chicago daily tribune, wednesday morning, july 12th, 1854. page two, column one.
THE STREETS AND THE CHOLERA AGAIN.
The worst is probably over. Our citizens begin to breathe more freely, the panic which began on Friday last and continued up to Monday morning, has very materially died away; the delightfully cool and pleasant weather which we now enjoy has brought fresh life and hope to everyone; business begins to recover from the momentary depression which it endured; the health of the city is decidedly better; and Chicago is herself again. On the whole, people begin to believe that they were worse scared than hurt, and that there are a great many worse places both to live and die in, than the Garden City.
But because[?] this is overdue[?] [hard to read this passage through blotched ink - jr], and because we have most probably passed through the worst portion of the sickly season, it will not do for our Board of Health and City Fathers to sit down quietly and hug themselves with the reflection that they need no longer trouble themselves about the sanitary conditions of the city, and that Chicago is big enough to take care of herself. Their work is but just begun, and they will be most cruelly and culpably negligent, should they not continue to exercise the utmost and most unceasing vigilance in the discharge of their official duties for at least two months to come. They have enough to do to keep them very busy, at least until the middle of September. For we cannot, with truth, attribute the present comfortable condition of the health of the city, and the late abatement of mortality to any effort of either the Board of Health or the City Fathers in our behalf. Had the terrible and excessive heat which raged from the 1st of July to the evening of the 8th, during which period the mercury rose in the shade, to 102 degrees above zero,—had this weather continued up to the present time, instead of now congratulating ourselves and the city on its recovering health and happiness, we should be publishing the mournful chronicles of a decimated and bereaved town. For notwithstanding something has been done to cleanse the city, and although it undoubtedly is much cleaner than it was three weeks ago, still it is yet yet [sic] in so very bad order; so many of the streets, the alleys, and the gutters, are ankle deep in festering corruption and rottenness; there are so many choked up drains and unmanageable sewers; there are such immense piles of garbage and filth at the back of Hotels Restaurants and Oyster Saloons; and there is yet so much suffering and destitution among the poorer portion of our citizens and the emigrants daily arriving here; there is, in one word, so much of what ought not to be, and so little of what ought to be, in the sanitary condition of our city, that we can only ascribe our present comparatively comfortable and healthy condition, to the merciful and timely interposition of an overruling Providence. The storm of Saturday evening, and the cool weather which has thus far succeeded it, has been indeed a God-send, and has saved the lives of many of our citizens. But we cannot expect this to last. We have yet before us ten or twelve weeks during which we must expect to again swelter under an atmosphere of 102 degrees. If, at that time, our city is not better prepared for heat than it is now, we may expect a repetition, and it may be an addition, to the distressing scenes through which we have just passed. If things are permitted to remain in their present condition, or if even only ordinary measures are taken to clean up the city, we will suffer terribly from it, both in the loss of life to our inhabitants and the loss of our good name as a healthy and safe city. We conjure those in authority to do their whole duty to put on extra forces and do the work up rapidly and thoroughly and make the city as clean as she now is filthy. This is the right time for action, we have obtained perhaps a week’s respite from the ravages of disease and the burnings of a tropical sun, and let that week be improved. “There is time in three days to win three battles,” Ruy Gomez says, and in seven days there ought to be time to do much toward cleaning and purifying the seven wards of the city. Let not the work be for a moment delayed or hindered, or on any account carelessly performed. Do it at once and do it well.
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, may 31st, 1855. page three, column four.
THE NEW GRADE.
Efforts will be made we learn to defeat the city authorities in the establishment of the new street grade, by injunction sued out of one of the Courts. It is contended that the city is responsible for all damages that may be done to private property by altering grades; and that, in this case the damage will be so large that the city will be unable to pay the demands that will necessarily exist, hence the parties aggrieved are about to take the step we have indicated.
chicago daily tribune, friday morning, april 18th, 1856. page three, column two.
AT NOON yesterday we saw a large frame dwelling house traveling along a street, while the family were eating their dinners, with as little concern as when the house stood on its original foundation. The art of house moving has been brought to great perfection.
putnam’s monthly magazine, volume seven, june 1856. page 610.
CHICAGO IN 1856.
[…] THE STREETS.
Both carriage-way and sidewalks are planked—stone being as yet too expensive a material, and too slowly laid for this new and fast metropolis. In the spring of the year, the ground asserts its original character of a swamp. The planks actually float, and, as the heavy wagons pass along, ornamental jets of muddy water play on the every side.
The sidewalks of Chicago are as remarkable, in their way, as the bridges. With almost every block of buildings there is a change of grade, sometimes of one foot, sometimes of three feet, sometimes of five. These ascents or descents are made by steps, or by short, steep, inclined planes of boards, with or without cleats or cross-pieces, to prevent slipping, according to the fancy of the adjoining proprietor who erects them. The profile of a chicago sidewalk would resemble the profile of the Erie Canal where the locks are most plenty. It is one continual succession of ups and downs. The reason of this diversity is, that it was found necessary, at an early period in the history of the place, to raise the grade of the streets. It was afterward found necessary to raise the grade still higher, and again still higher—as each building is erected, its foundation and the sidewalk adjoining have been made to correspond with the grade then last established, and so it will not happen until the city is entirely rebuilt, that the proper grade will be uniformly attained. […]
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, march 12th, 1857. page two, column one.
Side-Walks---A Uniform Grade.
Mayor WENTWORTH has promised the city good side-walks and as suggestions are invited in the Inaugural, and are now in order, we have one to make on the subject of side-walks.
Our motion is that, all the side-walks within specified bounds be brought to some uniform grade, some common level, so far as practicable. For instance State street side-walks as far south as Twelfth street; Dearborn to Madison street, and Clark south to Twelfth, and north to Chicago Avenue; LaSalle to the Depot; Wells from the bridge to Monroe street; South Water from the Richmond House to the South Branch; Lake from the Illinois Depot to the bridge; Randolph from South Market to West Market; and Kinzie street, North side, from the bridge east to the Galena Freight Depot.
On the streets within these limits, nearly the whole population of Chicago pass and re-pass, daily. These are the great travelled thoroughfares. The tens of thousands of strangers who ebb and flow through our city confine most of their walking upon them. And did one of them ever omit to complain of the disagreeable ups and downs that obstructed his progress at almost every step? No man is justified in impeding the free right of way for pedestrians. But take for instance Lake or Clark street; 20 feet forward you go down four steps; 30 feet further ahead you meet a steep inclined plane, over which you scramble, and a rod forward you slide down a corresponding grade; then perhaps the navigation is tolerable for half a block when your further progress is suddenly stopped by a flight of steep, narrow steps, carrying you up to the second story of the adjoining building; one rod and a quarter of locomotion brings you safely to the brink of the precipice on the other side, down which you have the choice to crawl or fall, and so on, and so forth, to the end of your walk, up and down, down and up, steps narrow and high—inclines slippery and steep. In fine, dry summer weather, during daylight hours, a careful, circumspect person may get along with comparative safety. But in winter and spring, when wet, rain, mud, snow or ice covers those walks the danger is vastly increased; and at night it becomes positively unsafe. Who has not received a fall or a sprain or a fright in trying to avoid a fall? Ask everybody. Those sidewalks are public nuisances, as well as reproaches upon the city in the eyes of strangers.
When a man builds a house he fixes the grade of the sidewalk to suit his private interests, paying not the slightest regard to the convenience or rights of the public, and city officials have paid no attention to this conduct. The result is, what we see. The government of no other city on the American Continent would tolerate such sidewalks.
We are aware that the new grade which is being adopted, is claimed to be the cause of the irregularity. But it is not necessarily so, altho’ made the ’scape goat. Four out of five of the “ups” and “downs” could be abated at a moderate cost, without interfering with the new grade.
Now, if the new Mayor is sincere in his professions concerning sidewalks, here is an opportunity to exhibit it. Let him make smooth these paths of the people, and he will earn the daily thanks of tens of thousands, and do the city a real service.
chicago daily tribune, wednesday morning, march 25th, 1857. front page, column two.
ANOTHER CHANGE OF GRADE—THE SIDEWALKS TO BE RAISED STILL HIGHER.—In 1855 our city was all excitement over the proposed change of grade of the streets and many animated and angry discussions were had over the matter. The friends of the “new grade,” as it was termed, finally carried their point and the change was made and everybody was congratulating his neighbor that the vexed question was finally disposed of and the grade of our streets determined for all future time. Possibly the grades of the streets are permanently fixed, but the sidewalks—those ingenious combinations of man traps and stairways, are about to be favored with another elevation. […]
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, april 9th, 1857. page one, column two.
A Higher Grade---An Important Question to House Owners.
We fear that a very large majority of the owners of Chicago “inside property,” do not fully comprehend the practical working of the proposed “new grade,” of thirteen or fourteen feet above low water. The present grade of Lake street is about ten feet above low water. The proposed change would render it necessay [sic] to raise that street between three and four feet. The present grade was established about two years ago, and people thought st [sic] was permanently fixed; but not so, individuals are again tinkering at it. The excuse for ripping up and changing it given by those urging a higher grade is, that eight feet cellars may be made and drained into the sewers.
A dry-bottomed eight foot cellar would be a very nice luxury, providing it did not cost too much. But what effect is this new grade going to have on buildings already erected in this city? The streets and sidewalks must be raised some seven feet above the natural surface level. In other words, every house now built must be raised about the hight [sic] of the Mayor above its present foundation, or be entered through doors cut in its second story. The proposed grade would damage immensely all our citizens who have built those magnificent brick, stone and iron blocks within the past three years. These buildings have been erected to correspond with the present grade. The “new grade” would throw their first floors some four feet below the sidewalks, while their second floors would be five or six feet above the street surface, and their cellars would become dark pits or dens underground. The older buildings erected on a level with the natural surface, would fare much better than any of the great blocks constructed to suit the present grade. Frame houses could be set up on blocks, while brick ones, such as the Tremont House, might be entered from the street through the second story windows, by building two or three short steps upon the proposed sidewalks.
We should say that two millions of dollars would be a low estimate of the damage that would be done to present structures! Who must pay it—or would the owners have to lose it? But that is not all. It will be a costly job to raise all the streets and sidewalks of Chicago six to eight feet, within the whole space to be drained by the sewers—a space of more than 1200 acres. Where are the millions of cubic yards of earth to come from to fill them up to the second stories of present buildings? And how many millions of money is it going to cost the tax payers? What sort of up and down sidewalks will the establishment of this “new 13 or 14 feet grade” create during the next twenty years? because [sic] it is all bosh to say that a uniform system of level sidewalks, corresponding with the proposed grade, can be established short of many years.
The Committee appointed by the Council to report on the subject of grades, consists of the City Surveyor, GREELEY, Superintendent BOUTON, and Aldermen KENNEDY, LONG, KENDALL and JOY. They will report next Monday evening. Those opposed to the new grade had better be stirring themselves before it is too late. Now is the time to speak, or forever hold your peace.
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, october 1st, 1857. front page, column two.
RAISING BRICK BUILDINGS.—The contract has been let for the raising of the brick block north east corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets up to the grade of Randolph street. A Boston firm have the contract. The block is to be raised six feet at a cost of about $3,000.
chicago daily tribune, wednesday morning, december 2nd, 1857. front page, column two.
RAISING A BRICK BLOCK.—Workmen are engaged in undermining the brick block, corner of Dearborn and Randolph streets, preparatory to raising it up to grade. It is to be raised six feet.
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, december 17th, 1857. front page, column two.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN 1857
[…] Grading streets; 8,100 lineal feet of paving; 27,550 lineal feet of macadamizing; 21,000 lineal feet of planking; culverts, crossings, &c., $275,023. Of this sum, $60,000 was not raised by assessment but paid directly to the contractors by the property owners.
the weekly chicago times, thursday morning, january 21st, 1858. page three, column one.
BOUND TO RISE.—A somewhat extraordinary spectacle is now presented to the inhabitants of Chicago, and one which surprises nearly every one. We allude to the raising of the large brick block at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets. The property is owned by Mr. Newhall, and the object in thus raising the building (which is a very valuable one, four stories high) is to bring it up to the present grade of the street. To do this, it will have to be raised seven feet, and as it is moving upward at the rate of twelve inches a day, we may expect on the seventh day to hear the ram’s horn sounded, and to see the foundation walls of this large building on a level with the street. The modus operandi is very curious, and yet simple. The whole structure is undermined, a part at a time, and three hundred screw-jacks are placed under the walls, which work on solid blocks.
The drug store of Messrs. Thayer & Pike is in the corner, and a large number of other establishments are doing business in the block. The idea of raising the building originated with Dr. Pike, who went to the east and engaged Mr. Brown, the contractor, to do the work. It will be, when finished, a noble monument of individual enterprise, and will furnish an example which will no doubt be followed by others.
chicago daily tribune, tuesday morning, january 26th, 1858. front page, column two.
THE HOUSE RAISING ON RANDOLPH STREET.—The raising of Mr. Newhall’s brick block, on the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets, has excited the public curiosity for some time past, and crowds of persons were constantly collected about the building to watch the operation. Yesterday the raising of the building was completed and the masons were at work putting in the foundation. The building is of brick, four stories high, forty by seventy feet, and its estimated weight is about seven hundred and fifty tons. The building was raised up bodily six feet and two inches, some two hundred screws and fifteen men being employed in the operation. The cost of the raising is $2,700 and the whole cost of the improvement, including a fine cellar, will be some $5,000. Mr. James Brown, recently from Boston, was the contractor for the job, and it has been executed in the best manner and without the slightest injury to the building. Mr. Brown is making arrangements to raise other brick buildings up to the new grade. Chicago presents the finest field of any city in the Union for such an enterprise as that in which Mr. Brown is embarked, and we trust that all the valuable brick structures, now below the new grade, will be speedily raised, as the cost of doing so is but a trifle compared with the benefits accruing to the owner. As soon as the “hard times” become easier we shall doubtless see many such sights as that now to be witnessed on the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets.
[All the accounts I’ve seen of this, the first brick building raising in Chicago, are in agreement about the building’s location, viz., the northeast corner of Randolph street and Dearborn street. The reports above refer to the building as Mr Newhall’s building, but some accounts from some decades later call it the Thayer building, others write of J. D. Jennings’ building. I’ll detail those accounts in due course. The building is visible in Alexander Hesler’s 1858 photograph north-east from the top of the Chicago Court House dome. - jr]
chicago daily tribune, friday morning, january 29th, 1858. front page, column seven.
Raising Business Blocks.
THE SUBSCRIBER WOULD ANNOUNCE that he is ready to make contracts for RAISING BUSINESS BLOCKS TO GRADE, and all other operations pertaining to the removal or raising of Buildings of wood, brick or stone, of any size, to any desired height or to any distance.
A long residence in this city, enables him to refer with confidence to many of our best citizens, for all indorsements as to character and reliability.
May be found at the of [sic] J. S. Wright Esq., No. 51 Clark street, between the hours of 9 A. M. and 4 P. M., daily.
JAMES HOLLINGWORTH [sic].
Chicago, Jan. 29th, 1857 [sic].—2w-j94
[Some problems emerge from this advertisement:
1. “May be found at the of …”, should probably read, ‘May be found at the office of …’
2. Who is J. S. Wright, why was Hollingsworth presenting Wright’s address, and how come either of them were using this address given that it was the address of the Tribune itself? John Stephen Wright was a prominent businessman and publisher, and was the brother of Timothy Wright, a co-publisher of the Tribune. J. S. Wright’s successful monthly magazine Prairie Farmer was printed by the Tribune but on 24th September, 1857, he was forced to end this relationship with the Tribune after his wider business interests collapsed due to debt and the so-called Panic of 1857. It might be reasonable to suppose that if J. S. Wright had a room in the Tribune’s buildings, he would have vacated it around that time, which not long predated Hollingsworth’s advertisement.
3. What’s with the 1857 date stamp? The earliest appearance of this advertisement was on January 29th, 1858. The January 29th, 1857 date written into the advertisement itself is obviously a mistake.
4. Who’s James Hollingworth? This is another obvious mistake, a mis-spelling of Hollingsworth’s name.
What with a mis-spelling, an incorrect date and an omitted word, it looks like this advertisement was typed up in a great hurry! - jr]
chicago daily tribune, monday morning, february 1st, 1858. front page, column three.
RAISING BRICK BUILDINGS.—By an advertisement in the TRIBUNE, it will be seen that Mr. James Hollingsworth is prepared to make contracts for raising and moving business blocks. Mr. Hollingsworth is well known to our citizens as a gentleman thoroughly competent for the business in which he is engaged. He is one of our oldest citizens and best mechanics. Since the fact has been demonstrated here that brick buildings can be readily and safely raised up to the new grade, there will, doubtless, be an abundance of this work to do, and Mr. Hollingsworth deserves a liberal patronage.
chicago daily tribune, monday morning, march 8th, 1858. front page, column three.
BRICK HOUSE RAISING.—Two heavy four-story brick buildings, at the south end of Madison street bridge, are being raised to the level of the bridge grade.
the daily chicago times, tuesday morning, march 9th, 1858. page three, column six.
DUDGEON’S PATENT PORTABLE Hydraulic Jack, In general use throughout the Eastern States, each one LIFTING FROM 8,000 TO 120,000 LBS., Varying with their size, perfectly simple and plain, taking the place of the screw. One man can handle and work from the smallest to the greatest weights. Ship, Locomotive and Car Builders, House Raisers and Machinists, all who want power saving time and labor, are invited to call.
THOMAS PICKERING & Co., Agents,
51 South Water street, Chicago.
chicago daily tribune, thursday morning, march 18th, 1858. front page, column three.
TO BE RAISED TO GRADE.—Messrs. Brown and Hollingsworth have just taken the contract to raise the four story brick block on the corner of Clark and South Water streets, to grade.
chicago daily tribune, wednesday morning, march 31st, 1858. front page, column two.
RAISING BRICK BLOCKS.—We understand that Messrs. Israel C. Ely of New York and Mr. Abbott of Massachusetts, have taken the contract to raise the brick block of four stores on Randolph street, between Dearborn and Clark streets—two stores known as the “Odd Fellows Hall,” owned by Judge Manierre and C. B. Hosmer, Esq., and the two adjoining on the east owned by M. C. Stearns—and have already commenced operations. There will be an abundance of this sort of work to do in our city during the next year or two.
chicago daily tribune, saturday morning, april 17th, 1858. front page, column two.
HOUSE RAISING.—Yesterday afternoon the workman [sic] having completed their preparations, commenced raising Odd Fellows’ [sic] Hall block on Randolph Street, and lifted it nearly a foot before night. There are 600 screws under it, each with a lifting power of ten tons. The building is very large and heavy, but no trouble is anticipated in bringing it up to grade.
chicago daily tribune, saturday morning, may 8th, 1858. front page, column three.
TO GRADE.—The eight brick stores on the south side of Randolph street, next west of the Metropolitan Hotel, are about being [sic] raised to grade.
chicago daily press and tribune, wednesday morning, july 28th, 1858. front page, column two.
TO BE RAISED TO THD [sic] GRADE.—The City Hotel at the corner of Lake and State streets has been closed for the purpose of raising it to the latest grade.
chicago daily press and tribune, monday morning, october 4th, 1858. front page, column two.
TO BE RAISED TO GRADE.—Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth, the enterprising contractors in that line of business, are immediately to commence several heavy jobs in the way of raising buildings, to be finished this fall, to the great improvement of their several localities.
On Lake street, the block of four-story brick stores opposite the Tremont House, owned by Judge Dickey and Mrs. Clark, 80 feet in front, are to be raised five feet to the street grade.
On South Water street, the brick warehouse of Mr. Pardee, adjoining Wells street bridge, 80 feet front by 45 feet deep to the river, is to be raised eight feet to grade.
On the same street, the four brick four-story stores between Clark and Wells street, owned by Tertius Wadsworth, 80 feet front by 120 feet deep, are to be raised five feet six inches to grade.
We hope Messrs. B. & H. will be encouraged to give us numerous other lifts of the same sort.
chicago daily press and tribune, friday morning, november 19th, 1858. front page, column two.
TO BE RAISED.—We notice that the block of stores on the north side of Lake street, near State, are to be raised to grade, by rebuilding their fronts.
chicago daily press and tribune, monday morning, december 20th, 1858. front page, column two.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS—HOUSE MOVING.—Five years have seen a very marked change in the business centre of our city in the driving to the outskirts the old-time wooden buildings to give place to permanent structures of brick and marble. There are many yet left, but more are gone. Within the past three years J. S. McIntire, Esx. [sic], the veteran among compeers in this branch of enterprise, has moved between four and five hundred buildings, mostly small frame structures. Quite a village, that.
He is now at work moving a building on Wabash avenue, forty feet front by thirty deep, for J. M. Marshall, Esq., to be located on Clark street, near Van Buren. And here, by the way, we may mention that he has applied the principle of elastic supports to the moving of buildings, resting them upon hickory springs, thus entirely doing away with the jar, and damage therefrom, be the surface the most uneven possible. It is a novel and ingenious, and, withal, as simple and valuable an application of a familiar principle.
House moving has proven a most useful adjunct to our improvements. The ease with which structures could be mounted on rollers and trundled away to a new site, has done much toward replacing them on the more important sites with a better class of edifices.
chicago daily press and tribune, thursday morning, december 23rd, 1858. front page, column four.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth have contracted with Dr. Evans to raise to grade (five feet) on Clark street, the block of four story brick buildings, on the east side of the street, from the alley to Randolph street, two hundred and fifty feet front. The buildings will be elevated sufficiently high for basements throughout. The work will commence next month.
chicago daily press and tribune, wednesday morning, december 29th, 1858. front page, column two.
[paragraph three] The owners of the Empire Block, on Clark street, between Lake and Randolph, are going to “make a raise,” and place that time honored edifice on a footing with the new grade to which Clark street is to be subjected the coming spring.
The former old “Tribune Buildings,” now the “Herald Buildings,” are to be raised to the new grade, together with their Southern neighbors, reaching to Randolph street. These buildings are the property of Dr. Evans.
These improvements are all “put down” for the coming spring, and they show pretty conclusively that the “bottom has not yet dropped out” of Chicago, our Eastern neighbors to the contrary notwithstanding.
chicago daily press and tribune, saturday morning, january 1st, 1859. page three, column six.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN 1858.
[paragraph five] In the numeration of building expenditures[,] has been given the large sums required in the completion of costly residences and business blocks commenced in 1857, also the Court House improvement, and the new feature inaugurated here by the change of grade, the expenditure for raising business blocks to grade, from four to six feet. Within the past year from fifty to sixty brick stores, in blocks of two to five or seven in number, have been thus raised […].
chicago daily press and tribune, saturday morning, february 5th, 1859. front page, column two.
COMING UP TO THE GRADE.—The Garden City House, on Madison street, is being raised to the grade. The whole of Madison street is now nearly raised to the grade, and there is a prospect that this thoroughfare will soon become as much an object of admiration as it has heretofore been of abuse.
chicago daily press and tribune, wednesday morning, february 16th, 1859. front page, column four.
TO BE RAISED TO GRADE.—We learn that contracts have just been made with Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth, the well known building raisers, to raise to grade the four story brick block one hundred and twenty feet front on Randolph street, by one hundred on State. The work has already been commenced.
We further learn that it is in contemplation to raise the Matteson House to grade the present spring. Other important building improvements are being talked of.
chicago daily press and tribune, saturday morning, february 19th, 1859. front page, column three.
IN NEW QUARTERS—H. H. TAPPEN AT HOME ON RANDOLPH STREET.—The great change which Randolph street, from Clark east to the Lake, has witnessed within two years past, has developed it into a first-class business thoroughfare. It comes nearer being finished to-day than any other street of equal importance in Chicago. It is even with the last high grade, its old business blocks have been raised to grade, many of them, and other fine blocks have been built, and thus Lake st. has lost laurels it will never recover from the portion of Randolph street between State and Clark. […]
chicago daily press and tribune, thursday morning, february 24th, 1859. front page, column two.
RAISING BUSINESS BLOCKS TO GRADE.—We have now rising to grade in our city within two blocks of where we write, about five hundred feet front of four story business blocks being raised each from four to six feet. These heavy contracts are in the hands of one firm, that of Brown & Hollingsworth. There are two other firms in our city engaged in the same business. The demand for undertakings of this kind is of course somewhat temporary, and now brought upon us by the sudden change of grade. The business is one which requires considerable capital and large mechanical skill. One of the firm named, Mr. Hollingsworth, is himself the inventor of a system of railways and tracks for conveying dirt and material to any point desired, greatly expediting the work at an economy of labor.
chicago daily press and tribune, thursday morning, february 24th, 1859. front page, column five.
UNPRECEDENTED QUICK TIME!—On the 25th day of January, Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth took up the sidewalk in front of the block of stores on Clark street, between Randolph and Lake, one hundred and eighty by an average of sixty five feet deep; excavated one thousand yards of earth; raised the block to the six foot grade and completed the whole this day, being two days less than a month. They have not only the materials and experience, but the improved machinery, and more than this the men to put work through. They certainly deserve much credit for perseverance and quick work.
chicago daily press and tribune, monday morning, february 28th, 1859. front page, column three.
THE MATTESON HOUSE, “GOING UP.”—Messrs. Pullman and Moore, recently from Albion, New York, have made contract to raise the Matteson House, and have already commenced operations. They come highly recommended, and as this is the largest building yet raised in the city, if they succeed well, it will be an excellent card on which to base future operations. It is to be completed in forty-eight days. The fact that the whole matter is in the hands of our fellow citizen, S. B. Cobb, Esq., the executor and manager of the Matteson estate, is a sufficient guarantee that the work will be pushed forward with all possible dispatch. The Matteson House will be all in order, painted and brushed up generally in time for the spring travel.
[This was George Pullman’s first project in Chicago, and in a later issue of the Tribune, a claim is made that the Matteson House was raised eight feet. - jr]
chicago daily press and tribune, tuesday morning, march 1st, 1859. front page, column three.
RAISING BUSINESS BLOCKS.—The Garden City Hotel on the corner of Madison and Market streets has been raised to grade, by Messrs. Ely & Smith. The firm are also about to commence raising to the new grade of Lake street, the marble dry goods palace of Wm. M. Ross & Co. It is to be raised twenty inches.
This business of raising business blocks to grade has already called into the field several firms, among whom a competition for jobs has left little profits for any. The general results tell well for the city however.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, march 17th, 1859. front page, column two.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—We notice that the Exchange Building on the corner of Clark and Lake street is being brought to grade by raising the floors of its principle stores, the walls remaining the same.
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, march 22nd, 1859. front page, column three.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—As the season advances we notice an increased bustle and stir, in favorable weather, as of several days of last week, amounting to anything we have ever seen in Chicago. The season improvements in the line of first class business improvements either in the way of raising buildings to grade, or replacing old structures with new, will, from present appearances, take rank in amount and value with any of several preceding seasons for years pass [sic]. The season has opened earlier by two weeks than for the past two or three years and already the low rates of labor and material are being successful inducements to capitalists and moneyed men here and owning real estate here to improve the same in a permanent and substantial manner. Every day we hear and are called on to chronicle some new enterprise projected or already under contract, and many of these in the very heart of our city.
Take the block, probably the most valuable in the city, bounded by Randolph, Clark, Lake and Dearborn streets; let us review the improvements which will be the results of the present season.
Commencing at the Matteson House, on the corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets, that structure is being raised to grade five feet or more, to the great enhancement of the value of its stores on both streets.
Next adjoining, the old Donnelly & Ring stable has been finely rebuilt, and is now near completion, giving two handsome stores with offices above.
Farther on, the four story brick block of stores and offices commencing on Randolph street and running round to the alley on Clark street, owned by Dr. Evans, has been raised, and is now being finished off beneath for airy basements.
Persons doing business with the PRESS AND TRIBUNE offices in these days have no need of the information that a most chaotic state of affairs prevails in the approaches thereto. Clark street, between Lake and Randolph streets is, in fact, “closed for the season.”
On the north side of the alley on the east side of Clark street, Snow’s five story marble front block is to be raised to grade about six feet high. Next adjoining, the four story brick building of Dr. Brainard is to follow it to an equal altitude. The bank building of Geo. Smith & Co., next north is to be entirely demolished, and replaced by a first-class business structure.
The marble front building next north, the old Merchants’ and Mechanics’ Bank, is also to be raised, or the project is under contemplation.
On State street we notice, at the Randolph street corners on the east side, both business blocks on the opposite corners have been raised to grade and are being finished beneath into basements. These we have before referred to.
The Milwaukee brick front block of George Smith, between Randolph and Lake streets, and extending north from one of the blocks last referred to, to the alley, one hundred feet front, is also in the charge of Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth, the enterprising contractors, and “upward bound” a distance of six feet.
We might thus go on and fill a column or two with references to what is going on here. We have only noticed what lie within a few blocks from our own office, nor have we fully explored prospects as to even these.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, march 28th, 1859. front page, column three.
FOUR CHICAGO BANKERS “GONE UP.”—Four of our Chicago Bankers, Messrs. Aiken and Norton, A. T. Sherman & Co., F. G. Adams, and J. C. Barbor, have all “gone up.” They are all close neighbors, occupying the block on Clark street, opposite our office, and yet they did not attempt to assist each other. With Roman firmness they asked for no sympathy, and though crowds daily witnessed their dilemma, no one whispered a kind word in their behalf. The entire community, business men and bankers, saw them “going,” and yet, clever gentleman though he was, not a man in all the city seemed willing to do the least thing to prevent it. They paid checks regularly up to closing hours on Saturday evening; and yet getting the money was decidedly an “up-hill business.” Holders of demands alike with depositors had to climb the “cob-house” in front and “walk the plank,” and a shaky one at that.
Wishing to maintain the reputation of the PRESS AND TRIBUNE as good authority in financial matters, we have examined the whole subject carefully, and we find that our friends, the bankers, have “gone up” just five feet two inches and a half. The cause of this rise in their “money matters”—for vaults and all have “gone up” together—we have traced to Messrs. Brown Hollingworth [sic], who have remorselessly applied for three or four days, five hundred and eighty-seven screws, turned by Celtic and other power, to “foundations” of these banking institutions. The bankers aforesaid can console themselves with the fact that though by no means the oldest houses in the city, all the rest are forced to “look up to them.” How long this unusual state of things must continue will depend upon the time it takes to raise the side-walk. We shall see.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, april 4th, 1859. front page, column five.
MATTESON HOUSE.—The Matteson House is now raised to grade. The proprietors are prepared to receive their old customers and friends, as usual.
the press and tribune, chicago, saturday, april 9th, 1859. front page, column four.
STREET IMPROVEMENTS.—We notice that South Wells street is being filled to grade, also on Market street that area walls are being put in.
On Randolph street two large brick blocks, the Clarendon House near Wells, and the block east, adjoining the Briggs House, are being raised to grade.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, april 29th, 1859. front page, column two.
TO BE RAISED.—The large brick block on the corner of Wells and South Water streets, embracing Nos. 209 to 215 inclusive, is to be raised to grade.
the press and tribune, chicago, wednesday, may 4th, 1859. front page, column three.
[paragraph thirteen] We notice that the block of four brick dwellings of C. R. Starkweather Esq., on State street, corner of Adams, are being raised, and to be furnished below into iron front stores.
[paragraph nineteen] The screws are being put to the five story marble block of George W. Snow on the corner of the alley on Clark street, between Randolph and Lake street. It is only twenty-five feet front by eighty feet deep.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, may 5th, 1859. front page, column five.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—We learn than arrangements are now being made to raise the entire block of stores on South Water street, between Wells and Franklin streets. This mammoth block comprises 16 stores, and is to be raised five feet. Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth have the contract for the raising. Ten of these stores are owned by Tertius Wardsworth [sic., should be “Wadsworth” - jr], Esq., and one by Geo. F. Foster, Esq., making a front of 242 feet on South Water street, by 115 feet on Franklin street. This is probably the largest job of raising buildings with screws ever attempted in any city, and throws all other works in that line, executed heretofore, into shade. Our friend, Otto H. Matz, architect, is the superintendent for the owners […].
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, may 17th, 1859. front page, column two.
[paragraph four] Messrs. Pullman & Co. have just taken the contract to raise the Democrat building to grade. The contract to elevate the tone of that paper and its morals, remains untaken.
the press and tribune, chicago, wednesday, june 15th, 1859. front page, column two.
NARROW ESCAPE.—Yesterday morning, between the hours of 9½ and 10 o’clock, the ponderous vault on the first floor of the bank building of J. M. Adsit, 39 South Clark street, which is being raised to grade, fell with a tremendous crash, through the floor into the chasm intended for a cellar, and out of which the whole building had been raised. The vault, which is now a perfect wreck, has been built on the floor, and was much too weighty to attempt to lift without some extra propping and securing. A great number of men were working all around it when it fell, and we need not say were much alarmed. The boss of the job was struck on the arm, but fortunately escaped without injury.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, june 16th, 1859. front page, column two.
[paragraph nine] The vault which fell on Wednesday morning was in Dr. Brainard’s building, the former banking house of Greenebaum Bros. and not in Adsits’ [sic] Bank as erroneously stated by us in yesterday’s paper. The latter has been raised to grade for some days.
the press and tribune, chicago, saturday, june 18th, 1859. front page, column five.
THE CINCINNATI EXCURSION.
[paragraph six] Our visitors expressed themselves in admiration of our buildings […]. There was a brick building being raised by screws and this the visitors ferrited out and saw. […] They tumbled over the chaotic part of Clark street, where the filling in is going on […].
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, june 21st, 1859. front page, column two.
THE CHICAGO EXCURSION.
[…] From the Cincinnati Commercial yesterday.
[…] Our party were all surprised at the amount of actual work done, in the elevation of the grades and the raising of houses, and at the energy with which an undertaking of such magnitude had been prosecuted. No jury will assess damages arising from this change of grade. The level of the city on an average is raised three or four feet. Of course houses have to go up or their first stories will be below the street. The Tremont House entrances, for instance, are so far below the street that the water from a watering cart, passing the house, struck my shoulder as I was on the sidewalk.
The elevation of the houses is accomplished by screws placed under beams on which the houses are made to rest. When the desired height is gained, the gap is bricked up and the house is all right. They do this elevating without cracking the ceiling! Yankees do it—Boston men. They learned how in the city of Notions [that’s Boston - jr]. The first building elevated was raised at an expense of $2,800. It could be done now for $800. All the “raisers” in Chicago have contracted to raise the Tremont House “without cracking the ceilings.” This building is so large that the lifting screws and the co-operation of all the builders are needed […].
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, july 14th, 1859. front page, column five.
RAISING BUILDINGS BY HYDRAULIC POWER.—We had a call yesterday from A. W. Stratton, Esq., of the firm of Lane & Stratton, of San Francisco, California. He explained to us the principles by which this firm have been engaged in raising buildings in San Francisco by hydraulic power. The firm have shipped their machinery for this city, where it will arrive in a few months. Mr. Stratton is satisfied that his plan of raising buildings is cheaper and more effective than any other, and that he can compete successfully with the modes now in use in this city.
We take the following from the San Francisco Times:
In raising the Exchange, not a wall has cracked, nor has there been the least warping of the door sills or other parts of the woodwork. So silently and beautifully has the machinery done its work, that an occupant might have remained in ignorance that the raising was going on from any jarring or any other indication of motion. Indeed, any breaks caused in the walls of a building by its settling after being erected, are remedied by the restoration of the edifice to its original exact level, thus closing up any cracks which may have existed. This hydraulic machinery has been in use in this city since 1853, and some thirty buildings have been raised with it to grade. No accident has ever yet occurred, nor does it seem probable.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, august 8th, 1859. front page, column five.
STREET IMPROVEMENTS.—The process of paving Clark street with Nicholson blocks progresses apace. The walling and filling have been completed to Twelfth street—one mile from Randolph. The sidewalks and buildings have nearly all been raised to grade, and nothing remains but the completion of the block, and the process, to make Clark street the finest thoroughfare in Chicago […].
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, august 18th, 1859. front page, column six.
PULLMAN & MOORE, Contracts for raising Brick Buildings. Office and yard, No. 200 Washington street, near Franklin.
GEO . M. PULLMAN [au18-1m-a155] CHAS. H. MOORE.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, october 14th, 1859. front page, column three.
[paragraph five] South Clark street as now completed to the present lower extremity of the Nicholson pavement, is a noble avenue and hardly recognizable as the distressed thoroughfare, a nuisance to itself and everybody else these five years preceding its redemption. We are glad to notice that the property owners along the whole extent of the improvement have very generally responded in the matter of sidewalks and building changes. For entire blocks the old grade is a thing of history merely.
the press and tribune, chicago, wednesday, january 4th, 1860. front page, column five.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN 1859.
[…] A very large amount of expenditure has been made in the repair of buildings, chiefly business blocks that have been raised to grade, in some cases amounting to rebuilding, as is true of numerous Lake street improvements west of Lasalle.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, january 6th, 1860. front page, column three.
[paragraph eighteen] The building raisers are beginning to bestir themselves for the years campaign. Messrs. Pullman & Moore have commenced to raise to grade the brick store on the corner of South Water and Dearborn streets, belonging to J. H. Dunham. On the north side of Lake streets [sic] between Clark and Lasalle, several four story stores are to “go up higher” this spring.
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, january 10th, 1860. front page, column two.
THE CHICAGO MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE.—The annual election of the Chicago Mechanics’ Institute takes place this evening at their rooms. The year past has seen an improvement in the affairs of this organisation; It has been wretchedly accommodated for the past year or two, and we trust will not be very remotely hence, restored to light and life above ground. Its present accommodations, with the change of grade, are suitably [sic] only for root cellars.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, january 27th, 1860. front page, column three.
TO BE RAISED.—The building raisers are going to work again as soon as the season permits. The four story store of Mr. Forter on the corner of Lake and State street is to be raised twenty inches. Several of the stores in the block between the Marine Bank and the corner of Clark, on the north side of Lake, are also to be raised.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, march 9th, 1860. front page, column four.
A most notable improvement is in progress on the best business portion of Lake street, where under contracts taken separately, but being conjointly performed by several firms, the Marine Bank building, which is of Athens marble and five stories high, is being raised to grade, together with all the stores of the four story brick blocks adjoining on the east. This is the heaviest undertaking of its class ever attempted in this city. The entire front extending on the north side of Lake street, from Clark to La Salle street, is to be raised to grade at once. This row contains some of the heaviest buildings in the city, and the task will be one of no ordinary proportions. During all the time of its performance, the business of the numerous stores and offices will be but slightly interfered with.
Ely & Smith have the contract for raising the east 140 feet; Pulman [sic] & Moore, the west 100 feet; and Brown & Hollingsworth, the remaining 80 feet. Workmen are already engaged in placing the blocks under the stores Nos. 136, 138 and 140, and under the Marine Bank building. The cost of raising the entire block to grade will be about $16,000, exclusive of the masonry required. Messrs. Carter & Bauer, architects, superintend the entire work. It is to be pushed with all possible dispatch, and by early in the summer a permanent and durable flagged walk will extend along the entire front. The basements under the whole will be of the first class. On the opposite side of Lake street, the old “rotten row” of wooden structures is being removed, to give place to permanent first-class business blocks worthy of that site.
This block, to be erected by Messrs. Magee, Blackman, and Dr. Sawyer, is to have a front of sixty feet on Lake street, making three stores, two of which, lying nearest to La Salle street, having a depth of ninety-three feet, and the third a depth of one hundred feet. The entire block will be four stories high, with basement; the front to be of pressed brick, with stone window caps, sills and cornice. The lower story will have an ornamental iron front, with patent rolling shutters. The whole is to be fitted up in first class style. Messrs. Carter & Bauer are the architects. The contract for the mason work has been taken by Messrs. Wallbaum & Baumann, and the carpenter work by Boggs & Son, for Magee & Blackman, and by Campbell & Heiney for Mr. Sawyer. The cost of the entire block will be about $20,000.
the press and tribune, chicago, saturday, march 24th, 1860. front page, column three.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—Messrs. Pullman & Moore have commenced to raise to grade three brick stores on Wells street, between Lake and the alley, belonging to P. & J. Casey and Edward Taylor. The workmen have commenced operations.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, march 26th, 1860. front page, column five.
ON THE RISE.—The great Lake street job of building raising takes the upward start to-day. There will be some 600 men employed, and about 6,000 screws. This is the largest piece of work ever done of its class.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, march 29th, 1860. front page, column three.
The Great Building-Raising Contract.
The entire front of first class buildings on the north side of Lake street, between Lasalle and Clark streets is now rising to grade at the rate of about twelve inches per day. It will be at its full height by to-morrow night, when it will constitute a spectacle not many of our citizens may see again, if ever, a business block covering nearly one acre, and weighing over twenty-five thousand tons resting on six thousand screws, upon which it has made an upward journey of four feet and ten inches. Probably its parallel enterprise cannot be found the world over. It will be worth seeing tomorrow, and the contractors are, we learn, preparing to accommodate the public and give them an opportunity of looking and passing in among the forest of iron screws. Then we propose to say something more in detail regarding this notable and wonderful enterprise, to which we have often made reference.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, april 2nd, 1860. front page, column three.
The Great Building-Raising.
For the past week the marvel and the wonder of our citizens and visitors has been the spectacle of a solid front of first class business blocks, comprising the entire block on the North side of Lake street, between Clark and La Salle streets, a length of three hundred and twenty feet, being raised four feet by the almost resistless lifting force of six thousand screws.
The block comprises thirteen first class stores and a large, double marble structure, the Marine Bank building. Its sub-divisions are a five story marble front block of three stores; a four story block of three stores; a second four story block of three stores, and a five story block of four stores, at the corner of Clark street—these all presenting an unbroken front, in the heart of our city, and filled with occupants. It presents some of the best retail establishments in the city, and some of the heaviest stocks of Drugs, Dry Goods, &c. Its upper stories are full of offices, and contain millinery rooms, printing establishments, binderies, &c., &c., and yet, so admirably has the work been conducted, the ceaseless daily tide of pedestrians has not been impeded, but rather increased, from the novelty of the sight, and the merchants and others even speak of an improved trade, though they will welcome the completion of the work none the less.
This absence from annoyance to the merchants and the public, is due to the skill with which the contractors have hung the sidewalks to the block itself, and carried up the same with the rise of the building. The block has been raised four feet eight inches, the required height, in five days, ending with Friday last, and the masons are now busy putting in the permanent supports. The entire work will occupy about four weeks.
An estimate from a reliable source makes the entire weight thus raised to be about 35,000 tons. So carefully has it been done that not a pane of glass has been broken nor a crack in masonry appeared. The internal order of the block has prevailed undisturbed.
The contract was taken not jointly, but so carried out, by the several firms of Brown & Hollingsworth, Pullman & Moore, and Ely & Smith, and for an aggregate price of $17,000. That sum will be nearly doubled by the entire improvements contemplated on the block.
The process of raising, as indicated above, is by the screw, at six thousand of which three inches in diameter and of “three-eighths thread,” six hundred workmen have been employed, each man in charge of from eight to ten screws. A complete system of signals was kept in operation, and by these the workmen passed, each through his series, giving each screw one-quarter turn, then returning to repeat the same. Five days labor saw the immense weight rise through four feet and eight inches to where it now stands on temporary supports rapidly being replaced by permanent foundations.
The work, as it stands, is worth going miles to see, and has drawn the admiration of thousands within the week past. It is of a class of improvements peculiar to our city, in the change of grade adopted, and the block in question will stand as a marvel for years to come, a monument to this gigantic enterprise of our young city.
Probably only two cities on this continent will have a similar record Chicago, and—prospectively we learn—New Orleans, extensive portions of which it is said will be submitted to this process, to the improvement of the health and welfare of its citizens. We are it will be seen, educating men and firms here who will do the work of the Crescent City, but we are not ourselves quite done with them yet.
A sketch of this great work, and photographs have been taken for the London Illustrated News, also for our own Illustrated weeklies. A fine lithograph is also under progress, as a faithful souvenir of the work. The contractors deserve all praise for the skill and faithfulness with which they have brought the great undertaking so near its end.
the advocate, buffalo, new york. thursday, april 5th, 1860. page three, column four.
RAISING BUILDINGS—AN IMMENSE WORK.—There is now in this city an entire block of brick and stone building, all of the first class, in the process of raising to the established grade. The block is on the north side of Lake Street, and extends from Clark to LaSalle, a distance of 320 feet. The contractors are three in number, but the work progresses simultaneously. For the benefit of our readers outside of the city we give the size of the several buildings embraced in this immense undertaking:
Marine Bank—6 story stone, with bolts.
20 by 90, 5 story stone front.
20 by 140, 5 story stone front.
20 by 140, 5 story stone front.
20 by 140, 4 story stone front.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 140, 4 story brick.
20 by 90, 5 story stone.
20 by 90, 5 story brick.
20 by 90, 5 story brick.
Tinkham’s Bank—20 by 90, 5 story with bolts.
20 by 60, 5 story brick.
The work of placing the screws under the buildings has been in progress during the last two or three weeks. The process of raising will be commenced immediately. This is probably the greatest work of the kind ever undertaken in America.—[Chicago Times.
[sic., no closing bracket after the attribution, a convention the advocate routinely observed, you’ll be thrilled to learn. Also, the list of buildings appears to be slightly inconsistent with the layout in the Mendel lithograph and extant photographs. - jr]
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, april 6th, 1860. front page, column two.
SUNDRY MENTIONS.—[…] Messrs. Pullman & Moore are raising to grade the four story brick block on Wells near the corner of Madison street […].
the press and tribune, chicago, saturday, april 7th, 1860. front page, column three.
HOUSE MOVING.—We saw yesterday the large old frame building “Tippecanoe Hall,” which has stood time out of mind on the corner of Wolcott and Kinzie street, moving westward to a new location on Kinzie street to the corner of Dearborn, while to save time a bevy of carpenters were at work on a staging rigged in usual form, putting on the siding upon one side, as it passed along.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, april 12th, 1860. front page, column three.
CITY IMPROVEMENT.—The wooden buildings, Nos. 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 North Clark street, extending from North Water nearly to Kinzie street, are being removed, to give place to a fine block of brick stores, three stories high, to be erected by J. W. Ewen, Esq., the owner of the land.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, april 13th, 1860. front page, column three.
A NOVELTY IN HOUSE-RAISING.—We call the attention of property owners, and all others who have buildings to raise, to the advertisement of John C. Lane, Esq., in another column. He has had several years experience in this business in San Francisco, and invites attention to his machinery at his office in the rear of No. 187 Clark street.
the press and tribune, chicago, friday, april 13th, 1860. front page, column five.
INTERESTING TO PROPERTY HOLDERS.
The undersigned would respectfully notify those interested in the Raising of Brick, Stone or Iron Buildings, That he has now arrived in this city from San Francisco and is prepared to take contracts in the above line and would most respectfully invite patronage, &c., from the citizens of Chicago. The power used being HYDRAULIC, And far superior to the present method adopted here.
I feel warranted, after eight years experience, in asserting that for ECONOMY, DISPATCH AND CONVENIENCE To occupants, the power and method adopted by me stands UNRIVALED.
Shop in the rear of Marble Yard, corner of Clark and Express Court, between Adams and Monroe streets.
Room No. 78 Tremont House.
JOHN C. LANE.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, april 16th, 1860. page four, column five.
THE NEW BUILDING RAISING ENTERPRISE.—We referred yesterday to the fact that the eight four-story brick stores on the south side of Lake street between Clark and Lasalle were to be raised to grade. We now learn the well-known firms of Brown & Hollingsworth, and Pullman and Moore [sic], have taken the contract, each having four stores. The work is to be commenced forthwith, and the block is to be up to grade by the 1st of May. The amount of the contracts is about $8,000.
These gentlemen have all attested their skill in divers and manifold instances, and have never had a misadventure or mistake mar their heavy undertakings.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, april 30th, 1860. front page, column one.
NEW MODE OF BUILDING RAISING.—The public will do well to witness the actual performance of the hydraulic process in raising buildings. Mr Lane’s card, elsewhere in this issue, will be a guide in the matter.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, april 30th, 1860. front page, column two.
Raising Buildings by Hydraulic Pressure—A Card.
The public are respectfully invited to be present between the hours of 1 and 3 o’clock P. M. on Monday, to witness the process of raising buildings by Hydraulic Pressure, at the four story brick buildings known as the Franklin House, opposite Setz’ Foundry [sic - probably Letz, not Setz - jr], now being raised to grade, and at that hour the machinery will be in operation.
JOHN C. LANE.
cedar falls gazette, cedar falls, iowa. friday, may 11th, 1860. page two, column one.
THE HYDROSTATIC POWER APPLIED TO RAISING BUILDINGS.—A large crowd of people were in attendance yesterday afternoon to witness the raising of the Franklin House, 19 Franklin Street, by Hydrostatic Power. The operation appears to please and satisfy all the spectators. The proprietor and contractor for this method of raising houses, Mr. John C. Lane, politely explained the philosophy of the operation, and the advantages he claims for it. It is nothing but the well known principles of Hydraulics, applied in a new and improved form to a novel business. Every one knows that water will always seek its own level; that a pressure upon any portion of a body of water necessitates the same pressure upon all parts of that body in every direction, and that a column of water five feet high and one inch in diameter produces just the same pressure as a column the same hight [sic] and ten inches in diameter. Now, the machinery employed by Mr Lane is simply as follows: There is a flat box, four or five feet long and two wide, containing water. From the bottom of this box, which is placed on the sidewalk, runs a pipe connecting with sixteen “rams,” or iron cylinders, placed under the building to be raised, just as so many cylinders of an upright steam engine. These cylinders have each a piston rod, capable of being extended thirteen inches upward. Now, coming back upon the box on the sidewalk, we observe three pumps, working upon a triplicate eccentric, and which, being put in motion by a crank turned by five men, produces a pressure upon the water underneath them equal to ten thousand pounds upon the square inch. This pressure is instantly felt by the water flowing from the box, through the pipes into the rams, and at the bottom of every piston rod is a pressure of ten thousand pounds on every square inch, exerted to push up the building. The pressure is regulated by cocks, and the building goes up about the eighth of an inch every two or three minutes, without a shock or jar, and upon the most perfect level—as in fact it rests on sixteen columns of water and balances itself. Mr. Lane says he can raise the Tremont House with five men, as easily as he has raised the Franklin House, and without littering up the sidewalk. He asserts that there is no friction to be overcome in his machine, and that all the power is directed to raising the building.—Chicago Press & Tribune.
[On the point of the attribution there, I couldn’t find this report in any copy of the Tribune. I suspect the article was distributed by the Tribune, but not actually printed in the Tribune itself. John Lane unfortunately contracted to raise the Franklin House during the run-up to the Republican National Convention which was held in Chicago that year. The Tribune concentrated its column-inches and resources on blanket coverage of the preparations for the Convention, to the exclusion of matters like this building raising, which it would likely ordinarily treat. It’s also possible the article was printed not in the Tribune’s daily paper, but in the weekly, not one of which I can find from 1860. - jr]
edward mendel (lithographer), 162 lake street, chicago. may 1860.
[Although no date appears on the lithograph, the last paragraph in the article from the Tribune of April 2nd, together with the next two entries showing below this one, should make it pretty clear the lithograph was completed and made available to the public in May 1860. - jr]
the press and tribune, chicago, saturday, may 12th, 1860. front page, column four.
The Great Building Raising.
When Chicago shall have been for a decade or more of years up to grade it will come to be a marvel and a doubt in many minds that the wonder was ever accomplished of raising to grade the entire front of three hundred and twenty feet, at one and the same time, and that of first class buildings filled with tenants, stores and offices.
But Messrs. Brown & Hollingsworth, Pullman & Moore, and Ely & Smith, the contracting firms, between whom this work was accomplished, have wisely chosen to perpetuate the memory of their feat in beautiful lithograph, from the lithograph establishment of Edward Mendel, No. 162 Lake street. It was well and honorably done for Chicago, both the work itself and this its perpetuation.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, may 17th, 1860. page four, column five.
THE GREAT BUILDING RAISING.—Copies of the beautiful lithograph of the raising of the great business block on Lake street may be procured at McNally’s, on Dearborn street, opposite the Post office.
the press and tribune, chicago, thursday, june 14th, 1860. front page, column three.
J. S. MCINTYRE—Long known here as one of our most successful house-movers, has, in addition to his city business, contracted to raise a flouring mill at Oswego, Kendall County.
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, june 26th, 1860. front page, column three.
[…] The block of four story buildings on the northwest corner of Clark and North Water streets is to be raised to grade. A fine basement and iron front will complete the improvement.
the press and tribune, chicago, monday, july 23rd, 1860. front page, column four.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.—On Randolph street, east of Dearborn […] Doty’s Hotel building is to be raised to grade and to be finished below into first class stores.
[The Tribune went on to report on May 10th, 1861 that this building was being demolished, which might be thought to cast some doubt as to whether or not it ever was raised. - jr]
the press and tribune, chicago, tuesday, august 7th, 1860. front page, column five.
OUR BUILDING RAISERS ABROAD.—We learn from the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal, that a Chicago company has taken a contract for raising the brick building of Mr. Shrively in that city.
chicago daily tribune, saturday, november 3rd, 1860. front page, column four.
A MOVING CONTRACT.—John S. McIntire, one of our citizens has just taken a contract to move the large structure known as the “Aqueduct Mill” at Ottawa, across the canal at that place, and carrying it about one mile. He will do it too, or for that matter would bring it to this city without breaking a pane of glass.
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, december 4th, 1860. front page, column three.
GETTING HIGH.—The old postoffice [sic] building is being raised to grade. Workmen commenced operations thereupon yesterday.
chicago daily tribune, friday, january 4th, 1861. front page, column three.
BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS IN 1860.
[…] Raising Marine Bank Building &c. Cost $10,000. Same architect [E. Burlington - jr] […] Raising 11 stores on Lake street for different parties, $31,400; same architects [Carter & Bauer - jr].
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, january 22nd, 1861. front page, column five.
The Tremont House Improvement.
The contracts for raising, building addition, and other alterations to the Tremont House has been closed, and work will be commenced about the 1st to the 10th of February, and be completed from the 1st to the 10th of May.
The following are the names of those associated with the architect in this sterling improvement: Wm. Cornelius Price, mason work; Jno. Solitt, carpenter work; Letz & Johnson, iron works; A. B. Cook & Co., stone work; Jno. Hughes, plumbing; Ely, Smith & Pullman, raisers. […]
chicago daily tribune, thursday, january 24th, 1861. front page, column six.
THE TREMONT HOUSE IMPROVEMENT.—In our late extended notice, it should have been stated that it is proposed to keep the House open, and its business as usual […].
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, february 12th, 1861. front page, column five.
PROGRESSING.—The Tremont House improvement is progressing as fast as money and men can make it. The excavations and embankments environing Messrs. Gage & Drake are a sight to see; and yet business there abouts goes on as usual.
chicago daily tribune, friday, february 22nd, 1861. front page, column eight.
[…] JOHN McAULEY IS PREPARED to contract for the RAISING OR MOVING OF BUILDINGS,
Either brick or wood. Apply at 169 West Madison street, or arrange through Floyd’s Penny Post.
chicago daily tribune, monday, february 25th, 1861. front page, column four.
TREMONT HOUSE IMPROVEMENT.—The work on this improvement made rapid strides last week. The rear walls adjacent to other buildings, were loosened and a supporting superstructure was erected around the brick smoke stack to prevent it from falling. The aid of the screws will soon be invoked […].
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, february 26th, 1861. front page, column five.
AT THE TREMONT.—Gov. Randall, U. S. Senator Howe, and Luther Hanchette, M. C., all of Wisconsin, were at the Tremont House yesterday.
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, february 26th, 1861. front page, column six.
One, Two, Three, and Up She Goes!
To fully appreciate the immense power of the screw, one should visit the vicinity of the Tremont House, and observe the slow but sure and steady process by which that solid mass of six story brick buildings, covering over an acre of space, is being hoisted into the air. Five thousand screws, each ten of which has the entire attention of one man, a few simultaneous turns of an iron lever, and up she goes!
The power was first applied to raising the Tremont building yesterday forenoon about ten o’clock, and at six last evening, when the workmen departed, it had gone up just one foot, and that without a single crack in the great wall surface, or an accident of any kind to mar the entire success of the operation.
It required the strong arms of a small army of men, to be sure, as five hundred were alone employed to attend the screws. Several were also busy tearing down one of the rear buildings upon whose ruins the new and commodious kitchen and dining rooms, covering a space one hundred and eighty by one hundred feet, are to rise.
In addition to lifting the immense weight of the building proper, in commencing operations yesterday another feat was accomplished going far to show the tremendous power of the screw. A portion of the foundation wall, six feet in depth, laid with water proof cement, resting upon oaken planks, and then upon a bed of tenacious clay, was torn loose as easily as one would break brittle glass. This part of the foundation had not been disconnected from the wall of the building itself, and was consequently drawn up with it.
It is said by the contractors that they propose having the Tremont House up to grade—and it must be lifted full six feet to accomplish this—by Saturday night next. And should no untoward accident happen, it looks now as though they might keep their word. The job, thus far, has been entirely satisfactory to both contracting parties.
chicago daily tribune, wednesday, february 27th, 1861. front page, column four.
COMING UP.—The Tremont House stood just twenty-six inches nearer grade last night than ever before, the progress yesterday having been fourteen inches. Thus far no cracks have been made in the walls, and no material accidents have transpired to mar the entire success of the most stupendous lifting operation ever performed in this country.
chicago daily tribune, thursday, march 7th, 1861. front page, column five.
GOING UP TO GRADE.—H. O. Stone’s four story brick building, occupied by Andrews’ Head Quarters Saloon, is in process [sic] of going up to grade. It is to be raised about six feet, adding another story. Everything within goes on as usual.
chicago daily tribune, friday, march 15th, 1861. front page, column four.
THE TREMONT HOUSE IMPROVEMENT.—We notice the contractors are making rapid progress with this improvement. The entire south wall now rests on solid piers of masonry, the screws having been removed. Twelve years ago the present contractor, Cornelius Price laid the walls of the Tremont House. That he did his work faithfully then, is abundantly attested by the present condition and solidity of the walls, which have been raised without cracking in the least. The foundation for the new wing and dining hall is being laid. Everything looks to the early completion of the work. Meanwhile a thorough repair and rejuvenation is in progress, commencing in the rooms of the Dearborn street front. The business of the Tremont goes on as usual.
chicago daily tribune, saturday, april 6th, 1861. front page, column four.
We are glad to have continual occasion to notice fresh tokens of business improvements. Several first class structures other than the Tremont House are being raised to grade. On Dearborn street between Lake and South Water, the fine marble fronts owned respectively by the Couch estate, and Messrs. Walter & Rodgers are being raised, and excellent store basements are to be put under them.
On the corner of Lake and State street, H. Porter Esq., is raising to grade his four story store […].
chicago daily tribune, friday, may 10th, 1861. page four, column two.
[…] The extensive improvements in raising and rebuilding the stores forming, with the Tremont House, the entire block on the south side of Lake street, between State and Dearborn, is giving a handsome result in neat, modernized fronts, uniform in grade.
Much more full notes might be made of the enterprises of this class that indicate life, even in a war period. Probably there are few cities in the United States where half the amount of employment in building is furnished to mechanics that is at the present time keeping them busy in Chicago.
chicago daily tribune, friday, june 14th, 1861. page four, column one.
BUILDING IMPROVEMENT.—A substantial brick block is going up on the corner of North Clark and Kinzie street.
chicago daily tribune, friday, july 26th, 1861. page four, column one.
The Reopening of the Tremont House[.]
In the outset [sic] of the enterprise, we gave a detailed description of the plans devised for the enlargement and improvement of the Tremont House. It stands completed, and was last evening formally re-opened in a brilliant and splendid Ball given in honor of our Cincinnati visitors. It is something notable and praiseworthy to have carried out this expensive enterprise in a season of b[u]siness depression like the present, and it may be added that only the most consummate tact in hotel management could have kept the Tremont open, its business only moderately diminshed, while these operations were in progress.
The house has been raised bodily to grade, a height of six feet. An ample and fine wing has been built east of the area, which wing contains the elegant new dining hall, and excellent appointments of cuisine, &c. The house is now a quadrangle of 180 feet on each side, the inner windows looking out upon a roomy court spanned by a light covered way connecting the office and the dining hall, the area containing a handsome rotunda on the Astor House plan, where is accommodated the bar and lunch room. […]
chicago daily tribune, tuesday, november 19th, 1861. page four, column three.
Editors Chicago Tribune [sic]:
Is Monroe street ever to be improved? I mean the portion thereof, two blocks long, connecting Clark with State street, and by the presence and location of the Post Office, made the very heart and centre of our city. It is now the second season past, during which time the street has been only passable, safely, for mule trains. In summer weather there is less fault to find perhaps in the score of variety, and for rough riding this may challenge competition. But when mud prevails, the depth of the evil, and the nuisance inflicted is beyond all computation; it certainly cannot be measured by a foot rule or plumb line.
And now look at the real meanness of this thing, as relates to the owners of property on Monroe street. Without expense to them, a splendid improvement, paid for by the Government, has advanced their property from third rate to first class. From a residence street it has become a choice business thoroughfare. And yet a petty picayune policy has kept down improvements and retarded the attention the street demands, from month to month, with a persistence and wrongheadedness that has become a habit.
It is understood that the hitch now is, that these property owners have agreed upon a cheap pavement, and will have no other. The Common Council insists on having the best, and only the best put in, but the property owners hold back; they wish to wait until the street is built up before the street improvement goes forward. The sapiency of this is wonderful. In its present condition it is very likely [sic] that any one would choose to put up a first class building on Monroe street. It would be accessible only by scows in the rainy season.
But for gratifying the meanness of those who are perhaps hoping to spare their pennies by such a step, the city itself could better afford to go on and thoroughly finish up this work, and pay for it, rather than delay it a year longer. The niggardliness of these men should fail of its object. The street should be improved in the best manner, and they be made to pay the bills. It should have been done months ago. Must it remain over the winter as it is? The proper penalty and a just one for this small wagon load of men who have perpetrated this great wrong upon the public, would be to sentence them to two hours exercise daily, up and down, and through Monroe street, in a springless wagon. I would volunteer as driver, and not spare them a gully or hummock of this the worst piece of street in the city, just where the street should be the best.
X. Y. Z.
chicago daily tribune, monday, january 6th, 1862. page four, column two.
[No fewer than fifty-seven Chicago buildings are listed in this article. The word “raised” is used only a small number of times, instances of which are quoted below. It seems reasonable to discount the possibility that “raised” means other than “raised to grade”, whereas it might otherwise be conjectured that it could mean built or erected. My chief reasons for drawing this conclusion are that:
1) The article is for the most part a long list, and contracted phrases are not uncommon in lists.
2) The Tremont House was certainly raised to grade, and is one of this relatively small number of buildings listed in this long article to be described as having been “raised”. - jr]
THE MARCH OF IMPROVEMENTS.
THE NEW BUILDINGS OF 1861.
Reports from the Architects.
[…] W. W. BOYINGTON, OFFICE 82 DEARBORN STREET.
Block of two stores, raised on Dearborn street[,] marble front, four stories high, for Walter & Rodgers. Cost $5,000.
Block of two stores, raised on Dearborn street, four stories high, of pressed brick, for Hon. I. N. Arnold. Cost $2,000.
[…] [column three] J. M. VAN OSDEL, NO. 8 MASONIC TEMPLE.
Owing to the temporary absence of Mr. Van Osdel from the city, we have only been able to obtain a partial exhibit of the work done by him during the past year, and present it as an incomplete statement:
[…] Tremont House and adjoining stores, raised and improved. Cost $100,000.
Stores on Dearborn street adjoining American Express Co.’s office, raised. Cost $5,000.
McCord’s stores on Lake street, raised and improved. Cost $4,000.
chicago daily tribune, friday, may 2nd, 1862. page four, column one.
TAKING UP HIS HOUSE AND MOVING.—Our well known citizen, B. Lombard, Esq., inaugurated May day moving yesterday in a practical manner by not only taking up his bed and other furniture, but his four story brick residence, No. 163 Monroe street, and walking off to another lot, ninety feet east of his former locality. Considerable weight is to be attached to this forward movement, as instances of moving brick houses are rare, and while he saves the breakage of crockery, smashage of mirrors, layage of carpets and general mixage of household property, he is setting a precedent which will doubtless stimulate future imitation. The process is necessarily a slow one and accomplished much after the fashion of a launch, except that the ways are level, and the building forced along rollers by screws.
The removal is now nearly completed, and has been thus far a perfect success. The family has remained in the house—although turned out into the street—without the slightest inconvenience or damage. So easily does the structure run on the greased ways that not a perceptible jar has been felt, although it has been built six years, is forty by twenty-three feet on the ground and four stories in height. It will reach its final destination tomorrow.
The enterprise—for it certainly deserves to be classed as an enterprise—is in the competent hands of Messrs. Ely & Smith, whose previous efforts in moving and raising buildings, we have frequently chronicled. They are entitled to great credit for their success in this last difficult and delicate feat.
chicago daily tribune, thursday, january 1st, 1863. page four, column three.
BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS FOR 1862.
Reports from the Architects.
[…] EDWARD BURLING, ARCHITECT, NO. 50 DEARBORN STREET.
[…] Besides these, Mr. Burling designed and superintended the raising of several stores […].
[…] JOHN M. VAN OSDEL, ARCHITECT, NO. 8 MASONIC TEMPLE.
[column four] […] A four-story store, on South Water street, between State street and Wabash avenue, 22 feet front and 140 feet deep, and two adjoining stores raised to grade and improved, owned by J. Y. Scammon—aggregate cost $6,000.
Two stores for Wm. H. Eddy, on Randolph street, east of Dearborn—new fronts and other improvements—cost $4,500.
Six stores raised to grade on Lake street, between Wells and Franklin streets, with new fronts and additions—owned, one by the heirs of S. J. Sherwood; one by J. McCord; two by D. C. Thatcher; one by S. B. Cobb, and one by Thomas Hoyne—aggregate cost $16,000.
Three stores raised to grade on South Water street, between Clark and Lasalle streets, new sidewalks and basements—owned by estate of Ira Couch—cost $6,000.
A store corner of Clark and Lake streets, raised to grade and otherwise improved—owned by H. Porter—cost $3,000.
A store raised to grade corner of [sic] Lake and South Water streets—owned by William Jones—cost $2,500.
chicago tribune, monday, january 2nd, 1865. page two, column three.
A characteristic feature of the year has been the extensive improvements which have been made in the city to buildings already erected. A large number of buildings and an infinite number of dwellings have been raised to grade or otherwise improved, at a great expense. Among the long list we notice the raising to grade and improvement of Metropolitan Hall, at a cost of $40,000; of the Bank of Montreal, on LaSalle street, at a cost of $6,000; and also Nos. 241, 243, and 245 Lake street, owned by the Garrett Biblical Institute, costing over $13,000. […]
chicago tribune, thursday, september 14th, 1865. page four, column one.
Expensive and Vexatious to Builders—Quicksand Foundations in the South Division.
[…] On State Street, near Harrison, a single, five story brick building, erected some years since, is now resting on screws, while its foundations can be taken out and relaid, a dangerous tendency to settle having manifested itself. It is provoking and serious, but the fact must be publicly noted, and heeded by architects and builders[.] Nothing but deeply driven piles, with the precautions engineering has provided for such cases, will answer for the support of heavy buildings in the quicksand localities, and to disregard the necessity has already been signally shown to be foolish and expensive.
chicago tribune, tuesday, october 31st, 1865. page four, column one.
BLOCK RAISING.—Probably the most difficult feat ever undertaken in the way of raising buildings, has just been undertaken [sic] by Messrs. Hollingsworth & Coughlin, the lifting to grade of the large iron front block, 80 by 150 feet, five stories high on the corner of Wells and South Water streets, the fronts filled in with twelve inch brick walls, and the floors filled with heavy goods, which will not be taken out. It is probably the heaviest structure in the city for the ground covered.
chicago tribune, tuesday, november 14th, 1865. page four, column one.
THE IRON BLOCK.—The work of raising to grade the iron block on the corner of South Water and Wells street, will be commenced on Wednesday morning. It is the intention of the contractors to give access to the basement to ladies and gentlemen accompanying them, while the work is in progress, affording an opportunity of witnessing the interesting process. It is the heaviest block ever raised in this city or in the world.
chicago tribune, friday, november 17th, 1865. front page, column eight.
The Iron Block!
We now extend an invitation to all Ladies and Gentlemen desirous of seeing the progress of raising this heavy block, to call at the basement entrance on South Water street, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. to-day, and from 9 a.m. until 12 to-morrow.
HOLLINGSWORTH & TOUGHLIN [sic],
chicago tribune, monday, november 20th, 1865. page four, column four.
RAISING AN IRON BLOCK OF BUILDINGS.
The largest job of building raising ever effected has just been completed in this city by Messrs. Hollingsworth & Coughlin, in the elevation of the Robbins’ iron block, corner of Wells and South Water streets, to grade, a height of twenty-seven and a half inches. The block is very solidly constructed, of iron and heavy masonry; is five stories in height, eighty feet in width, and one hundred and fifty in depth, and with the immense stock of merchandise it contains, is calculated to weigh at least twenty-seven thousand tons. In addition to this mountain weight, the stone sidewalks, two hundred and thirty feet in length, have been raised with the building, and the whole has been done without the slightest crack or damage, and so quietly that there has never been apparent any evidence that its foundation consisted of jackscrews and not of solid stone and bricks. To effect this truly Herculean task, the contractors have employed no less than one thousand five hundred and eighty jack-screws and four hundred thousand feet of lumber [that’s over seventy miles, an obvious mistake. - jr], and with these appliances have done it all in the short space of twenty-one days from the time when they first got possession of the premises. This positively wonderful feat well establishes the confidence hitherto felt by the property owners and builders of Chicago in the ability of Messrs. Hollingsworth & Coughlin, to move anything movable and its success has already brought them offers to make a trip to Paris, France, for the moving of some heavy blocks of buildings there which European mechanics frankly confess to be beyond their power. It has often been said that American mechanics only wish to know what is to be done, and they will find a means for doing it, but a stronger exemplification of this has never been offered than in the present instance, and after this the story of the man who “went back and drawed the cellar too” can scarcely be deemed improbable.
It may not be out of place to say, as showing the confidence reposed in the contractors, that the architect of the work—J. M. Van Osdel, Esq.—than whom there is not a more particular man in the business, has only visited the scene three times since the commencement of the work.
the times, london. tuesday, december 12th, 1865. page nine, column three.
THE UNITED STATES.
(FROM AN AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT.)
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 28.
[column five, paragraph ten] In Chicago a building 80ft. by 160ft., five stories high, and weighing 27,000 tons, has recently been raised 2ft. from its original foundations. It was done by means of 1,580 screws placed underneath the building and turned simultaneously. The work occupied three days.
chicago tribune, friday, december 29th, 1865. page two, column two.
[…] The establishment of the grade has, too, attracted much more attention than formerly, and within the year, a great number of buildings, among them some of our largest blocks have been raised to place [sic]. Among these is the large iron block on the corner of Wells and South Water streets, weighing nearly thirty thousand tons, which was raised some two feet seven inches during the summer. […]
[…] [column four]
In the matter of corporate improvements, Chicago compares, at first view, very unfavorably with the progress of her people. The character of buildings erected by individuals has all along the short stream of our civic history been far in advance of that of the streets on which they have been placed. It has been no uncommon thing in the history of our city to see the mansion of imposing exterior and magnificent internal finish, approachable only by an avenue of mud, damp for want of drainage, and unlighted save by candle or kerosene, and where contiguous buildings emulate each other on so-called streets the grades embrace every imaginable altitude, completely destroying everything like symmetry in the mass.
These conditions are of course due to the low situation of the city, and the peculiar spread-out-a-tive-ness of the people. We are only now just beginning to fill in that magnificent outline which at first laid on a grand scale, has since been expanded again and again to meet our growing ideas of importance. The work of draining the city is necessarily a very difficult one. There is no natural drainage, because there is no slope, and unless where carried off by artificial means, the water lies on the soil till exhausted by percolating through the soil or evaporating into the thin air. It is not long since the whole country around us was one continuous swamp, like the Calumet of to-day, and the work of redemption is being slowly accomplished by the tedious operations of street filling—contemporaneous elevations of grade and sinking of ditches. And while each square mile of ground requires much more labor here than in other cities to bring it to a tenantable condition, there are much fewer people to the mile of area. We have about twenty-four square miles of territory within the city limits, with a population of not more than two hundred thousand, and averaging but about eight thousand to the mile, not quite two thousand to the mile of those of proper age and sex to earn money and pay taxes for internal improvement. This scattering of the people, while it conduces largely to our healthfulness, by admitting of free ventilation stands very much in the way of street improvement nevertheless, we have done a great deal since the time when sportsmen stood on the steps of the Tremont House and shot ducks on the marshy surroundings. We should have done much more during the past four years but for the war, which heavily taxed the energies of our people. It is rather a wonder that we have done so much. Within a very short space of time our principal thoroughfares have been lifted from the mud, properly drained and supplied with gas and water, the old rotten planking removed and the substantial wooden block pavement laid in their stead. The rivers have been bridged, and the work on a tunnel nearly set in motion, besides the carrying out of one of the most stupendous public works ever undertaken—the tunnel under the lake.
chicago tribune, wednesday, february 7th, 1866. page four, column one.
THE BRIGGS HOUSE.—The Briggs, which has ever succeeded in uniting those rare elements of hotel character, popularity and respectability, is about to materially increase its claims to public patronage. During the coming season it will be raised some four feet two inches to grade, the lower part completely remodelled, and the entire house refurnished at an expense of some fifty thousand dollars. […]
the chicago post, wednesday evening, february 7th, 1866. page four, column one.
THE BRIGGS HOUSE.—We understand that the proprietors of this popular hotel, Messrs. Tucker & French, have taken into partnership with them Mr. Charles W. Baldwin, a gentleman long and favorably known in this city, from his hotel associations. Extensive improvements are contemplated in the hotel and its arrangements. The whole building is to be raised, and the interior remodeled and refurnished throughout. The Briggs has ever been a popular house, and after these improvements are made, it will be more popular than ever.
unable to ascertain the identity of the lithographer.
click this for a larger—but slightly clipped—image.
chicago tribune, tuesday, march 6th, 1866. page four, column one.
SALE OF THE MATTESON HOUSE
One of the old landmarks of Chicago, the well known Matteson House, on the northwest corner of Randolph and Dearborn streets […] [was in 1859 - jr] elevated eight feet from its old position to its present grade. […]
the chicago post, wednesday, march 14th, 1866. page four, column one.
BLOCK RAISED.—Yesterday Steele’s block, on the corner of LaSalle and South Water streets, was raised several feet by Hollingsworth & Co. The entire structure, which is of brick and five stories high was raised in a day and a half.
the evening argus, rock island, illinois. thursday, may 10th, 1866. page three, column one.
BRIGGS HOUSE, CHICAGO.—This old and popular hotel has been raised four feet, repapered, furnished, thoroughly renovated, and made in every particular just as good as new. […]
the memphis daily argus, memphis, tennessee. sunday, may 20th, 1866. page two, column four.
The Briggs House, Chicago, is being brought up to the grade. It is now resting on one thousand six hundred screws.
[The reader will note this report from a Tennessee newspaper of 20th May is preceded by a report from an Illinois newspaper of 10th May claiming the building was already raised. News didn’t always travel so fast in the nineteenth century, and Memphis is much further away from Chicago than Rock Island. - jr]
chicago tribune, thursday, july 19th, 1866. page four, column three.
THE STREET IMPROVEMENTS IN THE WEST DIVISION.
[paragraph three] Simultaneously with these improvements, the work of grading Randolph street has been pushed forward as far as was practicable, without interfering with the horse cars. The curb walls west of Desplaines street have been finished, and all the buildings raised to the new grade […].
chicago tribune, thursday, august 9th, 1866. page four, column one.
MOVING A BRICK HOUSE.—A few years ago the idea of such an undertaking as the removal of a brick house, except by tearing it down and clearing away the rubbish, would have been considered a preposterous one, and no man in his senses would have suggested such a thing. But, among many other discoveries some of them of even a still more wonderful character, elevating brick buildings, whole blocks of them, and moving them to other localities are accomplished facts. John V. Farwell, Esq., owns a two-and-a-half story brick dwelling which is now being removed from Madison street between LaSalle and Clark, to Monroe street, and has already been conveyed one half the way. The house is placed upon greased ways, and propelled over them by means of jack-screws.
chicago tribune, monday, august 20th, 1866. page four, column one.
NEW WAY OF HOUSE RAISING.—A house near the corner of Randolph and Canal streets, some distance below grade, was raised a day or two since by placing the blocks on the floor instead of under it, and raising the upper part alone. This may not be a novel way of raising the wind [or ‘making a fast buck’ - jr], but it is a new kind of balloon (frame) raising, and as such we notice it.
chicago tribune, saturday, november 10th, 1866. page two.
BUILDING IN CHICAGO.
[…] BUSINESS BLOCKS.
[…] The brick block on the corner of South Water and LaSalle streets, raised to grade and improved. Cost, $10,000. E. Burling & Co., architects.
[…] Raising to grade and improving the Lincoln House, four stories, $6000.
Raising and improving two three-story brick stores on Canal street, near Washington, $5,000.
Raising and improving Kendall’s building, corner of Washington and Dearborn streets, $15,000.
Raising and improving blocks of five stories, corner of LaSalle and South Water streets, $20,000.
Raising and improving Briggs House, 80 by 150 feet, six stories, $35,000.
[page three, column one]
[…] REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
The amount of money expended in the city this year for improvements on buildings alone would build a good sized town. The great changes in the grade of streets has required the raising of buildings of stone, brick and wood to various heights—some as much as a story and a half. Such a work, for instance, as raising the Briggs House, a six story brick building, 80 by 150 feet, to a height of three feet and a half, while the business of the hotel was going on without interruption, cost with attendant improvements, $35,000. The cost for a similar work for a block on the corner of LaSalle and South Water streets was $20,000; for Kendall’s bakery, $15,000; for Steele’s block, $10,000; for the Lincoln House, $6,000, and so on, whole streets almost being lifted with astonishing labor from their original level, from which the city has been gradually raised. […]
the times, london. monday, december 3rd, 1866. page seven, column two.
THE UNITED STATES.
[(]FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
CHICAGO, Nov. 14.
[paragraph four] […] With money and determination the people of the North-West believe everything to be possible. They raise blocks of houses as large as Buckingham Palace six feet, and do not put the inhabitants of the houses to the least inconvenience. The “Tremont House,” in which I am writing—an immense building—has been so raised, so has nearly half the old portion of the town. The streets were raised in order to secure more perfect drainage, and in order to prevent the houses being below the level of the streets it was necessary to raise them likewise. The inhabitants think but lightly of these performances, and smile at the astonishment of strangers.
john lewis peyton. over the alleghanies and across the prairies. simpkin, marshall & co., stationers’ hall court, london. 1869. pages 326-327.
[…] To render the streets and side walks passable, they were covered with deal boards from house to house, the boards resting upon cross sills of heavy timber. This kind of track is called “the plank road.” Under these planks the water was standing on the surface over three-fourths of the city, and as the sewers from the houses were emptied under them, a frightful odour was emitted in summer, causing fevers and other diseases, foreign to the climate. This was notably the case during the summer of 1854, when the cholera visited the place, destroying the population at the rate of one hundred and fifty a day. It not unfrequently happened that from the settling or rolling of a sleeper, that a loose plank would give way under the weight of a passing cab, when the foul water would spurt into the air high as the windows.
david macrae. the americans at home: pen-and-ink sketches of american men, manners and institutions. volume two. edmonston & douglas, edinburgh. 1870. pages 190-194.
[…] It was early morning when I entered Chicago from the Rocky Island road, and the great city was just wakening into life for the day. The first thing that attracted my attention when driving from the station to one of the hotels, was the sight of a two-storey house moving up the street before us. I pointed it out in amazement to the driver.
“Did you never see a house moving before?” said he unconcernedly.
“No. Do your houses move about like that?”
“Well,” he said, “there’s always some of them on the move.”
Which turned out to be the fact. Never a day passed during my stay in the city that I did not meet one or more houses shifting their quarters. One day I met nine. Going out Great Madison Street in the horse-cars we had to stop twice to let houses get across. All these were frame houses, and in some of them I could see the people sitting at the windows. One of those crossing Madison Street was a double shop—cigars at one end, confectionery at the other, and as it moved along the shopkeeper stood leaning against the door-post smoking a cigar. The way in which these houses are moved is this:—After being screwed up to let a platform with wheels or rollers be placed underneath, they are drawn along by means of a windlass, fixed on the street at some distance ahead, and turned by a horse. When the house has been drawn near the windlass, this machine is shifted forward, fixed, and set in motion again.
But it is not only frame houses that are moved. Great blocks of masonry in some parts of the city have been lifted up from four to fourteen feet. The Brigg’s [sic] House, a gigantic hotel, five storeys high, solid masonry, weighing 22,000 tons, was raised four and a half feet, and new foundations built in below. The people were in it all the time, coming and going, eating and sleeping—the whole business of the hotel proceeding without interruption. The Tremont House, another large hotel, was lifted in the same way. The work was done so smoothly and so gradually, by 500 or 600 men working in covered trenches below, that Mr. Beecher, who was a guest in the hotel at the time, said the only personal knowledge he had of the hotel being in process of elevation, was derived from the fact that the broad flight of stairs from the street seemed to be getting steeper, and that the lower windows, which were on a level with his face when he arrived, were three or four feet higher when he went away.
The process of lifting these blocks is ingenious, and yet simple enough. The foundations are laid bare, and the trenches, if necessary, concealed by awnings. Logs are laid along the foundations, inside and out; holes cut at short intervals, and transverse logs passed through, with jackscrews beneath. This being done all round, several hundreds of workmen flood the trenches within and without, put their levers in the jackscrews, and at a given signal turn all the screws simultaneously, gradually pressing the transverse logs up, till the building rests upon them. As the screwing goes on, the whole mass of masonry moves up hairbreadth by hairbreadth. New logs are continually inserted as the space admits of it; and so the building rises in the air day by day till it stands on this log-foundation at an elevation five, ten, or fifteen feet higher that it did at first. In the meantime, the new stone foundation is being built in the interstices, and is ready, when the building has been screwed up to the height desired, to receive its weight on the slackening of the screws. The log-foundation is then, bit by bit, drawn out, and stone substituted; so that, by the time the wood is entirely removed, the building stands on its new stone foundation as on a rock, without a joint dislocated, or its stone, plaster, or furniture disturbed.
The stone foundation is generally in the form of an under-storey. Sometimes a dwelling-house is lifted, and shops put in below. I was told of a congregation in the city which, being in want of money, had their church lifted so as to allow of the insertion of shops below, got these let, and speedily relieved the church from its embarrassments.
In other cases large blocks of building—warehouses and the like—have not only been lifted, but moved back to widen the street. The process in that case is the same, except that the log-foundation is made more in the form of a sliding platform,—like that from which a ship is launched, but of course with the incline less, and the motion so gradual as to be imperceptible except from day to day.
The reason for all this house-lifting in Chicago is that the city was found to be on too low a level, exposing it to inundation from the inland ocean, along whose flat shore it lies, and also making proper drainage impossible. The people had therefore to choose between three things—(1.) to submit to these inconveniences, which must yearly become more disastrous, or (2.) to pull down their city, raise the level, and rebuild, or (3.) to contrive machinery that would lift the city, and let the new level be drawn underneath. The last expedient was adopted, and ever since then the city has been in the process of elevation. The machinery thus called into existence makes house-moving so easy that the Chicago people think nothing of it. If a man with his frame-house and cigar-shop at one corner finds business dull, he moves house and all away to some other street, where he thinks it will be brisker. The reason, however, why so many frame-houses are continually on the move at present, is, that the ground is wanted for stone-buildings and warehouses; and it is found cheaper to move the wooden houses away to the suburbs than to pull them down and have to re-erect them.
House-moving is occasionally to be seen in other parts of America; but Chicago, owing to its circumstances, has been the great nursery-ground and arena for it. Even there it will become less common by-and-by, as the city is now for the most part graded, and new houses are built on the new level. But house-moving is only one of the wonders of that great city […].
ebenezer peck. reports of cases determined in the supreme court of the state of illinois at april term 1862. callaghan & company, chicago. 1877. page 378-379.
[…] On the thirteenth day of March, A. D. 1858, Thomas Shergold was the owner of a brick building on Randolph street, in the city of Chicago. A. J. Hayward and Martin O. Walker, each were the owners of two adjoining brick buildings. On that day, Shergold, acting for himself, and professing to act for A. J. Hayward and M. O. Walker, signed the following instrument in writing, the defendants in error also signing on their part:
“We, the undersigned, agree to raise the five buildings east and adjoining Mr. Brown’s, on the north side of Randolph street, between Dearborn and State streets; also, to excavate and take care of said dirt, so that there shall be no damage to arise against said owners of the aforesaid block, or any obstruction that might be made by raising and excavating under said block of buildings; also, will take care of all water and gas pipes, so that there shall be no damage arise from the aforesaid pipes, and will perform out with safety every part and parcel of said block in as good a manner and condition as the block west that was raised for Mr. Newhall; and will also agree, that it shall be completed by the 30th day of April, 1858, for the consideration of thirty-five hundred dollars, to be paid as follows: one-half of the whole amount when the buildings are raised to their required height, and the other half of the amount at the expiration of six months from the above payments. We will faithfully perform the above requirements according as is required.
“In witness whereof, we set our hands and seals, this 13th day of March, 1858.
Shergold supposed himelf authorized to sign the contract for Walker, and the defendants in error supposed it binding upon him. They proceeded at once, and raised the buildings to grade. […]
[Evidently Brown and Hollingsworth were badly advised to accept Mr Shergold’s claim he was acting for Mr Walker, and the State of Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favour of the latter in this case, Walker v. Brown, 1862. Whether or not Shergold finished up paying for Walker’s two building raisings, or whether B & H wound up out of pocket on this one of their early enterprises, I haven’t been able to divine. - jr]
george healy. reminiscences of a portrait painter. a. c. mcclurg and company, chicago. 1894. page 58-59.
[…] The streets were abominably paved; the sidewalks, raised high above the level of the streets, were composed of rough planks, often out of repair, so that one had to pick one’s way carefully for fear of accidents; big nails seemed placed there on purpose to catch in the women’s dresses, and as in those days the hideous fashion of crinoline, or “hoops” as they were called, had just reached the Far West, many were the falls occasioned by these nails. The mud was so deep in bad weather, that from side to side rickety boards served as unsafe bridges, and the unfortunate horses waded laboriously along as best they could. Chicago has changed somewhat since 1855!
the times, london. wednesday, october 20th, 1897. page nine, column six.
[Reporting on the death the previous day of George Pullman at age 66. - jr] At the age of 22 he successfully undertook a contract for moving warehouses and other buildings along the line of the Erie Canal, then being widened by the State. In 1859 he removed to Chicago and engaged extensively in the then novel task of raising entire blocks of brick and stone buildings. […]
sturgis’ illustrated dictionary of architecture and building. volume three, o-z. macmillan company, new york. 1902. columns 496-505.
[The author of the passage below is the New York architect Peter Bonnett Wight, who was engaged in raising buildings in Chicago before going on to become a well respected architect. While his account below gives us some useful diagrams and explanation of his method of raising buildings, one must be sceptical when he makes a claim detailing a specific project, as he seems to make mistakes, some of which I have shown, but too many for me to be able to deal with them all. - jr]
SHORING. The process of supporting a building or part of one upon Shores.
Under this head will be included the process of raising buildings, and the process of moving buildings from place to place.
The ordinary method by which buildings are shored is shown in Fig. 1, which is a cross section of a wall held by needles through the medium of jack screws resting upon temporary wooden blocking. In supporting a small weight,—as in the case of removing a single pier between two windows,—one or two upright timbers may take the place of the crib work shown. Many other methods of shoring parts of buildings are used, such as by pumps, or large square timbers having jack screws inserted in the lower end, which bear on temporary foundations of timber, their upper ends being inserted either under the walls, or in notches cut in them. It is also customary to hold isolated piers or iron columns by cramping them with timbers and belts, depending upon friction and utilizing any convenient indentation, or bars passing through holes that have been drilled.
A part of a building raised to position with the screws removed is shown in Fig. 2. If the wall is only to be underpinned, the new substructure is built up between the needles, which are about four feet apart, according to circumstances; then wedged with iron or slate and left for the mortar to harden until the needles can be removed. The holes thus left are then filled in with masonry.
If the building is to be removed, long intermediate needles are introduced, running from wall to wall so as to hold the building together. These are supported on very heavy string timbers, shod with hardwood saddles on the under side. Rollers of beach or maple are inserted, resting on the temporary platform or wooden cribbing, and then the screws and short needles are removed. If there is room enough to get them in, the long needles are inserted first, and the raising is done by screws under them until the proper height is reached for inserting the stringers and rollers. These expedients have to be varied constantly according to circumstances, and it is necessary always to bring the whole weight upon the long stringers, so that when the power is applied to them they will carry the building along without straining. Allowances are always made for settlement in the foundation platform over which the building is to be moved, so that it is always going slightly up hill. The apparatus generally used for moving is a capstan or windlass operated by one or two horses, and sometimes two capstans are used. The chain, which is given a good hitch around the windlass, is a long one, running through many pulleys fastened to iron bars which are driven in the ground. This equalizes the strain on all parts of the building and furnishes the multiplication of power that is necessary.
Shoring is oftener required for making repairs or alterations to buildings than as a preliminary step to moving them. The alterations may involve a considerable raising of the whole superstructure. The trussed roof of a beer storage house in Milwaukee was raised 30 feet, the masons following the house raisers until the desired height was reached. Some extraordinary alterations have been made in buildings that have been shored up. The entire original Chamber of Commerce Building at Chicago was held on temporary foundations and steel needles until the steel and concrete foundation of the present fourteen-story building were put in. In the Chicago Opera House block, which is a comparatively new twelve-story building, but was built with coursed foundations of concrete and stone under the interior columns, a tier of iron columns was held up and new foundations of concrete and steel built under them, so as to insert basement columns and provide a clear open cellar, without disturbing the business of the first story.
For the shoring and raising of wooden buildings, wooden screws were first used about 1840; the method in which these were employed is shown in Fig. 3. The post shown performed the office of the modern pump, and was placed under any part of the building requiring temporary support. This primitive apparatus was supplanted by the use of wrought-iron screws about the year 1850. It was soon found that, by reason of the softness of the metal and the knocking about and rough handling to which they were subjected when not in use, the threads became injured and would not work in the nuts or sleeves, and they were abandoned. Next, cast-iron screws came into use, and as they were rough and the joining of the mould had to be obliterated to make them work, their threads were cut by machinery. But this was too expensive, and some one invented a way of casting seamless screws which were so smooth and perfect that they could be used just as they came from the sand. These screws are still the standard for all ordinary work. An illustration is given in Fig. 4. They are 2¾ inches in diameter and 2 feet long; the pitch is ¾ inch, and they have a raising distance of 14 inches without shifting. Their lifting power is five tons to one man with a 4-foot lever, which is an ordinary iron bar with one end slightly bent to regulate the distance that it enters the head. It is only in exceptional cases that steel screws with cut threads are used for lifting; but long steel screws 2¾ inches in diameter have been used with pumps during the last ten years for pushing horizontally, in cases where buildings have to be turned on a pivot, or pushed into places where a windlass cannot be used.
Hydraulic jacks are used only in connection with screws at extra heavy points. The most expert house raisers will not use them unless they can catch the weight on screws in case of accident to the jacks. They were employed many years ago at San Francisco for raising entire buildings. In 1862 the Franklin House at Chicago was raised with hydraulic power. One pump was used for all the jacks, which were set in the walls. This method has gone entirely out of use.
The moving of frame houses through the streets has been a matter of very common occurrence, especially in the large cities of the western part of the United States which have grown so rapidly during the last forty years. Where property increased so rapidly in value and there was always a demand for cheap buildings in outlying districts, it was very economical to move the light balloon frame buildings occupying central lots which demanded improvements. The construction of elevated viaducts for railroads has been the cause for moving great numbers of buildings of a heavier character.
The new foundations of the Chamber of Commerce Building, at Chicago, were put in in the winter of 1890 and 1891, and this is the first time that steel beams were used for needles. They were 27 feet long between bearing points and the following sizes were used: 15-inch, 50 lbs. per foot, regular pattern; 8-inch, 60 lbs. per foot, special pattern; 12-inch, 60 lbs. per foot, special pattern; and 15-inch, 80 lbs. per foot, special pattern. Iron beams had been used for this purpose as long ago as 1875, the contractors preferring Belgian beams rolled to extra thickness so as to provide against the possibility of their breaking down in the web.
One of the most important uses of shoring is in preventing the settlement of old buildings caused by the erection of new ones on adjoining lots where the soil is compressible. When this is done a new foundation is built for both buildings, after shoring up the old one in the usual way: Fig. 5. The weight of the old building is then transferred to the new foundation by placing a row of short pumps and screws on it, directly under the wall and as the new building settles the screws are turned upward from time to time until all the settlement has ceased. Then the pumps are gradually removed and the wall underpinned: Fig. 6.
It is believed that brick buildings were first moved in 1850 [Brick buildings were raised and moved before 1850. - jr] at Boston, Massachusetts, in the widening of Tremont, Washington, and Hanover streets. This work was done by James Brown. He afterward took into partnership James Hollingsworth. Together they first devised the method now in use for turning buildings on pivots. Buildings are not supported entirely on pivots for this process, but the pivot is used for keeping them in position, the main weight being on the rollers. The power used is mainly applied by long steel screws, set at various points about the building. Brown and Hollingsworth moved to Chicago in 1857, and the first brick building raised in Chicago was the Thayer building in Randolph street, between State and Dearborn, in that year. [This claim seems to accord fairly well with reports in the Tribune here, here, and here. A pedant might murmur that while work did begin there in 1857, the raising was not complete until late January of 1858. - jr] The second was at the corner of Madison and Market Streets, raised in the spring of 1858. [Again, seems to fit in with the Tribune’s reporting, Madison Street bridge being indeed right by Market Street, as was. - jr] The third brick building raised and underpinned in Chicago was the Commercial College building, State and Randolph Streets, in the spring of 1859, [The Tribune makes a nonsense of that claim, showing there had been many dozens of brick buildings raised by that time, see for example this report from new year’s day, 1859. - jr] and was done under the direction of the writer of this article. The Tremont House, the largest hotel in that city, was raised 9 feet [The Tribune says otherwise. - jr] in 1861; and this was the largest undertaking of the kind up to that time. This feat was described and published all over the civilised world. After that nearly all of the brick and stone buildings then standing in the business section of Chicago were raised to the new grade of the city, which was established to admit of effective sewerage.
Many buildings have been moved over water. Frame buildings at Chicago are moved on floats across the rivers that intersect the city and to considerable distances on the same. At Eureka, California, also, many buildings have been moved across the water. Many of the state buildings at the World’s Columbian Exposition were moved away entire, and the Delaware state building was moved across Lake Michigan on floats.
The following are among the most remarkable instances of house moving:—
In the winter of 1887-1888, the Brighton Beach Hotel at Coney Island, near New York, which was gradually being undermined by the sea, was moved back from the beach 595 feet. This building was of wood heavily framed, three and four stories high, having five large towers six and seven stories high, and weighed 5000 tons. It was 460 feet long and 210 feet deep, and was broadside to the sea. It was first raised by screws and then lowered upon 112 flat cars standing on 24 parallel railroad tracks which were built between the blocking. To each of these cars was given a nearly equal weight of 44 tons. The 24 trains of cars were coupled together rigidly. The transfer of the weight to the cars was made by hydraulic jacks. The building was moved by an arrangement of falls and sheave blocks, there being 34 of the latter and 12 sixfold purchases, the main block of each purchase being attached to the cars, while the opposite block was fastened by chain slings to the track on which the car rested about 100 feet distant from the building; the power employed was from six locomotives standing on two tracks in trains of three each. Six ropes were attached to each train. The building was moved 117 feet on the first day, and on other days at about the same rate. The whole was planned and executed by Benjamin C. Miller, of Brooklyn, New York.
In October, November, and December, 1895, the Emmanuel Baptist Church on Michigan Boulevard, Chicago, was moved 50 feet south. It was built of stone, covering 93 by 161 feet, the greatest height of the roof being about 100 feet. The stone tower with slated wooden spire was 24 by 24 feet and 225 feet high, weighing 1430 tons, the whole weight being 6652 tons. It was first raised by 175 30-ton steel screws under the tower and 1100 5-ton cast-iron screws under the rest. The bed on which it was moved was formed of 60-lb. steel rails on a heavy grillage of timber. The rails were bunched in threes, fours, and fives. Sixteen hundred steel rollers were used, and this was the first use made of them for the purpose, as hard wood rollers would have been crushed. They were 25 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, being tempered to correspond with the rails. The weight of the building was carried on 15-inch ⌶ beams, in bunches of two and three respectively, but the rollers were not in contact with the under side of these beams. They were seperated from them by linings of Bessemer steel ½ inch thick by 12 inches wide and 2 feet long. These linings were forged with a bevel of 2 inches at each end so as to permit the feeding of the rollers, and were cushioned to the ⌶ beams with heavy carwheel paper. The illustration (Fig. 7), which shows two sections of the work under the tower, will serve to show these dispositions, as well as the method of applying the motive power. The steel rail runners had a rise of 1 to 360 to allow for settlement. Extra heavy timbers were fastened parallel to the north wall of the church to serve as a resting base to moving force. Heavy iron chains at 10 feet intervals held these to the ground sills, transferring the moving force to the compressed ground under the building. Sixty long steel screws, in pumps, with capacity of 5 tons each, were used to apply the moving force, with one man to each screw. They were placed between the abutting timbers and the upper timbers of the superstructure. The 50 feet of movement was covered in 6 days with 60 men. After moving, all the parts of the church which were out of plumb before anything had been done were straightened and the whole left better than ever before. The contract was taken by H. Sheeler, and the calculations and supervision were by Charles H. Rector.
In 1893 the Normandy apartment building, a three-story brick and stone structure at 116 to 122 Laflin Street, Chicago, which happened to be on the right of way of the Metropolitan Elevated R. R. Co., was moved backward, turned 90 degrees, and made to face on Van Buren Street, which is at right angles to the street on which it had stood. The building was 94 by 84 feet and estimated to weigh 8000 tons. The work was successfully done by L. P. Friestedt.
One of the most remarkable instances of house moving was in the case of the three-story apartment building at Chicago, moved from 147 and 149 Centre Street, to 171 and 173 Sheffield Avenue. It was on the right of way of the Northwestern Elevated R. R. Co. There was no possible direction in which the building could be moved as a whole on account of obstructions, for it was 49 by 72 feet in size, so the building, which was a comparatively new one, was cut in two vertically through its greatest axis, and moved in two sections, one following the other, on the same platform; the aggregate distance travelled was nearly 800 feet and three corners had to be turned by each section. The sections had brick walls only on one side, and it was necessary to load the floors of each with one hundred tons of sand to balance them. They were successfully put together on the new foundation, anchored, and finished off as a new building which has never shown any effects of the operation. The necessity for preserving the proper level of the platform and providing against its gradual settlement in this case will be readily appreciated, but the whole operation was conducted without failure or accident. This is the first time that a brick building has been cut in two and united again. This work was done by L. P. Friestedt under the direction of the writer.
There are two remarkable facts connected with the art of house shoring and moving. One is that it is purely an empirical art. Those who have practised it most and brought it to its present condition are not what are considered scientific men, or men of mathematical or theoretical training. The most of mathematics that is employed is in estimating the weight to be lifted and the necessary area of the temporary foundations required. Everything else is the result of repeated experiment. Another fact is that there are no records of any disasters that have followed attempts to move or raise heavy structures. One reason for this is that the system followed is such that, if any piece of material used fails, there is always another to take the strain, and it is one that necessarily requires the constant shifting of loads from one point to another in order to carry on the work. When it is understood that a large part of the work of house shorers is to make safe buildings which give evidence of insufficient supports or foundations, it will be realized that the house raiser is constantly obliged to face dangers caused by the mistakes of others, and caution is almost an instinct with him.
Very little work of this kind has been done in European countries, though the greatest interest in what has been done in the United States has been excited abroad, and the most reliable accounts of them can be found in foreign journals. Notwithstanding many instances in which American contractors have been consulted in other countries, where their services might have prevented much destruction of property, there is no record of any of them having been thus employed.1 The reason is that such matters are first referred to engineers, who cannot understand, without mathematical deductions, how the American operations have been carried on, and consequently cannot be convinced that they are safe.
Furthermore there are no published treatises on this subject to which reference can be made. […]
—Peter B. Wight
1 Since this was written information has been received that in carrying out the extensive municipal improvements lately instituted in Budapesth, Hungary, there has been secured the assistance of L. P. Friestedt, of Chicago, who performed the remarkable feat of moving a large brick building, in two sections, and reuniting the same. The changes in street lines included the ground occupied by several important buildings, some of them monuments of mediæval art. These have been successfully saved by moving them, while others at this writing are being moved and reconstructed. The authorities would not allow the work to be done until very heavy surety bonds were given.
—P. B. W.
bessie louise pierce. a history of chicago. the university of chicago, 1937. volume one, page 44, and volume two, page five.
[Professor Pierce gives Chicago’s population statistics derived from various, named, sources - jr]
Building raisings in California.
There follow some accounts of building raisings from California. Many of these buildings were raised years before the same happened in Chicago, and were lifted with hydraulic machinery. These stories are absolutely astonishing, and well worthy of a decent write-up.
daily alta california, san francisco. wednesday morning, january 18th, 1854. front page, column six.
Raising Brick Buildings.—California Invention.
The Hydrostatic Machinery for raising brick buildings, which has just successfully completed the lifting of James King of Wm.’s banking house, is entirely of California invention and manufacture. The idea of applying the enormous power of Hydrodynamic pressure to the raising of brick buildings originated with Mr. E. T. Steen, of the Vulcan Iron Works, of this city, and was perfected in its detail, and the machinery made from the raw material, at the works of Messrs. George Gordon & Steen.
The difficulty of lifting a brick building en masse will be appreciated when the immense weight to be raised and the steadiness and equilibrium to be maintained are taken into account. The walls of the building have to be lifted at once, and with precise equality. There must be no jar or vibration. The power must be equal to overcome any contingent addition to its weight from the friction of adjoining brick buildings, which are generally more or less matted in with hard set mortar to the walls in process of being lifted. There must be a centralization of power applied from one source to every part of the building, with the same force and at the same moment; as any inequality in the amount of force used, or in the moment of applying it, would raise one portion of the wall faster or slower, or sooner or later, than the other portions, and would inevitably crack the building.
All these desiderate are achieved in Messrs. George Gordon & Steen’s Hydrostatic machine. The power is applied to the structure to be raised by a number of massive presses, each weighing 1000 lbs., distributed at short spaces under the walls in holes cut in the brick work. The presses are connected with each other, and with a central battery of pumps, by a copper pipe of very small bore and great thickness.
With a few buckets of water on the pump-well, the force of one man on the pump cranks is equal to the raising of several hundred tons of brickwork; and the power can be multiplied to any extent, so as to raise an entire block of buildings, by adding to the number of presses and lengthening the pipes.
As the well-known property of water under pressure is to work without elasticity, there is consequently no jerk or jar. The piston of each press is constructed to lift 90 tons, which it does without a motion perceptible to the eye or the touch; in fact, so smoothly that a glass of quicksilver exhibits no vibration if placed on a piston head while its enormous power is sustaining and raising the weight placed upon it.
This machinery, which promises to be of great service in raising buildings now below the grade, was arranged, constructed, the soundness of each part tested, and the whole set to work, without previous experiment; the estimates of strength and power, and the distribution and equalization of the hydraulic forces, having been entirely ascertained by mathematical calculations based on the experiments (reduced to practice) of Sir Robert Stephenson and other eminent engineers.
Messrs. Lane & Wentworth are the contractors who used this machinery in the lifting of Mr. King’s building.
the weekly placer herald, auburn, placer county, california. saturday, february 4th, 1854. page four, column three.
HYDROSTATIC MACHINE.—A powerful hydrostatic machine for raising heavy brick and stone buildings, has been in full operation the past week, in elevating the banking house of James King of Wm.
The principle of its operation is very simple. It consists of a number of perpendicular cylinders, about seven inches in diameter, each fitted with a piston, forced upward by the pressure of water. A small copper tube connects with each cylinder, and also with a powerful forcing pump, by means of which an equal pressure is exerted upon all the pistons. With this machine two men can exert a power sufficient to raise 75,000 tons.
daily alta california, san francisco. saturday morning, february 18th, 1854. page two, column two.
RAISING BRICK BUILDINGS.—The novel sight of brick building being lifted up in a body excited a good deal of curiosity and attracted much attention when the building of James King of Wm., on the corner of Commercial and Montgomery streets, was being raised. The contractors are now employed in raising a much larger building, that of Messrs. George Clifford & Co., in Clay street. The following description will convey a very correct idea of the manner in which the power of hydraulic presses is applied in raising a brick building—
The principle of the hydraulic press and its enormous and perfectly steady power is well known. This invention of Messrs. George Gordon & Steen, consists in combining the action of a large number of presses distributed in holes cut in the cellar walls of a building, at about six feet apart, with a central battery of pumps—the presses all being connected with each other and with the pumps by a line of exceedingly strong copper pipes which convey the water under the piston of each press. On commencing to lift the wall parts all round on a line with the piston heads, the foundation remaining undisturbed, and the building from just below the lower floor is lifted steadily up.
By one man turning the handle of the pump a very small stream of water is forced into all the presses at the same time, consequently they all apply their power at the same time and with precisely the same effect. The motion is imperceptible to the eye, the building raising only one-third as fast as the minute hand of an ordinary watch travels, or about one inch an hour.
The ordinary method of raising a brick building by screws, is liable to this objection, that each screw travels alone, one at a time, and with more or less of jar and vibration, so that the building is not lifted entire at once.
Under Messrs. Geo. Clifford & Co’s. building there are twenty-two presses, each of which is capable of lifting eighty tons. The power applied is equal to lifting 1760 tons; the building weighs about 400 tons, consequently the power is four times as strong as is necessary.
This novel application of hydraulic power was invented and the machinery all manufactured by Messrs. George Gordon & Steen, of the Vulcan Iron works, who have applied for a patent for the same.
the weekly placer herald, auburn, placer county, california. saturday, march 25th, 1854. front page, column three.
SAN FRANCISCO.—Raising brick buildings has become an every-day occurrence in San Francisco; the buildings are raised by the patent Hydraulic Screw introduced here by Messrs. Geo. Gordon & Steen, and in every case the work has been done with comparative ease, and without any injury to the building.
green mountain freeman, montpelier, vermont. thursday, may 4th, 1854. front page, column two.
AN IMPORTANT INVENTION.
The City Government of San Francisco, California, a year or two since passed an ordinance directing the grade of many of the principal streets to be raised from one to eight feet. It accordingly became necessary to raise to a like extent the buildings abutting on those streets. Many of the buildings are large brick blocks and ware-houses, erected within a comparatively short period, and as yet are not consolidated like those that have stood a series of years. Hence great difficulty was experienced in raising such buildings to the required elevation by ordinary means. Aside from the vast power requisite, and, for furnishing which, the old machinery was entirely inadequate, the constant liberality to jerks or jars, which would crack and weaken the walls, rendered a different and more powerful apparatus desirable.
These difficulties have all been overcome by the application of Hydronamic pressure. The idea originated with Mr. Edward T. Steen, son of Joseph Steen, Esq., of this village, but for the past four years a resident in San Francisco, and a member of the firm “George Gordon & Steen,” proprietors of the Vulcan Iron Works in that city. Mr Steen is the inventor and manufacturer of the Hydrostatic machinery, the following description of which, and of its mode of operation, we copy from the Alta California of January 18th:
“The difficulty of lifting a brick building […] Sir Robert Stephenson and other eminent engineers.” [See the complete article from which they are quoting here - jr]
the daily picayune, new orleans, louisiana. saturday, july 8th, 1854. page two, column three.
[…] Successful experiments on a large scale have been made to raise buildings to the grade by hydraulic pressure.
the nevada journal, nevada, california. (there was no state of nevada at the time, and what was then “nevada” is now nevada city, the word “city” appended to the name directly after the establishment of the state of nevada in 1864.) friday morning, november 10th, 1854. page three, column three.
To the Traveling Public
Of Nevada and the Surrounding Country
THE TEHAMA HOUSE,
On the corner of CALIFORNIA and SANSOME STREETS, SAN FRANCISCO, having been closed for alterations and repairs, is now re-opened, and offers to its patrons superior accommodations. The House has been raised to the grade, painted, papered and plastered, throughout, and refurnished with new hair matrasaes, linen and furniture. […]
G. W. FRINK, Manager.
daily alta california, san francisco. saturday morning, august 14th, 1858. page two, column three.
RAISING OF A BUILDING BY WATER POWER.— [… Water power] has been in this city on an immense scale an elevator of the dwellings of our citizens, and the mammoth mercantile establishments of our business men. Most of our readers will remember the achievements of Mr G. H. Hossefross in the way of raising massive edifices by the hydraulic process; and to-day we are pleased to chronicle the triumphant success which is attending the labors of Messrs. Lane & Stratton, two of our enterprising and skilful mechanics. This firm is now engaged in raising the brick buildings of Grogan & Lent, on Sansome street, between California and Pine streets. This edifice is eighty by fifty feet, three stories high, and with walls heavy and thick. In raising it by hydrostatic pressure twenty-eight hydraulic rams are employed, which are connected to the battery pump by a copper pipe three-eights of an inch in thickness, and of one-fourth inch bore. The power is ten thousand pounds to the inch. The entire complement of men required is but eight, six of whom attend to the pumps and two to the presses and the watching of the building. A single barrel of water has sufficed to raise this enormous weight a distance of eighteen inches, and but a day to elevate it that height. The rams move almost as rapidly as is the motion of the minute hand of an ordinary clock, and so evenly and smoothly do they do their duty that there is no crack or any injury whatever to be discovered in the building. The store has already been elevated five and a half feet, and it is intended to raise it still higher to-day. Instead of raising the basement floor as is usually the case, the machinery has been inserted in the walls of the first story of this building, for the purpose of adding some two feet to its height. To such of our readers as would witness the practical results of this hydropathic treatment on a mighty body of inanimate matter, we recommend a visit to Sansome street, almost meridian to-day to see the mechanical doctors “raise” their patient from its earthy bed.
sacramento daily union, monday morning, december 23rd, 1861. page three, column one.
HOUSE-RAISING APPARATUS.—The greater portion of the hydraulic house-raising apparatus of Edward Fell arrived in the city on Saturday and yesterday mornings, on the steamers Nevada and Sacramento, from San Francisco. The remainder will come up within a day or two. It is expected that a number of our brick buildings will be raised by this machinery within the next three or four months. A hydraulic pump is used capable of a pressure of twenty thousand pounds to the square inch, though this extreme pressure is of course never employed. In raising a building, cast iron cylinders are used on which the piston is forced up by the introduction of water beneath, forced in by the pump above referred to. These cylinders are made of three inch cast iron, the chamber and piston being five inches in diameter. The play of the piston is eighteen inches. The set of cylinders consists of twenty-seven in all, though all are but seldom used under any one building. The earth is removed from the foundation of the building to be raised, a portion at a time, and the cylinders are adjusted under the walls on a solid foundation of plank if necessary. By this means the entire building is brought to rest on them. All are then connected with the pump by means of tubes, and water is forced in beneath the piston of each. The building goes up gradually with the pressure of the pump, and is of course carefully supported in its place by such timbers as are necessary. The piston rises but eighteen inches, but any hight [sic] desired in addition is gained by the use of additional wedges or blocks. When the building has attained the right position, the underpinning walls are built and the cylinders are removed one by one, leaving the building to rest on its new foundation walls. The entire apparatus consists of the pump and cylinders spoken of, several hundred jack-screws, connecting pipes of all sizes and forms, iron wedges, iron plates, and cords of wooden blocks and planking of all sizes, shapes and descriptions. It is the same as has been used by Gordon & Stein and G. H. Hossefross, of San Francisco, and is the invention of Stein and a Frenchman, who co-operated with him in its original construction. The present proprietor is confident that he can raise any building in the city with it, provided the owner can “raise the wind” to pay him for his work.
sacramento daily union, friday morning, november 29th, 1867. page three, column one.
SIXTH STREET, I TO J.—Knox & Turton, who contracted for the filling in of this street within the boundaries named, have completed the job, and the property bounded by I and J, Sixth and Front streets, is completely surrounded by the high grade. Owners of real estate on Sixth street have taken time by the forelock, and we find but three buildings, exclusive of the Congregational Church, between I and J streets, that have not been raised or made to conform to the grade. Commencing at J street, on the eastern side, the corner building, owned by a New York firm, is being raised. The next, owned by William Henkel, and occupied as a meat market, has been raised, and the proprietor is now having a brick addition of forty or fifty feet built on to the rear. Next is a large brick house, owned by W. F. Knox, which has been raised to grade, and duly painted and repaired. Knox also owns the two frame buildings adjoining, which have had the first floor sunk a little and an additional story built on. W. C. Farnsworth is doing the carpenter work. When finished, these buildings will have a fine appearance. On the west side of the street, the store on the corner of J has long been up to grade. Next to it is a small brick building which has had a story added to its former hight [sic], and is said to be intended for a broom factory. The adjoining brick is used by N. Greene Curtis as his law office, and has been placed in position on the grade and much improved in appearance by paint. The residence of Jacob Gruhler, a two-story brick, has also been raised, and the workmen are engaged, under the superintendence of Julius Fiedler, in fitting up the basement. An ornamental fence will be added to this property as soon as possible. Knox & Turton have raised the buildings mentioned.
IMPROVEMENTS.—M street, between Third and Fourth streets, appears to be holding its own in the march of improvement. John Alexander, proprietor of the one-story, double brick building on the south side of the street, near the center of the block, has had it raised to high grade—which is thirteen feet ten inches above the natural level of the land at this place—and thus manufactured a two-story building out of it. The cellar with which the house was formerly provided has been filled in, and a depth of two feet of earth will be added to the lot the first of next week. Knox & Turton did the raising and B. F. Alexander the fitting up. […]
Building raisings elsewhere.
Addendum, 30th August, 2022. Well, it turns out on further investigation that buildings were raised elsewhere too, and years before those in Chicago and San Francisco. Here are some more sources, and this is only scratching the surface. Would that I had the time to do this more fully.
the new-york evening post, tuesday, june 27th, 1820. page three, column six.
The subscriber having employed Simeon Brown, of Manhattan Island, spar maker, to move a house for him, which was done so much to his satisfaction, he believes he cannot serve the public better than by recommending him to their notice.
The said house was moved with the chimney standing, a fire on the hearth, the furniture in its place and the family at their several occupations; no injury was done to any part of the same: the plaster and paper in the rooms was not even defaced.
The house is situated in Mulberry, near Grand street, next door to Jackson and Baggott’s glass-cutting shop. Gentlemen wishing to see the same will please call there.
He has likewise moved a house for Mr. Janeway, 55 feet by 48, with two double stacks of chimneys, since mine; one for Mr. Poillon, 116 Bowery.
He has likewise undertaken to move a druggists store 25 feet, with every article in its usual place.
N.B. The house belonging to Mr. Poillon is occupied as a shoe store, in which were, three ladies purchasing shoes, at the moment of launching, who were unconcious of the moving of the same, ’till told.
Editors wishing to encourage mechanical geuius [sic], will oblige, by giving a place to the above.
Je 25 3t
the new-york evening post, saturday, may 10th, 1823. page two, column four.
Dilapidation on a large scale.—The pulling down of the range of houses on the northerly side of Maiden Lane, from Pearl street to William street, commenced on Tuesday, and the demolition of twenty-three large brick dwellings at one time, thirteen of which are of three stories, presents a very striking and somewhat curious spectacle. One large substantial three story brick house is, we understand, to be removed back in a body, to the distance of fifteen or twenty feet, by a mechanical contrivance, and with the slate roof and chimnies all standing. The person undertaking this curious operation is the same who removed and lowered from its high situation the large house called Richmond Hill, without injuring the chimnies or ceilings. The widening of this narrow part of Maiden Lane, according to the plan, will be a great improvement to the city, and the adjacent property will be much enhanced in value by the measure.
spooners vermont journal, windsor, vermont. monday, june 16th, 1823. page one, column four.
NEW-YORK, JUNE 4. The interesting and novel performance of removing a brick house, was witnessed in this city yesterday, for the first time, and is said to be the first attempt ever made to remove a building entirely of brick. In the improvements going on by widening Maiden lane, it was necessary that the house should be pulled down or removed a distance of 21½ ft. from its former front. The house is three stories high, 25 feet wide, and 45 feet in depth—has a slated roof, and is a valuable building. The project of removing it, was conceived and undertaken by Mr. Simeon Brown, who has before removed about twenty buildings, some of them built partly with brick, and in some instances, without disturbing the families or removing the furniture. This house was estimated to weigh about 350 tons, and was removed with all the chimneys, windows, doors, &c. standing. Being previously placed upon ways, the removal was commenced yesterday morning, and was performed by three bed screws in the front, each of which worked by two or three men. What was deemed the most difficult part of the undertaking, was that the house must be raised about two feet from its former foundation—this was however done by two other screws placed underneath, which raised the building gradually in the exact ratio required. In the course of the day, the building was moved about 16 feet, with the least detriment or jar. There was so little danger manifest, that during the time the house was moving, the owner entertained about 150 persons within with a handsome collation. The expense of removing the building is about one fifth of its value.
connecticut courant, hartford, connecticut. monday, june 11th, 1827. page two, column four.
The launching of the two brick Houses in Garden street, on Saturday last, was completely successful. They were moved nearly ten feet, occupied at the time by tenants, without having sustained any injury. The preparations were the work of some time. The two buildings having been put upon ways, or into a cradle, were easily screwed on to a new foundation. The inventor of this simple and cheap mode of moving tenanted brick buildings, is entitled to the thanks of the public. In the course of time, it is likely that houses will be put up, upon ways, at brick or stone quarries, and sold as ships are, to be delivered at any part of the city.—N. Y. Gazette.
the united states gazette, philadelphia. friday morning, july 20th, 1827. page two, column four.
Mr Simeon Brown continues to move brick houses, &c. Yesterday he commenced moving a large three story brick house, forty-six feet deep, in Madison street, belonging to Mr. Greene, which is to be moved twenty feet. This house, whose walls are only eight inches thick, is considered of more than usual importance, and if successful, may be considered Mr. Brown’s master performance.—There is no doubt of his success, as thus far the house has sustained no injury.
N. Y. Gazette.
new-york evening post, saturday, september 1st, 1827. page three, column two.
NOTICE—The undersigned gives information to his friends and the public, that he has obtained a Patent for raising, lowering, or removing buildings, either of stone, brick, or wood on an improved plan, with chimneys, or furniture, or families, without disturbing any thing above the cellar. He has operated upon one hundred and eighty-seven buildings of all descriptions and sizes, to the entire satisfaction of his employers, without failure in a single instance; he now considers the principle upon which he operates, as having been fully attested and perfectly safe—he presents his acknowledgements for former favors and still solicits the patronage of his friends and the public. He furthermore cautions all persons from operating upon buildings, or employing others to do it, on the principles of his patent, without his approbation and consent.
P.S. Place of residence North-street, between Lewis-street and Avenue D, Manhattan Island, Eastern Hall. Orders may be left at Messrs. Stickler & Co. No. 14 Garden-street.
niles’ weekly register, baltimore. february 9th, 1828. page five, column two.
NOVEL SERVICE. In New York they have a way of doing things in many respects peculiar to themselves. Witness the following paragraph from the Journal of Commerce. We think the church is in danger!
Notice.—The public are respectfully informed that divine service will be performed this day, at 3 o’clock, P. M. in the old Dutch church, formerly situated in Herring street, Greenwich Village, now under the operation of moving in Charles street, by Mr. Simeon Brown. The church will continue to be under the operation of moving during the period of divine service.
phenix alexandria gazette, alexandria, virginia. wednesday morning, october 7th, 1829. page three, column two.
How to make a Three Story House out of a Two Story — The Broadway Marble House, No. 441 which is 25 feet wide by 40 deep with brick walls 12 inches thick front and rear, and side walls 8 inches thick, has been raised from the ground, chimneys and all, to the height of several feet, in order to substitute another story. It is done by means of screws, under the direction of Mr. Simeon Brown. The process is so simple, and so slightly disturbs the building; that a family might remain in it, pursuing their usual avocations, with perfect composure. The weight of such a building is enormous; and the ease with which it is raised, furnishes an admirable illustration of the power of mechanism.
new-york evening post, wednesday, june 6th, 1832. page two, column five.
For the New York Evening Post.
The art of moving brick houses originated in New York, and is a late invention, to which the public are indebted to Simeon Brown, of this city. A few years ago it was very common to see frame houses moved on rollers from one street to another, but in such cases the buildings were generally small, and the chimnies taken down before the operation commenced. In various parts of the country, too, the moving of frame houses and barns was not uncommon. But the removal of a brick house with chimnies standing, if it had been attempted, or the possibility of it asserted, the author of such an attempt or assertion would have been looked upon as a madman. At this time, however, the art or method of removing brick houses from their foundations and placing them in a new position, is complete and perfect, and it affords an admirable example of the new application of mechanical power under the direction of a great mechanical genius.
Now three story brick houses are raised from their foundations and moved back on the lots at an expense much less than by the old method of tearing down and rebuilding, when an improvement was made by widening or straightening a street. This has been tested by the improvement of Monroe (late Lombardy) street, which was forty feet and has been widened to sixty, by taking off a portion on each side, thereby rendering it necessary to disturb all the houses. With a knowledge of the skill of Mr. Brown in moving brick buildings, a reduction of from 60,000 to 70,000 dollars has been estimated, and this reduction would have been added to the assessment, if Brown’s method of moving could not have been resorted to. This is an invention of recent times of which little has been said or known. A friend of mine who is interested in the improvement of Monroe street, and whose building has been successfully moved by Simeon Brown has related to me the method of propping up or securing a building to be moved, and the manner of applying the power to effect the object. This I shall endeavor to explain, as it appears to be so little known or understood that few are aware of the simplicity of the undertaking; for when seen, it is like the problem said to have been solved by Columbus, of causing an egg to stand on its end[.]
Brown has moved so many single houses in New York, that it is here no longer a cause of surprise. The same mechanical genius which moved one, can move two, three, or more together, which he has repeatedly accomplished. But among the movements of the present day, the greatest one he ever made was in the widening of Monroe street, where seven houses built together with party walls, were moved back together, with chimnies standing, and occupied by families and furniture. This was effected on the 15th of May, in about three hours; but it had occupied three weeks previous to apply the fixtures and apparatus for moving. This is the first opportunity which Brown had to move so many at one time, and it was effected with so much apparent ease, and with so little, if any, injury, that he has received much applause. It is now believed by some that he can move a block of a dozen or more brick houses, a church, or the largest building in the city.
The block above alluded to is in Monroe, between Pike and Rutger streets. It consists of 7 two story houses, from 38 to 42 feet deep, having a line of front nearly 170 feet.
The owners were anxious as to the result, particularly as the buildings were not to be moved at right angles, but obliquely, so as to carry them further back at one end than at the other. Consequently the greater force would be applied to one end, and thereby endanger the fronts or cause them to crack. But the whole movement was completed without injury, and to the entire satisfaction of the owners.
In the first place the partitions of the kitchens and cellars being removed, a row of stout shores or studs was erected on each side of the walls, of sufficient strength to bear the weight of the buildings when the foundations should be torn away. The chimneys were secured by breaking two holes through the kitchen fire-places, and passing strong pieces of timber thro’ them, and shoreing the timbers at each end. The remainder of the kitchen fire-places being torn away, the chimnies rested upon the traverse timbers, and the timbers upon the shores. The next operation was to knock down about three feet from the top of the foundation walls, and thereon to lay ways perfectly level, and extending from the front to the rear as far as the buildings were to be moved. The ways were erected like those of a ship, and bilge, or moveable ways were placed over them, but under the timbers supporting the chimneys. The space between the bilge ways and the chimneys and beams, was filled up with short blocks, and tightly wedged. The row of studs or shores on each side of the walls were then taken down, and the weight of the sides of the houses rested on the ways. Before the foundation walls in the front and rear were removed, holes were made in them for laying short centre ways, and when these were levelled, blocked up securely, and wedged, the front and rear walls in the cellar were entirely separated from the walls above by breaking away below the water table, and then the houses rested wholly upon ways, and the ways upon the walls and blocking. The success of the undertaking depends upon the strength of the fixtures, and the accuracy with which they are placed, and when these are properly arranged, the last operation, that of moving, is simple and easy, and is accomplished by the power of screws applied horizontally to the bilge ways. In the moving of these houses fourteen screws were employed, and served by as many men. The families remained in the houses sitting at the windows observing the operations of the workmen, and were not disturbed or incommoded except in the cellars or kitchens. There was not the least jarring or sensible motion, as flower pots remained undisturbed in the upper windows. The buildings being all moved, the timber was in the way, and in order to remove it, (that the walls might be re-built) the houses were again studded, and the ways withdrawn. When the side walls were re-built so as to receive the weight of the houses, the studs were again removed, and then the fronts and rears were built up by peace meal, as the short ways were withdrawn. Thus the houses were moved and secured in their new position.
Such an undertaking, which a few years ago would have been considered impossible, is now accomplished with ease, and so eager are others to profit by the mechanical skill and genius of Brown, that he is harrassed like Fulton with infringements upon his rights and inventions, which are secured by a patent. The art of launching a ship applied to the moving of a house, assisted by the power of the screw, is the amount of the invention. It is the application of known powers to a new purpose.
the franklin telegraph, chambersburg, pennsylvania. june 12th, 1832. page four, column three.
A large Removal.—We find the following paragraph in the Boston Centinel: “In widening a street in New York, it was deemed necessary to remove or demolish a large block of seven brick buildings. Mr. Simeon Brown, a civil engineer undertook to remove them, and performed the extraordinary feat last Tuesday in three hours. The whole mass of buildings 192 feet long, was removed upon horizontal ways, a distance of seven feet, by screws, without the least injury. Five years ago, we saw a feat of this kind performed in Maiden Lane, New York under the direction of the same Engineer, by the removal of a single large three story building. We at the time inquired of Mr. Brown, to what extent of magnitude he could remove buildings with safety. His answer was, that he could remove without injury, every sound building in the city. […]
mechanics’ magazine and register of inventions and improvements. volume one. june 1833. pages 281-284.
Mr. Simeon Brown’s Method of moving Brick Buildings. [Communicated by the Inventor for the Mechanics’ Magazine.]
REFERENCES—ɑ ɑ, timbers placed in different directions, according to the construction of the building, so that it may be perfectly secure; b b b, the slides; c c c, the ways, on which the slides move; d d d, the pumps, (so named,) secured by chains to the ways, c c c, and containing the female screws, which are each provided with a shoulder, pressing against the end of the pump; e e e, the propelling screws, which are severally acted upon by a lever, f.
MR. SIMEON BROWN, Eastern Hall, Manhattan Island, has, by the simple apparatus as shown in the engraving, removed several brick houses, varying from one to three stories high. As we know that many people are quite incredulous on this subject, we subjoin a list of some few tenements that have been moved by Mr. B. in this city.
The first brick house Mr. Brown moved was situated at 85 Maiden lane; it is three stories high, and the size is 55 feet by 22. A short time afterwards he lowered Richmond Hill Theatre, a brick building, the wall[s] 8 inches thick, size 50 feet by 42, and moved it a distance of 68 feet. Shortly afterwards seven brick houses, at one time and by one set of apparatus, in Monroe street, each 24 feet by 40; the numbers of the houses are 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, 128, and 130. Then nine brick houses, 25 feet by 40, situated in Avenue D, all raised 5 feet 2 inches, by one operation; and a three story brick house, 58 feet by 25, in Monroe street. The Church now situated in Sixth street, Greenwich Village, he moved a distance of 1,100 feet, with the steeple, clock, pews, and all fixtures; no damage was done, not even so much as breaking a square of glass in either of the windows.
Mr. Brown informs us that, during the last 12 years, he has moved about 900 buildings, 400 of which had brick-fronts, and about 40 were entire brick buildings.
The following description of the operation Mr. Brown has handed us for insertion: it is from the fertile pen of Capt. Basil Hall, and is in every particular correct.
“Every one has heard of moving wooden houses; but the transportation of a brick dwelling is an exploit of a different nature. I shall describe simply what I saw, and then tell how the details were managed. In a street which required to be widened, there stood two houses much in the way, their front being twelve feet too far forward. These houses, therefore, must either have been taken down, or shifted back. Mr. Brown undertook to execute the less destructive process. They were both of brick, and built together, one being forty feet deep, and twenty-five feet front; the other thirty-two feet deep, and twenty-two feet front. They were of the same height, that is to say, twenty-two feet from the ground to the eaves, above which stood the roof and two large stacks of brick chimneys; the whole formed a solid block of building, having two rows of six windows each, along a front of forty-seven feet by twenty-two. This was actually moved in a compact body, without injury, twelve feet back from the street. I watched the progress of the preparations on the 25th of May with great interest; but unfortunately, just as the men were proceeding to the actual business of moving the screws, I was obliged to run off to keep an appointment with the Mayor and Corporation; and when I came back, three or four hours afterwards, the workmen had gone away, after moving the building thirty inches—which fact I ascertained by measurements of my own. On the next day, with equal perversity of fate, I was again called off to join a party going to New Jersey; and on my return two days afterwards, I had the mortification to find the work completed. The houses were now exactly nine feet and a half from the position in which I had left them a few days before.
“It would be tedious, perhaps, were I to give a very minute description of the whole process; but it is so simple, that it may, with a little attention, be understood in a general way even by persons not much accustomed to such subjects, and may possible be useful to those who are familiar with them.
“The first object is to place a set of strong timbers under the house, parallel to, and level with the street, at the distance of three feet apart, extending from end to end of the buildings, and projecting outwards several feet beyond the gable end walls. The extremities of these timbers are next made to rest upon blocks of wood, placed on the ground quite clear of the walls on the outside. Then by means of wedges driven between the timbers and the blocks, they are made to sustain a great part of the weight of the ends of the house. When this is done, the foundation of the end walls may be removed without danger, as they now rest exclusively on the timbers, the ends of which, as I have described, lie on solid blocks.
“I shall describe presently how the above operation of inserting the timbers is performed; but if for the present we suppose it done, and the house resting on a sort of frame-work, it is easy to conceive that a set of slides, or what are called in dock-yards, ways, on which ships are launched, may be placed transversely under these timbers, that is, at right angles to them, so as to occupy the very place where the foundations of the end walls once stood. It is necessary to interpose between these ways or fixed slides, and the aforesaid timbers, a set of cradles, similar in their purpose to the apparatus of the same name on which ships rest when launched, to which final process of ship-building, by-the-bye, this whole operation bears a close analogy. These cradles are long smooth beams lying along the top of the ways, and in the same line with them; their under surfaces in contact with the ways, and the upper made to bear against the cross timbers which support the house. The object, at this stage of the business, is to bring the whole weight of the house upon these cradles, and, consequently, upon the ways which support them. If this be done, it follows that the ends of the timbers, formerly described as resting on the blocks, will no longer be supported at the same places. This change of the point of support is effected by driving in wedges between the timbers and the cradles; and it will readily be seen that these wedges have the two-fold effect of forcing the cradles down upon the ways, and at the same time of raising up the timbers which support the house, and consequently, in a very small degree, the house itself. The ends of the timbers now rest no longer on the blocks, which are removed, and the house, supported upon the cradles and the ways, is ready for being moved, as soon as the front and back walls have been taken away.
“Suppose all this done, there is nothing required but to apply screws, placed horizontally in the street, and butting against the cradles. On these being made to act simultaneously, the cradles, and consequently the frame which they support, together with the house on its back, move along.
“Such is a general account of the process. I shall now mention how the various difficulties, most of which I dare say will have suggested themselves in the foregoing account, are overcome in practice.
“The horizontal supporting timbers, already described as being placed parallel to the street, and nearly at the same level with it, are introduced one by one in this way. A hole is blocked out in each of the end walls, just above the ground, and large enough to admit a squared beam, say fifteen inches each way, of which the ends project beyond the gable walls about a couple of feet. A firm block of wood is then placed under each of these ends, and wedges being driven underneath, the beam is raised up, and made to bear against the upper parts of the holes. Thus the inserted timber completely supplies the office of the dislodged portions of the masonry. Another pair of holes is then made, and a second timber introduced, and so on till they are all inserted, and firmly wedged up. The distance at which these are placed must depend upon the weight of the wall. In the case I witnessed the houses were of brick, and the timber stood at the distance, I should think, of three feet apart. All this being done, the intermediate masonry, forming the foundation, may be gradually removed, and a clear space will be left under the supported walls for the reception of the ways.
“There are two more precautions to be attended to; these ways must all be coated with tallow, in a layer of at least half an inch thick, so that the wood of the cradles may never come in contact with them. Some device must also be adopted to prevent the whole affair, house and all, from sliding laterally off. This, Mr. Brown prevents, by cutting along the top of one of the ways a deep groove, into which is fitted a correspondent feather, as it is called, of the superincumbent cradle. This being made to work easy, and well greased, the direct motion is not retarded.
“I have said nothing all this time of the front and back walls; but it will easily be understood how these may be made to rest, like those at the ends, on timbers inserted under the house at right angles, to the first set. The whole of the supporting frame-work is tied so firmly together by bolts, that there is not the slightest bending or twisting of any part of the building.
“When at last the house has reached its destination, a new foundation is built, and the whole process being inverted, the timbers are withdrawn one by one; and such is the security of these operations, that no furniture is ever removed from the houses so transported. The inhabitants, I am told, move out and in as if nothing were going on. This, however, I did not see.*
“Mr. Brown was once employed to remove a house from the top to the bottom of a sloping ground; and, as no additional impulse from screws was here required, he resolved to ease the building down, as sailors call it, by means of a tackle. Unfortunately, about the middle of the operation, the strop of one of the blocks broke, and the operator, who was standing on the lower side of the building, was horrified by the apparition of the house under weigh, and smoking, by its friction, right down upon him. With that vigorous presence of mind, which is compounded of thorough knowledge, and a strong sense of the necessity of immediate action, and without which courage is often useless, he dashed a crow-bar, which he happened to have in his hand at the time, into a hole accidentally left in one of the ways, and leaping on one side watched the result. The momentum of the enormous moving body was so great that it fairly drove the iron bar, like a cutting instrument, for a considerable distance through the fibres of the timber. The main point, however, was gained, by the house being arrested in its progress down the hill; and the able engineer, like an officer who has shown himself fertile in resource, reaped more credit from the successful application of a remedy to an evil not anticipated, than if all had gone smoothly from the commencement.”
* We have been credibly informed that, during the operation of moving the house situate at 85 Maiden lane, the Mayor and Corporation, to the amount of 150 individuals, were in the house and partook of refreshments. Also, that, when the church before alluded to was moving, a clergyman delivered a discourse on science, as connected with religion, to a congregation of between 300 and 400 persons.—[ED. MEC. MAG.]
the evening post, new york. monday, june 10th, 1833. page two, column three.
For the Evening Post.
ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH.—The first stone of this new church was laid this morning (June 10th,) by the Rt. Rev. John Dubois, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Barrow street […].
As a matter of curiosity and information for distant readers, we state the following circumstance. In order to locate the church on the corner of the above mentioned streets, a three storied brick house, 24 feet front by 40 deep, was purchased, and Mr. Simeon Brown employed to remove it. Mr. B. cheerfully undertook the task, and with a facility and precision almost incredible to any but an eye witness, landed it safe in the course of fifteen days, at the distance of 84 feet from its original foundation, to one prepared for it elevating it 4½ feet in its progress, on an inclined plain.
The Pastor (the Rev. Jas. Cumminskey,) and the trustees avail themselves of this opportunity of returning their sincere thanks to Mr. Brown for his promptness on this occasion, and of expressing their confidence in his professional capacity and of congratulating the citizens of New York on their having among them so enterprizing and intelligent a mechanic. […]
the whig, chambersburg, pennsylvania. friday morning, july 4th, 1834. page two, column three.
Raising and removing brick houses is a business very successfully carried on in this city, and is a great curiosity in a scientific point of view. Carrying back a large five story fire proof store ten feet, or making a brick house face another street, would at one time have been considered an extraordinary undertaking. We were admiring the ease and security with which the handsome two story brick house, 210 Bowery, was raised by screws and blocks to a height so as to enable the owner to build another story under it, and when completed it will be a substantial three story house. The raising of this brick house was done by George Bakewell, 177 Elizabeth st. and not a wall was cracked or a timber out of place.—N. Y. Star.
niles’ weekly register, baltimore. saturday, august 8th, 1835. page two, column two.
MOVING HOUSES. The large and heavy block of two story brick dwelling houses with their respective back buildings attached, have been moved entire from their ancient location on German street, Baltimore, and been made to take up a new position about 12 feet in the rear of that previously occupied. The removal was successfully and handsomely performed, under the orders and superintendence of Mr. Bakewell, on Saturday last. The arrangements throughout denoted great practical judgment and skill. More than ordinary difficulties were interposed in this case, arising as well from the magnitude of the block of buildings as from the nature of the ground in front. The job was done, however, in a style which reflects great credit on the skill of the contractor. Mr. Bakewell has had considerable experience in this line in New York; and his experience embraces the raising of brick buildings perpendicularly, as well as their removal horizontally; but we understand he considers the difficulties which he had to encounter in this case, equal to, if not beyond any previously met with. Great as they were, these difficulties were however conquered, and this heavy block of buildings now ranges handsomely upon the new limit assigned to German street. [Pat.
adams sentinel, gettysburg, pennsylvania. monday, september 14th, 1835. page one, column five.
Moving Brick Houses.—A few days since, a block of Brick houses were removed in Baltimore, 20 feet from their original location; the Baltimore American in relating this circumstance, says:—“The removal of the block of brick dwellings on German street, from the old line of the street back to the recently established line, was completed on Saturday, in a masterly manner, by Mr. George Bakewell, of New York. The block comprises three two story brick dwelling houses with brick back buildings, the whole of which were simultaneously transferred to a new position some twenty feet in the rear, without the slightest injury. Mr. B. considers this the most difficult job of the kind he has ever undertaken. He certainly deserves credit for the manner in which he has accomplished it.”
the united states gazette, philadelphia. wednesday morning, april 11th, 1838. page two, column five.
MOVING BUILDINGS.—Mechanical feats in the way of moving large brick buildings are constantly going on. The great house of the Dispensary in Centre street, has been set back some ten feet, without injury. A large store on the South side of Fulton Market is now on the screws, and is to be raised three feet.—There are 150 tons of tobacco in the lofts, which it was not thought necessary to take out.—N. Y. Jour. of Com.
the penny magazine of the society for the diffusion of useful knowledge. volume eleven. july 23rd, 1842. page 284-285.
METHOD OF REMOVING HOUSES IN AMERICA.
THE removing of houses from one spot to another not far distant is not a novelty in England, and is very commonly performed at the present day in America.* While houses were constructed principally of timber, the difficulty was not very great, arising chiefly from the heavy weight to be moved, as, when loosened from their foundations, the elasticity and adhesion of their materials were sufficient to keep them together during the process; but in houses constructed of brick the difficulties are evidently greatly increased, and the necessity for a much larger share of ingenuity and contrivance required. Though this latter process is not altogether unknown in England, indeed a lighthouse in Northumberland of considerable size has been lately removed to some distance from its original site, yet it has been chiefly in America that the plan has been practised, where it has been found eminently useful in enabling them to widen the streets or improve the plans of their rapidly-growing towns. As the subject is of some interest, we will endeavour to give a description of the method of proceeding.
In the building to be removed, which must be a detached one (or the whole block may be removed if not too large), corresponding openings are made in each of the end walls just above the ground, sufficiently large to admit the insertion of beams about a foot or fifteen inches square, which project about two or three feet from each end, and are placed at intervals of about four feet from each other (marked 1 in the engravings); the projecting ends resting on blocks of wood fixed firmly on the ground, clear of the walls. When the beams are placed, wedges are driven between their projecting ends and the fixed blocks in order to drive them up tightly against the upper part of the wall, thus supplying the place of the bricks knocked away, and supporting the weight of the walls. This done, the foundation of the end walls may be removed, the intermediate brick-work taken away, and a clear space left for further operations. The same operation is then pursued with the front and back walls, the beams, No. 2, passing below and across those first laid, and resting like them on blocks outside the walls. The foundation being now wholly laid bare, the two sets of timbers are forced closely up to each other and to the brick-work by upright screws placed on the ground beneath them, No. 3. This operation relieves the blocks, on which the projecting ends rested, of the weight of the house, and they are taken away; the house now resting entirely on the timber frame-work, sustained by the screws. The ground beneath is now dug away, and a set of fixed slides, or ways, as they are commonly called (6 in engravings), are placed exactly where the foundations of the end walls had previously stood; on these ways, in which deep grooves are cut, are placed a set of cradles, similar to those used in ship-yards (5 in engravings), which have a projection or feather, corresponding with and intended to move in the grooves of the ways, both being previously well greased, and between these cradles and the timbers marked 2 the beams marked 4 are inserted at right angles with both pieces of wood, and wedges are then driven in at various parts to tighten the whole in order to bring the entire weight of the building on to the cradles, and consequently upon the ways on which they rest; figs. 7, 8, and 9, in the engraving of the end wall, show some of the ways in which these strengthenings are applied. When this is effected the supporting screws can be withdrawn, and the whole of this complicated frame-work is so well fastened together, that there is little danger of the edifice it supports getting deranged in the act of moving. It is scarcely necessary to add that the ways must be laid continuously to the exact spot in which the house is to be deposited, where, in general, a new foundation has been prepared for it. The screws are then placed horizontally against the cradles, and, being made to act together, the cradles with their burden move along the ways at the rate of three or four feet per day to their place of destination. When arrived there, by inverting the process, the timbers are withdrawn one by one, and the house is permanently fixed in its new situation without injury to itself, and frequently without even removing the furniture.
The following curious accounts of the application of this invention in New York, we give in the words of the correspondent, to whom we are indebted for the materials of the previous notice:—
“Chapel Street, in New York, was widened by order of the Corporation; many of the houses were moved back, and some pulled down. At the corner of Chapel and Leonard streets stood a large and strong brick building used as a blacksmith’s workshop: this lying in the way of the improvement, had to be removed: it was sold by auction, and was purchased very cheaply by a person who owned a small house adjoining it in Leonard Street, with some ground behind it. The speculative purchaser first moved the small house in Leonard Street, beyond the extremity of the blacksmith’s shop, and turned its front towards Chapel Street; he then moved back the blacksmith’s building the required number of feet, and brought it on a level with the small house previously moved. Out of the old workshop he formed three handsome three-story houses, with shops, and made additions to the small house, so that the whole now presents a line of four houses.
“In a more recent improvement, Centre Street was widened and extended, in order to join a main thoroughfare by the City Hall. Many houses were pulled down, and carried back as in other instances, but there was one well-built brick house that stood completely across the proposed roadway. There was not sufficient room on either side to receive it wholly, so the ingenious proprietor, rather than sacrifice his house, conceived the idea of dividing it from top to bottom through the three floors: this he actually accomplished, and the two distinct parts were conveyed to opposite sides of the street, in which state I saw them before the chasms in the walls had been supplied. He then perfected them, and they form now two separate, though narrow buildings.
“The cost of moving a moderate-sized brick dwelling is about one hundred dollars, very considerably less, even with the new brick-work, than the expense of pulling down and rebuilding, besides saving much time. A Mr. Simeon Brown of New York is said to have been the projector of this peculiar and useful operation: he died, I believe, only a few months since.”
* Stow mentions, in his ‘Survey of London,’ 1598, that his father’s house in Throgmorton Street was loosened from the ground, and removed on rollers to a distance of 22 feet, by the order of Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex, who was desirous of enlarging his garden.
[The likelihood the building mentioned here by Stow was of brick construction is close to zero. - jr]
buffalo daily gazette, buffalo, new york. tuesday morning, april 4th, 1843. page one, column six.
HOUSE RAISING—not the raising of log or frame buildings, but the lifting up of brick buildings bodily. We took a walk this beautiful morning, down Penn street, where we observed the operation of raising brick buildings perpendicularly, going on. The house, which belongs to Mr. J. B. McFVDDEN, is a three story brick, with a back building, and the whole was raised up together, about two feet, without the least apparent jar, crack or injury. The architect is Mr. O. S. PALMER, of Allegheny; and we mention the fact to call the attention of those who may wish to improve their property in this way. The expense is not great, and yet in the case of the house referred to above, it will increase the value of the building as a dwelling at least one-half.—Pittsburgh Gaz.
the daily picayune, new orleans, louisiana. saturday morning, february 21st, 1846. page one, column seven.
Raising Brick Houses.—The operation of raising brick houses has been commenced at Pittsburg. A block of three story buildings is now being raised five feet to admit new stone walls on their original ones; this having become necessary by the recent grading of the street on which they stand.
lincoln journal, fayetteville, tennessee. thursday, october 7th, 1847. page two, column three.
A brick building in Boston, including the cellar walls of rough stone, was removed some distance, a few days since, on a temporary railroad, with entire success. The building was occupied as a store; its contents were undisturbed, and the ordinary business continued without interruption. Moving brick buildings is a very common thing at the East.
the brooklyn daily eagle and kings county democrat, brooklyn (still its own city and several decades before becoming a borough of new york city). tuesday, may 29th, 1855. page three, column one.
City News and Gossip.
The moving of the large three-story brick house, corner of Atlantic and Clinton streets, is attracting a good deal of attention, from the fact of its being turned around to be placed on the opposite side of the corner; a much more difficult operation than moving straightforward. The Penny Magazine of July, 1842, has an article on house moving, in which it shows Mr. Simeon Brown to have been the first person who ever moved a brick house, or a frame house with the chimney standing. The firm of Brown & Isaacs—the leading member of the firm being the son of the Mr. Brown above mentioned—are the parties who are moving the house corner of Atlantic and Clinton streets. Formerly it was deemed impossible to move brick houses, but now they are made to change places without sustaining the slightest injury.
fremont journal, fremont, ohio. june 18th, 1858. page two, column six.
GREAT FEAT.—One of the most admirable performances we have had occasion to chronicle is the successful moving of the brick residence of Dr. Ackley. The house is two stories in height, has a main part of say 24 feet by 50, with a rear part same height—say 60 feet by 24. This building has been moved two hundred feet, and the most critical inspection cannot find a crack in the plastering which has been caused by its journey. It was moved by screws and progressed by turns of ¼ of an inch each; that is, each turn of the screws, which was made simultaneously at the word given, moved the building one-fourth of an inch. The successful moving of brick buildings, not only up and down but horizontally, is one of the wonders of this notable age.
[This would seem to have taken place in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr Ackley was a well respected and widely known physician in Ohio whose name would regularly appear in newspapers across the state. On 25th April 1859 the Cleveland Morning Leader reported, “on the sudden death of Dr. Ackley, who for many years has been a resident of Cleveland.” Other newspapers such as the Western Gazette of Lima, Ohio, The Sun of Baltimore and the Hartford Daily Courant of Connecticut reported on his death, mentioning his residency in Cleveland. - jr]
Newspapers and periodicals cited:
Unfortunately, newspapers and periodicals did not detail their address, proprietor, publisher, editor, etc., in a uniform or standardised way. I have tried to show such information as is on display in each issue as I encountered it.
daily alta california. The January 18th, 1854 and February 18th 1854 issues cited both show E Gilbert & Co., as publisher. No address is given in either of these issues, but both the December 26th, 1853 and April 24th, 1854 issues give two addresses for the paper: Alta California Building, Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, California for editing and printing, and 136 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California for the publishing business. So unless they did some very rapid moving, those must have been the addresses for the period of my cited issues from 1854. The August 14th, 1858 issue shows Fred’k MacCrellish & Co. as publisher at the Alta California Building, 124 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, California.
the weekly placer herald. Published by Tabb Mitchell at the Herald Office, Main Street, Auburn, Placer County, California.
the nevada journal. Published by Sargent & Skelton, Main Street, Nevada (now Nevada City), California.
sacramento daily union. Publishers and proprietors, H. W. Larkin, J. Anthony, F. Morrill. James Anthony & Co. Publication office 49 and 51 Third Street, Sacramento, California.
connecticut courant. Printed by Goodwin & Co. Hartford, Connecticut.
During the 1850s and 60s the newspaper we know as the Chicago Tribune had many changes of masthead, address(es), proprietor(s), editor(s) and so on. For all issues of the Chicago Tribune cited in this web page, the details as they are shown in the issue itself are as follows.
chicago daily tribune, July 12th, 1854:
Tribune Buildings, 53 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Henry Fowler & Co.
chicago daily tribune, April 18th, 1856:
Tribune Buildings, 53 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Wright, Medill & Co.
chicago daily tribune, March 12th, 1857 and March 25th, 1857:
Tribune Buildings, 53 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Vaughan, Ray & Medill.
chicago daily tribune, April 9th, 1857:
Tribune Buildings, 53 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Ray, Medill & Co.
chicago daily tribune, between October 1st, 1857 and May 8th, 1858 inclusive:
Tribune Buildings, 51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Ray, Medill & Co.
chicago daily press and tribune, July 28th, 1858 and October 4th, 1858:
43 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Published by Press and Tribune Co. Proprietors John L. Scripps, William Bross, Barton W. Spears, Charles H. Ray, Joseph Medill, Alfred Cowles.
chicago daily press and tribune, between November 19th, 1858 and January 1st, 1859 inclusive:
43 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.
chicago daily press and tribune, between February 5th, 1859 and March 1st, 1859 inclusive:
43 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Editors and publishers John L. Scripps, Wm. Bross, C. H. Ray, Joseph Medill, Alfred Cowles.
the press and tribune, between March 17th, 1859 and April 29th, 1859 inclusive:
43 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Editors and publishers John L. Scripps, Wm. Bross, C. H. Ray, Joseph Medill, Alfred Cowles.
the press and tribune, between May 4th, 1859 and August 7th, 1860 inclusive:
51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Editors and publishers John L. Scripps, Wm. Bross, C. H. Ray, Joseph Medill, Alfred Cowles.
chicago daily tribune, between November 3rd, 1860 and May 10th, 1861 inclusive:
51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. Editors and publishers John L. Scripps, Wm. Bross, C. H. Ray, Joseph Medill, Alfred Cowles.
chicago daily tribune, between June 14th, 1861 and January 1st, 1863 inclusive:
51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.
chicago tribune, between January 2nd, 1865 and November 20th, 1865 inclusive:
51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.
chicago tribune, December 29th, 1865:
No details at all
chicago tribune, between February 7th, 1866 and November 10th, 1866 inclusive:
51 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Right, so much for the Chicago Tribune. Phew!
the chicago post. Post Printing Company. 104 Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois.
the daily chicago times. James W. Sheahan & Daniel Cameron, Jr., editors and proprietors. 43 and 55 La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois.
the weekly chicago times. James W. Sheahan & Daniel Cameron, Jr., editors and proprietors. 43 and 55 La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois.
the evening argus. Proprietors J. B. Danforth, Jr. and Milton Jones. Rock Island, Illinois
cedar falls gazette. H. A. & G. D. Perkins, Editors & Proprietors. Overman’s brick block, Main Street, Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, Iowa.
the daily picayune. Published by Lumsden, Kendall & Co. The February 21st, 1846 issue cited shows the publisher’s address as 72 Camp Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The June 8th, 1854 issue cited shows the publisher’s address as 66 Camp Street in the same city.
niles’ weekly register. Printed and published by H. Niles at the Franklin Press, Water Street, Baltimore, Maryland.
putnam’s monthly magazine. G. P. Putnam & Co. 10 Park Place, New York.
mechanics’ magazine and register of inventions and improvements. 35 Wall Street, New York. Publisher unnamed in magazine.
buffalo daily gazette. Published by Salisbury, Manchester & Co. West Seneca Street, Buffalo, New York.
the advocate. John E. Robie, Proprietor. Buffalo, New York.
new-york evening post. June 27th, 1820 issue, May 10th, 1823 issue (each with a leading definite article in their respective mastheads) and September 1st, 1827 issue cited here, printed and published by Michael Burnham & Co., 49 William Street, New York. The 16th November 1831 issue tells us it’s printed and published by Bryant, Leggett & Co., so when the June 6th, 1832 and June 10th, 1833 issues cited helpfully read “Printed and published by the proprietors”, that’s probably Bryant, Leggett & Co. The 49 William Street address remained unchanged, but the June 10th, 1833 issue dropped “New-York” from its masthead.
the brooklyn daily eagle and kings county democrat. Isaac Van Anden publisher and proprietor. Eagle Building, 30 Fulton Street, Brooklyn. At this time Brooklyn was an incorporated city all of its own, having been incorporated in 1834. Brooklyn was no borough of New York City until 1898.
fremont journal. Proprietor Isaac M. Keeler. Buckland’s Block, Fremont, Ohio.
the united states gazette. July 20th, 1827 issue published by Hart & Chandler, 68 Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the April 11th, 1838 issue the publisher is shown as Joseph R. Chandler of 66 Dock Street.
the franklin telegraph. Printed and published by Ruby & Hatnick. Front Street, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
the whig. J. Pritts. Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
adams sentinel. Editor and proprietor Robert G. Harper. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
lincoln journal. Editors and proprietors W. L. & A. H. Berry. Fayetteville, Tennessee.
the memphis daily argus. W. M. Hutton and D. A. Brower editors and proprietors. Memphis, Tennessee.
green mountain freeman. D. P. Thompson, editor and proprietor. J. W. Wheelock, printer. Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont.
spooners vermont journal. Published by Wyman Spooner. Windsor, Vermont.
phenix alexandria gazette. Printed and published by Samuel Snowden. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia.
the penny magazine of the society for the diffusion of useful knowledge. Society office 42 Bedford Square, London. Publisher Charles Knight & Co., 82 Ludgate Street, London. Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street, London.
detritus, and the odd nugget here.