I should like further, to ask you to publish to the New York City public, the fact that the “Department”, the “Health Department”, with its Bureau of Plumbing and Light and Ventilation, and the Building Bureau of the Fire Department, are unable to protect property owners and purchasers from errors in sanitation and construction as they are supposed by too many to do. Owners frequently think that unless they want “fancy” drawings and fronts, an architect is superfluous. The “speculator” finds it no advantage, but rather the opposite, to have an impartial judge between owner and Contractor, or a close inspection over his subs; as he gains little by the fact of his having employed a thorough architect, when he comes to fell, and loses by the bill for services and the legitimate price he pays for honest work.
The bulk of speculative work done in New York is after the most trivial plans made by some mere draughtsman or carpenter, and the “superintendence” is under the “keen” eye of the builder and owner—who is usually one and the same individual and who has made a definite failure at all the branches of the trade and frequently many others, and now holds position as owner of the property by virtue of his having paid, entirely in mortgage, for the same. In the large majority of cases that have been under my observation, they are entirely incapable of passing an intelligent opinion on any of the materials and work that make up a building, or at least on very little, and the gross impositions practiced upon them by their sub-contractors is startling. Their work is covered-in and is so left, I doubt not, in the majority of cases, as the inspection furnished by the “Department” is entirely inadequate for proper protection. The confidence of the public is continually bolstered up by such descriptions as the editorial above mentioned.
A NEW YORK ARCHITECT.
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PITTSBURGH, PA., December 30, 1889.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE AMERICAN ARCHITECT:
Dear Sirs,—Please answer through the columns of your valuable journal the following:
I will designate A as the party for whom I drew plans, etc., B as the owner of property adjoining, and C as the contractor for A. I drew up plans and specifications for a 60’ 0” front by 60’ 0” deep building for A, including party-wall for A and B who has 35’ 0” front by 60’ 0” deep lot. I was employed to render full services, such as to draw up plans, specifications, details and superintend the construction of said building for A.
A wrote to me asking me whether I would allow B to use my plans and specifications to be copied. I answered, emphatically, that not under any circumstances would I allow it without compensation, as the plans, etc., were my property, and were only designed for A.