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City Document. — No. 22. 



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Office of City Engineer, Boston, Jan. 30, 1868. 
To the Honorable the City Council of the City of Boston : 

The following statement of matters relating to my department 
is respectfully submitted, in compliance with the seventh section 
of the ordinance relating to the Department of Engineering and 

As this is the first annual report from this department — aside 
from the one required to be made to the Cochituate "Water 
Board — which has been called for by any rule, order, or ordi- 
nance of the city, it may not be amiss to briefly review the origin 
and progress of this department, and present an outline of its 
functions and sphere of operations. 

The office of City Engineer was first established by an ordi- 
nance providing for the care and management of the Boston 
Water Works, passed October 31, 1850. This ordinance re- 
quired the Engineer to have charge of all the plans of streets, 
to make, or cause to be made by his Assistants, for whom he 
should be responsible, all surveys, admeasurements and levels, 
and perform such other services as might be required of him by 
the Mayor, the Board of Aldermen, or any Committee of the 
City Council. In connection with the Water Works, the En- 
gineer was required to take such charge of Lake Cochituate, 
the aqueduct, lands, reservoirs and other works and property 
connected with the Water Works, as the Cochituate Water 
Board might from time to time direct; and perform all such 
services in relation thereto as might be required of him by the 
Cochituate Water Board or the City Council; he was also 
required to present to the Cochituate Water Board annually, a 


report of the general condition of the Water Works and of the 
expenses of his department, relating to the same, and such other 
matters as he or the Board may deem expedient. 

The Rules and Regulations of the Water Board, as adopted 
in 1851, conferred upon the Engineer the title of General 
Superintendent of the Water Works, and prescribed in detail his 
duties in that department. In 1861, the rules and regulations 
were revised, the Engineer was relieved of much of the details 
of the management of the works, and the title of " General 
Superintendent" abolished. The duties, however, of the Engi- 
neer, under the revised rules, remain much the same, so far as 
his professional services are concerned. 

Previous to the passage of the Ordinance above referred to, 
the engineering and surveying for the city had been done by 
such Engineers or Surveyors as different City Councils or Com- 
mittees thereof might select; there was no system, and the care, 
custody and arrangement of plans were necessarily imperfect. 
There were, at that time, twelve volumes of miscellaneous 
plans, in which official and unofficial, valuable and worthless 
plans were scattered promiscuously ; two volumes of Plans and 
Descriptions of the Streets of Boston, made by John G. Hales, 
in 1819, by order of the Selectmen, which were never officially 
adopted, and are only of value now, as showing the widths of the 
several streets and alleys at that time ; two volumes of profiles 
of the streets in East and South Boston, with the established 
grades; and one volume of profiles of streets southwest of 
Dover Street, made with reference to Ezra Lincoln's system 
of drainage for that section of the city. These were nearly 
all the city plans at that time, except a few large plans and 
maps on rollers. 

For the first two or three years after the establishment of this 
department, the accumulation of new plans was so small, that a 
few drawers sufficed to contain them all, and very little trouble 
was found in arranging them so that any particular one could 


be readily found. A simple classification into " Official Plans," 
which comprised all plans referred to in Resolves and Orders 
of the Board of Aldermen or City Council, or in Contracts and 
Agreements ; " South Boston Plans and Profiles" ; " East Boston 
Plans and Profiles " ; " City Land Plans " ; " Plans in Progress " ; 
etc., was all that was then required. Since that time, the accumu- 
lation has been so rapid that a more extended classification has 
been found necessary, and there are now upwards of twenty 
different heads under which the plans are now arranged. These 
different heads are represented by the letters of the alphabet, 
each letter having one or more drawers assigned to it, in which 
the plans are arranged by numbers, generally in the order of 
their date. The plans are nearly all catalogued, each drawer 
or class by itself, and a general index made of the whole. The 
following statement shows the present arrangement or system of 
classification, and the number of plans in each. 

Statement showing the Classification and Number of Plans made or collected 
by this Department since 1850, except duplicates and plans bound in volumes. 


General Head under which Classified. 

No. of 

A B and E 

Plans from actual survey in the City Proper, 


C and F 

Profiles " 


M and S 

Copies of Plans by other Surveyors " 



South Boston Plans, Profiles, etc., 



East Boston " " " 


D and L 

Official Plans, Profiles, etc., 



Boston Harbor and Ancient Plans of Boston, etc., 



Copies of Plans from Registry of Deeds, 


Miscellaneous— Back Bay, Public Garden, etc., 



Plans of City Lands, etc., S. W. of Dover Street, 



School-house Plans, etc., 





A A 

Boston Harbor, etc., large rolled up plans, 


C C 

Miscellaneous, " " " 


Q 1 

South Boston rolled up plans, 


Q 2 

Engraved City Plans " " 


Q 3 

Unfinished Work, " " 


Q 4 

Miscellaneous " " 


Q 5 

Towns and Cities near Boston, 


Q 6 






The above statements comprise the plans catalogued and indexed . 
There are Land and Construction Plans of the Water Works, many 
of which are duplicates of plans in the Water Department, and 
which are not entered in the catalogue or index, to the number of 
about three hundred. Besides the foregoing, there are complete 
plans of the streets of East Boston, fifty-two in number, drawn 
upon a scale of forty feet to an inch, which exhibit the survey 
lines and measurements, lineal and angular ; the front lines of all 
buildings, fences and other structures, with offset distances indi- 
cating their exact position by figures, in relation to the true line 
of the streets ; the widths of all the streets ; the dimensions of 
all the blocks ; the wharves, docks, and the location of the har- 
bor lines as at present established. These plans, and the sur- 
veys required to prepare them, were made by John Noble, Esq., 
for many years Engineer and Surveyor to the East Boston Com- 
pany. Great care was taken in their preparation, and, together 
with the note-books of surveys, furnish to this Department the 
means of determining at once the lines of any street. A similar 
set of plans of the streets of South Boston, thirty-seven in number, 
and drawn upon the same scale, have been prepared by Henry 
W. Wilson, Esq., under the direction of the Commissioners 
on South Boston Streets. These plans, like those of East 
Boston were prepared with great care and labor, and indi- 
cate the lines of the streets — except the twenty feet ways — as 
determined and agreed upon by the said Commissioners, and the 
encroachments, and the location of granite monuments or bounds, 
one hundred and ninety-six in number, put down by order of the 
Commissioners to preserve and indicate the lines, and facilitate 
the labor of giving them. In addition to these sectional plans 
of South Boston is a general plan of the whole, on a scale of 
two hundred feet to an inch, drawn in this office, which is the 
official plan of the streets, signed by the Commissioners and 
referred to in their report and description of the lines of the 
streets. There are also large plans on rollers, of South Boston, 


made from surveys by Mr. Wilson, under the direction of this 
Department. These are on a scale of forty feet to an inch, 
were authorized by an Order of the Board of Aldermen, passed 
March, 1858, and served as a basis for the subsequent plans 
above referred to. The system inaugurated by the first City 
Engineer, E. S. Chesbrough, Esq., of making duplicates of all 
official plans, and binding them in volumes, has been maintained ; 
and there are now six volumes of these plans containing two 
hundred and fifty-seven plans ; forty-two plans already copied, 
but not yet bound ; forty-nine plans partly copied ; and seventy- 
one plans yet to be copied, so that, when all the official plans up 
to the present date are copied and bound, there will be about 
eleven volumes. 

Three volumes of the grades of the streets on the Neck lands, 
southwest of Dover Street, at South Boston, and at East Boston, 
have also been prepared in this department ; which show the 
grades worked out in detail for the curbstone on each side of 
the street. The system in vogue before, and for several years 
after the establishment of this office, of showing the grade of a 
street by a profile on the centre line thereof, was one liable to 
occasion mistakes, and for several years has been abandoned, 
and the present system adopted ; which requires, in all official 
plans establishing the grade of a street, a plan of the street, show- 
ing the curbstones on each side, and a separate profile of each 
side of the street, indicating doors, windows, etc., if the street is 
built upon. 

There is also one volume of thirty-eight sheets of plans and 
profiles of all the streets in low district, known as the Church 
Street and Suffolk Street districts. 

There are, of plans not made or copied in this office, two vol- 
umes of plans of South Cove and miscellaneous plans, containing 
about one hundred and sixty-six sheets, which were purchased 
a few years since, and were formerly the property of Francis 
Jackson, Esq. 


Aside from the plans above referred to, which are in the 
special charge and custody of this department, there have been 
five volumes containing one hundred and thirty-one plans of the 
sewers, showing their sizes, grades, location, areas of estates 
assessed, etc. These plans were prepared by virtue of an Order 
of the Board of Aldermen passed in August 1857, under the 
direction of this department, by Wm. H. Bradley, Esq., the 
present efficient Superintendent of Sewers, — at that time, an 
Assistant in this department — and are in the custody of the 
Sewer Department ; besides these volumes, are three hundred and 
forty-eight plans in sheets, also in said Sewer Department. Also 
twenty plans of the Public Lands on the Neck, showing the lots 
sold, to whom and when, the dimensions, areas and price per 
foot ; these are in the custody of the Public Land Department, 
duplicates being preserved in this office. Also two volumes, 
containing seventy plans of the School-house Lots, and one vol- 
ume containing twenty-six plans of other Public Building Lots, 
which are in the custody of the Public Building Department. 
Also seven plans of the estates in South Boston, prepared by 
Henry W. Wilson, Esq., for the Assessors' Department, and. kept 
in that office. Also a large number of plans made for the 
Water Department, duplicates of which have not been retained 
in this office. Although the foregoing statements indicate a vast 
amount of work done by or under the direction of this depart- 
ment since 1850, yet a more vivid idea may be given by com- 
paring the total amount done previous to 1850, as indicated by 
the plans then in the custody of the city, with that done since 
as indicated by the plans which have since accumulated. All 
the plans in possession of the city in 1851, except Water Works 
plans, were comprised in seventeen volumes j whilst those which 
have since been made, if all bound in similar books, would make 
one hundred and twenty-five volumes. 

The following statements of the number of persons employed 
in this department for each year since 1850, also of the total 


annual expense for engineering and surveying for the same time, 
will be found of some interest, and will also indicate a com- 
paratively steady increase in the business of the office and in the 
duties of the Engineer and his Assistants. 

Statement of the number of persons employed under the direction of this 
Department, including the City Engineer and Assistant; and also of the 
amounts paid for Engineering and Surveying for each year from January 
1851 to the end of the fiscal year 186G. 


Amount paid 


° i 

° a 

6 H 



for Engineer's 


and Salaries. 

Am't charged 

to other 


Jan. 1851 to May 



$5,377 95 

$758 97 

$6,136 92 

May 1852 



6,183 46 

1,563 90 

7,747 36 

•' 1853 " 



7,232 76 

1,503 75 

8,736 51 

" 1854 



9,378 44 

128 75 

9,507 19 

" 1855 



9,128 49 

150 00 

9,278 49 

" 1856 " 



9,431 14 

150 00 

9,581 14 

" 1857 " 



9,062 82 

2,047 31 

11,110 13 

" 1858 " 

1859 .... 


9,467 36 

3,891 78 

13,359 14 

" 1859 " 



9,995 41 

1,935 75 

11,931 16 

11 1860 



10,278 48 

3,843 33 

14,121 81 

" 1861 " 



10,601 85 

5,762 05 

16,363 90 

" 1862 « 



10,346 82 

6,444 08 

16,790 90 

" 1863 



9,191 54 

3,469 14 

12,660 68 

" 1864 " 



11,186 09 

36 62 

11,222 71 

" 1865 " 



12,924 32 

4,498 97 

17,423 29 

" 1866 " 



16,057 64 

7,504 33 

23,561 97 


The foregoing statement comprises all the items of expendi- 
ture for engineering and surveying which are to be found in the 
Annual Reports of the Auditor, and undoubtedly includes every : 
thing except certain payments by the Water Board for land 
surveys on the line of the Works, and sundry small surveys, 
which amounts do not appear in the published reports, and 
could only be obtained by an examination of the books of the 
Water Board. It is also possible that in my examination of 
the Auditor's Reports, I may have omitted some small amounts ; 
but as the object in preparing the above statement was not so 
much to exhibit exact figures as to present a comparative view 
of the growth of the business of the department, these omissions 
may be deemed unimportant. A certain proportion of the in- 
creased expense of this department since 1858 is, of course, 
owing to a general advance in the wages of employes, amount- 
ing to about thirty-five per cent ; an increase which is certainly 
as moderate as that of the other departments, and one which 
applies mainly to the subordinates in the office, and not to the 
head of the department, as will be seen by a comparison of the 
salaries ten years since with those of last year, from which it 
appears that the salaries of the heads of the departments gen- 
erally have been increased forty to one hundred per cent, while 
that of the City Engineer has been increased only seven. 

The policy in regard to defraying the expenses of this 
department has never been uniform. In some years, the cost 
of engineering and surveys for special objects has been charged 
to certain departments, and paid out of the appropriation for 
those departments, or from a special appropriation : for in- 
stance, the cost of the surveys and plans of the streets of 
South Boston and East Boston was paid from the appropriation 
for laying out and widening streets ; the engineering for the 
South Bay improvements was paid for from the appropriation 
for the Public Land department, and for South Bay Lands. 
The Sewer department paid for the surveys and plans of the 


location, sizes and grades of sewers ; and so on in many other 
cases. As it is not always easy to draw the line between 
what may be styled current and special work, I would suggest 
the expediency of an ordinance, requiring the cost of all work 
done by or under the direction of this department to be paid 
from its appropriation. This would ensure a uniform and 
definite system, and the Auditors' reports, then, would present 
to the public, under the general head of engineering, the actual 
cost thereof, which is not now the case. 

The Report of the City Surveyor, which fs appended, exhibits 
very fully the nature and amount of work done under his 
special charge, as required by the present ordinance. 

The following statement shows the nature of the work which 
has been under my special direction and supervision. 

Sovth Boston Flats. 

Estimates have been made, by request of the Mayor, of the 
cost of building Eastern Avenue, from the foot of Summer Street 
to the end of " section one," including a bridge over Fort Point 
Channel ; and of extending B Street from First Street to said 
Eastern Avenue. Considerable time and attention have also 
been devoted to the consideration of schemes and plans for the 
concentration of the freight business of the Southern and West- 
ern roads, at tide-water on these flats, and the general question 
of the occupation thereof. 

Annexation of Roxbury. 

By request of the Commissioners appointed by the Mayor to 
consider and report upon the question of the annexation of 
Roxbury, a plan was prepared of Boston proper and Roxbury, 
showing the sewers built and proposed in the vicinity of the 
boundary line between the two cities, and the location and areas 


of the low districts in each city which are below a proper 
drainage level. This plan, and such surveys as were requisite, 
were made early in the year, and upon very short notice. The 
plan, so far as the names and location of the streets in Roxbury 
are concerned, was hastily compiled from a plan by H. F. 
Walling, made in 1856, and, of course, contained many inaccu- 
racies and omissions. A new plan has since been prepared, 
showing Boston as it now is, with all the streets, courts, places, 
squares, churches, school-houses and other prominent public 
buildings ; the location of the horse-railroads, fire-alarm boxes, 
etc., etc. This is now in the hands of the lithographer, and 
will soon be published. Besides the preparation of the plan 
above referred to, for the Commissioners, a great number of 
calculations of areas, etc., were made by their order, and a 
variety of estimates and calculations were made by request of 
the Cochituate Water Board, relative to the distribution of 
water, and the cost thereof. 

Albany Street Wall. 
Plans and specifications for this structure, two hundred and 
seventy-one feet in length, from Dover Street towards Troy 
Street, were prepared in 1866; but the work was not com- 
menced until early in 1867. A contract was made by the Com- 
mittee on Paving with Boynton Brothers, and the work has been 
satisfactorily completed, at a cost, including superintendence, of 

South Boston Streets. 

All surveys required by the Commission on South Boston 
streets have been made by Henry W. Wilson, Esq. ; the official 
plan, however, hereinbefore referred to, was made in this office, 
under my direction, during the past year. 
• This work was commenced in 1865, and the amount expended 
to January 1, 1868, has been as follows, viz : 










To H. W. Wilson and Assistants 

For Stone Monuments and setting the same 

For Compiling City Records .... 

For Stationery, Drawing Paper and Materials . 

Amount expended to January 1, 1868 . $7,548 03 

To this add H. W. Wilson's bill, 
rendered January 1, 1868, but 
not yet paid .... $768 75 

Labor, etc., Setting Monument . 7»50 

Compensation of Commissioners 

and Clerk .... $6,000 00 

Making the total cost of Surveys, 

6,776 25 

Plans, Monuments, etc. . . $14,324 28 

The foregoing amounts were or are to be paid from the appro- 
priation for laying out and widening streets. 

Surveys of Public Building Lots. 

Surveys and plans of eight Station-house lots, twenty -two 
Engine-house lots, and five of other public buildings have been 
made during the year for the Public Building Department. 
This work of making complete surveys and plans of all the pub- 
lic building lots was commenced in 1865, and would have 
been completed before the present time, but for the pressure of 
other work of more immediate necessity requiring the services 
of the party specially assigned to this particular work. Dur- 
ing the present year, it is probable these surveys and plans will 
be completed, including those in the newly-acquired district of 

New Lunatic Hospital. 

Levels have been taken over about ninety-five acres of the 
land in Winthrop, purchased as a site for a new hospital for the 


insane, and a plan prepared, showing the contour of the ground 
as intersected by horizontal planes, at intervals of two feet. 
This plan will be of great service in determining the most 
suitable position of the structure, — in case it is built, — and in 
deciding on the best manner of grading the grounds. 

Broadway Extension. 

A plan has been made for extending Broadway from Federal 
Street, in South Boston, to Albany Street at its junction with 
Way Street, and thence to a point on Washington Street, oppo- 
site Pleasant Street. The plan proposed, and upon which the 
estimates were based, provided for the extension on a high 
grade, crossing Foundry Street, the Old Colony and Newport 
Railroad, Fort Point Channel, Lehigh Street and the Boston 
and Albany Railroad, by iron bridges. The portion between 
Federal and Foundry streets to be filled solid, the filling to 
be retained by substantial stone walls ; the portions between 
Foundry Street and the Old Colony and Newport Railroad, and 
between Fort Point Channel and Lehigh Street, to be built 
upon cast-iron columns, in a manner similar to the bridge in 
Berkeley Street, over the Boston and Providence Railroad; the 
portion between Lehigh and Albany streets, to be filled solid 
and retained with stone walls, the same as the section between 
Federal and Foundry streets. The estimated cost of the struc- 
tures, according to the plan above referred to, was $395,000. 

Water Works. 

The duties of the City Engineer, in connection with the Water 
Works, have been greatly enhanced by the great work now in 
progress at Chestnut Hill, and a very considerable portion of 
his time has necessarily been required in connection with this 
work alone. As a detailed statement of the progress of this work 
during the past year will be published in my Annual Report to 
the Cochituate Water Board, it is unnecessary to particularize 


now, and I will only say that the work has been prosecuted with 
all possible vigor, and more was accomplished last year than I 
anticipated. "With equal energy, the work will be nearly, if not 
quite completed by the close of the present year. 

During the year, surveys have been made of lands on the 
margin of Dug Pond, in Natick. Several examinations of cer- 
tain portions of the Aqueduct have been made. Observations, 
for two months, at the East Boston Reservoir, were taken, to 
determine the points of leakage, and the amount, and a plan for 
repairs has been prepared and submitted to the Board. A plan 
for certain alterations in the Pipe Bridge across Mystic River, 
to accommodate the extension of the Mystic Water Works to 
Chelsea, has also been prepared, in conjunction with the engineer 
in charge of said extension. 

In connection with the annexation of Roxbury, considerable 
time has been devoted to the preparation of estimates and cal- 
culations in reference to a proposed extension of the pipes in 
that district, the sufficiency of the supply, etc., etc. 


It will be seen by reference to the sixth section of the Ordi- 
nance relating to the Department of Engineering and Surveying, 
that it is made the duty of the City Engineer to make an ex- 
amination, annually or oftener, of all the bridges, and report as 
to their condition, etc. 

This duty is a new one imposed upon this department, and, so 
far as the Report is concerned, has never before been assigned 
to any department. 

The following is a list of the bridges which the city has to 
maintain, viz : 


Dover St. Bridge, across the mouth of the South Bay. 

Federal Street Bridge, across Fort Point Channel. 

Mt. Washington Avenue Bridge, across Fort Point Channel. 




Chelsea Street Bridge, across Chelsea Creek. 

Meridian Street Bridge, across Chelsea Creek. 

Point Shirley Bridge, across Chelsea Creek. 

Albany Street Bridge, over Boston & Albany Railroad. 

Ferdinand Street Bridge, over Boston & Albany Railroad. 

Tremont St. Water Pipe Bridge, over Boston & Albany R. R. 

The first six bridges are over tide-water, and are in the care 
of the several superintendents, under the direction of the Com- 
mittee on Bridges. 

The Albany and Ferdinand Street bridges are in the care of 
the Superintendent of Streets, under the direction of the Com- 
mittee on Paving. 

The Tremont Street Bridge supports the water mains, and is 
under the care of the Water Board. 

Dover Street Bridge. 

This bridge was built by a Corporation, under the name of 
the "Proprietors of the Boston South Bridge," at a cost of 
$56,000, and was opened to public travel October 1st, 1805. 
It was conveyed to the city by deed, dated April 19, 1832, and 
made free and a public highway. 

In 1858-9, the portions inside of the Commissioners' lines were 
built solid, and that over the flats and channel, outside of said 
lines, was rebuilt as a pile structure. The total cost, including 
a new pier and house for the Superintendent, was $62,564.97. 
The average annual cost of repairs for a term of seven years 
immediately preceding the rebuilding of the bridge was about 
$2,600.00, and for a term of seven years ending with the fiscal 
year 1866-67, the average annual cost of repairs was $2,394.45. 

This bridge is now in very fair condition, and will require no 
extensive repairs the present year. The pier on the southerly 
side of the bridge, west of the draw, is in quite a shaky condi- 


tion, and, whenever the bridge is widened, as proposed, to sixty 
feet, should be rebuilt, or materially strengthened. 

A proposition to widen this bridge, in connection with Fourth 
Street in South Boston, and Dover Street, as far as Harrison 
Avenue, was considered by the Committee on Streets of last 
year, and the estimated expense was $22,000.00. 

Federal Street Bridge. 

This bridge was built in 1827-28, by a corporation called 
" The Boston Free Bridge Corporation." It was surrendered 
to the city in September 1828. 

In 1857-58, the bridge was widened, and, with the exception 
of such of the piles as were sound and in good condition, was 
substantially built anew, including piers, new sliding draw, 
horse power machinery, stable, etc., at a cost of $50,842.56. 
The average annual cost of general repairs on this bridge, for 
a term of six years, ending April 30, 1857, was $2,292.36; and 
for a term of seven years, ending April 30, 1867, it was 

The principal repairs required on this bridge, the present 
year, will be on the draw and machinery and the piers. The 
tracks, upon which the draw rolls, need levelling up ; in some 
places new rails and wheels are wanted, and in replacing the 
wheels — both the travelling wheels and the cog-wheels — it 
would be well to provide duplicates, to be kept on hand, in case 
of accident. Some repairs are also needed in the running gear 
under the barn. A portion of the westerly pier needs replauk- 
ing; the westerly truss of the draw should be recovered; guard 
timbers, projecting beyond the surface of the planking of the 
water ways, should be put in ; and sundry small repairs made 
on the gates and railing. 

A proposition to widen this bridge, in connection with 
Federal Street, to a width of seventy feet, was considered by 



the Committee on Streets, of last year, the expense of which 
was estimated at $24,500.00. 

Mount Washington Avenue Bridge. 

This bridge was built in 1854, and accepted by the city April 
30, 1855. The total cost to the city was $61,607.70. There 
was expended for general repairs, for eleven years, ending 
April 30, 1867, $26,920.65, being an annual average expense of 

There will be a considerable amount of repairs required upon 
this bridge the present year, chiefly upon the draw. The chords 
of the trusses are in very bad condition, the ends of many of the 
braces are rotten, and the wood-work generally needs renewing. 
The stringers and timbers which form the bulkhead on the out- 
side of the sidewalks are in many places rotten and pressed out 
of place. The railing needs repairs in some places, and some 
measures, perhaps the driving of spur-shores, will be necessary 
to resist the crowding of the bridge on the westerly side of the 
channel towards the draw. The bridge and draw have been 
repeatedly cut off, and yet the movement still continues. Some 
portions of the piers require re-planking, and it is very likely a 
portion of the flooring of the bridge is defective, and will have 
to be renewed. A more careful examination of the flooring will 
be made soon, which will determine this point. 

Meridian Street Bridge. 

By an Act of the Legislature, passed May 15, 1855, Henry 
D. Gardner and others were made a corporation by the name 
of the East Boston Free Bridge Corporation, and authorized to 
build a bridge across Chelsea Creek, from Condor Street, in 
East Boston, to Pearl Street, in Chelsea. The franchise 
became the property of the East Boston Company, and the 
bridge was built under the superintendence of a joint committee 
of the City Council, and afterwards purchased by the city. 


The total cost to the city, including surveys, plans, models, 
amount paid the East Boston Company, and the additional 
amount expended for piers, guards and gates, was $56,889.85. 
It was opened for travel in December 1856. There was 
expended for repairs during nine years after it was built, the 
sum of $11,545.64, — an average annual expense of $1,282.85. 

An examination of this bridge, in 1866, revealed the fact 
that it was in a positively dangerous condition, and unsafe for 
public travel, and it was decided to rebuild the entire structure, 
except the draw and pier, which it was then thought could be 
made good with slight repairs. 

Plans and specifications were made in this department, and a 
contract made with William A. Kenrick, July 2, 1866. By 
request of the Chairman of the Committee on Bridges, I 
re-examined the draw, and reported to him, as follows, viz : 

" Office of City Engineer, 
"City Hall, Boston, March 28, 1867. 

"Charles R. McLean, Esq., 

" Chairman of Committee on Bridges: 
" Sir, — I have examined the draw of the Meridian Street 
Bridge, and find its condition to be very much worse than it 
appeared a year ago, when examined in connection with the rest 
of the bridge. It was then thought that very slight repairs would 
be needed ; but, since the removal of the old bridge and a portion 
of the flooring of the draw itself, the concealed defects have become 
apparent, and it appears that the bottom chords of the trusses are 
so badly decayed that new ones will be necessary for the safet} 7 of 
the structure. There will also be required some additional braces 
in the trusses, some new timbers in the gallows-frame, and an 
additional suspension rod. There will also have to be new and 
more substantial fender-guards, to protect the bridge from vessels 
approaching the draw. The estimated expense of repairing the 
draw and building the new fender-guards is $7,000. 
" Respectfully submitted. 

" X. Henry Crafts, 

' ' City Engineer. 


Accordingly, almost the entire frame-work of the draw was 
re-built, and new fender-guards were built. The bridge was 
completed, and open to travel early in 1867. The work was 
superintended by Mr. B. F. Prescott, under the direction of the 
Committee on Bridges and the City Engineer, and is believed to 
be one of our most substantial and well-built pile structures. 
The total cost of the bridge, as rebuilt, and the repairs on the 
draw, amounts to $73,749.53. 

No repairs of any great amount will be required this year, 
unless it may be on the moving gear of the draw. 

Chelsea Street Bridge. 

This bridge was built in 1834, by Benjamin T. Reed and 
others, who were incorporated as proprietors of the Chelsea Free 
Bridge. It cost $8,277.76, and was opened to public travel in 
October 1834. In 1848 it was re-built, at a cost of $4,678.15, 
by the Ferry Company, who had previously become the pro- 
prietors. May 6, 1850, the Mayor and Aldermen, by virtue of 
an Act of the Legislature, laid out that portion of the bridge 
within the limits of Boston, as a public highway. In 1855, by 
virtue of an order of the City Council, there was paid to the 
town of Chelsea $8,473, on condition that said town would give 
a bond to the City of Boston in the penal sum of $10,000, to 
keep that portion of the bridge and road, in the limits of the 
town, in good order and repair for the future. 

This bond was given July 12, 1855, and the bridge is now a 
public highway, which the two cities of Chelsea and Boston are 
bound to keep in repair. 

The cost of repairs on this bridge, since 1850, has been 
$9,721.61, an annual average of $648.10. 

The bridge itself is now in very good repair, and will need 
very little outlay this year ; but the draw and pier are in very 
bad condition, and should be re-built. The chords and braces 
of the trusses are rotten, so also are most of the floor timbers. 


"When the draw is re-built, I would recommend that it be made 
wider, the present width being only twelve feet. 

Chelsea Point Bridge. 

This bridge was built by Joseph Burrill and others, who 
were incorporated in 1835, as the Proprietors of Chelsea Point 
Bridge, and was opened to public travel in the fall of 1839. 
Its cost was $1,100. 

That portion of the bridge within the limits of the city was 
laid out as a public highway July 1, 1850. In 1851 the bridge 
was re-built at a cost, to the City of Boston, of $5,720.73. 
The repairs since 1851 have been very slight, not averaging 
$100 a year. 

The stringers and bulkhead of this bridge are rotten and 
need renewal, otherwise the bridge is in fair condition. 

Albany Street Bridge. 
In 1856-7, a wooden bridge, with a pile structure for the 
approaches, was built over the Boston and Albany Railroad at a 
cost of $23,231.48. This kind of structure was adopted in lieu 
of an iron bridge with stone abutments and retaining walls, on 
account of the costly plan which was then proposed for the 
latter structure. In 1863, the bridge was reported in bad con- 
dition, and I was called upon to examine it, and it was found 
that the piles, which had been coated with coal tar, with a view 
to their preservation, were already very much decayed with dry 
rot, and in many places the caps of the piles had been broken 
by the weight of filling or by heavy loads. The coal tar coat- 
ing was removed from all the piles, and the decayed portion cut 
away. Mud sills were put in, and timber shoring used where 
the piles were much weakened. The expense of these repairs 
was $1,238.12. In 1866, the bridge itself was strengthened, at 
a cost of $300. These arc all the repairs that were made on 
the old structure. 

2*«? CITY DOCUMENT. NO. 22. 

In May 1867, the Board of Aldermen authorized the erection 
of an iron bridge, with stone abutments and retaining walls, 
and this department was called upon to prepare plans and 
specifications. A plan was accordingly prepared for a wrought- 
iron lattice bridge, the bars to be made of angle-iron, and the 
span of the bridge to be sixty-two feet. Subsequently, an 
agreement was made with the Boston and Worcester Railroad 
Corporation, by which the span was increased to seventy-three 
feet, to admit of the widening of their tracks, the Corporation 
agreeing to pay the additional cost. 

A new plan was then made, substituting for the lattice bars 
panels of boiler plate, thus making a solid plate girder, similar 
to those erected by the Railroad Corporation and by the city, at 
Tremont Street. Specifications were also drawn and printed ; 
but a less costly plan on the lattice principle having been 
submitted to the committee having the matter in charge, by Mr. 
Clemens Herschel, it was decided to adopt that. Plans and 
specifications for the abutments and retaining walls were, also 
prepared ; and, in July, a contract was made with Messrs. Clapp 
and Ballou for their erection, and for the removal of the old 

This contract has been so far completed as to allow of the 
erection of the bridge, which is now in progress, under a con- 
tract made in September with Messrs. McKay & Aldus. It is 
probable that the entire work will be completed, and the street 
open to public travel, by the first of March. The cost of the 
entire work to January 1, 1868, including superintendence, was 

Ferdinand Street Bridge. 

This structure was built in 1864-5 by J. E. & N. Brown, by 
virtue of a contract which was approved by the City Council, 
but was never executed. It is an iron structure known as 
Bolles's patent, resting upon stone abutments. It was accepted 


in 1865, and has received no repairs since that time, except 
painting of the iron work, which was done last year at a cost of 
$90.00. There is no heavy travel over this bridge, and 
although it is far inferior in point of stiffness to the plate-girder 
bridge over the railroad at Tremont Street, it is a very good 
bridge for the locality. 

Tremont Street Water Pipe Bridge. 

This structure was built in 1866-67, at the same time that 
the Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation built the adja- 
cent road-bridge. The cost of the bridge and the abutments 
was $11,245.28; which was paid from the appropriation for 
laying out and widening streets. The cost of removing and 
relaying the water pipes was defrayed by the Water Depart- 
ment. By the present arrangement, the sidewalk on the 
■westerly side of the bridge, which was formerly obstructed by 
an elevated platform covering the pipes, with steps at each end, 
is now entirely clear; and at the same time, the water pipes are 
now easily accessible for repairs, while formerly they were 
encased in an iron box or tube, made of boiler-plate, and laid 
so close together that it was extremely difficult to get at them 
to make any repairs. No repairs have been required on this 
bridge during the past year. 

Berkeley Street Bridge (over the Worcester Railroad). 

Although this structure is not one for the care and mainte- 
nance of which the city is responsible, yet the several petitions 
for the acceptance of the street, including the bridges, which 
have been presented from time to time, have furnished the 
occasion for examinations of this bridge, with especial reference 
to its fitness and safety. 

Reports and estimates in relation to this structure have been 
made to the Committee on Streets, and to the Mayor, at different 



times ; and propositions have been made by the President of 
the Water Power Company, in reference to suitable repairs of 
the bridge, or a rebuilding of the same ; but no definite result 
has yet been reached. As this street has already become a 
great thoroughfare and of great public convenience, it is very 
important that it should be rendered safe ; and it is hoped that 
satisfactory arrangements may be made at an early day, by 
which the street and bridge may be put in good and safe 

Statement of the Expenses of the Department of Engineer- 
ing and Surveying for the year ending Dec. 31, 1867, as 
paid from the appropriation for the department. 

Salaries of City Engineer and City Surveyor, 

Assistants, Surveyors, Levellers, Draughtsmen, 

Rodmen, etc. . 
Incidental expenses, viz., car fares, tolls, travelling 

expenses, and small supplies for office 
Books, stationery, drawing paper and materials 
Instruments, and repairing same . 
Braid for binding, and cloth for backing plans 
Plan of estates on Blackstone, Centre, Brattle and 

Elm streets, and Dock Square (Alexander Wads 

worth) .... 
Iron sounding rods 
Wooden stakes . 
Repairs and small supplies (not included in inci 
■ dentals) .... 
Printing .... 
Expenses of Committee 


7,745 38 

451 97 

734 27 

923 95 

96 95 

86 00 

62 62 

36 22 

22 70 

13 90 

17 25 

$20,191 21 


The following amounts for engineering and surveying have 
been paid from other appropriations : 

Chestnut Hill Reservoir. 

Salaries of resident Engineer and assistants, 

from January 1, 1867, to January 1, 1868, 
Draughtsmen on gate house, plans, etc. 
Incidental expenses, instruments, etc. 

South Boston streets, bills rendered for work 

done in 1867, but not yet paid . 

Broadway extension 

Add amount, as above, paid from appropriation 

for this department $20,191 21 













Total for engineering, for the year 1867 . $26,287 05 

The whole number of persons employed during 
the past year, and paid from the appropriation 
for this department, was .... 20 

The number employed on the engineering and 

draughting for Chestnut Hill Reservoir was . 5 

Total 25 

Besides the foregoing, a party of three, under Mr. H. W. Wil- 
son, has been employed a portion of the time on surveys for the 
South Boston Commission, and for the extension of Broadway. 

Respectfully submitted, 


City Engineer. 



City Surveyor's Office, Boston, Jan. 7, 1868. 

To N. Henry Crafts, Esq., City Engineer: 

Sir, — In conformity with the 15th Section of the Ordinance 
relating to the Department of Engineering and Surveying, I 
submit the following 


The following surveys for street widenings, extensions, etc., 
have been made under my direction during the past year : — 

Fort Hill. 

The estates on Fort Hill have been surveyed the past year, 
with the exception of those abutting on Oliver, Belmont, Battery- 
march and Hamilton streets, and Washington Square, which 
were surveyed previously ; and plans of the same have been 
nearly completed, showing the buildings, the proposed, laying 
out of new streets, and the widening of the present ones. 

Profiles of these streets have also been made, showing the 
proposed grades to which the streets will have to be cut down. 

It will be necessary, before the work progresses much farther, 
to run base lines over the hill, located from fixed monuments, 
that will not be disturbed by the removal of the hill, in order to 
re-locate the new lines of the streets after the buildings have 
been demolished, and the streets cut down to grade. 

For the past year, it has required a party, consisting of an 



engineer and one assistant, to watch the progress of the excava- 
tion in Oliver Street, Washington Square and Belmont Street, to 
give grades and measure the work done by the contractors. 
The excavation in these streets has been completed to grade. 
It is apprehended, however, that in the coming spring consider- 
able quantities of earth will slide off from the steep side slopes 
into these streets, by the action of the frost. Should this be 
the case, it will probably be necessary, before this earth is 
removed, to have it carefully measured, and an accurate account 
kept of the quantity. 

Federal Street. 

A survey of this street between the foot of Summer Street and 

First Street in South Boston, and plans showing the estates on 

both sides of the street with the proposed line of widening on 

the easterly side to seventy feet, with the takings from each es- 

' tate — the street being now about fifty feet in width. 

The Board of Aldermen passed a resolve to widen this street 
in May, but it was not acted upon in the Common Council till 
near the close of the year, and then failed to pass. 

Also a survey and plan of Federal Street between Williams 
and High streets, showing the line of widening with the takings 
from each estate. 

Another plan of this street was made, between Milk and Sum- 
mer streets, showing the fronts of the estates, prepared for the 
purpose of making the assessments under the Betterment Law. 

High Street. 

A survey and plans showing the estates on both sides of the 
street between Congress and Summer streets, with the widening 
to fifty feet and takings from each estate on the northerly side 
between Congress and Federal streets. 

This street was widened on the northerly side between Con- 
gress and Federal Streets by a resolve approved July 16, 1867. 


Williams Street. 

A survey and plan of this street with the estates on both sides 
of it, and the widening and takings from each estate on the 
southerly side between Federal and Congress streets. 

This street was widened on the southerly side by a Resolve 
approved July 12, 1867. 

Co?igress Street. 

A survey of several takings on this street between Williams 
and Purchase streets, where the city has widened during the 

Summer Street. 

A survey from " Church Green " to Federal Street, and a" 
plan showing the estates — made for the purpose of fixing upon 
a contemplated line of widening on the northerly side between 
High and Federal streets. 

No widening made. 

Richmond Street. 

A survey of this street between Hanover and Salem streets, 
and plan showing the estates on both sides, and the widening 
principally on the easterly side, making the street about forty 
feet in width when wideued. Widened by a Resolve approved 
May 11, 1867. 

Also a plan of the street from North to Salem Street, made 
for the purpose of making the assessments under the Betterment 

Devonshire Street. 

A survey of this street between Milk and Water streets, and 
a plan showing the estates on the easterly side through to Con- 
gress Street, and the widening on the same side, making the 
street forty-eight feet in widih. Not widened. 



Dorchester Street, (Washington Village.) 
A survey and plan for the widening of this street, varying 
from forty-five to fifty feet in width, between Middle Street and 
the Old Colony and Newport Railroad bridge. 

Widened between Middle and Tuckerman streets by a Re- 
solve approved July 15, 1867. 

Extension of Kilby Street. 

A rough survey for the proposed extension of Kilby Street, 
from State Street to Faneuil Hall Square, and several plans 
showing the estates with various routes for the proposed exten- 
sion of that street; but as it was decided by the Board of 
Aldermen, after several hearings, not to extend this street, no 
accurate survey and plans were made. 

Change Avenue. 

A survey of the estates on both sides of this Avenue, and a 
plan, showing the proposed line of widening, and the takings 
from each estate on the westerly side, making the avenue about 
forty-three feet in width. Not widened. 

Adams Street. 

A survey of this street and the estates on both sides, with a 
plan, showing the widening to forty -five feet, and the takings 
from each estate, also a discontinuance of a portion of the street. 

Widened by a Resolve approved November 8, 1867. 

Washington Street. 

A survey for the purpose of ascertaining the areas of the 
estates on both sides of the street between Kneeland and Warren 
streets, and a plan of the same made early in the year to facili- 
tate the making of the assessments under the Betterment Law. 


West Street. 

A survey and plan of the street, with the widening on the 
Carter Estate, at the corner of Washington Street. Widened 
by a Resolve approved March 29, 1867. 

Also another plan of the street, showing the fronts of the 
estates for the purpose of making the assessments under the 
Betterment Law. 

Tremont Street. 

A survey for the widening of this street between Boylston 
Street and the Boston and Albany Railroad Bridge, and plans 
showing the takings required from each estate to make the street 
sixty feet in width. The general plan of the street, with the 
estates, was made several years ago. Not widened. 

Extension of Broadway. 

A survey for the proposed extension of Broadway, sixty feet 
in width, from Federal Street in South Boston to Washington 
Street opposite Pleasant Street, and plans, showing the abutting 
estates and the takings from each estate. Also profiles of por- 
tions of Lehigh, Way, Albany, Curve, Hudson and Tyler streets, 
showing the proposed grades it would be necessary to raise 
those streets to. if Broadway should be extended at "high grade " 
as proposed, passing over Foundry Street, the Old Colony & 
Newport Railroad, Lehigh Street and the Boston & Albany 

The Board of Aldermen passed a resolve in November to ex- 
tend this street from Federal to Albany Street, but the Common 
Council non-concurred and the subject was referred to the next 
City Council (1868). 


Church Street District. 

A rough survey and plan of tins territory, with all the estates, 
was made in the early part of the year. This plan showed all 
the buildings and the proposed widening of the streets, generally 
to forty feet in width. Another plan was also made, after the 
completion of the above plan, showing the proposed laying out 
of the territory into new streets and lots. These plans were 
made for a temporary purpose, only to be used by the Committee 
on the Church Street District and by the City Council during 
the discussion of the question as to what action the city should 
take — whether to raise the grade of the territory and widen the 
streets, or to take all the property within the District and 
demolish the buildings and lay out new streets and lots. 

In the mouth of November, the City Council passed a Resolve 
in favor of taking all the property lying within this District, 
under the Church Street Act (so called), "for the purpose of 
raising the grade of said territory, and laying out new streets 
and avenues thereon." This was merely an expression of 
opinion of the City Council, without actually effecting any result. 

By the advice of the City Solicitor, it was deemed necessary 
that there should be an accurate survey made, and a plan of the 
streets, and of each estate in this District, with a description of 
each parcel of land, before the city could take the property; as 
a description of each parcel of land to be taken, giving the 
bounds and dimensions of the estate, is required by the Act to 
be filed in the Registry of Deeds within sixty days from the 
time the property should be taken. 

This accurate survey was ordered immediately after the pas- 
sage of the Resolve above referred to, and two parties of 
Surveyors were put to work at once, and continued on the same 
without interruption, working days and evenings till the last week 
in December, when it was found impossible to complete the plan, 


so that the subject could be brought before the City Council of 
1867 in a tangible form. The surveys are all completed, but 
the plan is not yet finished, as there are a great many conflicting 
boundary lines to be first settled, and the ownership of the fee 
of the unaccepted streets ascertained. 

The above statement shows some very extensive surveys for 
street improvements, more so than have been made during any 
one year since the City Engineer's Office was established in 
1850, — especially the surveys of Fort Hill, Church Street District, 
the widening of Federal Street from the foot of Summer Street 
to First Street, in South Boston, the extension of Broadway, and 
the widening of Tremont Street from Boylston Street to the 
Boston and Albany Railroad Bridge. There have been so 
many large surveys, some of which were goiug on at the same 
time, that in order to complete them as soon as they were 
wanted, it has been found necessary to require the assistants at 
times to work evenings on the plans, and to pay them for extra 

This increase of work is owing, undoubtedly, in part, to the 
passage of the Betterment Law in 1866, which necessitates the 
widening and improvement of streets on a larger and more com- 
plete scale (in order that the City may derive any benefit from 
it) than under the old law. 

The above list of streets that have been surveyed and plans 
made, show the principal work that has been done under my 
especial charge as City Surveyor during the past year; but there 
has been a great amount of work done besides, in this depart- 
ment, of a miscellaneous nature, such as the giving of grades 
and lines of streets, surveys and plans for the Paving, Sewer, 
Public Building and Public Land Departments, surveys and 
plans for Water Works, measurement of contractors' work, 
drafting of plans, etc. 


Duties of the City Surveyor. 

Besides the duties performed by the City Surveyor in taking 
charge of the surveys, etc., above enumerated, a large portion of 
his time is occupied in acting as Secretary of the Committee on 
Laying out and Widening Streets, and in keeping the books and 
performing the duties in relation to widening streets under the 
Betterment Law, as provided in the Ordinance relating to the 
Department of Engineering and Surveying, as follows : 

" Section 12> Said Surveyor shall act as Secretary of the Com- 
mittee on Laying Out and "Widening Streets, of the Board of 
Aldermen, and shall furnish said committee, or such commission 
as may hereafter be intrusted by the City Council with the con- 
sideration of matters appertaining to the laying out, widening, or 
extending streets, with such plans and information in relation to 
any projects under consideration by them as they may require. 
He shall keep a full and accurate record of all their doings ; and 
he shall have special charge of all surveys and plans relating to 
the laying out, widening, extending and grading of streets. 

" Section 13. Said Surveyor shall prepare all orders, resolves, 
and other papers relating to street widenings, extensions, and 
alterations which said committee may require ; and shall furnish 
the City Solicitor with all necessary descriptions for deeds of land 
bought or taken to lay out, widen, or extend a street, or for any 
special contracts or agreements relating thereto. 

" Section 14. Said Surveyor shall keep a set of books showing 
all the debits and credits to each estate, the whole or a portion of 
which may be taken to lay out, widen or extend a street, or which 
may be assessed under any Betterment Law ; and if, in the opinion 
of the said committee, the work of keeping such a set of books and 
other records relating to street improvements, requires any special 
clerical assistance, the said Surveyor, with the consent and 
approval of said committee, may employ a suitable clerk, whose 
salary shall be fixed by said committee, and paid from the appro- 
priation for laying out and widening streets. All bills for assess- 
ments made under any Betterment Law shall be deposited by said 
Surveyor with the City Treasurer for collection." 


Survey of Roxbury. 

As soon as practicable, I would recommend that an accurate 
survey of all the streets in Roxbury should be commenced and 
carried forward as fast as the current work in this Department 
will permit ; and the lines of the streets determined upon as far 
as they can be, from monuments on the ground, and from the 
plans and records of that city. 

And I think it will also be found necessary to have profiles 
of all the streets made, showing the buildings, steps, fences, etc., 
so that grades can be fixed where they are not already estab- 
lished, and where, in some cases, it will be found advisable to 
change and revise the old grades formerly established. 

The annexation of Roxbury must necessarily increase the 
work in this department very considerably. 

East Boston Streets. 

I would recommend that the lines of the streets in East Boston 

be permanently fixed by stone monuments placed in the ground 

in a similar manner to those fixing the lines of the streets in 

South Boston. 

Notices of intention to build. 

There have been received, at this office, Notices of intention 
to build five hundred and twenty-four buildings during the past 
year — two hundred and seventy -four in Boston Proper, one 
hundred and ninety-six in South Boston, and fifty-four in 
East Boston. The year previous (1866) there were received 
Notices of intention to build three hundred and seventy-two 
buildings; showing an increase of one hundred and fifty -two 
buildings in 1867 over 1866. 

Undoubtedly more buildings have been built than the above 
notices. indicate, as some persons omit to give notice, — the Or- 
dinance requiring such notice to be given only on public streets. 
Respectfully submitted, 


City Surveyor. 








Survey of Roxbury. 

As soon as practicable, I would recommend that an accurate 
survey of all the streets in Roxbury should be commenced and 
carried forward as fast as the current work in this Department 
will permit j and the lines of the streets determined upon as far 
as they can be, from monuments on the ground, and from the 

An« 4 
of all 
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U HC* v.# UUI/UUl T L±1\J1 \J UUlLUHi^u mvtu WWU ftJU.HU LJiCl 11 

notices indicate, as some persons omit to give notice, — the Or- 
dinance requiring such notice to be given only on public streets. 
Respectfully submitted, 


City Surveyor. 

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