1855 Original Specifications

View the Tulane MPS 2016 Presentation of the Carrollton Courthouse

Transcribed by Hallie Borstel

Note: Spelling and punctuation have been preserved. Dashes are part of the original document.
Illegible or questionable transcriptions noted by (?).
Numbers in parentheses indicate page numbers.

(1) Specification for a Court House to be erected in the Parish of Jefferson
Henry Howard
New Orleans
January 16th 1854

(2) Specification -­ Of the several works required to be done in building a Court House on a certain square of ground situated in the Town of Carrollton Parish of Jefferson -­-­ according to the accompanying elevations and plans annexed and conditions subjoined

Excavation Work
Trenches -­-­ The trenches for the footings (under walls) shall be dug twenty inches deep below the present surface of the ground; the bottom made solid and hard and covered with two thicknesses of sound two inch flat boat planks crossing one another. -­-­ The ground round the same to be properly filled in and rammed round the work. -­-­ The privy sink to be dug out the entire size of the privies and adjoining entry and three feet deep below the present surface of the ground. -­-­

Grading -­-­ The ground round the building to be filled up with clean earth or river sand sufficiently high at the base walls and steps, to cover the upper offset of the footings. -­-­ The same to be properly graded for the width of say twenty five feet out from the building with a gradual descent down to the present surface of the grounds. -­-­ The ground under the interior of the building shall be filled up (if necessary) and properly levelled.

(3) Bricklayers Work
Bricks and Mortar -­-­ The whole of the brickwork throughout the building to be of the best quality hard and well burnt Country made bricks, -­ laid and flushed solid (except where otherwise mentioned) in mortar composed of the best well burnt Thomaston lime, and clean sharp sand well tempered together, -­-­ The mortar for the footings below the surface of the ground can be made with the same kind of lime and Mississippi river sand. -­-­

Slates and Cement. -­-­ There shall be two courses of the brickwork laid in best hydraulic cement mixed with clean sharp sand and a course of strong new slates laid in cement between them round all the walls at the height of say 12 inches above the regulated surface of the new made ground. -­-­ The two upper courses of brickwork of all the walls and pediments exposed to the weather shall be laid in the same kind of cement with a course of strong new slates built in between them. -­-­

Footings and Walls. -­-­ The footings under the outside walls shall be in width equal to the length of seven bricks at bottom; those under the 17 inch wall between the Court room and Private passage shall be six and a half bricks wide; those under the 13 inch interior walls which go two stories high shall be six bricks wide; those under

(4) the walls which only go to the top of the first story shall be three and a half bricks wide; those under the 9 inch dwarf walls shall be two bricks wide; those under the thick walls enclosing the vault shall be eight bricks wide; and those under the columns of the Portico shall be ten and a half bricks wide at bottom. -­-­ Every course of the brickwork throughout the footings (after the first one) shall be diminished by regular offsets on each side of 2 1/4 inches, till the proper widths are obtained for the superincumbent walls. -­-­ The entire work to be laid solid in good mortar and grouted with liquid mortar at every course. -­-­
Inverted Arches -­-­ Inverted arches one and a half bricks thick and the whole width of the footings shall be built under the openings between the columns of the Portico. -­-­
Walls. -­-­ The outside base walls round the building shall be two and a half bricks thick and 4 feet high; the interior base walls to be two bricks thick from the upper offset of the footings up to the top of the first tier of the floor joists. -­-­ The outside walls from the top of the base walls to the top of the first blocking over the cornice shall be two bricks in thickness. The pilasters to project 2 ½ inches out from the face of walls the upper blocking and rear pediment wall shall be one and a
half bricks thick-­-­

(5) Walls continued -­-­ The wall between the Court room and Private passage shall be built two bricks thick for the height of the 1st story; and one and a half bricks thick or the height of the second story. -­-­ The walls enclosing the vaults to be built three and a half bricks thick with air flues properly constructed in the same and carried into the chimneys as shown on the plans. -­-­
All the other interior walls to be one and a half bricks thick. -­-­ Nine inch dwarf walls to be built under the floor joists of Court Room and under the wood partition between the private passage and Jury Rooms. -­-­ Foundation walls and strong arches shall be built under the brick and cement floor of the Portico. -­-­ Nine inch brick discharging arches to be turned over all the outside apertures on sound wood lintels to within 4 inches of the face of the respective walls, and common skew backed gauged arches 13 inches high turned over the several openings externally. -­-­ Nine inch brick discharging arches to be turned on wood lintels over all the interior apertures.

Chimneys. -­-­ The chimneys to be built with suitable fireplaces on each story and with proper size flues on each story well parged on the inside, and neatly topped out, to the required elevation above the roof. The chimney in the Judges Office to be built on a solid foundation. -­-­

(6) Hearths -­-­ The fireplaces throughout the building shall have black marble hearths laid on strong brick arches turned on wrought iron arch bars secured to the trimmers. -­-­ Columns and other -­-­ Brick-­work -­-­ The shafts of the columns of the portico shall be carefully built of bricks and cement to the form and dimensions required by the Order. -­-­ The entablature and pediment-­front to be of brickwork supported on strong brick arches turned on several wrought iron arch bars connected and trussed together in a proper manner. -­-­ A wrought iron tie bar three inches by five eights [sic] shall be placed in the brickwork round the whole front, and return ends of the portico, properly grasped at the joints and angles and anchored to strong bars
which shall be built in the front wall of the building for the purpose of firmly tying the entablature of the portico to the front wall. -­-­ The brick cornices to have their projections supported by a course of strong northern flag stones [sic] which shall be run through the whole thickness of the wall. -­-­ The capitals and bases of the pilasters shall be formed in brickwork. -­-­ Those for the columns to be of cast iron. -­-­ The buttresses to the front and rear steps to be of brickwork laid in cement the upper courses to be of bricks on edge. The frontispiece of the rear doorway shall be
formed in brickwork.

(7) Brickwork Continued. -­-­ The vaults to be made fireproof with strong brick arches above and below;; secured and tied with wrought iron anchors and bars where necessary. -­-­ The privy sink to be covered over with a 13 inch brick arch, an opening (in the entry) to be left in the same which shall be covered over with a flag stone. -­-­ All arches, moulded [sic] belt courses, cornices, panels, and projections and all other brickwork requisite in order to complete the building according to the drawings and foregoing particulars shall be executed in the most careful substantial and best workmanlike manner. -­-­

Ventilators and Iron Anchors -­-­ Twenty one large size ventilators made of cast iron and of a neat pattern shall be provided and set in the base walls round the building. -­-­ A sufficient number of wrought iron anchors shall be sunk into the joists, caulked down one inch at the ends and well nailed to secure the timbers and the brickwork together.

Cast iron Bases and Capitals. -­-­ The Bases and capitals of the columns of the portico shall be of cast iron executed, enriched, and finished in a neat workmanlike manner according to the form and dimensions required by the Ionic Order from the Grecian Temple of Erechtheus. -­-­

(8) Granite Work. -­-­ The sills to all the windows throughout the building, and all the front and rear steps ascending to the Portico and Entry shall be of the best description of Quincy Granite. The buttresses are not included with the steps, they are to be of brickwork finished with cement. -­-­
The front entrance doorway and the rear doorways in the entry and those of the vaults shall have suitable sills of the same kind of Granite. -­-­ The whole of the work to be accurately cut, neatly dressed, set, and finished in a good workmanlike manner.

Flagging. -­-­ The floor of the Portico and that of the rear Entry shall be flagged with best quality large size square German flagstones laid in good mortar. -­-­

Carpenters Work
Timbers and Plank. -­-­ All the timber and plank throughout the building shall be of the best description of sound cypress or yellow pine, free from splits, sap, bad knots, or other defects; the whole to be of the several dimensions, scantlings (?), and framings herein after described. -­-­

Floor joists. -­-­ The floor joists for both stories (except for the floor over the Court Room) shall be 3×16 inches placed 16 inches from centre to centre, the trimmer and trimmer joists to be 5×16 inches. The entire to be framed together placed on the walls & bridged in a proper manner.

(9) Trussed Girders. -­-­ The floor over the Court Room shall have four trussed girders; each girder made of two pieces of timber 16 inches by 10 inches, and a strong iron truss placed between, which truss shall be made of a wrought iron tie bolt the whole length of the girder, and one and a half inches in diameter, screwed at end end, -­-­ with three cast iron struts 4 inches wide by one and a half inches thick, and two wrought iron Queen bolts, each one and a quarter inch diameter, all properly attached at the bearings and cross bolts to secure the timbers and iron work together, -­-­ These girders shall have a piece of strong flagstone 3 feet long by 17 inches wide placed upon the wall under their ends, -­-­ The floor joists 2×16 inches framed in between the girders at 16 inches from centre to centre. -­-­ The ceiling under the girders and joists shall be furred diagonally with 2×1 ¼ inch laths 12 inches from centres,

Wood Partitions. The wood partitions to be of 2×6 inch studs placed 12 inches from centres in strong sills and plates, the studs at each doorway to be 6×8 inches. -­-­ The entire to be well framed and put up and securely braced and bridged in every part. The partitions over the court Room shall be trussed, and in part supported or held up to the roof tie beams with 1 ¼ inch wrought iron suspension rods where necessary or with such other contrivance as the nature of the work may require. -­-­

(10) Roof -­-­ The roof of the building shall be constructed in the most careful, firm, and skilful [sic] manner with Five framed principals, four of them to be placed over the rear offices and passages;; the other one over the front offices and passage. The cross walls to be built up to receive the purlins, -­-­ Each principal to be framed with timbers of the following dimensions. -­-­
Tie beams 13”x8” inches, Queen posts 7”x8”, other posts 4”x8”, Principal rafters 8×8, Straining beams 10×8, Braces 3×8, -­ Purlins 9×6 inches, small rafters 2×5, inches placed 16 inches from centres, -­-­ The ceiling joists 2×6 inches to be framed between the tie beams and cross walls, 16 inches from centres the same to be diagonally furred with 2×1 ¼ inch laths 12 inches from centres, -­-­ The ceiling joists for the portico to be set on the walls so as to allow the architrave of
the entablature to be run round the inside under the plastered ceiling. -­-­ A wall plate 8 inches square, scarp lapped two feet, dovetailed, and well nailed at the angles & crossings, shall be placed upon the walls at the proper height, to receive the principals of the roof. -­-­ The whole of the roof to be sheathed with 3×1 ¼ inch sheathing laths put on to suit 10×20 inch slates with 5 inches cover. -­-­ All the gutter boards, bearers, and other matters required to complete the roof shall be executed in a proper manner.
A scuttle with wooden frame and cover shall be left in the roof, also in the upper ceiling. -­-­

(11) Lintels & other timbers -­-­ The carpenter shall provide in sufficient quantity all lintels, bond, anchor, and other timbers that may be required throughout the building; the whole to be of proper dimensions and fixed in a workmanlike manner. -­-­ He shall also provide and fix all wood centres that may be required. -­-­

Coppersmiths Work.
Roof Gutters & etc. -­-­ All the copper for pipes gutters & etc. shall weigh twelve pounds to the sheet, The gutters shall be of copper averaging 30 inches wide all properly lapped, grooved, and soldered, and turned up against the brickwork under a copper flashing 6 inches wide which shall be built 3 inches into the brick wall along the planks of the building, -­-­ The flashings to the chimneys and the other parts of the roof shall be of copper. -­-­ The scuttle frame and cover to be lined with copper. -­-­ There shall be four descending pipes from the gutters, five inches diameter
with a large copper head & shoe to each, and eave pipes 8 inches from the gutters to the heads. -­-­

Slaters Work.
Roof to be Slated. -­-­ The roof shall be covered with best quality 10×20 inch Welsh slates -­-­ put on to have full 5 inches cover. -­-­ The ridge to be covered with good english ridge tiles, the whole warranted tight from water for twelvemonths [sic] after the building is finished.

(12) Joiners Work
Floors. -­-­ The floors throughout the interior of the building shall be laid with the best yellow pine well dressed planks not over 5 inches wide, and 1 ¼ inch thick, free from sap, bad knots, splits or other defects, and perfectly well seasoned;; the planks put down in straight courses with tongued and grooved joints secret nailed;; and the top surface planed off smooth after having been laid. -­-­ A champered [sic] saddle made of yellow pine, and fastened down with screws shall be fixed to each of the doorways; Mitred borders shall be fixed to all the hearths of fireplaces.

Base. -­-­ The base throughout the building shall have a double faced plinth, 12 inches deep properly scribed down and fitted to the floor, and a large ogee base moulding on top. -­-­

Wood Finishings to Doorways & Windows -­-­ The windows and doorways throughout the interior shall be trimmed with 10 inch double faced and moulded architraves, with base blocks;; each window to have plain jambs and moulded paneled backs. -­-­ All the jamb casings to the doorways shall be 1 ¾ inches thick framed and paneled to correspond with the doors. -­-­ The doorways in the private passage leading into the Jury rooms and Judges office and to the entry shall have moulded

(13) Wood Finishings Continued -­-­ imposts and large glazed headlights to be hung and fastened in a proper manner. -­-­ The outside of the front entrance doorway shall be trimmed with large diminished architraves and band moulding and with plain jambs and dentil cornice according to the drawing on the front elevation.

Doorways. -­-­ The front entrance doorway to have a pair of doors framed and paneled 2 ¼ inches thick bead & flus one side moulded the other hung with three 5×5 inch butts to each fold, fastened with a best quality front door lock and large bolts inside. -­-­ The doorway between the Hall & court room shall have a pair of doors framed & paneled 1 ¾ inches -­ thick, mouled [sic] on both sides hung to open into the hall with best butts, and fastened with a good American mortise lock and with large & small brass flush bolts. The same doorway to have a pair of light
made wooden framed doors covered neatly with green baize or cloth; hung to open into the court room and furnished with suitable brass handles and springs to keep them shut. -­-­ All the other doorways to have single 1 ¾ inch six (?) paneled doors moulded on both sides, each door hung with 3 best butts and fastened with a good American mortise lock,

(14) Doorways Continued -­-­ The outside rear doorway to have a pair of 2 ¼ inch paneled doors as per drawing on the rear elevations, the upper panels to consist of neat light made wrought iron gratings, each fold hung with three best butts and fastened with a good american rebated lock and with strong bolts on the inside. All the locks shall have large porcelian [sic] knobs and silver plated escutcheons. -­-­

Iron Doors. -­-­ Each vault shall have iron doors and frames, with locks bolts & etc. complete to correspond in every respect & particular with those executed by Beaumiller & Godwin (blacksmiths) for the vaults in E.W. Sewells building on Commercial Place. -­-­

Windows. -­-­ All the windows shall have 1 ¾ inch glazed sashes double hung in cased frames with patent axle pulleys metal weights and flax lines, The windows in the first story to have good brass sash fasteners fixed on the meeting rails of the sashes. -­-­ The windows in the Court room and those throughout all the other rooms and offices shall have 1 ⅜ inch mortise blind shutters in the two heights and four folds properly hung to the inside of the window with best butts and fastened with suitable bolt and iron cross bars. The shutters to have brass knobs.

Lumber. -­-­ The lumber for all the Joiners work shall be of well seasoned clear cypress, or white pine free from sap, splits, and knots, or other defects.

(15) Stairs. -­-­ The stairs shall be made agreeably to the plan with 1 ¾ inch treads and 1 ¼ inch risers, moulded and returned nosings, -­-­ and plain fillets to the ends of steps. -­-­ A double curtail step at bottom with strong iron centre balusters;; H. Domingo mahogany moulded handrail 4 inches square with scrolls and wreaths complete, fancy turned mahogany balusters 2 ½ inches diameter dovetailed and glued into steps.
The rail to be twice varnished and polished when the building is finished. -­-­ The level landing of the stairway to be kept 12 inches from the inside face of the window finish as shown on the plans the same to have a railing to correspond with the stair railing. -­-­
Mantels and Grates. -­-­ Each fireplace throughout the building to have a neat wooden pilaster pattern mantel painted in imitation of marble and twice varnished; and to have a fancy iron grate of the value of $15.00/100 (not including the price of the heart or setting) the same to be set in a careful and proper manner.

Archways. -­-­The archways shown on the plans shall be trimmed with moulded panel jambs and 10 inch double faced and moulded architrave with base blocks. -­-­ The niches in the hall and lobby to have moulded seats of bench at the bottom.

(16) Plasterers Work
Exterior Plastering. -­-­ All the surfaces of the exterior wall and the pilasters, jambs, reveals, string courses, entablatures, blockings, and chimney tops, shall be plastered in the best workmanlike manner with good fresh hydraulic cement mixed with clean sharp sand, put on in the most careful and judicious manner and jointed to imitate masonry, and roughly colored or lime whited as each portion of the work is done, and to be finally colored when all is finished with weatherproof coloring, fixed with tallow, beer grounds, and other proper ingredients put on the
work while hot; when the coloring is done the shall be accurately lined off with chocolate color
oil paint. -­-­ The buttress to the steps shall be plastered with the same kind of cement also the top of the blockings & pediments, -­-­ The flutes and fillets of the columns shall be accurately brought out and finished with cement. The cornices, mouldings, facias, and pilaster capitals to be neatly run and formed as required by the Order. -­-­ The ceiling of the portico and the soffits between the columns shall be plastered and finished in a proper manner;; the architrave facias and moulding to be run round the ceiling.-­-­

Interior Plastering. -­-­ The interior of the building throughout shall be lathed where necessary and plastered three coat work hardfinished [sic] in the best workmanlike manner. A large moulded cornice with a plain frieze to come down to the top of the window finish shall be run round the ceiling of the Court Room. -­-­

(17) Painting -­-­ All the wood and iron work usually painted of [sic] the inside and outside of the building shall have faux coats of the best white lead and oil mixed with such plain colors as the Building Committee may chose [sic]; -­-­ All nail holes, cracks, and other irregularities of the surface shall after the first coat be stopped with putty and rubbed with pummice [sic] stone to an even surface. -­-­ The entrance doors shall be grained or bronzed and twice varnished. -­-­ The wood mantels done in imitation of black and gold marble and twice varnished. -­-­ The last coat of paint throughout the interior shall be done flat color with best English white lead and turpentine.
-­-­ The whole of the work shall be executed of the best of materials of every kind, and the workmanship of the best description in every respect. -­-­

Glazing. -­-­ All the window sashes and headlights shall be glazed with first quality French cylinder glass free from stains, and other imperfections, well set and bedded in good oil putty. -­-­

Privies -­-­ The privies to be divided with dressed board partitions 8 feet high, each privy to have 1 ⅜ inch 4 paneled door, the lower panels solid and the upper ones filled in with blind slats. The privy seats to have framed covers properly hung and fastened -­-­ The doors to be hung with butts and fastened with 6 inch rim locks & suitable bolts, -­-­

(18) Conditions. -­-­ The contractor shall at his own and charges provide and furnish all materials of the best quality together with all labor and workmanship which may be necessary for the due, proper and complete erection of the building and works specified, represented or implied in or by this specification or in or by the drawings thereby referred to, or either of them, or which may be required for rendering every part of the building and works throughout completely finished, -­-­ agreeably and conformably to the said drawings, specification, dimensions, explanations and
observations thereon or herein stated, described or implied and all things incedent [sic] thereto which may become necessary, according to the true intent and meaning thereof. -­-­ If any alterations should hereafter be made by order of the Building Committee or their Architect, by varying from the plans or the foregoing specification either in adding thereto or diminishing therefrom or otherwise however such alterations shall not vacate the contract hereby entered into, but the value thereof, shall be fixed by two Experts; one of whom shall be appointed by the
Building Committee, and one by the contractor; and if such Experts cannot agree they shall call in a third one; and a majority of the three shall decide finally the matter referred and the value of the work so fixed upon shall be added to, or deducted from the entire amount of the contract as the case may be; nor shall such alterations either in addition dimunition [sic] or otherwise supersede the conditions for the completion of the works,

(19) but the contractor shall if such alterations of what-­ever sort, require it increase the number of his workmen, so that the same as well as the works contained in the foregoing particulars shall be completely finished and so delivered up to the Building Committee on or before the first day of October in the year 1854, -­ On failure whereof the contractor shall forfeit and pay to the said Building Committee the sum of fifty dollars for every day that the building and works remains unfinished and undelivered as aforesaid which sum the said Building Committee shall be
allowed to stop as liquidated damages out of any moneys that may be due and owing to the said contractor an account of the works. -­-­ No extra Work or additions to be admitted or allowed for unless executed under written authority. -­-­ It is the intention of these Conditions that all such works of every kind that may be necessary for completely finishing the building proposed, for the rectification of any failure from what-­ever cause arising and the well maintaining sustaining and supporting the whole of the works, as well as alterations and additions should such be made, that that the whole may remain sound and firm are implied in the foregoing specification
although the same may not be therein Specifically expressed.

Henry Howard
New Orleans
January 16th 1854
[along left-­hand side]
Specifications for the court house marked (??) One as per contract passed this seventh day of April, 1854, before the undersigned Reender(?)
[Nine signatures that are difficult to make out]

(20) Parish of Jefferson March 1st 1854
I do hereby certify the following resolution to be a true extract from the minutes of a meeting of the Joint Committee of the Corporation of the Parish of Jefferson held on the 27th of February 1854 in the Town of Carrollton.
Resolved that the proposition of Mssrs. Crozier & Wing be and is hereby accepted and the Secretary be required to notify them to comply and their proposition in five days by signing the contract and giving the security as named in the proposition; Resolved that the Act be drawn by J.B.G. Arnault Notary Public and the plans and Specification be retained in his office for reference.
W. T. Gillman Sec’y
Joint Committee

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