New Clinton Post Office of 1902

From: Clinton Daily Herald November 20, 1902
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.


Postmaster Gardner and His Corps of Workers Will Move into Their New Quarters December 1 – Something of Interest Concerning the Handsome New Structure.

Clinton’s new government building is about completed. For eighteen months work has been progressing on the handsome structure which grew into form and shape under the skillful hands of the force of artisans employed, until today it stands to all appearances complete, and about as handsome a specimen of Colonial architecture as one would wish to see. Indeed Clinton people may well point with pride to their post office at the corner of Fifth avenue and Third street, in the very heart of the city proper and on one of her most aristocratic thoroughfares.

Is Handsomely Appointed.
The structure is built of Bedford stone upon a foundation of granite surrounded by a wide pavement of stone, and inclosed with a handsome fence of Bedford rock surmounted with an iron railing, the whole fashioned after a most elaborate design, with pillars at the gateways. At the rear is a wide brick driveway and in the yard are handsome courts. There are three entrances to the building, proper, and one to the basement. Two of these open into the main lobby, and the other into the mailing room. The front and side entrances consist of great revolving doors built after an modern pattern, models of convenience and adaptability, being so built as to serve the purposes of storm doors by a change in the adjustment. The main or public lobby extends across the front of the building, to the postmaster’s private room, partitioned off on its west end. The floor of the lobby is Mosaic with a marble border; and the walls are of natural white plaster, with green marble pilasters and wainscoting. In this room, as throughout the entire building the woodwork is of oak, finished to represent mahogany.

A Model of Convenience.
The window of the money order division opens into the lobby on the east. In this room are two counters of oak and other necessary equipment of the same material. Then come the registered letter window, the stamp window, the package and paper drops, the letter drip, the general delivery window, the mail boxes, numbered up to 597, and the carriers’ windows, ranged along the lobby in the order stated from left to right as you enter from Fifth avenue. The arrangement is a model of convenience, which fact the public will appreciate when the new office is ready for business. In the lobby also, toward the left, is a door opening into a spiral iron stairway leading to the roof.
The postmaster’s room, to the west of the lobby, is furnished with mahogany and is appointed in the oak used throughout the building. Opening from it in the rear is the assistant postmaster’s office, and back of this apartment is a toilet room. A vault was placed opening into the room of the assistant postmaster.

The Main Work Room.
The post office workroom is the main apartment of the building. Its dimensions are 45x38x30 feet, a great airy well lighted room in which the Clinton post office force will discharge its duties. It is furnished with natural quarter-sawed oak, and within a few days will contain all the necessary paraphernalia for the transaction of Uncle Sam’s business. Here, also, is a vault of brick and steel, fire proof and burglar proof, and with the stamp clerk’s apartment partitioned off on the east. A toilet room opens from the workroom. The twenty-seven windows set high in the building on three sides of the workroom, are opened and closed with patent window adjusters, three in number, operated with cranks, a most ingenious device. The vaults in the building, four in number, are of the S. H. Harris make, two containing safes, and the others being designed simply for storage.

In the southwest corner of the building is the mail room, handsomely fitted up, and equipped with the most modern furniture and devices necessary for this particular branch of the work.

The Attic Apartments.
A stairway leading to the storage room in the attic opens from the mailing apartment. The storage room is a commodious apartment. The “lookout” room also is located in the attic, reached either from the store room or over a stairway leading from the basement. Here a view of the entire workroom is obtained, the aperture being so screened that the observer is not observed – the inspector gaining access to the room secretly if he so desires, and watching the work going on beneath.
At the rear of the mailing room is a glass marquaise awning over the mail room platform.

In the Basement.
An iron stairway leads from the work room to the carriers’ apartment in the basement. Here are chairs and tables for the convenience and comfort of the force of carriers, also lockers for their clothes and toilet rooms close by. In the basement is the steam heater, occupying a large apartment, fuel rooms, and a bicycle room, fitted with a rack for wheels.

The principal apartments of the structure, summed up, are as follows:
Public lobby.
Money order room and lobby.
Postmaster’s room.
Assistant postmaster’s room.
Mailing room.
Two storage rooms.
Carriers’ room.
Toilet rooms.
Boiler room.
Fuel room.
Bicycle room.

Will be Occupied December 1.
The building is heated throughout with steam, and is lighted with electricity and gas. M. Yeager & Sons of Danville, Ill., were in charge of the construction of the building, upon which the sum of $100,000 has been expended.

The painters and decorators have almost completed their work, and within a few days the building will be complete and the furniture put in place. After the close of the day’s business on November 29th Postmaster Gardner and his force will commence the work of transfer from the old quarters in the Weston building, and on the first day of December the new post office will be opened.

The Clinton Daily Herald: August 1, 1902

Building Will be Ready for Occupancy by October 1 – Will be Handsomely Equipped and a Credit to the City – Something of Its Internal Arrangement.

Work on the new Clinton government building on Fifth avenue is now nearing completion. A few days ago the fence that has been surrounding the building was torn down and one is able to get an unobstructed view of the structure. A wall has been constructed on a line with the north side of the building to the western limit of the lot. It is about four feet high. A similar wall extends to the alley on the east side. The lot in front of the building on the east and north sides has been leveled and crushed rock is being placed on it. On this, crushed granite cement will be placed. This will form a very durable walk and will extend from the building to the street.

The main entrance will open on Fifth avenue. Another entrance will open from Third street, while there will be a door in the rear of the building for the use of employees. At the sides of each entrance bronze lampposts have been placed through which gas pipes have been run.

The main corridor running along nearly the entire front of the building, will be the most finely decorated part of the structure. Marble wainscoting will extend from the floor to the ceiling and some of it is already in place. This will be put up as soon as possible. The marble is polished before being hung in place, and is supported by large hooks. The base will be darker than the other. The walls will be very beautiful when finished. The ceiling of the lobby is now nearly completed. It is entirely covered with plaster casts. These are made in the building by an expert moulder. The process as followed in this building is interesting. First a model of clay is made very carefully. After this is dry gelatin is poured into this mould and allowed to cool and harden. When this has hardened the gelatin mold is peeled off and the cast is ready to place in position. A large number of molds are being used in the decorating of the building, various styles of rosettes being among the decorations. This work is very particular, as the variation of a sixteenth of an inch in a panel twelve feet long would be detected. Everything is measured with a steel rule and must exactly coincide with the plan. In the work room no such elaborate decorating will be done and the finishings will be plain. The ceilings will be practically plain with few decorations, while wood will replace the marble in the wainscoting. The chief decorator has informed a Herald reporter this morning that his work will be finished in two weeks, after which all the gelatin casts will be re-cooked and made into different shaped molds for other buildings. They are saved though until the casts have been accepted at the inspection. The chief decorator remarked this morning that although he had had charge of the decorating of a large number of buildings, including several court houses, the State University building at Iowa City and four other postoffice buildings, this work at Clinton is the finest of them all. It is more exact and the patterns are much more difficult.

The safes are now being put in place. One will be placed in each office. A large one will be placed in the southeast corner of the building in the money order room. This room will be divided into two rooms, one for the public and one for the use of the employes, where the work of the department will be carried on. The public room will be nicely finished, much better than the work room. In the center of the building the main office will be located. The general delivery window will be near the east end of the room and will open into the lobby.

The boxes will be to the west of the window. There will be a large number in use and they will be more up to date then the ones now in use in the post office. For everything in the new building will be of the latest pattern and will be the most convenient that is in use. The postmasters’ office will be in the northwest corner of the building.

Small rooms are being built between the walls of the structure which will be used by the inspectors in case they wish to watch an employe under suspicion. A dark passage leads from the basement between the walls to the room, which overlook the entire postoffice. Here an inspector can sit and look through small holes in a radiator down into the workroom and observe the actions of any suspected employe unobserved. Three such rooms will be built in the new post office.

Before the building will be opened after it is finished a general inspector will be sent by the government to see if the building is constructed according to the plans and specifications. The inspection will be a severe one. It is not expected the new structure will be ready to open for business before the first of October.

The Clinton Daily Herald: January 9, 1902
Plan of the Interior of the Clinton Postoffice.

Handsome New Government Building Will be Ready for Occupancy on July 1 – A Description of the Interior Arrangement – The First Force of Occupants.

The Herald today presents a cut of the new government building, now in course of construction on the lots at the corner of Fifth avenue and Third street. From it a better idea of what the structure will be may be gleaned than from an inspection of the as yet only partially completed building. The new government building, constructed of New Hampshire granite and New Bedford stone, at a total cost of $100,000, will be an ornament to the city. The style of architecture is colonial, a broad central stairway leading from the sidewalk on Fifth avenue to the lobby or front hall. It is but one story high, and will contain nothing but the post office.

A plan of the interior of the building is shown in the upper left hand corner of the cut. It will be seen that the large central apartment is the postmaster’s work room, with the public lobby extending across the front of the building, east and west. Here the boxes will be arranged, on each side of the entrance. There will be an increase in the number of boxes over the present number, and four sizes will be put in, instead of three which the Clinton postoffice now contains. At the east end of the public lobby is an entrance, leading from Third street, and at the west end of the lobby will be the postmaster’s office. The stamp window opens from the work room, just to the left of the main entrance. On the east side of the building, opening from the lobby, are two apartments, the rear of which is the money order room. The assistants’ room is located back of the postmaster’s office, on the west side. The arrangement of the interior is most convenient, and the new post office in Clinton will be a model one.
The building will be 45 feet in height, from the ground to the top of the balustrade. It is 98 feet in length, and 60 feet wide.

A force of twenty men is at work on the building, which has been completed to the balustrades. It is expected that the postoffice will be ready for occupancy by July 1.

Following is a list of the officials and assistants who will be the first occupants of the new building:

Postmaster W. S. Gardner.
Assistant Postmaster L. H. Roberts.
Registry and Money Order Clerk Miss Grace Goodwin.
Day Mailing Clerk Charles R. Little.
Night Mailing Clerk J. W. O’Neil.
General Delivery Clerk E. D. Lundgren.
Clerk George E. Harbron.
Letter Carriers.
District No. 1. – E. F. Frink.
District No. 2. – C. S. Petersen.
District No. 3. – G. N. Dickersen.
District No. 4. – J. A. Keefe.
District No. 5. – William Devine.
District No. 6. – M. E. Nelsen.
District No. 7. – W. E. Hall.
District No. 8. – F. A. Burdick.
District No. 9. – A. D. Burdick.
District No. 10. – James Kilgallon.
District No. 11. – Jorgen Skow.
Substitute carrier – George Rehwoldt.
Substitute carrier – C. E. Wilson.

The Clinton Daily Herald: March 1, 1899

Congress Appropriates $100,000 for a Building in the City of Clinton.
Success Comes When Least Expected – A Splendid Recognition of our City.

The people of Clinton Tuesday night were treated to a most agreeable surprise. They have so often had their hopes raised by the prospect of an appropriation for a public building, and as often chilled by defeat, they had hardly dared to hope that the bill before congress appropriating $100,000 for the city, would pass. The failure to reach the bill when the house was considering such measures, a week or ten days ago, had led to the conclusion that the bill would not be reached this session. In fact letters from Washington stated that the bill would not be reached. But it seems that by good fortune the speaker was induced to give another part of a day to public building bills, and along with many others, the Clinton bill passed the house and later in the evening was called up in the senate and adopted. Executive approval will follow of course, and the public building is assured.

The means a great deal for Clinton. Most of the work will be done by Clinton workmen. A Clinton man may get the contract. Some of the material will be supplied here. But the moral effect will be good. The government builds well. It makes little of display, yet even a building costing $100,000, will be no mean structure. When the government plans a building it does so upon the theory that the government will last for a thousand years at least. The foundations and walls of all post office buildings are massive. Usually heavy lime stone is used for the foundation and the walls are of red pressed brick. At least that is the style of most of the public buildings in the west.

Naturally the first question that comes is where will it be located. Nobody can tell. The government will permit of no land speculations. In some cases representatives of the treasury department make the selection of a site, while in other places local commissions are appointed to receive propositions and make recommendations.

The government has much red tape in preparing for the beginning of operations. First there must be the selection of a site. The question of a title is carefully examined by experts; then plans are adopted and specifications drawn; bids are called for, which in the case of buildings costing $100,000 include everything to complete the building except heating, lighting and furnishing.

The appropriation is a fitting recognition of the importance of Clinton as business point. It ought to stimulate the city to better things in a business way. It undoubtedly will attract attention to the city and assist in bringing in additional capital and new enterprises. The past year has been an excellent one for Clinton, but this one ought to be a better one and the next still better. It will not do to stand still and look to the government to achieve something for the city. The government has given us the recognition so well deserved, but the destiny of the city is in the hands of our own people. The present is certainly a most fitting time to make renewed efforts for the general prosperity of the community.

The appropriation is the supreme act of Congressman Curtis in behalf of the city, coming just as he is about to turn over the responsibilities of congressional life to his successor. The passage of the bill is an additional proof of his industry and of his influential standing in the house. He has the congratulations of all the people of Clinton.