virginia pine, 1 1/8 inches thick and balusters of ash 1 3/4 inches, single moulded. Raise and rebuild the circular stairways at the south entrance, using the old steps and frames if practicable. If they are not fit for use ...' Specifications for Alterations to the Holt House (Cont.) See previous documents of this date. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to Old Holt House National Zoological Park cont. 1/1/1890 '...replace them by others of the same general style and of a good quality, using the old rail and balusters. Specifiations for Brick Work. Walls. Point up all cracks, repair and put in good condition all the walls of the building. Repaire tops of all walls where bricks are loose and brick up level with the tops of all ceiling joints. Take down and replace any walls found in bad condition. Build up basement walls from offsets so that may be of uniform thickness from bottom to the top of the joists of the first floor. Doors. Brick up old doors where shown in drawings, also old cellar door on west side of ladies' room. Cut out and brick up jambs for a new door and window on the north side. Cut out for lintel at south front of basement, and replace any part of brick wall that may fall in so doing. Cut out the bottom of the opening for a new door frame. Windows. The windows in the basement marked on the plan are to be lowered so that the openings will be 5 feet high in the clear. Chimneys. All old fire-places, chimneys and hearths must be carefully inspected from the ground up, with the furnace flues from basement and fireplaces on first floor, as shown on plans, the tops to be finished in same style as the others. All flues and chimney-tops to be well plastered on the inside. Fire-places. Cut out and build up with good face-brick all new fire-places shown in drawings, the backs to be fire-brick of the best quality and colored to match other brick-work. Furnish and lay for all new fire-places hearths of 6-ingh Akron tiles, laid in cement, and of the sizes figured on plans or as directed. The old tiling in the fire-places of the east room is to be replaced and a border made therefor if thought necessary. Lay brick floors in furnace rooms and grout the joints with cement after they are down. Old brick may be used for this purpose. Cesspool. Excavate for cesspool where directed and brick it up with dry brick, except the last four courses, which are to be laid in cement. Old bricks may be used. The top must be domed and fitted with a cast iron man-hole and cover. When completed, the cesspool must be 5 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep, inside measure. Plaster's Specifications. Remove all plastering from ceilings, side walls and partitions in basement, form ceilings of first story and from ceilings and side walls of ladies' room. Point up all cracks and breaks in plastering not removed. Plaster side walls and partitions of basement with a good hard sand finish, and all other walls and ceilings with three good coats and a white hard finish...' Specifications for Alterations at Holt House (Cont.) See previous documents of this date. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to Old Holt House National Zoological Park cont. 1/1/1890 '...Tear off all loose plastering on the outside of the house. Replaster it and all other places where broken off and all new brick work including chimney-tops. Tint with a good coat of lime-wash. Cover all of the outside walls with one coat of lime-wash mixed with raw sienna and raw umber, except in places where they are covered with vines. All outside plastering must match old work. Plumber's Specifications. Tank. Line water tank in roof with lead weighing 4 pound to the square foot. Put a small overflow pipe about two inches from the top of the tank, running through the wall to out-side, and a 1-inch supply-pipe in bottom of tank for closets, etc. , with a cutt-off on inside of tank worked from the floor below. Water-closets, etc. Put a 5-foot French bath-tub of 16-ounce copper, a marble wash basin and a Crayon washout closet and tank complete, on first floor in east end of building; and a wash-basin, water-closet and tank of same kind in ladies' room; and a wash-basin and two closets of same kind in west end of basement, as shown on plan. The closet in east end to have a two-inch vent-stack running up 2 feet 6 inches above the roof. The closets in the west end to have 4-inch vent-stack carried to a similar height. Basins and tubs to have Fuller's cocks nickel-plated. All water pipes to be 3/4 inch galvanized iron with all necessary waste and stop-cocks. Connect wash-basins, bath-tub and closets with water tank and hot-water boiler in basement. The bath-tubs and wash-basins to have 1 1/2 inch Duboys lead traps and 1 1/4-inch vents extending up to the eaves, or vent-stacks. Cistern Connections. Connect down-spouts on north side of building with the cistern by means of a four-inch terra-cotta glazed pipe, well cemented and laid about two feet under ground. Sewer. Put a 5-inch extra heavy cast-iron sewer in basement, one foot below the ground, running as shown on plans. Connect this with closet at east end by a 4-inch cast-iron seweer-pipe. This sewer to connect outside of building with a 6-inch terra-cotta sewer running to cesspool, the latter sewer to have a trap and cast-iron vent, extending 3 feet 6 inches above ground, with a cap over the top. It must be placed 2 feet 6 inches below the surface of the ground and the joints all well cemented. After the sewer and drainpipes are laid and inspected, fill up and tightly ram the trenches, carefully excluding all building refuse. Remove any surplus of the excavated material then remaining. All water-closets and wash-basins to have the proper connections with the sewer and vent-stacks...' Specifications for Alterations of Holt House (cont.) See also previous documents of this date. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specifications for Repairs and Alterations to Old Holt House National Zoological Park cont. 1/1/1890 '...Boiler. Put in furnace room a coil stove and a 30- gallon galvinized iron boiler for furnishing hot water to bath-tubs and wash basins. COnnect it with water-tank, basins and bath-tub with a 5/4-inch galvanized iron pipe with all necessary stop and waste-cocks. Put a suction and force pump in basement where shown on plans. Connect it with the cistern and water-tank in roof by a 1 1/4 galvanized iron pipe the end of pipe to run to bottom of cistern with a sieve over the end to prevent trash from being drawn into the pipe. All joints in lead pipe to be plumber's, full- wiped joints. All iron pipes to have full joints, to be well calked with jute and clean lead, and tested by filling with water before covering them up. All terra-cotta pipe to be glazed. All plumber's work to be inspected by the Inspector of plumbing of the District of Columbia. - Painter's Specifications. Paint all new outside work with two and all old woodwork with one coat of paint in pure linseed oil and Lewis's white lead. Putty up all cracks and nail holes with putty colored to match the paint. Paint all tin-work, including roof over south entrance, valleys, gutters and down-spouts with two coats of Prince's metallic paint and boiled oil. - Heating. Furnish and put in place as shown on plan two of S.B. Sexton's # 41 Hot Air Furnaces, with galvanized iron smoke-pipe connected with a pipe of the same kind inside of flue, running up two feet above the floors. Furnish and put in places where shown on plans six 10'' x 14'' registers; connect them with the furnaces by 10'' hat-air pipes. Put tin roof over furnaces to protect ceilings. Run cold-air pipes of the proper size as shown on plans, with wire screen over ends, on the outside of building. - Tinner's Specifications. Roof. Over south entrance put a roof of I.C. charcoal roofing tin and make all valleys and gutters and down-spouts of I.X. bright tin. Trap-door. The trap-door in the roof on the east side of the west wing, described on page (blank) of these specifications is to be covered with I.C. charcoal roofing tin. - (Written in handwriting) A section of the house and some details will also be furnished to bidders but are not seen hereinth as the blue prints are not purchased. Can be sent if desired.' Specifications for Alterations to Holt House, see previous documents of this date. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Report of the National Zoological Park Commission to the Senate and the House of Representatives 1/17/1890 Holt property listed as being 13.360 acres and 'Price Agreede Upon' as $40,000.00 Lists property in budget submitted to Senate and House. SIA RU 74 Added Accession Box 289 Folder 1: NZP Commission Meeting Minutes, July 26, 1890
Letter to Henry C. Holt From Hornaday 3/27/1890 'I am just in receipt of your letter, and in a day or two will stop and see you when I go out to the Park. - The payment of the money due you has been delayed a month beyond what I expected, but Mr. Carpenter told me this morning everything is now in shape to close up. It is my belief that within ten days or two weeks at most you will be put in possession of $40,000 in hard cash. Do not think of panting anything, for the delay is now practically at an end. Would it not be wise for you to look for a new house at once and plan to get possession of it about April 15th or thereabouts? By that time you will have your money and we will also have an appropriation from Congress for the improvement of the Park and will be ready to begin work. But as I said before, you shall not be inconveinenced by any hurry on our account. I merely suggest that it would be wise to look for a house now because you will have a greater number to choose from than later and it would be much more pleasant to move in the spring than in hot weather. - I will see you in a day or two.' This letter gives closest approximate date as to when the Park took possession of the Holt House. SIA RU 74 Series 6 Box 7 Director's Outgoing Correspondence p. 157-158.
Report From Committee on Appropriations 3/29/1890 'For repairs to the Holt Mansion to make the same suitable for occupancy and for office furniture-$2,000...Includes a roof that will not leak; a skylight and ventilator in large central room; repairs to plastering; new steps; a water closet; furnace; office desk, book cases, chairs, etc.' Repairs were neccessary to make Holt House suitable as an administrative building. SIA RU 74 Series 19 Box 285 National Zoological Scrapbook 1887-1900
Letter to Dr. Holt From W.T. Hornaday 4/21/1890 'Mr. Webb's object in asking you to execute the deed as proposed was to save you some trouble, and enable us to secure the payment of your money a little sooner. Since you appear to think we are not to be trusted, it will have to be done some other way. - Mr. Webb says you can execute the deed when this is done take it to Mr. H.T. Taggart, Assistant District Attorney, and show it to him so that he can testify to the Attorney General as to whether it is properly signed by all parties. After Mr. Taggart has seen the deed you can keep it until the money is ready to hand over. But most assuredly the money can not be paid until the deed is executed and ready to deliver. The sooner you attend to this, and advise us of the fact, the sooner you will get the $40,000. If you had brought us the deed last Saturday morning as you agreed to you could have got the money today.' Letter regarding payment and transfer of deed for Holt property. SIA RU 74 Series 6 Box 7 page 187-188
National Zoo Park Commission Executives, 1889-1890 4/30/1890 'Payment to C.D. and H.R. Holt $40,000.00' - NZP Purchased Holt Property for $40,000.00. SIA RU 74 Added Accession Box 289 Folder 4
Langley Notes on History of National Zoological Park, 1888-1890 5/12/1890 Entry-'May 12. The Secretary visited the Park with Mr. Emerson, who made suggestions about repairs to Holt House.' For Holt House to be used as an administrative office building, repairs were neccessary. - See Emerson Document regarding specifics, dated 5/12/1890. SIA RU 74 Added Accession Box 289 Folder 3
Specification of Additions and Alterations 'Old Holt House' Washington, D.C. W.R. Emerson Arch. 6/3/1890 'Specification of the materials to be furnished and labor to be performed in the alterations and additions to restore in good condition the 'Old Holt House' so called, in the New Zoological Park at Washington D.C. according to plans and specification prepared by William R. Emerson Architect, of Boston Mass. - Outside Finish: The contractor is to inspect the whole exterior and make good any portion of said work, found necessary to be removed and repaired. Great care must be taken during the repairs with vines on and around building and in no case shall any vines or shrubbery be torn down unless absolutely necessary for cutting . Cut out all stonework necessary to be removed for lengthening windows as shown on plans. All old balconies to be removed entirely and any work laid bare to be made good. On north elevation put up a new flight of steps and buttresses in place of old but the new flight to be the same in shape, height and detail precisely the same as the old. Old shingles and boards to be taken off also old bad rafters and replace with new timbers. Roof to be covered with Virginia Pine, roof boards and covered with #1 heart-20'' Cypress shingles laid 6'' to the weather. Cornice where shaky to be taken off and replaced with new material. All old gutters to be taken off and replaced with new. Tin gutters and conductors, said conductors to be connected with drains where shown, others to have wooden shoe to lead the water to the lawn. Chimneys to be taken down to the roof and rebuilt in same style and heights as they are at present covered with 1 good coat of plaster and tinted with a coat of Limewash. Cover all the outside walls with one coat of Limewash mixed with raw sienna and raw umber excepting in places where they are covered with vines. Shore up and place on top of opening on the south entrance iron beams (Note in margin: should sugg. wood in place of iron) for a support and case them neatly with wood. Also furnish and put in place of same openings a new door sill. Paint all new outside woodwork with 2 coats of paint in pure Linseed oil and white lead mixed with raw sienna and raw umber, all old work to receive one good coat of said paint. All windows marked 'A' on plans are to be lengthened to make opening 5'0'' long and furnish for the same new frames, sills and sashes, glazed with first quality double thick german glass and in front of same windows build brickareas with a neat stone capping of sizes marked on plans, bottom of areas to be paved with brick, pitched and connected with a dry well as indicated on plans' See letter of 10/2/1890. Also note that letter of 7/1/1890: Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoo which refered to plans submitted by Emerson of Holt House. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7
Specification of Additions and Alterations 'Old Fort House' Washington, D.C. W.R. Emerson, Cont. 6/3/1890 'Also any hardware locks, catches, knobs, hinges, sc. Put in good order all windows, sashes and Door and Window finish; also bases and staircases. Painting: Paint all woodwork on outside as specified under outside finish, Paint all old woodwork on inside with 2 good coats of paint of pure linseed oil and whited lead of straw color. All new work to receive 3 good coats of same paint. Putty up all nail holes and cracks so before last coat of paint is put on and color putty where necessary. The whole painting to be done in a first class manner. Plumbing: Furnish and put up 3 Sh... Hopper Water closets where shown trapped with one running trap and connected with drain that runs to cesspool; Each watercloset to be seprately connected with large tank for water supply; Water closet marked 'B' on plans to be a Wash out closet connected as other closets and all are to be properly ventilated. Soil pipe to run through roof and have a fresh air inlet through a iron pipe capped, and be 3'6'' above ground. Heating: Furnish and set up in place completely 2 furnaces, heating pipes to run where and as shown on plans; connect each furnace with the chimney through a galvanized iron smoke pipe and with a cold air box to the outside of walls with slide and door; furnish suntable in registeres for all heating pipes where shown; Miscellaneous: Do all cutting and fitting for plumber furnace man, for pipes sc. also for new windows doors and drain. Close up any opening as shown on plans build a coal bin in each furnace room where shown on plans of 2'' x 4'' spruce studding and 7/8'' boarding. Cut away all rubbish and earth and mater away ...immediately where new windows are opened. Agrees to have all work done in a good and workmanlike manner, 60 days from the award of the Contract under a penalty of $10 per diem. Specify about Cisterns. Preserve old mantels etc. Stain shingles; Ba.....W.C. ...on E. Side. Access to 1st story for coal etc. New floor to main room, (Word unreadable) Column.' Specifications for Alterations, Emerson Document Continued See other documents dated 6/3/1890. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Specification of Additions and Alterations 'Old Fort House' Washington, D.C. W.R. Emerson, Cont. 6/3/1890 'Inside Finish: Take up the entire basement floor and level off the ground below, ready to be concreted on top, and concrete 2 1/2 inch thick, over the entire basement cellar. Finish and put in place in all basement rooms 2'' x 3'' Georgia pine except Furnace room new floor timbers of suitable size, and covered with #1 Georgia Pine floor boards, to be well laid, planned and finished smoothly; furnish all timber and put up where shown all new partitions door frames, sills and make good any old work found necessary to be repaired. Repair and finish any new timber necessary to make good the floor of staircase on south elevation and cover the same with new Georgia Pine floor boards; finish and put up in place where found necessary new frames for new doors indicated on plans. The entire plastering of basement, ceilings, and walls to be removed and all the places thus made bare, to be made clean, and newly furred, lathed and plastered in two coats of plaster, the second coat on ceilings to be skimmed and smoothed. Walls to be left rough by a cork float. Make good any old plastering found necessary to be repaired cased by alterations or not and leave the whold pastering in good condition. Finish and set up where directed a Flow pump to bring the water from cistene in a trimed copper, lined tank, made of plain of sizes and where shown on plans all of which the contractor is to furnish and do all work connected with same. Furnish the new doors shown on plans to fir old openings and furnish the same with locks, knobs, hinges sc to conform with old doors in every particular; all put up in a workmanlike manner; also make good any and old doors and door frames necessary to be repaired. Cut out brickwork for all new fireplaces and build the same of good facebrick of sizes as directed by Architect. Backs to be built of firebrick and colored to match other brickwork. Furnish and lay for all new fireplaces a hearth of 6'' Akron tiles laid in cement and of sizes fugured on plans or directed by Architect. Special pains to be taken in inspectiong the old fireplaces and hearths and repair everything found necessary, and leave the whole in good working condition in every respect. Build and put in place where shown a wooden frame skylight thus (sketch here) long glazed with thick ribbed glass well flashed and made waterlight also a sash in ceiling directly under said skylight glazed with thick ribbed glass of pattern and size shown on plans. Repair and put in good condition any portion of inside finish found necessary to be repaired although not mentioned particularly in the forefoing items; Continued from previous entry dated 6/3/1890 regarding specifications for repairs to Holt House. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7 (Cont.)
Letter to Secrtary Langley From W.T. Hornaday 7/01/1890 'A bargin has been closed with Dr. Holt for his entire property at $40000.00...the sum agreed upon was accepted only after long protest, and repeated refusals, and is the very lowest that could be agreed upon.' Dr. Holt was reluctant to part with his property at price NZP was offering. SIA RU 31 Series 2 Box 78 Folder 1: NZP Commission Correspondence, 1889-1891
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 7/1/1890 Indicates sketch plans of Holt House were done by Mr. Emerson, but not in sufficient detail; plans were prepared of 'the upper and lower stories, framing plan, elevation of south front, longitudinal and transverse sections, and details of trussed partitions...in the course of preparations of these plans many defects were discovered...the walls were found to be very weak, cracked in many places, and not extending below the lower floor but resting on the surface of the ground, so that it would be impossible to lower the basement floor as had been contemplated...Mr Emerson informed July 9th.' - Plans of Holt House were drawn by Mr. Emerson. A reference was made to weakness of walls in house. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries , Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Letter to W.R. Emerson, Architect From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 7/9/1890 'I should have sent you the completed specifications for the repair of the Holt House...I have had some laborers tearing off the roofs and taking out the floors and partitions and this has developed an amount of weakness in the old structure that was not dreamed of at first. Almost the entire woodwork will have to be removed, and the flues entirely rebuilt. Besides this, in getting up the basement floor it was discovered that the walls sit immediately on the ground. It appears that what is now the basement must have been at once a cellar. We cannot excavate much without going below the walls. In order that you may understand exactly how the matter lies I have had the whole house very carefully measured and will in a day or two send you accurate drawings together with the specifications framed according to what I believe to be Professor Langley's wishes and your own designs.' Describes work done at Holt House. Also, note reference to drawings and specifications, which have not been discovered yet. Clearly indicates structural weakness of the walls of house. SIA RU 74 Series 6 Box 7: Director's Outgoing Coorespondence Folder 1 p. 237
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/1/1890 Request for bids on Holt House with 5 propositions: - 1-'Finish roof, repair outside walls, put in windows and window casings of upper story...In basement put in one furnace at east end...repair and renew stairways.' - 2-'Concreting basement floors and laying sleepers' - 3-'Fitting up water-closet...in east wing...' - 4-'Laying sewer pipe and constructing cess-pool' - 5-'...Connecting water tank with closets...' - Bid received from F.W. Booth and Bros.;'sum still above available $2,000'=='On August 5th Mr. M.L. Reed was placed in charge of the work...' Rrepairs to Holt Housewere being considered, trying to find lowest bidder for the job. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/9/1890 'Bid accepted for lumber for repair of Holt House' Repairs to Holt House were persued. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/11/1890 'Work commenced on Holt House by Mr. Reed and a gang of carpenters.' Reed was in charge of repairs to Holt House. See also memorandum dated 8/1/1890. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/13/1890 'Building inspector, D.C. inspected Holt House and pronounced walls unsafe.' See D.C. Inspector's statement dated 8/13/1890 declaring these walls unsafe. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/25/1890 'Continued trouble at Holt House with brick layers.' Bricklayers employed to do repairs at Holt House. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Memoranda Relative to Work on the National Zoological Park 8/30/1890 'Discharged bricklayers at Holt House and Employed a new gang.' Trouble with workers doing repairs at Holt House. Note: see memorandum of 8/25/1890. SIA RU 74 Series 2 Box 4: Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda Folder 11
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Secretary Langley 9/12/1890 'In regard to the Holt House, an estimate should be prepared showing what it will cost to finish it with complete underpinning of the walls, laying of trenches around them, and in other respects making the whole of the lower story of the house a well lighted, dry and wholesome set of working rooms.' Underpinning of walls discussed and eventually completed in summer of 1890. SIA RU 31 Box 25 Folder 5.1
Letter To Mr. Reed From Dr. Baker 10/2/1890 'In regard to estimates for alterations to Holt House: floors of side rooms raised to level of the floor of central room; all floors of upper story, including central room to be 'deafened'; no stairway in eastern wing; window cut north of chimney in eastern room and north partition in eastern room to be moved 6 inches to the south to give sufficient room in bathroom to put in a full length tub; close doors between east bed rooms and enlarge small one by room nearest the stairs; remove partition separating main room from north hall; readjust skylight so that it will be central to large room; omit two side windows in plan of large room; cut two side windows in central room of basement.' More detailed lists of improvements/alterations to be made at Holt House followed this letter, included were specifications for plumbers, plasterers, etc. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 7: Holt House Construction
Letter to Secretary Langley From Dr. Baker, Director, NZP 11/5/1890 'The Acting Manager submits the statement herewith and requests instructions. For the sum available for use there can be purchased only materials for one of the following objects:- - 1. Two office rooms in basement. - 2. East room, bath room and hall on the main floor together with the stairway leading to them.==Holt House (oct. 18, 1890) $397.17 - Outstanding Bills - Lumber-church and Stephenson $38.96 - Skylight-Wolfsteiner 55.00 - $93.96==Available for further use $303.21==Cost of fitting up two rooms in basement $423.10 - Cost of fitting up main floor 308.28 - Cost of fitting up electric plant 50.00 - Total cost of fitting for winter $781.38 - Of this amount the labor is 210.00 - The only person regularly employed is Mr. Reed- no other regularly employed carpenters are on the roll. - Problably two carpenters in addition to Mr. Reed could perform all the work. - Estimate of work immediately necessary - Two office rooms in basement. - Materials. - Concreting two basement rooms $56.25 - 2500 brick @ $7.50 per thou. 18.75 - 1025 feet of 5/4 #1 Geo. flooring @ $36 per thou 36.90 - 5 windows @ $10 50.00 - 3 doors and frames with transoms and trimmers 30.00 - Sash, cords, weights and locks 5.00 - Door-locks, hinges and transom pivots 2.50 - Casings and trimmings for windows 10.00 - Studding for walls and partitions 9.00 - Plastering Basement 67.50 - $293.10 - Labor. - Carpenters' work $65.00 - Brick work-underpining 25.00 - building chimney brest and fireplace 20.00 - building partition wall 15.00 - For cutting out and bricking up door 5.00 - $130.00' Suggestions for necessary improvements to Holt House. (continued in next record) SIA RU 31 Box 6 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 3
Letter to Secretary Langley from Baker, director of NZP (cont.) 11/5/1890 'Two rooms for Secretary's use on main floor. - Materials. - 925 feet of #1 Geo. flooring, $36. per thou $33.30 - Plastering 88.50 - Five new doors and frames and trimmings 50.00 - New sash for windows 10.00 - Base board and moulding 15.00 - Material for stairway 15.00 - One new ellipse frame 10.00 - 162 yds. of deadening felt, @ $0.04 per yd 6.48 - $228.28==Labor. - For laying paper and floors 15.00 - For putting up jambs, trimming and hanging doors 15.00 - For putting up stairway 18.00 - For hanging door, putting down carpet sills 6.00 - Putting on locks and trimmings 6.00 - For trimming windows 9.00 - For putting base board and moulding 6.00 - For making new mantel 10.00 - $80.00 - Putting in electric wires $50.00' - Continuation of two options for repairs to Holt House. SIA Ru 31 Box 6 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 3
Statement of the Appropriations for the NZP 12/31/1890 'Item No. 3 Repairs to Holt Mansion.== Amount Approp. expended during Dec during yr. - 2000 2,406.85==Outstanding liabilities Balance Available - 93.15 ' - In regard to money spent on repairs. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 5
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker Superintendent NZP 1/5/1891 'The office rooms at the Holt House are now sufficiently advanced for occupation and I respectfully request authority to move the principal part of my office force and furniture to them in order that the work of the Park may be expedited and furthered.' By this time, Holt House was ready for occupancy as an office. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 5
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 1/24/1891 'In reply to your letter of the 17th instant, with reference tot he progress of work in the National Zoological Park...the state of the main pieces of work is as follows: - Holt House. The House has been made practicable for office rooms. Nothing more can be done until a new appropriation shall be made.== Cost to Est cost Est addit - date to May 1 work - Holt House 2,500 no est.' - In regard to money spent on repairs. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 5
Letter to Secretary Langley, From Frank Baker, Director of the NZP 2/17/1891 'Complying with your order transmitted to me this morning by telephone 'to furnish you at once with full information about the bath-tub now in the Holt house, stating by whom it was ordered and why', I have the honor to report as follows:- - On June 3d last you transmitted by letter to Mr. W.T. Hornaday, Superintendent of the Park certain 'Specififations of Additions and Alterations Old Holt House, Washington, D.C. - W.R. Emerson, Architect.' They were evidently intended to be revised, as notes for additions and alterations are made upon them in pencil in your own handwriting. I would call your attention to those upon page 9, where the addition of a bath-tub is clearly indicated. - Mr. Reed revised these specifications in accordance with your instructions. This revision specifies a bath-tub. It was evidently carefully examined by you as it was annotated and corrected. It was put in my hands on the eve of your departure for Europe with instructions to carry it into effect. Having further revised it in accordance with the notes and instructions received from you I requested bids upon it. - In the bid for plumbing Devereux and Gaghan appeared to be the lowest and best. A requisition in their favor was accordingly made out and approved, in your absence, by Mr. G. Brown Goode, as acting Secretary. An order was thereupon given by me for the work. - Among the first things that occupied your attention upon your return were the arrangements of the Holt House. A pencil slip in your own handwritting is enclosed showing that you had clearly in mind the fact that a bath-tub had been ordered, also a copy of a letter written by me at the time to Mr. Reed showing what oral instructions on the subject I had received. - I would further remark that the tub was repeatedly the subject of conversation and that I cannot but be astonished that it should have escaped your memory. It was placed by Devereux and Gaghan at the time that the floors were put in, in order to save expense. As it had been long before ordered, it seemed quite as well to have it in as to delay the matter. - I was given to understand by Mr. Karr that the whole plumbing bill could be paid from 'Water-supply, sewage and drainage.' It was not therefore considered any part of the liabilities against Item No. 3, repairs of the Holt House.' Bath-tub was evidently put in at the same time floors were laid. See letter From Secretary Langley dated 2/18/1891 regarding the matter of the bath-tub. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 6
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Secretary Langley 2/18/1891 'You send me a formidable official letter in answer to a telephonic inquiry about the bath-tub in the Holt House, in which you say that the tub was repeatedly the subject of conversation, and that you are astonished that it should have escaped my memory. - I quite remember the conversation about it, and that, in designating the alterations of the house, room was planned for one. It was probably in the specifications before I went to Europe, but you will remember that on my return, I found that such things had to be indefinitely deferred, as in the indispensable repairs to the walls and roof the $2000 was almost exhausted, and that after writing the letter of October 7th, I told you the Comptroller had declined to let any money be used from any other item of the appropriation, even for the roofing in of open walls, so that I had, on this informal suggestion, and to save the work already done from being injured by the weather, authorized Mr. Karr to pay out of the general funds in his hands any bills for extra labor and material necessary for the roofing, and like urgent repairs to the Holt House to the amount nor over $500, holding the same until the pleasure of Congress in the matter could be ascertained, and in the last resort to look to the Smithsonian fund for re-imbursement. - You will remember, I am sure, how earnestly in our conversation I called your attention to this, and to the fact that this $500 was an absolute limit, not to be exceeded for any purpose, under any considerations whatever. What I referred to in our talk yesterday was the fact (about which I thought there was no question, though you do not allude to it in your letter) that, while on my return I took care to see that there was room enough left to put the bath-tub in at some future time, I countermanded the order before given for it, and when I saw it there notwithstanding, and asked how it came, you said that the plumber having by oversight delivered it under the old agreement, you had not thought it worth while to send it back agian. - I do not wish to attatch too much importance to the matter, but I desire to get the facts right, and I do not think you need have any occasion to take trouble about it, so long as the indispensable $500 limit has not been exceeded.' Secretary feels that only indispensible repairs could be afforded. SIA RU 34 Box 25 Outgoing Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 5.1
Letter to Hon. A.C. Mathews, First Comptroller of the Treasury, From Secretary Langley 2/26/1891 'I respectfully submit the enclosed 'Specifications' for plumbers work, materials and fixtures, at the Holt Mansion, Zoological Park (amounting to $540) and ask your opinion as to its payment from the appropriaiton Item No. 5, 'For Water supply, sewage and drainage.' - It may appear that provision for its payment is made in the appropriaiton Item #3 'For repairs to the Holt Mansion, etc.', but as specific provision is made for water supply, sewerage and drainage in the appropriaiton Item No. 5 it might seem that the expenditure is payable from the latter appropriation.' Concern over which section of budget payment this improvement should be extracted from. See Reply from Comptroller of the Treasury dated 3/8/1891. SIA RU 74 Box 48 Folder 20
General Financial Statement 3/1/1891 'Repairs to Holt Mansion. - Amount Appropriated 2,000 - Expended during February - Expended during Year 1999.54 - Outstanding Liabilities 500 - Balance Available' - In regard to money spent for repairs to Holt House. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 5
National ZOological Park: Executive Committee Meeting Minutes 1891 3/4/1891 'In order to complete the necessary repairs on the Holt Mansion...not only the $2,000 appropriated has been used, but also $500 has been advanced from the Smithsonian fund for the purchase of materials necessary to roof the house in before the bad weather of winter...The incompleted building is in condition now to be used for all very urgent necessities of administration, and no additional expense is recommended at present.' Langley intended to use Holt House as administration building for Zoo. Much work was still needed; building was in obvious disrepair at time of acquisition by Zoo/Smithsonian. This matches financial report dated 1/24/1891. Also see Executive Committee Meeting Minutes dated 6/12/1891. SIA RU 74 Series 19 Box 288 Scrapbook, 1917-1931 Folder 3
Letter to Secretary Langley From Treasury Department, First Comptroller's Office 3/8/1891 'Your letter of the 26th, ultimo in regard to payment for certain work done in and about the Holt Mansion in the Zoological Park has been received and considered. - There is in the appropriation for the National Zoological Park, approved 30th, 1890 Item 3, 'For repairs to the Holt Mansion, to make the same suitable for occupancy and for office furniture, two thousand dollars.' - The purpose of congress in putting this item in the bill, appears to have been, to enable the regents of the Smithsonian Institute to put said mansion in condition suitable for occupency and th sum of two thousand dollars was deemed sufficient therefor. It appears now that said sum was not sufficient, and nevertheless Congress must be understood to say that payment for repairs to said building can only be made from said item 3 of the appropriation. - In the same appropriation there is item 5 'For water supply, sewerage and drainage seven thousand dollars.' - The question is whether the bill mentioned in your letter or any portion thereof may be payed from this item 5. - I think it is quite clear that if the amount appropriated for repairing the Holt Mansion to make the same suitable for occupency had been sufficient to pay for such repairs including the items mentioned in said bill there would have been no question about the propriety of paying said bill from the amount so appropriated, except, perhaps the sum expended for sewer, if that sewer is outside of the Holt Mansion. - In my opinion item 5 must be understood to provide for a general system of water supply sewerage and drainage and the amount appropriated thereby cannot properly be expended in making repairs of or in the Holt mansion, or otherwise aiding to make it wuitable for occupency, except by providing a general system of water supply sewerage and drainage. It may be that part of the above named bill is not autherized by any item of said appropriation and would not be authorized if said item 3 were sufficient in amount to bear the expense, but I am not now called upon to pass on that question and therefore have not fully considered it.' Reply to inquiry of the Secretary dated 2/26/1891 in regard to appropriation for plumbing in Holt House. SIA RU 74 Box 48 Folder 20
Letter to Secretary S.P. Langley From J.R. Garrison, First Comptroller's Office, Treasury Dep 3/18/1891 In regard to Appropriation for Holt Mansion funds, approved April 30th 1890, item 3, 'To make Holt Mansion...suitable for occupency and for office furniture, two thousand dollars...it appears now that said sum was not sufficient...' Langley requested more money for Holt House, above his initial estimated request indicating that Holt House was in need of more repairs. SIA RU 31 Series 2 Box 78 Folder 2: NZP Commission Correspondence, 1889-1891
National Zoological Park: Executive Committee Meeting Minutes 6/12/1891 'Item No. 3. Repairs to Holt Mansion, etc. appropriation $2000.00. - Repairs to Mansion $1907.12-paid - Furniture $92.88-paid - Total $2000.00' A total of $2,000 spent in repairs to Holt House by this date. SIA RU 74 Series 19 Box 288 Scrapbooks, 1917-1931 Folder 4 p.3
National Zoological Park: Executive Committee Meeting Minutes 6/12/1891 'A guarantee of $500 from the Smithsonian Fund for the purchase of material necessary to roof in this Holt House...' - 'To underpin the walls of the Holt House, and complete it in the simplest manner, will cost something like $3,000; but supposing only the walls are underpinned and that two-thirds of the room are left with only studding and floors, but without plastering...it may be done at a cost of about $1,500...' - A total of $2,000 spent in repairs to Holt House by this date. Additional funds needed to underpin the walls. SIA RU 74 Series 19 Box 288 Scrapbooks, 1917-1931 Folder 4
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 10/5/1892 'Repairing Holt House - Trenching around house and laying tile $40 - Lumber 60 - Millwork, doors, windows and mouldings 75 - Hardware 20 - Carpenter's labor 100 - Ceiling and plastering 125 - Painting 40 - Fireplace 50 - Andirons 15 - Kalsomining east room 10 - Setting Water Closet 25 - $560' - List of repairs requested by Superintendent Baker. See reply dated 10/6/1892. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 12 -
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Secretary Langley 10/6/1892 'Referring to your letter of this date, with recommendations as to certain small expenditures for various plans mentioned by me in our recent conversation at the Park. I have to say as regards to the Holt House, that, in view of your recommendation that nothing which can be avoided be done at present. I will limit the repairs to building an area around the inhabited part of the house, to protect the walls from damp. This will, I think, cost more than the $40.00 estimated, if made in the efficient way in which it should be done. You will please obtain new estimates for this, bearing always in mind that the ivy is to be strictly respected.' See Letter to Secretary Langley regarding this work dated 10/5/1892 in which only limited repairs were to be completed. SIA RU 34 Box 25 Folder 5.2
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP 10/10/1892 'Repairs to Holt House. - I am informed by Mr. Glenn Brown that a suitable open drain about the inhabited portion of the house, with a brick wall to protect the sides, will cost $275. He is of the opinion, however, that an equally effective drain can be made by filling the trench with large broken stone, instead of building a brick wall. This will cost only $175. The ivy need not be disturbed by this method.' Letter regarding drainage around the Holt House. SIA RU 31 Box 6 Folder 12
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 5/13/1896 'In accordance with your instructions given me a few weeks ago I have had prepared by Mr. Glenn Brown a preliminary sketch and estimate for the repair of the Holt House in the National Zoological Park. - The plans are submitted herewith. The estimate which is only approximate, including merely such repairs as will make the house habitable, is as follows:- - Excavation $100 - Stone-work 150 - Brick-work 968 - Pebble-dashing 332.50 - Plastering 361.60 - Wood-work (including porches, stairs, roof and floors) 1650 - Painting 400 - Plumbing 200 - Steam heating 800 - $4962.10 - Add 10% for contingencies 496.21 - $5458.31 - I would respectfully suggest that an early decision regarding these repairs is desirable, as work can be commenced as soon as the new appropriation is available, that is to say on July 1st next.' This estimate for work to be done at Holt House was more than Secretary Langley had thought necessary (See his reply dated 5/14/1896). It was probably for work in conjunction with plans drawn by Glenn Brown dated March-May 1896. See also Glenn Brown letter dated 5/9/1896. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 7
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP 10/25/1895 'The day before, [the 24th] at about 6:30 a.m., the men at work upon the sewer in the park accidently exploded a large quantity of dynamite, probably about 50lbs, quite near the pond...the concussion was so great that it broke two panes of glass in the Holt House...' Window panes in Holt House evidently needed to be replaced. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Folder 5
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP From Secretary Langley 5/14/1896 'The designs and estimates of the 13th, which you submit to me for the repair of the Holt House, amounting to Fifty-five hundred dollars, are upon a very much more extended scale than I feel prepared to authorize, and I should like to have a statement of the object of the proposed change. - According to the original scheme, the Holt House was to be fitted up for offices, with rooms for the watchmen. The present design looks as though it were to be remodeled into a residence. It I could create a residence for the Superintendent at pleasure, and without prejudice to existing needs, I should (so far as his convenience is concerned) be glad to do so; but this is what I have understood the appropriations committee might object to, and that their reason for refusing to sanction any expense of building for administrative purposes was perhaps their apprehension that the money might be employed in the very way now proposed. - The additional $5000, which is apparently devoted to the building in this arrangement, was asked exclusively for quite another purpose- the saving of the buffalo. - A minor, but not unimportant objection to the present plan is that it seems to contemplate the complete remodeling of the front of the house, and the destruction of the present ivy-growth, which is so attractive a feature of the existing building.' See letter From Baker dated 5/13/1896 regarding this work. SIA RU 34 Box 25 Folder 5.4
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 5/19/1896 'I have received your letter of the 14th instant relative to the designs and estimates for the repair of the Holt House, submitted by me on the 15th, and asking for a statement of the object of the proposed change. - In a letter to me of March 27th last you say: 'You will see by the Sundry Civil Bill that we can now repair the Holt House and that there is an additional free five thousand dollars.' On the same day you orally requested me to have plans and estimates prepared, giving me no special instructions as to what their scope should be. - In my first conversation with you about the Park (May, 1890) you mentioned that the Holt House was to be the residence of the Superintendent, and that this was generally understood appears from the following passages from your annual reports: - Report for 1890, page 41. - 'A distant area of some ten or fifteen acres will be reserved in another portion of the Park for administration and other purposes requiring seclusion, and will contain a lodge for the resident superintendent, offices, stable, infirmary for animals and a proposed laboratory.' - Report for 1893, page 30. - 'Experience has shown that there should be prevision made for a resident superintendent. At present the entire park and animals are left at night in charge of watchmen only. If any exigency arises it must wait for morning to bring relief. The isolation of the buildings housing the animals, and the distance of the Park from the town, make it the more necessary that there should always be at hand, within call, some person of authority to direct in case direction is needed. For this the Holt House may be made available. It is in a part of the park reserved for administrative purposes, and a portion of it now accommodates the office. With a small outlay it could be made a suitable dwelling. The advantages of such an arrangement are too obvious to be recounted, and the effect upon the employees of the constant presence of the superintendent would be very beneficial.' - When you asked me to prepare plans and estimates I naturally supposed that you wished me to carry out the intention that you had mentioned in your reports, which had been laid before Congress. - You speak in your letters of making the House a rendezvous for the watchmen. It is unnecessary and inadvisable to have any place of this kind for the employes of the Park. Each has his place where he is required to remain until...' relieved, continued in next entry SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 7
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director NZP 5/19/1896 '...and the releving men come immediately from their homes. The distance of the Holt House from the body of the Park would make this impracticable even if otherwise necessary. - The estimate was made by a competent architect and agree closely with a similar one made in 1890 by Mr. Reed. The building is in a ruinous condition and will soon have to be practically rebuilt or it will fall. Cracks are already appearing in the walls, pains are to be taken to preserve it uninjured, and to altar the house no more than is absolutely necessary. Such alterations as are to be made are rather an attempt to restore the house, being in the style of the period to which it belongs. - The entire cost of these repairs need not be defrayed from the appropriation for a single year. - I respectfully request further instructions in this matter.' Continued from previous record. See letter from Secretary Langley dated 5/14/1896 regarding his objection to this work being done. Note also that Architect refered to in this document is Glenn Brown. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 7
Letter to Hon. Carlisle, Secretary of the Treasury From Goode, Acting Secretary 6/25/1896 'I have the honor to call your attention to the following items in 'An act making appropriaitons to supply deficiencies in the appropriations for the fiscal year ending June thirteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, and for prior years, and for other purposes':- - 'National Zoological Park: for repairs to the Holt Mansion, to make the same suitable for occupency, and for office furniture, including the accounts set for thereunder in House Document Numbered Three hundred and twenty-four of this session, four hundred and twenty-six dollars and fifty-seven cents. - To reimburse the Smithsonian fund for assuming the expenses of labor and materials for repairs urgently necessary for the preservation of the Holt Mansion, including the accounts set forth hereunder in House Document Numbered Three hundred and twenty-four of this session, four hundred and ninety-nine dollars and forty-five cents.' - The accounts included under these items are as follows: - To pay: - Devereuz and Gaghan, plumbing and gasfitting $320.47 - Julius Lansburgh, chairs 14.00 - Barber and Ross, graters 46.00 - George Breitbarth, chairs 25.75 - A. Eberly's Sons, stoves 20.35 - To reimburse the Smithsonian fund $499.45' - This work was done as financial records indicate. SIA RU 34 Box 25 Folder 5.4
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 12/28/1896 'I have the honor to submit herewith an estimate of expenditures required for the service of the Naitonal Zoological Park during the month fo January, 1897. - The balance available January 1st under the general appropriation will be approximately $25,000...==Repairing Holt Mansion. - For repairs to south entrance to Holt Mansion $200. This includes new roof, new window frame and sash and all other work necessary to restore this portion of the building to its condition prior to the storm of September 29.' [Note handwritten 'Req. app'd and returned to Dr. Baker'] - This requisition indicates that the work was approved by the Secretary. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 10
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP 4/14/1898 'With regard to the disposition to be made of the model of the Park, which you directed me to set up in the large room at the Holt House, it has occured to me that, as that room will be undergoing repairs during the coming summer, there will be no opportunity for the model to be inspected or used there during that period.' Holt House underwent construction during Summer of 1898. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Folder 14 -
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 5/20/1898 'Thunderstorm at About 7 pm. Lightning struck telephone wire and did considerable damage to office and Dr. Baker's House.' If damage occured at Holt House, no records of repairs have been found. SIA UR 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diary of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 5/20/1898 'Bricklayers begun work on under-pinning walls of Holt House.' Underpinning of walls, see also diary entry of 8/6/1898. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Budget Estimates 1898-1900 in Letter to Secretary Langley, From Baker, Superintendent, NZP 6/5/1898 'Repairs to Holt House. - It was expected that the sum of $1000 set aside by the Secretary for repairs to the Holt House would be sufficient for restoring the large upper room and the hall and stairways leading to it, besides providing for some other minor repairs. It appears, however, from a careful examination of the building, made by Mr. Glenn Brown, that a thorough underpinning of the walls should preceed any other work and that the structure will be in constant danger until this is done. Mr. Brown has prepared an estimate of the cost of this underpinning and of the repairs contemplated, the total of which is $1300. Mr. Brown's report is wubmitted herewith.==Repairs to Holt House: To underpin the walls and make the repairs noted during the months of July and August, at a cost of $1300.' The work of underpinning the walls was in fact completed in the summer months of 1898, as Glenn Brown, the architect, is said to have suggested here. Note also the discussion of the 'stairways' to the upper room. This most likely refers to the spiral stairs which had not yet been removed. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 132 Folder 9
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 8/6/1898 'Laborers commenced work on repairing walls of Holt House.' Walls were mentioned repetedly as being unsafe and in need of repair. Letter of 6/27/1898 to Dr. Baker from Glenn Brown, Arch. mentioned underpining of the walls. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 8/10/1898 'Continued underpinning of walls of Holt House.' Wall repairs, also see Diary entries of 8/6/1898 and 8/9/1898. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 8/13/1898 'Bricklayers continued work on underpinning Holt House walls and Morgal put in concrete base for additional underpinning.' Wall repairs, see also diary entries of 8/6/1898, 8/9/1898, and 8/10/1898 related to this work. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 9/17/1898 'Labors finished with excavation, etc about Holt House.' Note that no entries explain this excavation, however, previous diary entries indicated that it was in reference to the underpining of the walls. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 11/29/1898 'Perry Cleaveland given plans of Holt House to submit estimate for repairs to large upper room.' Perry Cleaveland, carpenter, was involved with repairs to House, see entry of 'certification of completion of contract' 7/20/1899. Note subsequent entries as well, and mention of receipt of plans, which do not appear. See also correspondence dated 10/31/1898 and 11/7/1898 regarding specifics of this work completed. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 12/30/1898 'Perry Cleaveland started work on large 2nd floor room in Holt House. Contract not yet signed.' Contract refered to is mentioned as completed in record dated 7/20/1899. See also diary entry of 11/29/1898. - See contract for P. Cleaveland dated 12/31/1898. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898.
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 4/19/1899 'Glenn Brown came to the park at 4:30 pm and inspected work at Holt House.' Work which Brown wass inspecting probably refers to the work done in the upper story of the large room. See letter to the Secretary from Superintendent Baker dated 3/16/1899 for specifics of this work. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1899
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 6/5/1899 'Mr. Emerson asked for perfected plans for vestibule of Holt House. Appropriation for $275 made for vestibule.' See subsequent diary entries, but also letter from Glenn Brown to Dr. Baker of 5/8/1899 where there was discussion of enlarging the North Vestibule, and it was described as being an addition which would 'mar the general effect of the building.' Also note Emerson was no longer working on Holt House. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1899
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 6/6/1899 'Perry Cleaveland began work enlarging vestibule at Holt House.' See diary entry of 6/5/1899. Also, letter to Dr. Baker, from Glenn Brown, Architect of 5/8/1899 regarding the enlarging of North Vestibule described here. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1899
Certification by Glenn Brown of completion of contract 7/20/1899 certifing that 'Perry Cleaveland has completed all work under contract dated December 31, 1898 for the interior finish of large upper room in office building of the National Zoological Park and the extras and alteration mentioned in supplemental agreements dated February 27 and June 27, 1899...' Document certifies that the work specified was completed. See Contract for Perry Cleaveland dated 12/31/1898. Also, letter of 6/26/1899 for additional work to be done at Holt House was probably the 'supplemental agreement' of June 27, 1899 refered to here. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 1
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 9/26/1898 'Unforseen conditions which have developed during the repairs made to the Holt House render it necessary that this matter be submitted for your further consideration. - The sum of $1000 was early set aside by the Secretary from the current appropriation for repairs to a portion of the building. On examining the foundation preliminary to this work, it was found that the walls were standing on a central core of friable earth and were in a very dangerous condition. The architect was of the opinion that no other repairs could safely be attempted until the walls had been made secure. Accordingly an estimate was prepared of the cost of underpinning the walls with brick and a total expenditure of $1300 for this purpose and for other repairs was authorized by the Acting Secretary. - When the work of underpinning was begun it very soon became apparent that the condition of the walls was altogether worse that had been supposed and that the work involved in underpinning them was greater in extent and more expensive than had been allowed for. On the full disclosure of the dangerous condition which existed, it was a matter of surprise to the architect that the walls had remained standing, as their fall must have been imminent for several years. The work of underpinning was pushed forward rapidly as possible and was completed, fortunately without accident, about the middle of September, having occupied nearly two months. The cost was nearly $1300., as shown by the appended memorandum. - The question now arises as to advisability of proceeding with the repairs originally contemplated. The amount already expended is all that is at present available under the yearly scheme of expenditure, but the further sum required might be taken from the reserve fund should it seem best to go on with the work at once. I should be glad to know your wishes regarding this. - I would add, also, that on studying the interior woodwork of the house the architect finds that two periods of construction are represented; the one of the original design and another of a later restoration, very nearly like, but distinctly inferior to the original. In view of this fact it would seem to be desirable that, before anything further is done toward the restoration of the interior, a complete plan of the work should be submitted for the Secretary's approval.' - See reply from Secretary dated 9/27/1898 regarding funds requested. Note mention of two periods of work as architect suggests. Upper level of North Vestibule is not original. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 16
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 9/20/1898 'Brick layers finished work at Holt House.' Does not give insight into what was finished, however, previous diary entries indicate that the brick layers were working on the underpinning of the walls. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1898
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Secretary Langley 9/27/1898 'I answer briefly yours of the 26th to say that I was over the Holt House on Sunday and was pleased to see the thorough work of underpinning, in which I believe the money was well spent. Possibly it may be advisable while you are about it to lower the ground floor one foot more. - With regard to the upstairs room on whose account that was originally done, I still wish the amount appropriated specifically for it, namely $1,000.00 to be expended in this way (unless it is found to be sperfluous) modifying the other expenditures so as to take what is now available for putting the upstairs room in preparation for final occupency. I should like to see the sky-light extended so that it can come over the center of the present enlarged room. Later I will consider the propriety of drawing on the reserve for what is less indispensable.' See letter dated 9/26/1898 from Superintendent Baker to Secretary Langley regarding enlarging the sky-light in the upper room. SIA RU 34 Box 26 Outgoing Correspondenc fo the Secretary Folder 5.5
Memorandum to Dr. Baker, Superintendent NZP From Rathbun, Acting Secretary 9/29/1898 'The Secretary has directed that the building of the flying cage, estimated for in the general scheme of operations of the Zoological Park for the current year, be deferred indefinitely or until such time as funds may become available for the purpose, and that $1,000 of the amount said released ($1,150) be held to cover the allotment for repairs of the upper room of the Holt House in accordance with the plans now being carried out.' See letter from Secretary Langley dated 9/27/1898 and Specifications for this work in letter to Secretary from Superintendent Baker dated 10/27/1898. Funds were to go to the repair of Holt House. SIA RU 34 Box 26 Folder 5.5
Letter to Glenn Brown From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 10/7/1898 'I am very anxious to get started upon the work of the Holt House again. This cannot be done until we have an answer from you as to the expense of the improvements which are proposed. I will be glad if you will endeavor to hurry up this matter as much as possible as the Secretary is anxious about it. - A few days ago when the Secretary was at the Holt House he seemed to think that it would be well to lower the floor of the main room down stairs. I do not see how this could be done withour injuring the effect of the entrance way, but would be glad to have your views upon the subject.' Glenn Brown was architect consulted on repairs for the Holt House, including the possibility of lowering the floor of the ground floor main room. In Glenn Brown's reply of 10/11/1898, he was opposed to the idea. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From John McGregor, Contractor and Builder 10/12/1898 'The Following is an itemized estimate for work in house at 'Zoological Park'==Porch with steps $545.00 - Big Basement Room 659.00 - Stairway, hall with steps, 2 stories 623.00 - Big room upstiars 675.00 - Skylight changed/enlarged 100.00' - Numbers in this estimate do not match any record of money spent in repairing Holt House. The work of repairing the North stair case was never executed. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 10/24/1898 'It seems desirable to restore the grounds around the Holt House to their former state of cultivation as soon as possible. It has been proposed by several persons interested in the improvement of the gounds-viz: Mr. Olmsted, Mr. Glenn Brown, and Mr. Eddy that the road on the south side should be restored to the situation it originally had-long before we occupied the house-that is to say to the lower terrace, so that the upper terrace, near the house, can be planted and grassed. This would make it necessary to ascend two or three steps to reach the entrance on the south side and add a certain dignity to that entrance which is now wholly lacking. Mr. Brown wants to add a porch to the south entrance, but that is beyond our means at present I fear. - It is further proposed to lead the road on the north side farther away from the house so that there may be a greater seclusion and less damage to the fine slopes and terraces than at present. I am convinced that this will add to the beauty of the hill. Some planting should be done to hide the stable from the house and road. - I submit herewith a rough sketch prepared by Mr. Glenn Brown showing the proposed alterations with the existing roads in dotted line. I would like to have your opinion as to this change, for if it is to be done I wish to do some work on it this fall.' Consideration of altering approach to the house. Note that sketch is included. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 17
Hot Water Heating Plans for Holt House 10/26/1899 This folder contains floor plans of two levels of Holt House by Glenn Brown, Architect. See letter to Superintendent Baker from Langley requesting an estimate for this work dated 10/21/1899. Subsequent documents do not confirm that this heating system was ever put into place. SIA RU 74 Series 13 Box 125 Folder 8
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 10/27/1898 'Referring to your note of Sept 27, as to the projected repairs of the Holt House in the National Zoological Park, I would say that Mr. Glenn Brown, the architect, has prepared some provisional plans which I submit herewith for your inspection and criticism. These plans are, as you will see, still in pencil, and can therefore be altered in any way that may be desireable. When fully revised they will be inked and blue prints made so that bids may be invited. - Some effort has been made to get bids upon these pencil plans, and it would appear that the sum of $1000 which you have set aside for these repairs will not be sufficient to execute all of the work indicated. It is desireable, however, to have a definate sheme established so that we may know towards what the work tends. - The south porch, the south entrance hall and the finishing of the large room on the ground floor will probably have to be deferred for the present. Mr. Brown recommends the following expenditure of $1000 now allotted for the work of repair: - Stone sills for doorways on the ground floor $81.00 - Iron beams for window openings $103.92 - Recoating outside of house with pebble-dash (stucco)300.00 - Finishing a hallway at north side, repairing large room in second story and altering sky-light $515.08 - $1000.00 - The stone sills and iron beams seem essential to any scheme of repair. The figures given are those at which actual offers have been made. The finishing of the exterior will be a very great improvement, and should, I think, be done as soon as possible. It will be impossible to properly treat the grounds about the house, by planting and grassing them, until the work of exterior repair is completed. It is proposed to finish the upper room as nearly as possible in accordance with the design shown on the plans submitted. It will probably be necessary to leave out some of the details of the ornamentation for the present. - I should be glad to know if you approve this scheme for the work, and what alterations, if any, you have to suggest in the plans submitted. If you desire to have the exterior recoated with stucco the work should be put in hand immediately, as it will be impossible to do it during the prevalence of frost.' See letters from Glenn Brown dated 10/11/1898 and 9/29/1898 regarding estimates for this work. Also, see Secretary's reply dated 10/31/1898. It would appear that the work was not done from the replies which follow, as the Secretary wished only necessary work to be done. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 17
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect, From Superintendent Baker 10/31/1898 'I would be glad if you would give me at once the approximate cost of fitting up the large upper room in the Holt House as a Library. - The walls to be withour paneling or cornice, but with a picture moulding. Suitable glazed book-cases of proper height to be arranged along the lower wall...' Glenn Brown did fit the large upper story room with a frieze. AIA Archives Record Group 894 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP From Rathbun, Assistant Secretary 10/31/1898 'In reply to your letter of October 27, I am directed by the Secretary to say that he wishes further repairs to the Holt House to be limited for the present to the fitting up of the large room on the second floor in accordance with his original instructions. Plans concerning this work should be prepared and submitted to him for approval.' See letter dated 10/27/1898 to the Secretary from Superintendent Baker which specified work refered to in this document. SIA RU 34 Box 26 Folder 5.5
Letter to Frank Baker, Director, NZP From Glenn Brown, Architect 11/7/1898 'I enclose the modification of the drawing fitting up the large room of the second story of the Holt House, one showing a simple chair rail running around the room with detached designs for portable book or specimen cases and tables and chairs, and a simpler cornice than the design first submitted; another showing the wainscoating around the room with frames for photographs relating to zoological topics circling the room and forming a part of the decorative scheme. The cornice design submitted in the first instance is more suitable for this large room than the small cornice submitted in the second design as it adds to its dignity and effectiveness. The cost of the second design will not reduce the price more than fifty or sixty dollars. You already have the estimates for the work shown in the designs.' See letter From Glenn Brown relating specifics of these plans detailing interior work, dated 11/7/1898. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 18
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director, NZP 11/7/1898 'I enclose herewith a letter from Mr. Glenn Brown, the architect, transmitting two designs for the finishing of the large room in the second story of the Holt House. These are briefly as follows: - Design A.- The room finished with a simple chair rail and a small cornice, and furnished with portable book or specimen cases, tables and chairs. The cost of finishing and furnishing according to this design is about $700. - Design B.- The room finished with wainscoting and frames for photographs, paintings or other specimens, and a similar cornice. The unfurnished room fitted in this manner would cost about $800. If furnished, as in Design A, it would cost $1000. - Mr. Brown states in his letter that the cornice design first submitted by him, and shown in the drawing submitted herewith marked C, is more dignified and effective that given in Designs A and B. He does not consider this too elaborate or unreasonably expensive. Should this cornice be adopted instead of the simpler one, the extra cost would not be more than $60. - I would be glad if you would indicate which, if any, of the designs submitted meets your approval.' One of the designs for the cornice discussed here, designed by Glenn Brown, was in fact executed in the upper story main room as is indicated by a carpenter's contract dated 12/21/1898. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 18
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect, From Superintendent Baker, NZP 12/17/1898 'Refering to the bid of Mr. Perry Cleaveland for repairing and remodeling the main room of the second story of the Holt House, I beg to say that I am just in receipt of a letter from Mr. Cleaveland in whcih he says that a specimen of his work, similar to the work required in this case, may be seen in the hemicycle of the new Corcoran Art Gallery. The wood work in that room was set up by Mr. Cleaveland and one other carpenter about two years ago.' Baker wass probably refering to the moulding designed by Brown to be fitted in the upper story main room, which wasexecuted by Perry Cleaveland, carpenter. See Letter to Brown from Baker dated 10/31/1898. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 12/28/1898 'Mr. Perry Cleaveland has been out to the Park today and examined the room in the Holt House to be refitted in accordance with the wishes of the Secretary and your plans and specifications already submitted. He recommends that a coating of pitch be put upon the walls of this room that are exposed to the weather in order to prevent dampness from injuring the plastering...' P. Cleaveland was the carpenter executing Glenn Brown's design for moulding in the upper story room of Holt House. See letter to Brown from Baker dated 12/17/1898. AIA Archives, Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Contract for Perry Cleaveland, carpenter at Holt House 12/31/1898 'Made and concluded this 31st day on December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight, by and between S.P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for and on behalf of the United States, of the first part, and Perry Cleaveland, of the second part- - Witnesseth; - First. That the said party of the second part for himself, his heirs, executors, administrators, or other legal representatives, has agreed and by these presents does agree, with the said party of the first part, for the consideration hereinafter mentioned and contained, to furnish all necessary labor and materials, scaffolding, transportation and utensils, and in the best, most substatial and workmanlike manner, in strict accordance with the plans, specifications and general stipulations hereto attatched and made part of this contract, erect, set up, finish and complete for use the interior finish of the large upper room (marked B in drawings) in the office building in the National Zoological Park. - Second. That it is further agreed that the party of the second part shall receive for performing the aforesaid work complete, seven hundred (700) dollars. - In witness whereof, the undersigned, S.P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Instituation, and the party of the second part of these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.' - Contract for work to be completed at Holt House, note that no plans or detailed specifications follow. See record dated 7/20/1899 certifying the completion of this work, as well as Director's Diaries dated 4/22/1901, 6/6/1899, 12/30/1898 and 11/29/1898 regarding this work. SIA RU 74 Box 137 Folder 1: Contracts 1891-1920
Boyd's District of Columbia Directory 1/1/1899 Lists Perry Cleaveland's occupation as Carpenter Cleaveland was employed by the National Zoological Park and worked on repairs at the Holt House in 1898 and subsequent years. Museum of American History U.S. City Directories, Washington D.C. Reel 9 1898-1899
Transcription of a phone conversation regarding Superintendent Baker and Mr. Glenn Brown 1/5/1899 Regarding ''pitching' wall in the large second story room of Holt House. He stated this was entirely optional...Dr. Baker ordered Mr. Cleaveland to go ahead and do the work...Mr. Brown was also questioned with regard to taking out and replacing the wall in the northeast corner of this room...he would not recomend its being done.' No further records indicate whether or not this wall was taken out. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 1
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 1/20/1899 'The following sums are required to purchase necessary material, and execute work, ordered by you to be done in the Park. Requisition No. 670, covering the same, is herewith submitted for your approval. - Repairs of office building: - Refitting of room in second story as per contract, and enlargement of sky-lights, $800.' - The request for funds indicates that work of Contract dated 12/31/1898 was completed. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 20
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 1/22/1899 'You are aware that Secretary Langley has directed that the skylight in the roof of the office building be enlarged so that direct light may be thrown higher up on the sides of the large room. It has occured to me that this object will not be attained if the ceiling light would throw a shadow on the side walls. I wish to ask whether this depth cannot be reduced without injuring the stability of the ceiling light.' Work wasconsidered for the enlarging of the sky-light in the large upper story room of the Holt House. See also correspondence dated 3/7/1899. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 2/7/1899 'With regard to the sky-light, it seems to me that it will be very easy to have the opening in the ceiling entirely clear of the objectionable tie beams, which now cross it, by a little trussing of the girders about the opening.' Note that a of the sky-light sketch accompanied this letter. See also correspondence dated 1/22/1899 and 3/7/1899 regarding work done on the sky light. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP From Glenn Brown, Architect 2/14/1899 'Your inquiry in reference to trussing the sides of the sky light if I understand it right, would bear still upon the timbers which would support the ceiling light, the weakest part of the structure. The cross beams in the ceiling light are intended for three purposes, first to prevent the rafters from thrusting outward, secondly to give a time support for ceiling lights third for increased effectiveness in the ceiling light which needs the cellular appearance to make it effective. The upper portions of these short beams can be cut away so not to throw a shadow. - While in New York I looked at Library tables and will have some sketches to show you.' Sky-light was evidently being repaired. This letter indicates that there was some discussion of the details of this repair. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 20
Memorandum From Frank Baker, NZP Superintendent To Secretary Langley 2/16/1899 'Please see herewith a note from Mr. Glenn Brown about the ceiling light in the main room of the Holt House. It has been, as yet, impossible to communicate with the carpenter conducting the work. - Please let me know if you still wish the ceiling light altered, after seeing Mr. Brown's opinion.' Prior discussion of sky-light indicates that work was done, however, the specifics of it are unclear. See letter of 2/14/1899 from Architect Glenn Brown regarding this work. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondance of the Secretary Folder 20
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 2/23/1899 'In order to save your time and mine I enclose herewith a draft of a letter in which I have embodied about what you told me yesterday with regard to the design of the ceiling light in the Holt House. You will doubtless want to alter this or add something to it. I have kept a copy of the draft, and if you state over the telephone any alterations or additions that you wish made, Mr. Dudley will take them down and then prepare a letter for your signature. I will bring this letter to you this afternoon when I call to see the sketches, and then we can get everything ready for Secretary to-day.' Glenn Brown engaged in work on sky-light in upper story room at Holt House. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director NZP 2/23/1899 'The contractor for repairing the large room in the Holt House was at once informed when you decided to change the construction of the ceiling light, and asked to state what he would charge to make the desired alteration. He has stated that he cannot make an intelligent estimate of the cost unless he has a more definite design to work from. I think he is quite right about this, and have therefore asked Mr. Glenn Brown to make such an alternative design. I submit one herewith together with a letter from Mr. Brown explaining the same. - I would be glad if you would approve this, so that there may be no more delay in the prosecution of the work.' Prior documents indicate that there was some discussion regarding specifics of work for the sky-light. See letter of 2/14/1899 regarding Architect's specifications for the work. It is clear, however, from requisitions dated 3/18/1899 that this work was approved by the Secretary. SIA RU 31 Box 7 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 20
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 3/7/1899 'Secretary Langley is very much annoyed at the delay occasioned by the alteration of the ceiling light in the large room of the office building at the Park. The alternative design recently submitted by you proves to be faulty, in that the side trusses pass directly over the skylights, which certainly seems to be unadvisable. On the 2nd. instant I called at your office and urged Mr. Keller, your draughtsman, to call your attention to the matter in order that a revision might be made. Since that time I have heard nothing from you, and Mr. Cleaveland, the carpenter, informs me that he can get no further information.' Work in altering the ceiling light in the large upper-story room of the Holt House was Glenn Brown's responsibility. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect, From Superintendent Baker 3/8/1899 'After talking with you at the telephone this morning, I discussed the question of the ceiling light with Mr. Rathbun, the Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian, and he said that Secretary Langley wishes to have the ceiling light and roof supported by trusses, and that he is quite sure that the Secretary will not be satisfied with the tie-rods suggested by you. This makes it necessary to revise the plan that you furnished Mr. Cleaveland today. - I see no objection to the trussing proposed by Mr. Cleaveland roughly shown in the sketch enclosed herewith. Please telephone me in the morning as soon as possible whether you are willing that he should go ahead with this scheme, and then I can direct him to set at work at once. The truss shown in the sketch spans the room between the division separating two sections of the sky-light. The entrusses remain as shown in your drawing.' See also correspondence dated 3/7/1899 regarding alteration of sky-light work by Glenn Brown. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Director NZP 3/16/1899 'I have the honor to herewith submit an additional requisition for the repair of the large room in the office building at the Park. This requisition is made necessary by the alteration of the ceiling light from the specifications called for by the contract. The expense is mainly occasioned by the increase in size of the panes of glass which makes it necessary to use a ground plate-glass for the light.' See Superintendent Baker's letter to the Secretary dated 2/23/1899 regarding change in design for sky-light. [Note handwritten 'requ. approv'd and sent to Dr. Baker 3/18'] SIA RU 31 Box 8 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 1
Letter to Secretray Langley From Frank Baker, Director NZP 3/28/1899 'Planting about the Holt House. - When the foundations of the Holt House were repaired last year the shrubbery and other plants were removed and 'heeled in.' They must now be replaced or they will be lost...' Statement of 'foundations repaired' in this letter refered to the underpinning of the walls done in the summer of 1898. SIA RU 31 Box 8 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 1
Letter To Dr. Baker From Glenn Brown, Architect 5/8/1899 'To enlarge the North vestibule of the Holt House would necessitate the removal of the present structure...I think that any addition on this side would mar the general effect of the building, the present projection is an addition, which I think was an unfortunate one in its effect upon the original design.' Refered to northern entrance vestibule as a 'projection' and described it as an addition. SIA RU 74 Series 12 Box 42: Incoming Correspondence Folder 1
Letter to Acting Secretary Rathbun, From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 6/26/1899 'There is remaining from the appropriation for the current fiscal year an unassigned balance of $975, from which I would respectfully recommend the following expenditures: - Flooring south vestibule in office building. - In the contract for finishing the large upper room no provision is made for flooring the south vestibule. This floor should, however, be laid at the same time as the one in the large room so as to avoid having a joint, as there will be no threshold to cover it. The cost will be $25. - Pebble-dash on office building. - The Secretary a few weeks ago suggested the desireability of restoring the pebble-dash on portions of the office building. It can be done more conveniently just now than later in the season, and I would recommend an expenditure of $75 for this purpose. - Kalsomining rooms in office building. - The walls of the office and of the rooms above are in very shabby condition. The Secretary directed that the upper rooms be renovated and I would recommend that the office and hallways be freshened up at the same time. The cost of properly kalsomining the walls will be $40. - It is proposed to charge these three items agians the 5% reserve, of which $195 yet remains.' The floor in the adjoining south vestibule was finished at the same time as the work in the floor of the larger lower room was done. [Note handwritten 'requ. apprv'd and sent to Dr. Baker'] SIA RU 31 Box 8 Correspondence of the Secretary Folder 4
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent, NZP 9/7/1899 'Improvements to the Holt House. - The large upper room was completed July 1st. The enlarging of the small room to the north was completed by July 15th. The stairway in the hall by the office has been widened. The rooms over the office have been thoroughly cleaned and the walls kalsomined.' Report on repairs completed at the Holt House. North vestibule was enlarged and the stairway was widened. SIA RU 31 Box 8 Folder 5
Letter to Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP Form Secretary Langley 10/21/1899 'Please let me have an estimate for heating the Holt House by furnace.' Glenn Brown drew up plans for fitting up the Holt House with a heating system. Plans are dated 10/26/1899. This work, as subsequent records show, was not completed. SIA RU 34 Box 26 Folder 5.6
Letter to Glenn Brown, Architect From Superintendent Baker 10/23/1899 'The Secretary wishes to consider the question of heating the office building at the Park, and has suggested the use of a furnace. - I should like to have your idea as to how the building should be heated; also, an approximate estimate of the cost and the names of several persons or firms from whom bids could be obtained. - As there is considerable urgency about this, I hope that you can give me the information and estimate today. At any rate, please let me hear from you, withour fail.' See letter from the Secretary requesting these estimates for heating plans dated 10/21/1899. AIA Archives Record Group 804 Series 5, Brown Box 1 Folder 29
Letter to Secretary Langley From Frank Baker, Superintendent NZP 10/26/1899 'In accordance with your letter of the 21st inst., asking for an estimate for heating the Holt House, I have consulted with Mr. Glenn Brown, the architect, and learn from him that the most effective method of doing this is by installing a hot water heating plant which he estimates will not cost more than $730.' See Secretary's request for this estimate in a letter dated 10/21/1899. SIA RU 31 Box 8 Folder 6
Diary of the Director, Blackburne 12/19/1899 '(Name unreadable) of Olmsted, Olmsted and Elliott called at Park in AM and made tracing of ground plans of office and grounds.' Indicates that Olmsted, Olmsted, and Elliott was involved in plans for Holt House, also, that plans were drawn. No plans have been found. SIA RU 74 Series 1 Box 1 Diaries of the Director, 1899
Handwritten Account-author and date unknown No date '1899 At office building- finished entrance hall and library room-$3000. - 1901 Office building- brick floor in entrance hall had 2 windows put in - bookcases in library room.' Date and author of this document are unknown, however, it is contained in folder dated 1981. Because of this, it is most likely not an original document from 1889, 1901. SIA RU 365 Box 34 Folder 10: Construction, 1805-1979, 1981.


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