News from 1902 (April)
April 5 - For several days past the officers and excutive committee of the Consolidated Esmeralda Mines Co. have been in session at the Iroquois Hotel in this city. They are perfecting plans for the first payment on the properties included within the term given above and for a large development of the mines.
Those now in Buffalo are J.H. Durkee, of Sandy Hill N.Y., president; James N. Adam, of Buffalo, vice-president; J.A. Yerington, of Carson City, Nevada, one of the Board of Directors; J.N. Gardner, of New York City, fiscal agent, and Thomas H. Feary of Quincy, Mass., formerly of Buffalo, who is largely interested in the mines. The company is incorporated under the laws of Arizona and has a capital stock of $1,000,000
The formation of the Esmeralda Mines Company is a direct outgrowth of the Pan-American Exposition. Mr. Yerington came to Buffalo as chairman of the State Board of Pan-American Commissioners for the State of Nevada. Among the exhibits of the State in the Mines building were models of the groups now owned by the Esmeralda Company and samples of the ore produced by the mines. Mr. Yerington saw the advantage of forming a compant in the East for the purpose of acquiring a controlling interest in these properties, which were then owned in Nevada, California and in England.
Among those who became interested in the proposition was Ald. Adam, who commissioned Mr. Feary to go to Nevada and inspect the properties. The report was so favorable that not only Mr. Adam, but Mr. Feary himself took large blocks of stock in the mines.
Already many hundred thousand dollars' worth of gold ore has been produced by these mines, but they are still practically undeveloped. The facilities for mining are at present so limited that all ores of less than $30 to the ton have been dumped into a heap and have been left untouched. It is for the purpose of bringing water to the district and the erection of a mill for the working of low-grade ore that the present company has been formed...
April 5 - Frank Harris of the Chicago House Wrecking Company, which bought the Exposition buildings, was asked this morning regarding the correctness of the statement that he has "publicly offered the Electric Tower for one-third of the original cost."
"I have made no public offer," said Mr. Harris, "and I have made no such proposition, either publicly or privately."
"What offer are you willing, then, to make to the city?" was asked.
"We shall want what we can realize from the sale of the steel and wood which the structure contains," answered Mr. Harris, "but desire no premium beyond that."
"What is your price?"
"Forty-five thousand dollars," was the reply.
When it was intimated that there was nothing of a Friday-bargain inducement in the size of the figures, Mr. Harris replied:
"The tower contains 1000 tons of steel, which is worth $50 a ton, or $50,000. It also contains 2,000,000 feet of lumber, which is certainly worth $10 per 1000 feet, or $20,000. Add these together and you have $70,000, the value of the materials when taken down. The city can have the tower for $45,000."
"And would your company take the tower down at that price?" was asked.
"It would not," replied Mr. Harris, "and besides the city would probably want to take down the tower itself if it intended to re-erect the structure."
Newcomb Carlton, who was Director of Works at the Exposition, was questioned regarding the reasonableness of the figures asked by Mr. Harris.
"As a price to the citizens of Buffalo for the tower as it stands I should consider it very high," said Mr. Carlton, "for I don't consider it worth any such sum to the city. But, on the other hand, although I profess to no expert knowledge on the wrecking business I should also say that, if the iron and lumber were all down and on board cars, the material might be worth $45,000. The steel cost about $65,000 and it cost about $15,000 to erect it."
Mr. Carlton then went on to discuss the probable cost to the citizens of Buffalo should the tower be bought, taken down and erected again on some other site.
"We will start with a cost price of $45,000," said he. "It would cost $10,000 to take down the steel frame and at least $15,000 to put it up again. The cost of taking down the woodwork might possibly be covered by the sale of the timber. Then you would have a total expense of $70,000 - and what would you have? Simply the framework.
"Now suppose, " continued Mr. Carlton, "that the tower were rebuilt of no more durable materials than at present. The cost would be as follows:
"I am not prepared to say what it would cost to case the tower with terra cotta and brick in place of staff and wood," said Mr. Carlton, "but it is safe to say that the expense would be enough greater to bring the total cost up to $300,000.
"And supposing that this large amount of money were collected and the tower rebuilt," said Mr. Carton in conclusion, "what would you then have? A structure of not sufficient merit to stand as a grand monument, and which the architect never intended for any such purpose. That Tower was conceived in spirit of the Exposition. It partakes of the nature of the Exposition architecture. It was never meant to stand alone but was fashioned in conformity with its surroundings. It was part of a scheme of special nature and, taken alone, would be of little value."
April 8 - A beginning has been made in the movement to secure the retention of the Electric Tower in Buffalo. Ald. Butler of the Third Ward, who has manifested considerable interest in this proposition, yesterday had a subscription list drawn up and after the session of the Board of Alderman yesterday afternoon he placed it in the office of the Mayor. Ald. Adam heard of this and immediately put his name downfor $100, becoming the first subscriber to the fund.
When Ald. Butler was questioned this morning regarding his ideas as to what should be done, he said:
"While it would be a splendid thing for the municipality to buy the Electric Tower, I doubt very much whether the mass of the taxpayers would approve of this addition to the city's obligations at this time. It would be better for many reasons to raise the money by voluntary subscriptions.
"My idea would be to place subscription lists in the Mayor's office, in the office of each of the newspapers, in the banks and possibly in a few of the principal hotels. These places should of course be officially designated in order to prevent the possibility of unauthorized persons soliciting money.
"The management of the project should be placed in the hands of a committee of prominent citizens to be appointed by the Mayor and I think it would be well to make the president of both bodies of the Common Council members of this committee, so as to bring the city government into touch with the movement.
"I would also most strongly recommend
that the proprietors of all the Buffalo newspapers be made members of the
committee as we must rely upon the press more than any other agency to popularize
this undertaking and to carry it through."
"Who is to be the ultimate custodian of the funds?" was asked.
"The petition provides," said Ald. Butler, "that the money shall be turned over to the Park Board of the city, which body shall also have the power to determine the location. But I suppose everyone will agree that the Tower should be placed at the Front, as there it would serve as a beacon light upon the lak and the place is easily accessible to sight-seers.
"You would be surprised," added Ald. Butler, "at the popular sentiment in favor of preserving the Tower. As an instance, a man who employs two or three hundred workmen came to me today and told me that, at the noon hour yesterday, the Tower was the topic of conversation among his men and all agreed to give a dollar each toward the project. With such a spirit among poor men, and with many wealthy men standing ready to contribute, I believe that the raising of the necessary funds for the preservation of the Tower will be a matter of no great difficulty."
April 9 - Mayor Knight this morning arranged for a conference to be held this afternoon between himself and Ald. Butler and Supt. Harris of the Chicago House Wrecking Company as to the price the wrecking company will charge the city for the Electric Tower which it is proposed to place at the Front.
The price to be charged for the tower has been variously stated at from $20,000 to $45,000, and the conference with Mr. Harris is for the purpose of obtaining a final price stipulation or, it Mr. Harris is unable to make one, to give him an opportunity to confer with the wrecking company, which he represents.
"I don't think is is necessary for me or anyone else to do anything further in this matter," said the Mayor, "until we know just what the Tower is going to cost us. We don't want to ask people to subscribe money for something on which no price has been set. We might go to work and get money subscribed, and then find out that we could not buy the tower for any reasonable sum.
"I don't think there should be any further agitation until we ascertain the exact sum we will have to pay. When that is done we can go ahead with our eyes open. I will call a meeting of citizens and a committee will be appointed to go ahead with the work of raising the necessary money."
April 10 - Mayor Erastus C. Knight and Ald. Joseph Butler conferred yesterday afternoon with representatives of the Chicago House Wrecking Company, which is removing the Pan-American buildings., and succeeded in obtaining from them the definite statement that the company will sell the Electric Tower as it stands, for $25,000.
The representatives of the wrecking company agreed to hold the offer open fo r30 days; in other words, they gave Mayor Knight and Ald. Butler an option on the tower at the price mentioned and for the length of time stated. It is understood that this is not to be regarded as the minimum prices at which the tower may be purchased. This company may see its way clear later to paring down the amount to some extent. One thing determined at yesterday's conference, however, was that the wrecking company stands ready now to sell the tower at that price.
Mayor Knight and Ald. Butler asked this afternoon that the fact be made plain that no agreement was entered into at yesterday's conference for the purchase of the tower.
"Our object," said Mayor Knight, "was to secure a definite offer from the wrecking company which could be used as a basis for further negotiations. We did not think it would be wise to go ahead with the work of getting subscriptions, and then find in the end that we would have to pay two prices for the tower. We secured a 30-day option on the tower at $25,000, with a guarantee from the representatives.
"However, we entered into no agreement for the purchase of the tower."
Mayor Knight this afternoon issued a call for a public meeting which will be held in the Mayor's office on Saturday at 2 p.m. when, if it proves to be the sense of the meeting, committees will be appointed to circulate subscription lists and to take up other work toward the accomplishment of the desired end - the purchase of the tower.
Subscription lists are being prepared, and will be ready to be given out at Saturday's meeting. These subscription lists will not be distributed promiscuously. The work of circulating them will be entrusted only to persons of recognized responsibility.
City Engineer Morse is preparing figures, at the request of Mayor Knight, as to the probable cost of rebuilding the tower with the view of giving it permanence. Mayor Knight was asked this afternoon if the rebuilding figures were ready for publication or that if he could state approximatedly what they are likely to aggregate.
"I am under the impression," said he, "that the cost of rebuilding, including the putting in of elevators, will be about $100,000, which would make the total cost complete $125,000."
Engineer Morse's figures will be made public at Saturday's meeting.
April 10 - While $125,000 is a large amount of money to raise by private subscription, still Buffalo is a big city and the number of people who could be found to give from $1 to $10 toward the purchase and permanet erection of the Electric Tower would make the securing of the needed amount a very easy one - if the people could be reached. The difficulty in raising any subscription is the securing of those who will give the time and effort necessary to carry through the plan. Those active in the movement should lend to it every possible amount of personal energy and support.
In view of the reduction in price named by the Chicago Wrecking Company, which cut down its offer of the structure from $45,000 to $25,000, it is perhaps ungracious to say that it is still trying to make a pretty big profit out of the city, yet such is the case. The actual value of the tower to the Wrecking Company is its scrap weight, taken down and loaded on to cars. Thus it will have to be sold by them, finally, if the city does not buy it as it stands. In view of this, Buffalo should be able to buy the Tower at exactly its weight in scrap steel in place. The Wrecking Company will make a handsome profit at that in being saved the cost of taking the structure down and removing it. The city of Buffalo should receive as good terms from the Wrecking Company as a private buyer would.
April 11 - "Yes, the price of $25,000 is for the Tower as it stands," said Mr. C.M. Morse, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works for the Department of Engineering, in reply to a question as to what the option on the Electric Tower given by the Chicago Wrecking Company to Mayor Knight really stood for.
"Isn't that pretty high?"
"What is the structural steel and other
material in the Tower worth as scrap above the cost of taking it down?"
"Well, as to that I hardly feel like saying. Its lump scrap figure would be one thing, but it is a frame of larger members, and a considerable portion of it might be available for use if peddled out in small lots. All the manufacturers of structural steel are three monthsor so behind their orders, and a lot of steel immediately available might be worth a considerable bonus, even it had to be cut and worked over."
"But what would be the price of structural scrap steel of that character taken down and loaded on the cars in bulk?"
"Oh, $14 or $15 a ton, I should say. I cannot tell exactly."
One of the best known men in the structural steel trade in Buffalo was asked this morning more specifically as to the value of the Electric Tower material and he gave some interesting figures.. Asked as to the value of the steel from the tower taken down and loaded on the cars at present quotations, he said promptly:
"It would be worth $14 a ton."
"But is not the character of the steel, its long members, etc., such that it could be used and worked over for sale at a higher price?
"Probably a part of it could be so used, but the uncertainties of such availability are great enough so it would not command a price much in advance of scrap structural material."
"Do you know how much steel there is in the tower?"
"Yes, there are 880 tons."
"Then you figure the scrap value of the tower at #13,200, approximately."
"Yes, that would be about the figure."
"What would it cost to take the tower down and load it on the cars for shipment?"
"About $12 a ton."
"Do you mean that it would cost over $10,000
to take the steel down and load it for transportation?"
"That is very close to what it would cost."
"Then if its scrap value is $12,000 and its dismantling would cost $10,000, the Wrecking Company has only about $2000 profit in the steel of the tower as it stands at present."
"That is about all I can see in it for them now."
In reply to a question as to what the tower would cost to re-erect, the same man said that the frame could be put up again at the Front or elsewhere at a cost of about $17 a ton or approximately $15,000. The transportation of the steel from the present site to the Front with necessary handling, piling, etc., might add in the neighborhood of $1 a ton to the cost.
These figures, of course, are those of steel alone but the same conditions are approximately true in regard to the lumber and other materials. A Buffalo contractor said today the lumber in the tower would not be worth to him or anyone else more than a few hundred dollars above the cost of taking it down.
All this goes to show that in asking the people of Buffalo $25,000 for the Electric Tower as it stands, the wrecking company is planning to make a good big profit, as all the actual profit at present in sight will not greatly exceed $2500. Of course, through its practice of holding the materials it gets and peddling them as it can find customers, the wrecking company will probably do better than this, but it would be making a big profit if it sold the tower to the city at its scrap value of $12,000.
April 11 - Mayor Knight this morning received a $20 subscription from Charles H. Avery for the Electric Tower fund.
Among Mayor Knight's callers this morning was a delegation from the committee which is in charge of the popular Sunday afternoon concerts which are being given at Convention Hall. This delegation stated that it had been decided to donate to the Electric Tower fund the proceeds of the concerts for the coming two Sunday afternoons.
April 12 - Some days ago the NEWS requested Col. Francis G. Ward, Commissioner of Public Works, to furnish for the information of the public an estimate of the value of the present structure of the Electric Tower, the cost of taking it down and setting it up again and casing the frame with terra cotta and brick and providing for the other necessary expenditures consequent upon erecting the Tower at the Front, as proposed at present. Col. Ward yesterday received the estimates which had been prepared by Charles M. Morse, the Deputy Engineer Commissioner, and transmitted them to this journal. Here are the items in detail:
"In accordance with request, I have made a rough estimate of the cost of moving the Electric Tower from its present location on the Pan-American grounds to such location as the city might select for it, assuming that the new location would be at the Front.
"The tower is, as you know, of steel construction, with a lot of lumber used for floors, etc., and a covering of staff.
"I assume that for a permanent structure it should be covered with terra cotta a brick.
"I also assume you do not contemplate using the wings and structure around the base of the tower, only the square tower itself.
"The price mentioned for the tower by the wrecking company, the present owners, is $45,000, but I assume it could be bought for much less, especially as the price is higher that the cost of new steel, and the tower is worth to the wrecking company only such price as they can get for the steel as scrap.
"920 tons of steel at $13 a ton (scrap
Removing of casing....................................................1,620
Taking down of steel-work...........................................7,040
Haul and erecting.....................................................14,520
90,220 square feet of covering...................................24,300
Terra-cotta and brick................................................40,000
Painting structural steel.............................................2,640
Finish painting and new bolts.....................................5,000
Electric light and wiring, 5000 lights............................3,000
"The above is a close approximation to the cost, assuming that the tower can be bought at a reasonable figure. It does not include the elevators which, I understand are the property of the Otis Elevator Company and have been removed.
"It is possible that the tower without the present structures about the base would have to be supplemented by some finished work at the base. It is also probable that something in the way of ornamentation should take the place of the statuary and other staff ornamentation.
"It is also probable that some expense would have to be incurred in the matter of converteres and connections for electric lighting.
"I will endeavor to get a price for the two elevators which, I assumer, would be wanted for your complete plant, or at least one of them."
It will be observed that Mr. Morse has figured the steel in the Tower, for which Mr. Harris of the Chicago House Wrecking Company, the owners of the Tower, asks the modest price of $25,000, as worth $11,960, which is considerably less than half the price asked by Mr. Harris. In addition to this the owners would have to pay about $8000 for taking the structure down and placing it on board cars where only would it be salable. It should be borne in mind, however, that the House Wrecking Company, by holding the steel for a purchaser in whole or in part, could probably get a better figure for it than the scrap metal price.
The estimate for re-erecting the frame is $14,520. The off-hand estimate of Newcomb Carlton, director of works at the Exposition, was $15,000, so that can be set down as a pretty definite figure of this part of the cost.
With regard to the price last asked by Mr. Harris for the Tower, $25,000, Col. Ward had this to say:
"I regard this price as much too much, since the same number of tons of new steel could be delivered on the ground for $29,000. I don't think the owner of the Tower could get anything like $25,000 for the material unless someone had a special use for it, and what special use anyone could have for a frame like this is not easy to see."
"What do you consider a fair price for the Tower as it stands today?" was asked.
"I think that $10,000 is all that it is worth," replied Col. Ward.
April 12 - Col. Francis G. Ward received the surrender of the Rainbow City yesterday. The place fell without a struggle. The conquest of the Rainbow City was achieved in one of the shortest campaigns in which Col. Ward ever participated. It was also a bloodless victory. This was owing chiefly to the military preparatons which Col. Ward was making and the scale of which appalled the forces of the Harris Wrecking Company, which were in no position to stand a siege or to resist such an assault as Col. War was contemplating.
Two days ago Col. Ward received a delegation of citizens of North Buffalo, who complained that their business was annoyed and hindered by the continuance of the blockade of transportation on the part of the Chicago House Wrecking Company in maintaining a fence at Amherst street at its intersection with Delaware and Elmwood avenues. They protested at being compelled to go around by way of Hertel avenue, about two miles out of the way.
Col. Ward was prompt to act. He looked up the archives and learned that the Pan-American Exposition never had any right, except that of sufferance, to close up Amherst street. Then he send word to Secretary Harris to remove the fences from the street at once.
This order threw the inhabitants of the Rainbow City into consternation. They saw in imagination the entire population of Buffalo swarming into the grounds and interfering with the work of razing the buildings and carrying off whatever invidually or collectively it might fancy, from the Goddess of Light on the Electric Tower to the Tower itself which the city seems united in coveting.
Warden Harris accordingly sent word to Col. Ward that he would not throw open the gates and would, on the contrary, resist with all his resources every attempt to seize the gates. Defeated in this, he said he would retreat to the citadel in the Tower, having destroyed the bridges over the canal in the retreat.
When Col. Ward received this defiance he called a council of war in the City Hall. There were present Gen. Kilpatrick J. Kennedy, Gen. Charles M. Morse of the Engineering Corps, Admiral Henry Lyon of the Navy Department and Secretary of War R. G. Parsons.
Flushed with memories of the day when, at the head of the 202nd Regiment of Buffalo, he led the right of line at the occupation of Santiago, Col. Ward outlined a plan of attack. In the event of a refusal of an ultimatum to be dispatched to Warden Harris at daybreak, an attack was to be made upon the Rainbow City at 6 o'clock this morning. Col. Ward in person would lead a force of levelers, rodmen, chainmen and pavers from the Street and Engineering Department against the West Amherst Gate. The attack was to be covered by streams of water from hydrants in the neighborhood, directed by a detachment of Admiral Lyon's marines. Gen. Morse was to head a similar attack upon the East Amherst Gate, and Admiral Lyon was to attack in the rear, approaching in boats by way of the Park Lake.
At sunrise, Col. War dispatched his ultimatum, in which Warden Harris was given 24 hours to tear down the fences, failing which Col. Ward declared he would tear them down himself with the aid of the land and naval forces of the City of Buffalo.
Col. Ward was busy mobilizing his forces yesterday when Warden Harris appeared with a flag of truce. Warden Harris stated that he desired to surrender unconditionally. The terms were accepted.
It is arranged that police will be stationed at the gates to exclude all except those having legitimate business about or through the grounds, from the premises.
"The worst thing about this campaign was that it was too short to make any more veterans," said Col. Ward as he went to the telephone to order his forces to disband without further mustering out proceedings.
April 12 - Mayor Knight at 2:20 o'clock this afternoon began a public hearing on the proposition to purchase the electric tower and re-erect it at the Front. Ald. Butler read the estimate of the cost of removing the Tower from the Exposition grounds and re-erecting it on the site suggested. The Engineering Department, he said, had estimated that the cost of lighting the tower, six months in the year, two nights each week, would be $960 for 10,000 lights.
"I understand that 5000 lights would be sufficient," said Mr. Butler, "and if that is the case the cost of lighting would be surely less."
Mr. James Monroe, speaking of the advisability of purchasing the tower, called attention to the Strasburg clock in Germany, for which an admission fee was charged. He thought some similar plan might be devised in connection with the Electric Tower.
"It could be the greatest thing we could have to advertise the city," added Mr. Monroe. "I was on a steamship with the Lord Mayor of London once. He was on his way home, and I asked him if he had visited Buffalo. He asked me where Buffalo was, and if we had a falls here. This illustrates that we need something to bring people to Buffalo."
April 12 - Ald. Butler has begun an inquiry preliminary to setting a-foot a plan to save the Rustin Fountain in the North Bay of Park Lake. The Alderman has learned that the pumps which forced the water into the air were an exhibit of one firm at the Exposition, and the electric engines which furnished the motive power were an exhibit by E.G. Barnard of Troy. Ald. Butler will not ascertain at what price the machinery can be purchased and installed, and if not too high, he will see what he can do toward raising the funds by subscription.
The matter was brought up at a meeting of the Park Board yesterday when bids were opened for removing from the lake the artificial island upon which the fountain was located. One bid was for $750 and the other for $300. Final action was delayed pending the result of Ald. Butler's inquiries.
April 16 - When all the preliminaries necessary to purchasing the Electric Tower for re-erection at the Front are completed by the committee of citizens, it is proposed to place subscription blanks in all of the down-town department stores, the banks and other places of public resort.
Subscription blanks also will be placed in stores and banks of the East and West sides, that all may have an opportunity to give aid to a worthy project. This action, however, will not be taken until after the meeting next Friday evening, as it is desired to first let the public know the exact cost of the tower, including its demolition and re-erection at the Front.
April 17 - Good news for the people of Buffalo who want to purchase the Electric Tower and re-erect it at the Front is furnished today by Ald. Joseph Butler. In the original estimate on the cost of lighting the tower two nights each week for six months, the figures were placed at about $5000. Mr. Butler, after a conference with various electric lighting concerns, is able to report that the cost for lighting the tower every night in the week for six months will not exceed. $3000. The actual figures are $2916.
These figures are given as the cost of furnishing 5000 lights, which it is contended, is sufficient to furnish illumination. Mr. Butler when seen today was much elated over his discovery. He said:
"I can see very plainly now, how the tower can be operated on a paying basis. It will be easy enough to collect in rental more than enough to pay the cost of lighting. Then, if we charge an admission fee of 10 cents to persons who want to go to the top of the tower, the revenue is certain to run up into the thousands of dollars. That was the case at the Pan-American, and it's a poor rule that won't work both ways."
Robert A. Wallace, the architect, one of a committee to ascertain if the tower in its present condition is strong enough to bear the weight of a terra cotta covering, said today that he had not yet completed his investigation. He added:
"I doubt if the present frame work will stand the weight of brick or terra cotta. But if it does not, the cost of strenghtening it will not be great. My idea would be to cover the frame with what is known as expanding iron and then put over this a coating of cement, which would retain the present appearance of the tower and make decoration possible. I will suggest this to the committee when the proper time comes."
April 17 - Letter to the Editor: I have noticed a great deal of discussion going on about the disposal of the Electric Tower. I would like to offer a suggestion: To move the Tower to the Front would cost an immense sum of money, as I understand it. Why not just leave it where it is? For a smaller sum we could undoubtedly buy the land it is on and the land connecting it with the park. There could be no better location and it would be an additional attraction to the park which was very much abused last summer. There is no decent room for crowds in the park which attend the band concerts in summer. They could be held in front of the tower and the crowds much better accomodated. E. T.
April 19 - At the meeting of Mayor Knight's Electric Tower Committee last night, the suggestion to the NEWS that 200,000 tickets be issued and sold at $1 each, and that each ticket shall entitle the holder to a ride in the tower elevator, was received with much favor.
In the discussion on the suggestion, it was disclosed that each member of the committee thought the plan a most admirable one. It the tickets were offered for sale as outlined, it would be with the understanding that the tower is purchased and erected at the Front, and furnished with one or more elevators. Each purchaser of a ticket will be assured of the return of his money, provided the tower is not purchased and erected as planned.
The scheme of tower elevator tickets is commended highly on one ground, viz: That every subscribed will have an individual interest in the enterprise, and will get something in return for his investment.
Robert A. Wallace, the architect, reported to the committee that the tower is not of sufficient strength to bear the weight of terra cotta or brick surfacing. Mr. Wallace accordingly figured an expense of $25,000 for expanded metal to strengthen the frame, and a cement covering to take the place of the present block-wood exterior. He holds that a cement covering should be used to preserve the tower in its present appearance.
The members of the committee present last night were Ald. Joseph Butler, chairman; Fred Fenster, F. R. Doherty, William Bean, J. O. Munroe, D. C. Ralph, C. H. Avery, Michael Shea and James Macbeth. Messrs. Shea, Ralph and Munroe were appointed a press committee to secure the aid of the newspapers in obtaining subscriptions for the purchas of the tower.
Ald. Butler reported that the tower could be lighted with 10,000 lights every night in the week for six months for $2916.
The report submitted by Mr. Wallace follows:
Cost of tower..................................................$25,000
Hauling and erecting.........................................15,300
Painting all steel................................................2,500
Electric wiring (15,000 lb.)...................................6,000
Concrete flooring, six floors.................................6,000
Wood flooring and interior finish...........................4,500
Expanded metal, cement covering.....................25,000
Cornices, columns, ornaments..........................35,000
Plumbing, glass, fixtures....................................7,500
Basin for concrete for tower...............................15,000
Two wings, complete.........................................50,000
Engines for water fountain...................................3,500
It was announced that Joseph P. Dudley had resigned from the committee on account of pressing business. Mr. Ralph was named treasurer in place of Mr. Dudley.
Mr. Shea offered the use of his theater for a mass-meeting Sunday night. After discussing various plans to raise money, each committeeman took a subscription blank and agreed to announce progress at the meeting next Tuesday evening.
April 21 - Delaware Park is in a deplorable state. Considerable time and a great deal of work will be necessary to restore it to the condition in which it was when the Park Commissioners consented that part of the grounds be used in connection with the Pan-American Exposition.
The Chicago House Wrecking Company, which is dismantling the Pan-American buildings, refuses to do anything toward restoring the park grounds to their pristine loveliness. The Park Commission will be required to do the work, and where the commission is going to get the money is a problem which is giving the commissioners much concern.
President Hengerer and two of his fellow members on the Park Commission made an inspection of the Park yesterday afternoon. With President Hengerer were Commissioners William A. Joyce and George C. Ginther. Commissioner Charles Mosier was out of the city, and Commissioner Frank H. Goodyear is ill at his home.
Commissioners Hengerer, Joyce and Ginther devoted most of their time to looking over the section of the park which was used as part of the site of the late exposition. It may be said without reservation that the condition in which they found that section of the park was anything but gratifying. As one of them expressed it, it was, in fact, disheartening.
There was hardly a square inch of the part of the park in question that was not covered with debris strewn about by the company, which is pulling the Exposition apart for what there is in it. This rubbish, consisting of crushed statuary, splintered boards, whole timbers, sections of steel construction, heaps of plaster and other stuff, was scattered about in endless confusion, looking as one of the commissioners put it, as if nothing less than the liveliest kind of a cyclone or the "quakiest" sort of an earthquake would ever remove it.
Besides this there were rows and rows of piles which will have to be pulled out one by one, entailing an almost endless round of hard labor and expensive labor at that.
Over near the Park House was a neat little frame building which was erected before the opening of the Exposition, and which was intended for permanent use as a retiring room for women. The commissioners were told that thieves had despoiled it during the winter and, upon visiting it, found every bit of plumbing in it had been lugged away and that the vandals who stole the plumbing had even taken the walls partitioning the interior of the building.
"They left the roof and the four side walls, and I supposed we ought to be thankful for that," said Commissioner Ginther.
When asked if the Chicago House Wrecking Company would do anything in the way of restoring the park grounds to their original condition, Commissioner Ginther said:
"No, anything that is done will have to be done by the Park Board. In my judgment it will take six weeks or two months to put the grounds in anything like the shape in which they were before the Pan-American. It will require considerable money and the question arises where we will get it. Of course, the city will have to supply it eventually, as the grounds cannot be left in the deplorable shape in which we found them today."
April 23 - Enthusiasm over the purchase of the Electric Tower and its re-erection at the Front or some other site that the people of Buffalo may decide upon, is rapidly on the increase. The Mayor's committee, appointed to take the matter in hand, is pleased over the reception accorded by the people, and there seem many indications that the money necessary to preserve the Tower will be raised in short order.
Ald. Joseph Butler, chairman of the Mayor's committee, is elated over the progress he has made. He says that there is a strong sentiment in favor of leaving the Tower where it is for at least five years, or until the people decide just where they want to relocate it.
"There seems to be a pretty general sentiment among the people with whom I have come in contact, that the tower will be the best in its present position," said Mr. Butler. "Their idea seems to be that it will be best to lease the ground upon which the Tower now stands, in addition to the strip of land leading from the Tower over the Triumphal Bridge to Delaware Park, for a period of five years. After that the city will probably want to buy the land outright and make it an addition to the park."
Subscription blanks will be placed in the down-town department stores today to enable everybody who desires to subscribe something for the preservation of the Tower.
If the Tower is preserved in its present location, it may be thought wise to also preserve the Triumphal Bridge and the Court of the Fountains, which have not yet been impaired to any appreciable extent. The contention is made that it will be cheaper to do this than to pay the cost of tearing the Tower down and removing it and re-erecting it at the Front.
Mr. John H. Coxhead, at the meeting of the Society for the Beautifying Buffalo, recently made this suggestion: That a tract of land 800 feet wide and 2800 feet long, extending from the Memorial Gateway, be acquired. This tract includes the Triumphal Causeway, Mirror Lakes, Esplanade, Court of Fountains and the Electric Tower. Mr. Coxhead's idea is to retain all these features just as they were during the Exposition. There are 60 acres in the tract of land. He believes the cost will be no greater than the cost of re-erecting the tower at the Front...
April 24 -Buffalo cannot build fast enough to keep pace with the demands for factories, warehouses, private dwellings and all kinds of structures. Contractors are advertising for help, not only inthe local papers, but far and near are pleading for skilled men and common laborers to put themselves off at Buffalo, if they want abundant work at the top-of-the-market wages.
The permits issued for permanent buildings this year exceeds those granted last year, though stimulated then by the Pan-American expectation, while the values declared for the present work far outruns the figures for any former year for the spring season. The work of building is distributed throughout the city, which is expanding almost as rapidly on the North and upper East Side as on the South Side near the steel plant. The adoption of a plan to abate the South Buffalo floods has already exerted a marked influence in the appreciation of values in that quarter.
The plans for an enormous foundry for the Snow Pump works on Baldy avenue have been filed with the Bureau of Buildings, calling for a structure 132 by 404 feet on teh ground and of model form. It is now admitted everywhere in the country that the Pan-American has done wonders in making the Greater Buffalo, and in that respect the experience of the city is without parallel, for in every other instance the holding of an exposition in a city has been followed by a reaction frequently amounting to a collapse. But Buffalo is advancing by leaps and bounds that surpass even the experience of the last two decades...
April 26 - Ald. Joseph Butler, chairman of Mayor Knight's committee to collect subscriptions for the purchase and preservation of the Electric Tower, unfolded a new scheme to the committee at its meeting at the City Hall last night.
For $60,000, the Aderman said, the tower and a good-sized plot of land around it can be purchased, and additional land, making in all 60 acres, leased for a term of five or ten years. Mr. Butler's plan is to lease enough land to take in the Esplanade, the Court of Fountains and the Triumphal Causeway. He suggested this as a modification of Mr. Coxhead's plan, which was to purchase the necessary ground and leave the tower where it stands.
There were present of the committee Adl. Butler, Willliam A. Bean, Robert Wallace, James O. Munroe and Richard H. Stafford. It was announced that the people of Buffalo were not ready to subscribe until it was definitely understodd whether the tower would be re-erected at the Front or remain where it now stands.
It was decided to hold another meeting next Monday at noon in the Common Council Chamber to decide on a site. After the meeting the committee will inspect the tower to ascertain its condition. Ald. Butler's plan is thought by the committee to be the best yet suggested.
April 29 - Another plan for preserving the Electric Tower has been suggested. It is a modification of the Coxhead plan by Architect John H. Coxhead himself. His latest scheme is to purchase outright with the tower 20 acres of land, instead of 60 acres as originally planned. This land stretches as a strip of varying width from the tracks of the Belt Line Railroad, just back of the Electric Tower, to Delaware Park, a distance of 2,500 feet.
From the railroad tracks to Amherst street, the proposed strip is 450 feet wide, taking in the propylaea, bandstand, Electric Tower and tower basin with space on either side for 75-foot boulevards. South of the Court of Fountains the strip narrows to 150 feet to be continued as a boulevard connecting the wider plots with Delaware Park.
Amherst Street would be continued at its present high level. Crossing the strip at the Fountain of Abundance would be McKinley Boulevard, with something to mark the spot where McKinley fell in the Temple of Music. The plan embraces blocks of land bordering on the strip and on these blocks would soon be built beautiful houses. It is pointed out that the value of the land, which is owned by the Rumseys, would be greatly increased and that they might be induced to sell the required slip as a very low figure. Mr. Coxhead, who is president of the Society for Beautifying Buffalo, will explain his plan to the tower committee, which holds a meeting Thursday evening. He estimates the cost at from $75,000 to $100,000.
April 29 - For the purpose of inspecting the Electric Tower and its surroundings with a view of ascertaining whether it should be left in its present location or torn down and re-erected at the Front, the members of Mayor Knight's committee visited the Pan-American grounds yesterday afternoon in a special car provided by the Buffalo Street Railway Company.
The members of the committe who made the trip were Ald. Joseph Butler, chairman; William A. Bean, J.O. Munroe, Felix R. Doherty, Robert Stafford, Fred Fenster and Robert Wallace. A meeting was first held in the Common Council chamber at the City Hall, but no action of any kind was taken. Another meeting will be held at 8 o'clock Thursday evening in Part III of the Supreme Court to decide on which location the tower should stand.
It is thought best to come to a decision at once, because many people refuse to subscribe for the preservatin of the Tower until its location has been decided upon.
Ald. Butler acted as guide at yesterday's inspection. He had been over the ground on Sunday. Here are few of the things that will have to be done, if the Tower remains where it is:
A tract of land on which the Tower stands, and surrounding it, consisting of a patch 500 feet square, will have to be purchased or leased; the land leading to the Tower, or Amherst street, from Delaware Park, taking in the Triumphal Bridge, will have to be leased; something wil have to be done to provide an approach from Amherst street, for when that thoroughfare is restored to its original condition, it will be one feet below the level; the colonnades and fountains will have to be repaired and supplied with water and electric light connections; the staff work which is gone in patches, will have to be replaced.