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CITY OF BOSTON.
EELATING TO THE
INSPECTION AND CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS
IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.
ROCKWELL AND CHURCHILL, CITY PRINTERS,
No. 39 ARCH STREET.
18 8 6.
geparhncut f#r %nsptttioxx #f Ipiiilclvugs,
Inspector, at" Biulomcfs.
JOHN S. DAMRELL 47 Hancock Street.
Clerk of I3cpartment.
CHARLES S. DAMRELL 47 Hancock Street.
MICHAEL W. FITZSIMMONS 12 Worthington Street.
WILLIAM FRYE 8 Quincy Street.
HARTFORD DAVENPORT . . . Hancock Street, near Columbia Street.
GEORGE W. GRIFFIN 40 Pearl Street.
LEVI W. SHAW 73 Chandler Street.
MARTIN T. GLYNN 8 Gates Street.
JOHN KELLEY ......... 96 Bunker Hill Street.
JAMES J. BARRY 374 Centre Street.
NAHfrM M. MORRISON 1 Morrison Street.
JAMES H. COLLINS 45 Laurel Street.
WILLIAM J. BURKE 78 Everett Street.
THOMAS A. SLATER . .28 Northfield Street.
MATTHEW WALSH 22 Concord Street.
MICHAEL H. HARTNETT 693 Dudley Street.
WILLIAM B. BOTHAMLY '312 Columbia Street.
JOHN MARLEY 8 Seneca Street.
Office, Old State -House, State Street.
From 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
From 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.
RELATING TO THE
INSPECTION AND CONSTRUCTION OF
BUILDINGS IN THE CITY OF
Section 1. There shall be in the city of Boston a depart-
ment, to be called the Department for the Inspection of Build-
ings, which shall be furnished, at the expense of the city, with
office room and such supplies for the transaction of its business
as the city council may provide. The compensation of its offi-
cers shall be provided for by said city by ordinance.
Sect. 2. The chief officer of said department shall be called Title of chief
the inspector of buildings, and shall be appointed by the mayor te r m of office.
and confirmed by the board of aldermen. He shall hold office
for the term of three years, or until his successor shall be
appointed and confirmed ; but may be removed by the mayor
for malfeasance, incapacity, or neglect of duty.
Sect. 3. The other officers of said department shall consist other officers.
of a clerk, and such number of assistant-inspectors as the city
council may, from time to time, by ordinance determine ; all
of whom shall be appointed by the inspector, with the approval
of the mayor, and shall hold office during good behavior ; but
may be removed by the inspector, with the approval of the
mayor, for malfeasance, incapacity, or neglect of duty.
Sect. 4. The inspector and assistant-inspectors of the dc- Qualifications.
partment shall be able and experienced architects, builders, or
mechanics, and shall not be employed or engaged in any other
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Duties of tbe
business, or be interested in any contract for building or for
Sect. 5. All said officers may, as far as necessary for the
performance of their duties, enter any building or premises in
the city of Boston.
Sect. 6. The inspector shall keep a record of the business
of said department ; submit to the city council a yearly report
of such business ; ascertain all facts and make all returns which
shall be required by law relative to steam-boilers ; and enter
upon the premises wherein any fire has occurred, if necessary,
in order to investigate the origin of the fire ; may require plans
and specifications of any proposed erection or alteration of any
building ; and shall grant permits for such erection or altera-
tion, when in conformity with the requirements of this act.
Sect. 7. Should the owner of any building object to any
order or decision of said inspector, on a matter left by this act
to his approval or control, and choose a referee to serve as
hereinafter provided, within three days after being notified of
such order or decision, the matter shall be referred to three
referees, who shall be either architects or master-builders, one
chosen by the inspector, one by the owner, and a third by these
two ; and the decision thereon in writing of these referees, or
a majority of them, shall be final and conclusive.
Duties of clerk. Sect. 8. The clerk shall, under the direction of the in-
spector, have supervision and direction of the other officers and
employes of the department.
Sect. 9. The assistant-inspectors of buildings shall attend
all fires occurring in the districts to which they are respectively
assigned, and report to the chief or assistant engineer of the
fire department, present all information they may have relative
to the construction and condition of the premises on fire, and
also any such information relating to the adjoining buildings.
Sect. 10. The inspector, or his assistants, shall examine'
all buildings in the course of erection or alteration, as often as
practicable, and make a record of all violations of this act,
with the sti'eet and number where such violations are found,
the names of the owner, architect, and master-mechanics, and
all other-matters relative thereto.
DIGEST OP BUILDING LAWS. \
Sect. 11. The inspector, or his assistants, shall examine all
buildings reported dangerous, or damaged by fire or accident,
and make a record of such examinations, including the nature
and amount of such damage, with the name of the street and
number of the building, the names of owner and occupant and
for what purpose occupied, and, in case of fire, the probable
origin thereof; examine all buildings for which applications
have been made to raise, enlarge, alter, or build upon, and
make a record of the same. Said records shall always be open
to the inspection of the engineers of the fire department or any
officer of the city.
Sect. 12. In the absence of the inspector, one of the as- When deputy
sistant-inspectors may be appointed by him to act as his deputy, ™ a p 0ir] e ted .
who shall exercise all the powers of the inspector.
Sect. 13. No work except necessary repairs shall be done Permits, when
upon any wall, structure, or building in said Boston without a requilC0
permit from said inspector of buildings, nor except in con-
formity with the provisions of this act.
Sect. 14. The inspector of buildings shall designate, in Grade of hase-
every permit for the erection of a new building, the lowest
grade at which the floor of the basement story of said building
shall be laid.
Sect. 15. The said inspector shall not give a permit for the Piausand
erection of any building until he has carefully inspected the t0 be a p in . ved.
plans and specifications thereof, ascertained that the building
has sufficient strength, and that the means of ingress and egress
are sufficient. A copy of plans and specifications of every
public building shall be deposited in the office of the inspector.
Sect. 16. Every wall, structure, and building hereafter Exemptions,
built or altered in said city shall conform to the provisions of
this act, so far as they are applicable, except bridges, quays,
Avharves, and buildings belonging to the government of the
United States or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Sect. 17. In this act the following terms shall have the Definitions.
meanings respectively assigned to them: —
"Alteration" means any change or addition except necessary
repairs in, to, or upon any building, afleeting an external,
8 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
party, or partition wall, chimney, floor, or stair-way, and "to
alter" means to make such change or addition.
" Brick building " means a building; the walls of which are
built of brick, stone, iron, or other substantial and incombusti-
" Cellar " means a basement or lower story of any building
of which one-half or more of the height from the floor to the
ceiling is below the level of the street adjoining.
" External wall " means every outer wall or vertical enclos-
ure of a building other than a party wall.
" Foundation " means that portion of a wall below the level
of the street curb, and, where the wall is not on a street, that
portion of the wall below the level of the highest ground next
to the wall.
" Inspector " means the inspector of buildings of the city of
" Lodging-house " means a building in which persons are
temporarily accommodated with sleeping apartments, and in-
" Partition wall " means any interior wall of masonry in a
" Party wall " means every wall used, or built in order to be
used, as a separation of two or more buildings.
"Public building" means every building used as a church,
chapel, or other place of public worship ; also every building
used as a college, school, public hall, hospital, theatre, public
concert-room, public ball-room, public lecture-room, or for any
" Tenement-house " means a building which, or any portion
of which, is to be occupied, or is occupied, as a dwelling by
more than three families living independently of one another,
and doing their cooking upon the premises ; or by more than
two families above the second floor, so living and cooking.
" Wooden building " means a wooden or frame building.
Sect. 18. The height of a wall means the height from the
mean grade of the sidewalk or adjoining ground to the highest
point of the wall.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 9
Sect. 19. The thickness of a wall means the minimum
thickness of such wall.
Sect. 20. The city council of said city may by ordinance Clty counci1
J ' - 1 may make
make such requirements, in addition to those contained in this regulations for
. , ,..-.. , . -. wooden build-
act, as the)- may deem expedient in relation to the erection and i ngsout side
alteration of wooden buildings outside the building limits. limits -
Sect. 21. The city may from time to time, by ordinance, Woodenbuild -
ings allowed in
extend and establish building-limits in said city, and within buiiding-iimits.
those limits every building built after such establishment shall
be of brick, stone, iron, or other substantial and incombustible
material, and only the following wooden buildings shall be
allowed, viz. : Sheds not exceeding twenty-seven feet in height,
on wharves, to be used for any lawful purpose ; sheds of same
height, in all parts of said limits, to be used for market pur-
poses or to facilitate the building of authorized buildings ; and
elevators of any height for the storage of coal and grain ; all
external parts of which sheds and elevators shall be covered
with incombustible material, and the materials used, the mode
of construction, and the location shall be approved by the in-
Sect. 22. Any wooden building within said limits may be Wooden \ uiId -
•i ~ J mgs may be
altered or repaired in any manner approved by the inspector, repaired, etc.
provided neither its area nor height is increased.
Sect. 23. No wooden building within or without the build- Mov ' ng of
ing-limits shall be moved to any lot within said limits where it buildings.
would be in violation of law to build such wooden building.
Sect. 24. In all calculations for the strength of materials Calculation for
° strength of
to be used in any building, the proportion between the safe materials.
weight and the breaking- weight shall be as one to three, for
all beams, girders, and other pieces subjected to a cross strain ;
and as one to six for all posts, columns, and other vertical sup-
port, and for all tie-rods, tie-beams, and other pieces subjected
to a tensile strain ; and the requisite dimensions of each piece
of material are to be ascertained by computation by the rules
given by the best authorities, using for constants in the rules
only such numbers as have been deduced from experiments on
materials of like kind with that proposed to be used. All
mortar and cement shall be of the best quality for the purposes
for which they are applied, and shall be properly mixed.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
party walls of
to be of brick,
to be laid
Sect. 25. No building now or hereafter built shall be
altered until it has been examined and approved by the in-
spector as being in a good and safe condition to be altered as
proposed, and the alteration so made shall conform to the pro-
visions of this act.
Sect. 26. No wall of any building now erected, or here-
after to be built or erected, shall be cut off or altered, without
a permit so to do having been first obtained from the inspector.
Every temporary support placed under any structure, wall,
girder, beam, or column during the erection, finishing, alter-
ing, or repairing of any building, or part thereof, shall be
equal in strength to the permanent support required for such
construction. And the walls and roof of every building shall
be strongly braced from the beams of each story until all the
bearing parts of the construction are completed, unless omitted
by consent of inspector.
Sect. 27. No bay-window or other structure shall be
placed upon'any building so as to project over any public way
or square, without the permission of the board of aldermen,
given after due notice and hearing, and then only in such
manner as shall be approved by the inspector.
Sect. 28. In the erection or alteration of any building the
material of which, in whole or in part, is other than brick,
stone, or wood, the thickness of walls, of such material, and the
method of construction shall be such as the inspector shall
Sect. 29. All buildings in said city, to be used for tene-
ment-houses or lodging-houses, and all buildings for any pur-
pose within the building limits, except as provided in sections
twenty and twenty-one, shall have external and party walls of
brick, stone, iron, or other substantial and incombustible mate-
rial, and shall be subject to all the requirements for a " brick
building," except as otherwise expressly stated.
Sect. 30. Every brick building hereafter built in said city
shall be built upon a foundation resting not less than four feet
below the surface exposed to frost, upon the solid ground, or
levelled surfaces of solid rock, or upon piles, concrete, or other
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 11
Sect. 31. Whenever any excavation, in the city of Boston, Excavations.
is to be carried to the depth of more than ten feet below the
grade of street, and there shall be any wall or structure wholly
or partly on adjoining land, or near the intended excavation,
the party causing such excavation to be made, if afforded the
necessary permission to enter on such adjoining land, shall at
all times, from the commencement until the completion of such
excavation, at his own expense, preserve such wall or structure
from injury, and so support the same by proper foundations
that it shall remain as stable as before the excavation was com-
menced. Should the person making such excavation fail to
protect said wall or structure from injury for twenty-four hours
after being notified by the inspector of buildings so to do, the
inspector may enter upon said premises and employ such labor,
and furnish such materials, and take such steps, as in his judg-
ment may be necessary to make said wall or structure safe and
secure ; and any person or persons doing said work, or any
part thereof, by the order and direction of the inspector, may
bring and maintain an action against the party causing such
excavation to be made for the value of such work. The party
causing such excavation to be made may recover compensation
from the adjoining owner in case such adjoining owner should,
at any time thereafter, make any use of said foundations below
said ten feet below grade.
Sect. 32. Piles driven for a wall to rest upon shall be not Piling. See
less than five inches in diameter at the smallest end, and shall pae
be spaced not more than three feet on centres, in the direction
of the length of the wall, and nearer if required by the in-
spector ; they shall be driven to a solid bearing, to be ascer-
tained by boring, at the expense of the owner, when required
by the inspector. The inspector shall determine the grade at
which piles shall be cut off.
Sect. 33. Walls not exceeding twenty feet in height, where ruing,
piling is necessary, may rest on a single row of piles, if deemed
advisable by the inspector ; walls exceeding twenty feet in
height shall rest on not less than two rows of piles. Extra
piles shall be driven where required by the inspector.
Sect. 34. For brick buildings exceeding thirty-five feet in SeePfotei.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
See Plate 2.
See Plate 3.
See Plate 4.
See Plate 5.
height there shall be under all foundation walls, piers, col-
umns, posts and pillars resting on the earth, a footing or base
course of stone or concrete, which, if under a foundation wall,
shall be not less than twelve inches wider than the bottom
width of said wall, and not less than twelve inches thick ; and
if under piers, columns, posts, and pillars, shall be of stone,
and not less than twelve inches wider on all sides than the bot-
tom area of said piers, columns, posts, and pillars, and shall be
not less than two feet by three feet in area by twelve inches
in thickness, and when laid to be thoroughly bedded in cement.
If the walls rest on isolated piers, then there must be under
such piers, footings, at least sixteen inches thick, thoroughly
bedded in cement. All piles shall be capped with block-
granite levellers, each stone to have a firm bearing on at least
one pile in each row.
Sect. 35. Foundation walls of brick buildings, other than
dwelling, tenement, or lodging houses, shall be constructed of
block stone, laid in horizontal courses, with good bed and
build surfaces, wedged with slate stone and laid in cement
mortar, and eight inches thicker than the external or party
wall immediately above and over the same ; if said foundation is
to be set to a depth of more than fifteen feet below the grade
of the street, for each and every five feet additional depth
greater than fifteen feet below the grade of street it shall be
increased four inches in thickness. Foundations of such build-
ings not more than forty feet in height may be built of rubble-
work laid in cement and sand mortar, if the thickness of the
foundation walls is one-fourth greater than given for block
stone, and laid as specified in section thirty-six. In case of
severe thrust or pressure on said walls, from any cause, there
shall be such extra strengthening of said walls by thickening
or by buttresses, or both, as the inspector may approve.
Sect. 36. Foundation walls of brick buildings to be used
as dwelling, tenement, or lodging houses, not exceeding thirty-
five feet in height, if laid with block stone in horizontal courses,
shall be not less than eighteen inches thick, or, if in brick
laid in cement, shall be not less than sixteen inches thick ;
exceeding thirty-five and not exceeding sixty feet in height,
Crrac/e. /6 . <S "
^ a t _- i..j
I IVl.W.F. Ofcl.
PL ATE A.I
w 7 -
- Scclioiv 34-—
Jot, brick ~butidaigs e/ceedchy S^'.ohz7iei^hJ:
-<SkB s _____
^ .0 ^
__. v O ^=r
J 3 ! cm.
i i r
CoHTutU Tc UtS yi f uttrzr t
— Sectco7v 34 . —
J'or^rock hvotlcliivgs &/ceec4t77c/ 3Sl o'\Itv luiglit.
■ Section 35. —
Jbtuzctctltorv -far e^fomctZ uscvZZs vf other
fhcuz Dwelling ^TaitiiwivTcmcOXoclgLiig Jfouses,
Jo mi elation, for locLvlkj wcMs of oThtT 7/icui,
DivclZaia, Jeji&meiiZ cuict Zioclgaiq ^Koitses.
J'ouiiclciUoiz walls, M } uuellvng A Jeiteinenlciiidi
LocUj(pz<j JCouses : no7'e/ceecCc7io 35. o" high.
— Stscttoi'b 36. —
&)Lcvulutcj 35 \o] not tfceeoUrtg 6o.o\ai height
A K a
1 1 l
i 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 '
1 1 1
1 1 1
_: i i
j > * i > '
>• ■ » i ■ i i
ypcuzctcttUnz walls , Dwillavg, Jbzejnaiti'
cnzcl ZoclgLizc/ JCoases, zjCcczcLlizc/ 60..0
unci 7iol~ efceecUizg J5 ' - ° " ™ JiAighV.
M.W. r. De7.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 13
the foundations shall be not less than twenty-four inches thick, Foundations.
if laid in block stone in horizontal courses ; if in brick laid in
cement not less than twenty inches thick ; for every fifteen feet
additional height the thickness of foundations shall be increased
four inches ; if the walls do not exceed seventy-five feet in
height the foundation walls may be built of uncoursed rubble-
work laid in cement mortar ; but in all cases the thickness shall See Plate 6 -
be one-fourth greater than that given for block stone, and the
work shall be thoroughly bonded, and, at least, two-thirds of
the bulk of the wall shall be through stones, and no round or
boulder stones shall be used ; provided, that when such walls
are laid on piles the lower course shall be block stone, not less
than sixteen inches in height.
Sect. 37. All brick walls and buttresses shall be of me r- Wallsand
chantable, Avell-shaped bricks, well laid and bedded, with well-
filled joints, in lime or cement mortar, and well flushed up at
every course with mortar ; and all brick used during the warm
months shall be well wet at the time they are laid, and shall be
dry at the time they are laid during the cold months.
Sect. 38. All walls of brick, stone, or other similar mate- WalIs - how
rial shall be thoroughly and practically bonded and tied, and
solidly put together; shall be built to a line, plumb and
straight, and laid with mortar or cement, and all supports of
the same shall be of iron, brick, or stone, and of sufficient
size and strength to safely support the superstructure.
Sect. 39. Vaulted walls of the same thickness, independent vaulted walls,
of withes, may be used instead of solid walls, and the walls
on either side of air space shall be not less than eight inches
thick, and tied together perpendicularly with continuous withes
of hard-burned brick, of good quality, or other approved mate-
rial, which shall be not more than three feet apart, and the air
space shall be smoothly plastered.
Sect. 40. Where a wall is finished with a stone cornice the Stone coruice -
greatest weight of material of such cornice shall be on the in-
side of the face of the wall, so that the cornice shall firmly
balance upon the wall.
Sect. 41. Every ninth course at least of a brick wall shall Headingor
^ _ _ bonding
be a heading or bonding course, except where walls arc faced courses.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
See Plate 7.
Roof and floor
See Plate 8.
See Plate 9.
See Plate 10.
See Plate 11.
See Plate 12.
See Plate 13.
with face-brick, in which every ninth course shall be bonded
with Flemish headers or by cutting the course of the face-brick
and putting in diagonal headers behind the same.
Sect. 42. Every party wall shall be built through, and at
least twelve inches above or distant from, the roof boarding,
at every part of the roof; shall be entirely covered with metal
securely fastened, and corbelled to the outer edge of all pro-
jections ; or a gutter stone of suitable dimensions and properly
balanced may be inserted in place of the corbelling. But
where the walls extend thirty-six inches above the adjoining
building parapet walls may be omitted.
Sect. 43. All roof or floor timbers entering the same party
wall from opposite sides shall have at least four inches solid
brick- work between the ends of said timbers.
Sect. 44. External walls of brick buildings to be used as
dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, not more than twenty
feet in width, and thirty feet in height, and not exceeding forty
feet in depth, may have eight-inch walls ; not exceeding sixty
feet, shall be not less than twelve inches thick the entire height ;
exceeding sixty feet, and not exceeding seventy feet in height,
shall be sixteen inches thick to a height of twenty feet, or the
top of the second floor, and twelve inches the remaining height ;
exceeding seventy feet, and not exceeding eighty feet in height,
shall be twenty inches thick to the top of the second floor, and
sixteen inches thick to the top of the upper floor, and twelve
inches the remaining height, if the upper story is not more than
ten feet in height ; exceeding eighty feet, and not exceeding
one hundred feet in height, shall be twenty-four inches to the
second floor, and sixteen inches thick the remaining height ; ex-
ceeding one hundred feet in height, the additional thickness
shall be determined by the inspector.
Sect. 45. Brick buildings to be used as other than dwell-
ing, tenement, or lodging houses, shall have external walls not
exceeding forty feet in height, not less than sixteen inches thick
to the top of the second floor, and not less than twelve inches
thick the remaining height ; exceeding forty feet, and not ex-
ceeding sixty feet in height, twenty inches thick to the top of
the second floor, and sixteen inches thick to the top of the upper
jpxtvly nxc Uslb 7re3cdll~ jtJiro. T^oof.
: i'o '
x^ T x*
! « QG
! I'O" J
S sTs — v— /
Ithbe r floor.
1 1 •
, IV v>
_i — Mfjher f/aor^
• r/! * ^
1 1 1 —
- 1 1
- L_ J/
; i6" i
1 ' /
i i /.
i i-i— . —
/ s *//oor.
i 1_ — /
i — r
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 15
floor, and twelve inches thick the remaining height ; exceeding
sixty feet, and not exceeding eighty feet, twenty inches thick to
the top of the third floor, and sixteen inches thick to the top of
the upper floor, and twelve inches thick the remaining height ;
exceeding eighty feet, and not exceeding one hundred feet in
height, twenty-four inches to the top of the first floor, twenty
inches to the top of the third floor, and sixteen inches thick the See Plate u.
remaining; height ; exceeding one hundred feet in height, shall
be of such additional thickness as shall be determined by the
Sect. 46. The external walls of brick buildings not ex- External walls
ceeding thirty-five feet in height and not exceeding two thou-
sand superficial feet, to be used for stables or light mechanical
purposes, may be twelve inches thick.
Sect. 47. Recesses and openings may be made in external Recesses and
walls provided that the backs of such recesses are not less than external walls.
twelve inches in thickness, and that the areas of such recesses
and openings do not, taken together, exceed one-half of the
whole area of the wall in which they are made. This restric-
tion shall not apply to street fronts properly constructed of iron
or iron and masonry.
Sect. 48. If the owner shall elect, the amount of material Piers and
herein specified for external walls in sections forty-four and
forty-five may be used either in piers or buttresses, provided
the external walls between said piers and buttresses shall not
be less than twelve inches thick in buildings less than fifty feet
in height ; if in excess of fifty feet, and not over one hundred
feet in height, the external walls between said piers and but-
tresses shall be not less than sixteen inches thick. No external
wall between the window caps and tops of floors at each story
shall bo of less thickness than that prescribed for external walls
in sections forty-four and forty-five.
Sect. 49. In all brick buildings over twenty-five feet in When party
c J aud external
width, not having either brick partition walls, or girders sup- wails are to
-. , , r . •. , . be increased
ported by columns running from front to rear, and the entire in thickness.
height of tin; building, the external and party walls shall be
increased lour inches in thickness for every additional twenty-
five feet in the width of said building.
DtGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Not to exceed
80 ft. in height.
Party walls of
See Plate 15.
See Plate 16.
Sect. 50. No building hereafter erected, except churches
and grain elevators, shall exceed a height greater than eighty
feet to the highest point from the level of the sidewalk, ex-
clusive of chimneys and party walls above the roof, unless
constructed throughout of incombustible material, excepting
Sect. 51. Party walls of brick buildings to be used for
dwelling, tenement, or lodging houses shall be of the same
thickness for different heights as external walls of such build-
ings, but in no case less than twelve inches thick, except as
provided in section forty-four.
Sect. 52. Party walls of brick buildings to be used for
other purposes than dwelling, tenement, or lodging houses
shall, when not exceeding forty feet in height, be sixteen inches
thick to top of second floor, and twelve inches above ; exceed-
ing forty feet, and not exceeding sixty-five feet in height,
twenty inches to the top of the second floor, and sixteen inches
above ; exceeding sixty-five feet, and not exceeding eighty feet
in height, twenty-four inches to the top of the first floor,
twenty inches to the top of the third floor, and sixteen inches
above ; exceeding eighty, and not exceeding one hundred feet
in height, twenty-four inches to the top of the third floor,
twenty inches to the top of fifth floor, and sixteen inches
Sect. 53. No continuous vertical recess, chase, or flue shall
be made in any party wall so deep that it will leave the thick-
ness at the back less than eight inches at any point, and no
recess of any kind shall be made in any eight-inch wall. No
horizontal recess shall be made in any wall, except by a special
permit from the inspector. No continuous vertical recess, other
than flues, in stacks, shall be nearer than seven feet to any
Sect. 54. All brick buildings to be used as dwelling, tene-
ment, or lodging houses, in excess of thirty feet in width, shall
have brick partition walls, not less than twelve inches thick, on
which the floor-beams shall rest, and said walls shall not be
more than twenty-five feet apart.
Sect. 55. Every brick building hereafter erected, more than
M.w f o^i
! l-O •
! l-o !
ES3 1 Q=sG
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 17
thirty feet in width, except dwelling, tenement, or lodging in others than
.,.,.,,. -it • i ii i ii dwellings, etc.
houses, public buildings, railroad stations, and stables, shall
have one or more brick or stone partition walls running from
front to rear, and carried up to the full height of the building ;
said Avail or walls may be four inches less in thickness than is
called for by the provisions relating to the thickness of external
walls for a brick building, to be used for the same purpose,
unless the wall is used for a floor-bearing wall, which shall in
no case be less than twelve inches ; these walls shall be so
located that the space between any two of the floor-bearing
walls of the building; shall not be over twenty-five feet.
Sect. 56. Girders or iron beams and columns may be sub- Girde,S01 *
stituted for partition walls in buildings not more than one columns, when
hundred feet in width, and shall be made of sufficient strength panVioVwaiiL
to bear safely the weight which they are intended to support
in addition to the weight of material employed in their con-
struction ; but where wooden columns or wooden girders are
used the columns shall not be farther apart than twelve feet
Sect. 57. Walls may be made with a facing of stone or Walls when
J _ y faced with
other approved material securely tied to a backing of not less stone.
than eight inches of hard brick-work laid in mortar, by means
of metal clamps ; but the thickness of facing and backing,
taken together, shall not be less than the thickness required for
a brick wall of the same height.
Sect. 58. No timber shall be used in anv wall of anv brick Notirab01 '
building except arch forms for interior arched openings.
Sect. 59. All lintels used to support walls or other weights Lintels aild
over openings shall be of sufficient strength and bearing to
carry the superimposed weights ; and iron beams or lintels shall,
when supported at the end by brick walls or brick piers, rest
upon an iron plate at least two inches thick, the full size of
the bearing, and where beams are not over six feet in length
the plates may be omitted. All arches not having sufficient
piers or abutments to resist the thrust of the superimposed
loads shall have proper and sufficient iron ties.
Sect. 60. No side wall of a brick building shall be carried Sidewaiinot
, to be in advance
up in advance of the rear wall. ofrearwaii.
Sect. 61. All walls of a brick building meeting at an angle
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Walls to be
Walls to be
girders to be
Piers how laid.
shall be anchored to each other, every ten feet in their height,
by tie-anchors, made of at least one and a quarter inch by
three-eighths of an inch wrought-iron, which shall be securely
built into the side or partition walls not less than thirty-six
inches ; and into the front and rear walls at least one-half the
thickness of the front and rear walls.
Sect. 62. All walls of a brick building on which the ends
of beams rest shall be anchored at each tier of beams, at in-
tervals of not more than ten feet apart, with good, strong.
wrought-iron anchors at least one-half inch by one and one-half
inch, well built into the walls and fastened at the top of the
beams ; and, where the beams are supported by girders, the
ends of the beams resting on the girders shall be butted
together, end to end, and strapped by wrought-iron straps or
tie-irons, at the same distances apart, and in the same beams
as the wall-anchors, and shall be well fastened.
Sect. 63. No ope.iing or doorway shall be cut through a
party wall of a brick building without a permit from the inspec-
tor ; and every such doorway shall have top, bottom, and sides
of stone, brick, or iron ; shall be closed by two sets of wrought-
iron or metal-covered doors (separated by the thickness of the
wall) hung to rabbeted iron frames, or to wooden frames
entirely covered with metal, or to iron hinges in brick or stone
rabbets ; shall not exceed ten feet in height by eight feet in
width ; and any opening other than a doorway shall be protected
in a manner satisfactory to the inspector.
Sect. 64. All cornices other than brick on brick buildings
shall be secured to the walls with iron anchors, independent
of any wood-work ; the walls shall be carried up to the boarding
of the roof, and where the cornice projects above the roof the
wall shall be carried up to the top of the cornice and covered
with metal, like parapet walls. All exterior cornices or gutters
more than forty-five feet above the level of the sidewalk,
hereafter replaced, shall be constructed of or covered with
some incombustible material.
Sect. 65. All piers shall be built of the best quality of good,
well-burnt hard brick, laid in cement and sand mortar, and well
wet when laid in warm weather.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 19
Sect. 66. Brick piers under lintels, girders, or columns Piers under lin-
of brick buildings shall have a cap-iron at least two inches columns.
thick, the full size of the pier.
Sect. 67. Brick piers and buttresses shall be bonded with Piers and but -
through courses, levelled and bedded, each course, and where
their foundations rest upon piles a sufficient number shall be
driven to insure a proper support.
Sect. 68. Every metal column in a brick building shall Columns.
rest on an iron plate of not less thickness than two inches.
Wooden columns supporting girders and floors in such build-
ings shall set on inch and a half iron plates with sockets or
Sect. 69. Metal columns placed one on top of the other Columns,
shall have a plate at the top of each column, with projections
on both sides to fit into cap and base of columns, to prevent
slipping, and all columns shall have holes bored, where directed
by the inspector, into and through the shell at right angles to
the shaft, so as to show the thickness of shell. All bearing
parts of columns and plates shall be turned or planed to true
Sect. 70. All chimneys shall hereafter be built of brick, Chimneys.
stone, or other incombustible material ; shall be plastered on
the outside below the roof after having been inspected, and
shall have a footing of masonry or iron supported by iron,
or corbels of brick or stone. No chimney shall be hung to
an eight-inch wall, or bear or rest upon wood. No chimney
corbelled from a wall shall project more than the thickness of
Sect. 71. All brick flues shall hereafter be built of mer- Brick flues.
chantable brick, thoroughly slushed and flush -jointed, be
smoothly plastered inside with mortar, from top to bottom
below the roofing ; be securely built into the brick-work of the
walls to which they are hung ; shall be topped out at least four
feet above the highest part of roof with brick or stone, and the
the topping out shall not have more than two inches projection,
unless covered by a cap of approved incombustible material,
properly secured ; and in no case shall a nail be driven into the
masonry of any flue.
20 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Shell of flues. Sect. 72. The shell of all flues for brick ranges, boilers,
furnaces, and ovens shall hereafter be of brickwork eight inches
thick, or its equivalent, to a height of twenty-five feet above
such ranges, boilers, furnaces, or ovens.
Flues to ranges Sect. 73. Kanges or boilers shall have the outside of the
flue to the same exposed without covering, or if plastered shall
be plastered on the outside directly upon the bricks, up to the
ceiling of the room, and no wood-work shall be placed on
the outside of the same.
Headers, trim- Sect. 74. All floor timbers, headers, and trimmers of every
rhers, and metal
fiie-stops. brick building hereafter erected or altered, in which a chimney
is to be built in a brick wall, shall be placed distant at least
two inches from the outside of every chimney-flue, and the
See plate 17. space between such timbers and the brick-work of chimney
shall be closed by a proper fire-stop of incombustible material.
Open fireplaces, Sect. 75. All hearths shall be supported by trimmer arches
hearths, trim- . . ...
mers,arches, etc. ot brick or stone ; or be ot single stones at least six inches
thick, and supported entirely by iron beams, one end of which
shall be securely built into masonry of chimney or adjoining
wall. The brick jambs of every fireplace, range, or grate
opening must be at least eight inches wide each, and the
backs of such openings must be at least eight inches thick to
See plate is. a t least two feet above such openings. All such hearths and
supports shall be at least twelve inches longer than the width
of such openings, and at least eighteen inches wide in front of
the chimney-breast. The brick-work over all fireplace and
grate openings shall be supported by proper iron bars or
brick or stone arches.
Unsafe chim- Sect. 76. If any chimney, flue, or heating apparatus on any
neys, flues, and J . OIL J
heating ap- premises shall, in the opinion of the inspector, endanger the
premises, the inspector shall at once notify in writing the owner
or agent of said premises. If such owner or agent fails for a
period of forty-eight hours after the service of said notice upon
hi in to make such chimney, flue, or heating apparatus safe, he
shall be liable to a fine of not less than twenty nor more than
fifty dollars for every day's continuance thereof, to be paid into
the treasury of said city.
smoke-pipe, Sect. 77. Every smoke-pipe in a building entering a chimney
how protected. J x k ° °
— tfecTton °/4- -
Chimneys, cmcC ctrrci?7<ye77ze.7i/~off/ooT y tt?n-
l)zrs f headers cincljrinzmerf, ?neJtcl fire sTdft.
~picti\ . Jec Vtort.
i "f i
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 21
flue shall be at least twelve inches from every wooden floor,
ceiling, or partition ; shall be guarded by a soapstone ring
not less than four inches in thickness, extending through the
partition, or by a double metal collar, with an air-space of
not less than four inches around the same when running
through any stud or wooden partition ; and no smoke-pipe shall
project through any external wall or window.
Sect. 78. The smoke-pipe of every furnace shall be kept Furnaces and
1 L ^ L smoke-pipes to
at least one foot distant from all beams and ceilings not pro- same.
tected by a shield of tin plate at least two inches distant from
said beams or ceiling ; and no smoke-pipe shall be placed
nearer than twelve inches to any beam or ceiling, unless the
beam and ceiling are plastered, in which case the pipe may be
kept within six inches of the plastering, if protected by the
above described shield ; and the top of all heating furnaces set
in brick shall be covered with brick, supported by iron bars,
and so constructed as to be perfectly tight ; said covering to
be in addition to and not less than six inches from the ordinary
covering to the hot-air chamber.
Sect. 79. jS t o furnace, and no rang-e set in masonry shall Fm-nnces > etc ->
° • permit to set.
hereafter be placed or its location changed in any building
except as the inspector shall approve.
Sect. 80. The top of every heating-furnace not set in brick F urnuces -
shall be kept at least six inches below the beams or ceiling,
with a shield of tin-plate, made tight, suspended not less than
two inches below the said beams or ceiling, and extending one
foot beyond the top of the furnace on all sides. If the ceiling-
over a furnace is plastered the top of the brick-work may be
kept within six inches of the ceiling.
Sect. 81. All hot-air register-boxes hereafter placed in the Register-boxes,
floors or partitions of buildings shall be set in soapstone borders
not less than two inches in width, firmly set in plaster of Paris,
or gauged mortar, or such other protection as shall in the judg-
ment of the inspector be equivalent to soapstone ; shall be made
of tin-plate, with a flange on the top to fit the groove in the
soapstone, and shall have an open space of one inch on all
sides, extending from the under side of the ceiling, below the
register, to the soapstone in the floor or partition ; the outside
SJ DIGEST OE BUILDING LAWS.
of said space covered with a casing of tin-plate, tight on all
sides, and extending from the under side of the aforesaid ceiling
up to and turn under the said soapstone ; register-boxes of
fifteen by twenty-five inches or more shall have a space of two
Hot-air and Sect. 82. No wood work shall hereafter be placed nearer
steam-pipes. . . . . i • 1 t
than one men to any tin or other metal pipe to be used to
convey heated air or steam in any building, unless protected in a
manner satisfactory to the inspector ; and such wood-work shall
be protected by a soapstone or earthen ring or tube, or a metal
steam.*oiie™ to Sect. 83. Every building in which a steam-boiler of ten
or more horse-power is placed shall have the space on the
floor allotted for said boiler enclosed in incombustible material
satisfactory to the inspector, and shall be so arranged that all
openings between the said boiler-room and the other parts of
the building in which it is placed shall be protected by iron or
metal-covered doors, which shall be securely closed at the close
of each day.
Permit and Sect. 84. Upon a license being granted for the erection of
license required ' . '
to erect and set a steam-boiler, engine, or furnace for melting glass or metal,
steam-boilers, j q ^^ building, the person or persons receiving such license
shall, before setting, erecting, or placing said boiler, engine,
or furnace, obtain a permit therefor from the inspector, who
shall prescribe such regulation for the setting or placing
thereof as the public safety may require.
steam-boilers Sect. 85. No boiler to be used for steam or motive power,
and no furnace for melting glass or metal, shall be placed on
any floor above the cellar or basement floor, unless the same
is set upon wrought-iron beams and brick arches, and in no
case without a permit from the inspector. All wood-work and
timbers shall be removed from the floor under the same.
Construction of Sect. 86. All floors shall be constructed to bear a safe
weight, per superficial foot, exclusive of materials, as follows :
For dwellings, tenements, or lodging-houses, one hundred
pounds ; for buildings for light mechanical purposes, and for
public buildings, one hundred and fifty pounds ; for storehouses,
warehouses, machine-shops, armories, drill-rooms, and riding-
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 23
schools, not less than two hundred and fifty pounds. These
requirements shall apply to all alterations, as well as to new
Sect. 87. All timber used in the construction of floors or Roof an d floor
roofs of brick buildings shall be straight-grained and free from
large and loose knots or weakening shakes.
Sect. 88. Every header more than four feet long, used in Headers and
any building except a dwelling, shall be hung in stirrup-irons
of suitable dimensions for the size of the timbers, and securely
joint-bolted. All tail-beams shall be properly framed or hung
Sect. 89. The ends of all floor-beams and rafters of a brick Timbers
building entering a wall shall be cut on a splay of three inches
in their width.
Sect. 90. All main partitions supporting in any manner Main partitions
to head and
floor-beams or rafters of a brick building shall be placed directly foot.
over each other, shall rest on a wall or metallic girder, and
shall head and foot against each other as far as practicable.
Sect. 91. No floor timber, header, or trimmer of a brick Timber not to be
cut for piping.
building shall be cut into more than two inches in depth for
piping without permit from the inspector ; and no cutting shall
be made in any timber at a greater distance than three feet
from its support.
Sect. 92. The roof of every brick building hereafter built Roofing and
shall be covered with incombustible roofing material, shall be ab0 y e upper
constructed not more than one story in height, nor more than floor-
twenty feet in height from the upper floor of the building
upon which it is placed to the highest part of said roof, unless
made of incombustible material throughout.
Sect. 93. All brick buildings more than twenty feet in Scuttles and
height shall have scuttle-frames not less than two by three feet
in size; and covers, or bulkheads and doors, on the roof, made
of or covered with some incombustible material ; and every
scuttle shall have a stationary step-ladder, and every bulkhead
shall have stairs furnished with a sufficient guard or hand rail,
all ready for use at all times, and in a tenement-house such
scuttle or bulkhead shall never be locked, but may be fastened
by a hook on the inside.
DIGEST OF BUILDIXG LAWS.
45 feet to be
on filled land.
Sect. 94. All the exterior parts of every brick building
hereafter erected which are more than forty-five feet above
the level of the sidewalk shall be made of or covered with
Sect. 95. All brick buildings hereafter built to be used
for warehouses, stores, storehouses, or manufactories more than
forty-five feet in height shall have doors or shutters made of
or covered with fire-proof material on every window and en-
trance which does not open on a street more than twenty feet
in width ; and when such shutters or doors cannot be put on
the outside of such door or window they shall be put on the
inside, and be hung upon an iron frame independent of the
wood-work of the window-frame or door, or to iron hinges in
rabbets in the masonry ; and every such door or shutter shall
be closed upon the completion of the business of each day,
by the occupant having the use or control of the same ; and all
fire-proof shutters that now are or may hereafter be put upon
any building on the street fronts shall be so constructed as
to be closed and opened from the outside above the first story.
Sect. 96. No cellar or basement cellar of any building
shall be constructed below the grade of twelve feet above mean
low water : provided, however, that the board of aldermen may,
by license, subject to revocation at any time by them, authorize
cellars or basement cellars to be constructed in buildings, no
part of which is to be used as a dwelling, so much below
said grade as they may designate in each license.
Sect. 97. All buildings built upon filled or made land
shall have a bed of concrete, of hydraulic cement and gravel,
or tar and gravel, or asphalt, not less than two inches in
thickness, spread over the cellar bottom , or shall be paved
with brick laid in cement, throughout the whole extent of the
building : and where there is a basement floor over the cellar
bottom there shall be an air-space between the concrete and
said floor, unless the floor is planked directly upon the concrete.
The air-space shall be properly ventilated.
Sect. 98. All buildings hereafter built shall have only iron
drains within the buildings and extending five feet outside of the
wall of the buildings ; and where the said drain-pipe passes
DIGEST OF BUILDING- LAWS. 25
through the wall there shall be a relieving arch, stone lintel, or
iron pipe inserted to relieve said iron drain. All drains below
cellar-floor or grade twelve shall be laid with proper /all to
sewer in a trench, the sides of which shall be walled with brick
masonry, and the base in concrete, thoroughly rammed and
graded, and made accessible by movable covers.
Sect. 99. All drain-pipe hung to wall or ceiling shall be Drain-pipe, how
Sect. 100. The roof of every building shall be kept in R°of S tobeke P t
J " ° in repair.
good repair, and all rain-water shall be so drained or conveyed
therefrom as not to drip on the ground or cause dampness in
the walls, yard, or area.
Sect. 101. All brick buildings shall be kept provided with Leaders or
suitable water-tight metallic leaders, and all other buildings with
water-tight metallic or wooden leaders, for conducting the water
from the roof to the ground, and all water shall be conducted
from a building or from land to the street, gutter, or sewer in
such a manner as not to flow upon the sidewalk.
Sect. 102. The insides of all furred brick walls of every Firestops '
J where to be
brick building hereafter constructed shall have a fire belt or located, and how
i c r, P . , , , . . . ! constructed.
stop, composed ot some hre-proot material, at least six inches
wide, and thoroughly set up between furrings at the top and
bottom of each story ; and the whole area of every floor from
wall to wall shall be deafened with plaster at least one inch
thick, or two thicknesses of asbestos paper, or other incom-
bustible material satisfactory to inspector, the same to be placed See riate 19-
upon the under or rough flooring ; and in each story in which
stud-walls or partitions are constructed and rest on walls or
other partitions, said stud-walls and partitions shall have the
spaces between the floor-joists immediately under such walls
or partitions, and between studs from the under side of said
joists to a line six inches above the top of said joists, filled
solid and flush with face of plastering on both sides with See Plate 20 -
mortar, cement, plaster, or other incombustible material ; and
if such studs or partitions shall rest on solid timber or joists for
the whole length thereof, such filling as above described shall be
placed from the top of such joists to the same height as above
specified, or a strip of tin or galvanized iron at least one inch
26 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
See Plate 21. wider than the width of said studding, and continuing under
the footing of such walls or partitions, may be substituted for
the filling above specified, where there is no partition or wall
under. The spaces between stringers or carriages, and between
floor-joists of landings, of all wooden staircases, unless such
stringers and joists are left exposed and uncovered, shall be
pugged solid with mortar or other incombustible material, or
the spaces between stringers shall be closed at intervals of
three feet by substantial stops of incombustible material.
Fh-e-stops. Sect. 103. The various forms of construction tending to
create or form air-passages from one story to another, such as
spaces around pipes, ventilating-shafts, or chimneys furred off
to form breasts, in every brick building hereafter erected or
altered, shall have a fire and smoke stop of incombustible
material at each floor, approved by the inspector. All venti-
lation-ducts shall be of incombustible materials.
Fire-proofing, Sect. 104. Upright supports of other material than brick,
used below the grade of the street, and cast-iron beams or
girders or stone lintels, used for supports in every brick build-
ing hereafter erected or altered, shall be protected by fire-proof
Egress from Sect. 105. Every building occupied above the second floor
lodging house, from the level of the street by two or more families, and every
manufa'ctor'' building occupied as a tenement, boarding or lodging house,
office, and work- factory, mill or manufactory, or for offices or workshops in
which persons are employed above such second floor, and every
school building more than two stories in height, and accom-
modating, or having the means of accommodating, forty or
more persons, shall be provided with such proper facilities for
the escape of such persons in case of fire as the inspector
may approve ; and where fire-escapes are required on the out-
side of a building they shall be provided with suitable con-
nections with the ground.
Egress for Sect. 106. Every building in which operatives are em-
women and m ,
children. ployed above the second story shall be provided with fire-escapes
approved by the inspector ; and women or children shall notbe
employed in any building above the second story, unless there
are two or more means of exit provided. The owner of any
Sectioiv /o2. —
2?<J « rt/wg ymi/7>///M//////, / ,/,,,j/ ( ,,7ffi.
nrq yr///>w///w///,, ,//,,/, _
Jforijontal furi-ijij \
f.-^.<iiaiSy J .s.-»/ \
-J,-1v-, T t '" i^ ZS
tSecJioiv shaurvrtg dencfit deru/ec(, from
Tfie use of fire 6elts anctsJbJos. on floors til.
slow ctes7~rtic77o->7; t,?v ccise cffire„
_ Sections lo2~fo3 ~
Jmnsuerse secT/on. —
M.W F. Del.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 27
building provided with a fire-escape shall keep the fire-escape
in good repair. Stairs on the outside of the building shall
have railed landings at each story above the first, and shall
connect with each story of the building by doors or windows ;
and no person shall place any obstruction upon any fire-escape.
Fire-escapes may project over the line of any public street,
highway, or causeway when ordered by the inspector.
Sect. 107. All elevator-cars and hoists, not including lifts Elevator-cars,
° etc., to be run
twenty-eight inches square, and except those constructed in in shafts.
dwelling-houses, shall run in shafts with brick walls not less
than eight inches thick, or walls covered with incombustible
material, with proper fire-stops, or in the well-room of a fire-
proof stair-way enclosed in the same manner and carried up
through the roof not less than one foot and six inches ; said
shafts to be covered with a ventilating-sky light.
Sect. 108. The openings through or upon each floor of any Automatic rails,
ir o o i J gates, and trap-
building in which there is a hoist or an elevator-car not running doors.
in a shaft shall be protected by sufficient automatic rails or
gates and trap-doors, or such other mechanical devices as shall
be equivalent thereto ; and every elevator-car and hoist shall be
provided with some sufficient arrangement to prevent the falling
of the car or hoist in case of any accident to the ropes, pulleys,
and other hoisting apparatus.
Sect. 109. The openings into every hoist shaft hereafter 0p<?niDg8 mt0
*- <-> J shafts, how
constructed, except shafts for passenger-elevators, shall be protected.
furnished with metal or metal-covered doors hung to rabbeted
iron frames, with iron thresholds to the same ; said doors to
be kept closed, when not in use, by springs of sufficient strength.
Equivalent protection against fire may, in the case of passenger-
elevators, be substituted for such doors.
Sect. 110. No hoist-way, elevator-car, or hoist shall be used Il01stwa y s > etc ->
J to be approved.
in any building until approved by the inspector.
Sect. 111. The owner, or other party having an interest in , Un f* fe
1 J ° buildings, etc.
any building, staging, or other structure, or anything attached
to or connected with a building or other structure, which shall
be unsafe so as to endanger life, shall, immediately upon notice
received from the inspector of buildings, cause the same to be
made safe and secure, or taken down ; and where the public
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
than 100 feet in
Exits for public
safety requires immediate action the inspector may enter upon
the premises with such assistants as may be necessary, and
cause the said structure to be secured or taken down without
delay, and the passers-by to be protected at the expense of such
owner or party interested. No staging or stand for observation
purposes shall be constructed or occupied upon the roof of any
building in said city.
Sect. 112. Every building which shall appear, to the in-
spector, to be specially dangerous in case of fire, by reason of
bad condition of walls, overloaded floors, defective construction,
or other causes, shall be held to be unsafe ; and the inspector,
besides proceeding as provided in the preceding section, shall
also affix a notice of the dangerous character of the structure
to a conspicuous place on the exterior wall of said building ;
and any person removing such notice so affixed shall be liable
to a fine of not less then ten nor more than fifty dollars for each
and every offence, to be paid into the treasury of said city.
Sect. 113. The owner, or party having an interest in the
unsafe building or structure mentioned in the two preceding
sections, being notified thereof in writing by the inspector,
shall forfeit and pay a fine to the use of said city, for every
day's continuance thereof after such notice, a sum not less than
ten nor more than fifty dollars, on complaint before any court
of competent jurisdiction.
Sect. 114. No explosive or inflammable compound or com-
bustible material shall be stored or placed under any stair-way
of any building, or used in any such place or manner as to
obstruct or render egress hazardous in case of fire.
Sect. 115. Any building that may be hereafter erected in
an isolated position, and more than one hundred feet in depth,
and which shall not have cross-walls, shall be securely braced
during construction, both inside and out, if practicable; or if
outside bracing is not practicable, it shall be properly braced
from the inside, and the braces shall be continued from the
foundation upward to at least one-third the height of the build-
ing from the sidewalk level.
Sect. 116. Every public building hereafter erected, and
every building hereafter altered to be used as a public building,
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 29
in addition to all other provisions applicable to such buildings,
shall have at least one frontage for its entire height of at least
one entire side of the auditorium and lobbies, passages and
stair-ways of exit on that side, on a street, court, or open pas-
sage-way fifteen feet or more wide, and at least two-thirds of
the entire width of exits and entrances shall open on to such
street, court, or passage-way ; shall have the doors, halls, corri. neatin g a nd
dors, lobbies, stair-ways, passages, and aisles wide, direct, and apparatus to be
so constructed and arranged as to afford easv egress for the appHn f e y
O Jo inspector.
occupants under all circumstances ; and exits and entrances
shall, as far as practicable, be identical : shall have all doors
open outwards, and of the full width of the passages from
which they open ; shall have the passages of exit and stair-
ways at least five feet wide, and of an aggregate capacity in
width of not less than twenty inches for each one hundred
persons that said building may at any time contain. This Fire service and
° apparatus to be
provision to apply to the exits from each division, gallery, or provided as the
compartment of such building, as well as to the exterior open- ^ssa°y. ^
ings ; shall have the corridors, lobbies, stair-ways, passages,
and aisles of equal or increasing width, towards the exits, and
without any projection into them within six feet of the floor ;
shall have the halls, corridors, doors, stair-ways, seats, and
aisles so arranged as to facilitate egress, and as the inspector
may approve ; and shall have all pipes and apparatus used in
heating or lighting, and all lights, protected to the satisfaction
of the inspector ; and shall have such fire service and apparatus
for the extinguishment of fire as the inspector may deem neces-
sary. All exits from any public building shall be opened for
the use of every departing audience.
Sect. 117. No temporary seats or other obstructions shall 0bstructions
1 ^ in aisles, etc.,
be allowed in any aisle, passage-way of exit or entrance, or not allowed.
stair-way of a public building ; and no persons shall be allowed
to stand or remain therein while the building is in use.
Sect. 118. All changes of level in the floors of public Changcsoffloor-
1 levels except
buildings, except regular stair-ways, from story to story, and stair. ways.
except the necessary steps in galleries and balconies, rising
toward the exits, shall be made by inclines of no steeper gradi-
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
beneath floors to
to be enclosed
in brick walls.
Rails to stairs
Exits of public
Boilers, etc., in
ent than two in ten within the auditorium, and rising towards
the exits, and one in ten for all others.
Sect. 119. The overheads immediately beneath the floors
of the auditorium, lobbies, hall-room, galleries, stair- ways,
landings, and corridors of public buildings shall be protected
by some incombustible material, such as wire lathing and
plastering ; and the stair-carriages and framing shall be pugged
solid to line of treads, risers, and landing floors with some
Sect. 120. All partitions of public buildings enclosing the
stair-ways, lobbies, and corridors, or separating them from au-
ditorium or anterooms, shall be of brick masonry, or of heavy
studding, brick-nogged throughout, or otherwise made non-
Sect. 121. All stairs and landings of public buildings shall
have proper hand-rails on both sides firmly secured to walls, or
to strong posts and balusters, throughout their entire length ;
and wide stair-ways shall have one or more intermediate rails on
strong vertical supports, as approved by inspector.
Sect. 122. The rise of stairs of public buildings shall not
exceed seven and one-half inches, nor the going be less than
ten and one-half inches. No winders less than seven inches
wide at the narrowest end, or flights of less than three steps,
shall be introduced, and there shall be a full landing to at
least every fifteen steps.
Sect. 123. Every approach or exit of a public building,
under or through any other building, shall have solid brick
walls, and the floors and ceilings shall be of approved incom-
bustible and fire-resisting materials, and there shall be no open-
ings through said walls, floors, or ceilings.
Sect. 124. No boiler, furnace, engine, or heating apparatus,
except steam pipes and radiators, shall be located under the
auditorium, nor under any passage or stair-way of exit of a
, Sect. 125. The lights for the rear of the auditorium, and
for all passages and stair-ways of exit of every public building,
shall be independent of the lights of the rest of the auditorium
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 31
and platform, and shall be so arranged that they cannot be
turned down or off from the platform.
Sect. 126. Every building hereafter built or altered, to be Pu *> Iic
1/0 . buildings to be
used as a theatre, for dramatic, operatic, or other similar per- f brick and
formances, involving the use of a fixed stage, with movable or J^J^J
shifting scenery, curtains and machinery, shall be a brick build- throughout.
ing, and be of fire-resisting construction throughout, so far as
the nature of its uses will permit, and, in addition to all other
provisions applicable to a public building, shall have the highest
part of main floor of auditorium not more than seven feet above
the sidewalk of the open street, court, or passage-way on which
the main doors of exit shall be located ; shall have at least two
independent exits for each division, compartment, or gallery of
the auditorium ; and for each gallery or division above the first
floor shall have independent stair-ways, and such stair- ways and
exits shall be located as far apart as practicable. The lobbies
shall be separated from the auditorium by brick or other fire-
resisting walls ; and all walls, floors, and landings of stair-ways,
and all stairs, shall be of incombustible materials ; and all
doors from auditorium to lobbies and stair-ways shall be of
metal-covered wood and self-closing. There shall be lobbies
adjoining each division of the auditorium sufficiently large to
furnish standing room for all persons that such division may
at any time contain.
Sect. 127. In addition to the exits hereinbefore required Additional exits
for all public buildings, there shall be provided, if practicable,
for every theatre, direct exits from the main floor of auditorium
to a street, court, or open passage-way ; and these exits shall
be provided with such light doors or sashes, opening outwards,
and secured only on the inside, as may readily be forced open
in case of fire or panic.
Sect. 128. The stage of every theatre shall be separated stage of theatre,
from the auditorium by a brick wall sixteen inches thick, or its
equivalent, which wall shall extend the entire width of the
building, and from ground to roof, and from ground to stage
floor, and be topped out as a party wall. There shall be no
openings through this wall except the curtain opening, and not
more than two others, to be located at the level of or below
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Under side of
the stage ; these latter openings shall not exceed twenty-one
superficial feet each, and shall have tinned- wood self-closing
doors, securely hung to rabbets in the brick-work.
Sect. 129. The Avail over the curtain opening of every
theatre shall be carried by a brick arch, or by an iron truss
or girder ; and if a truss or girder is used it shall be covered
bv materials non-conductive of heat, and a girder shall be
spanned by a sufficient relieving arch of brick in cement.
Sect. 130. The roof trusses of every theatre shall be
covered with incombustible material.
Sect. 131. The finish or decorative features around the
curtain opening of every theatre shall be of incombustible
materials, well secured to masonry.
Sect. 132. All scenery, curtains, and exposed wood-work
of the stage of every theatre shall be thoroughly covered or
saturated, if practicable, with fire-resisting material, approved
Sect. 133. The fixed portions of stage, fly-floors, and tie-
floors of every theatre shall be of approved incombustible
material, except that the flooring may be of wood.
Sect. 134. The under side of flooring of fly-floors of every
theatre shall be covered with approved incombustible materials,
and the tie-floors shall have an open flooring of slats, set their
full width apart.
Sect. 135. All scene docks, carpenter or property shops,
and wardrobes of every theatre shall be separated from stage,
auditorium, and dressing-room divisions by solid brick walls,
not less than twelve inches thick, with no openings to the
auditorium or dressing-room divisions ; and all openings to the
stage shall have tinned-wood, self-closing doors, securely hung
in rabbets in the brick-work.
Sect. 136. All rooms and premises in every theatre for the
use or occupancy of persons employed therein shall be located
in secure positions, and shall have at least two independent
exits, as i^emote from the stage as practicable ; and all parts of
such rooms and premises, with their passages and stair-ways
shall be of fire-resisting construction.
Sect. 137. There shall be at least two two -inch hio-h-service
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS- 33
stand-pipes on the stage of every theatre, with ample pro- dumber and
rl location of high-
vision of hose and nozzles at each level of the stage on each sei vice stand-
side, and the water shall be kept turned on during the occu- pipes-
pancy of the building. The said pipes shall have two gates,
one above the other, with a proper test or waste valve ; the
lower gate to be kept open at all times except when testing the
upper gate to ascertain if it is in order for use. The prosce-
nium opening shall be provided with a two and one-half inch
perforated iron pipe, so constructed that, in case of an emer-
gency, it will form a complete water curtain for the entire
proscenium opening, and there shall be such additional fire
apparatus and perforated iron pipes or automatic sprinklers as
the inspector shall direct. Said pipes shall be supplied with
water by high-pressure service, and be at all times ready for
Sect. 138. There shall be one or more ventilators near the Numberand
centre and above the highest portion of stage of every theatre, ventilators,.
constructed of incombustible materials, and equal in combined
area of opening to one-tenth of the area of stage-floor. Said
ventilators shall have valves or louvers so counterbalanced as
to open automatically, and shall be kept closed when not in
use by cords or wires reaching to the prompter's desk, and
readily operated therefrom. There shall also be a proper
arrangement of combustible cords or fusible connections to
open the ventilating-valves automatically by the action of fire
on the stage.
Sect. 139. The proscenium or curtain opening of every Curtain.
theatre shall have a fire-resisting curtain of incombustible mate-
rial, reenforced by wire-netting, or otherwise strengthened ; if
of iron, or similar heavy material, and made to lower from the
top, it shall be so contrived as to be stopped securely at a height
of seven feet above the stage-floor ; the remaining opening
being closed by a curtain or valance of fire-resisting fabric
as above. Such curtain shall be lowered at the besnnnini>- and
end of each and every performance, and shall, in its material*
construction, and mechanism, be approved by the inspector.
Sect. 140. Every brick building hereafter erected or altered, stair - wava . how
J constructed in
to be used for a tenement or lodging house, except those tenement and
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
where there are not more than four families, and having two
separate stair- ways, shall have the stair-ways enclosed in brick
walls not less than eight inches thick the entire height, and
provided with a ventilating-skylight so arranged with fire-proof
appliances that it may be operated from the lower hall in a
manner satisfactory to the inspector, and the stair-way side of
said walls, if plastered, unless it is an outside wall, shall be
plastered directly on the brick- work, and no opening or aperture
shall be made in said walls except the requisite doors for en-
trance thereto and external windows ; and the whole area of
stair- way not occupied by well-rooms on each floor shall be
deafened as provided in section one hundred and two. Other
better fire-proof or fire-resisting construction may be substituted
for the wood framing and deafening and wire-lathinGf and
plastering by permission of inspector. Every such building,
if to be occupied by more than four families above the first
floor, shall have such additional staircases or means of egress as
in the judgment of the inspector the safety of the occupants
shall demand. If such staircase partitions are to commence
at a level above the cellar bottom, they may be erected upon
iron girders, and properly protected from fire ; and the floor
within said walls at the level of the girders shall be entirely of
Sect. 141. The exterior walls of every building hereafter
erected or altered to be used for a tenement or lodging house,
on a street not more than twenty feet in width, shall not exceed
thirty feet in height.
Sect. 142. No building, of which any part is used for
storage or sale of hay, straw, hemp, flax, shavings, burning-
fluids, turpentine, camphene, or any inflammable oil, or other
highly combustible substances, shall be occupied in any part
as a dwelling, tenement or lodging house ; except that rooms
for coachmen or grooms may be allowed in connection with
the private stables authorized by this act, by permission of
inspector. All receptacles for ashes in any tenement or
lodging house shall be enclosed with incombustible material
satisfactory to inspector.
Sect. 143. Every tenement or lodging house shall have
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 35
in the roof, at the top of the hall, a ventilator ; shall also be Additional
provided with a fire-escape, or means of escape in case of fire, for tenement
both to be approved by the inspector ; shall have in every '™ oua ° a ging
room occupied as a sleeping-room, and which does not com-
municate directly with the external air, a ventilating or tran-
som window, having an opening or area of three square feet
over the door leading into and connected with the adjoining
room, if such adjoining room communicates with the external
air ; and also a ventilating or transom window, of the same
opening, in such other place as the inspector may direct ; but
no transom-window shall be placed in a partition wall en-
closing a main stair-way ; shall also have proper stairs, strong
balusters, posts, railings, and kept in good repair.
Sect. 144. All ordinances and parts of ordinances of said Ordinances to
remain in force
city now in force, relating to the building-limits and the in- until repealed
spection and survey of buildings, shall remain in force until 01
amended or repealed by said city, and all officers elected or
appointed under the provisions of said ordinances or the acts
repealed shall continue to hold office for the terms for which
they were elected or appointed and until their successors are
elected or appointed in accordance with this act, unless sooner
Sect. 145. Any court having equity jurisdiction, in term injunctions.
time or vacation, may, on the application of the inspector, by
any suitable process or decree in equity, enforce the provisions
of this act, and may, on such application, issue an injunction
to restrain the use or occupation of any building or structure
in the city of Boston, erected, altered, maintained, or used in
violation of this act.
Sect. 146. Any person violating any provision of this act Penalties,
shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars,
to be paid into the treasury of said city, unless another penalty
is specifically provided herein.
Sect. 147. Chapter two hundred and eighty of the acts of Rc P eals -
the year eighteen hundred and seventy-one ; chapters two hun-
dred and sixty, and three hundred and seventy-one ; and three
hundred and seventy-seven of the acts of the year eighteen
hundred and seventy-two ; chapters two hundred and ninety-
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
eight, and three hundred and thirty-eight of the acts of the
year eighteen hundred and seventy-three ; chapters sixty-nine
and one hundred and* seventy-six, of the acts of the year
eighteen hundred and seventy-six ; chapters one hundred and
one, and sections three, four, and seven of chapter two hundred
and fifty-two of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and
eighty-two ; and chapter one hundred and fifty-five of the acts
of the year eighteen hundred and eighty-three are repealed.
INDEX TO CHAPTER 374 OF 1885.
Acts repealed 147
Additional staircases 140
Aldermen, Board, permission 27, 96
Alter, etc., conform to act 25
Alteration means 17, 25, 26
Altered or repaired, wooden building. . . 22
Application to enlarge, etc 11
Approach, public buildings 123
Asbestos paper 102
Anchor ties 61, 62
Authorities, strength 24
Boilers and license. . .72, 78, 83, 84, 85, 124
Bonded 38, 41
Bracing isolated building 115
Brick building furred 102
Brick building means 17
Bricks, merchantable 37, 65, 71
Building altered, examined and approved, 25
Buildings exempt 16
Buildings, inspectors to examine 10
Building limits 21
Building, public, means 17
Building, wooden, means .17, 20, 21, 22, 23
Bulkhead and stairs 93
Buttresses 48, 67
Calculations, strength 24
Capacity of floors 86
Cellar means 17, 96
Cement 24, 37, 38
Changes of levels public buildings 118
Chase or flue 53
Chimneys 70, 74, 76
City Council 20
Clerk, duties of 8
Coachmen, grooms, etc 142
Coal elevators 21
Columns fire-proofed 104
Columns, posts, etc 34, 104
Combustible material 114, 142
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, exempt, 16
Concrete foundation 30
Conform to act, alter, etc 25
Continuance, notice of 113
Cornices . 64
Cornice stone 40
Curtain, fire 139
Cutting in floor timber 91
Dangerous buildings 11, 76, 111, 112
Deafening plaster 102
Definition of terms 17
Department organization 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Deputy, when appointed 12
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Doors, outside 95
Drains 98, 99
Egress sufficient and hazardous, 15, 114, 140
Eighty feet -. 50
Elevators 107, 108, 109, 110
Elevators for grain 21, 50
Endanger life Ill
Equivalent protection 109
Explosive compound 114
External walls of dwelling, etc 44
External walls other than dwelling. . .45, 46
External wall means 17
External walls of tenement 29, 141
Filled land 97
Fines 76, 112, 113, 146
Fires, inspectors to attend 9
Fires, origin of 11
Fire belt or stop 102, 103
Fire curtain 139
Fire-escapes 105, 106, 143
Fireproof supports and material 104
Fire stop 74
Flemish headers 41
Floor-hearing walls 55
Floor timbers and capacity.. 43, 86, 87,89,91
Flue or chase 53, 71, 72, 76
Foundation means 17, 30, 34
Foundation of dwellings 36
Foundation other than dwellings 35
Frost surface exposed 30
Furnaces 72, 73, 78, 79, 80, 84, 85, 124
Furred brick walls 102, 103
Galvanized iron 102
Girders 49, 56, 104, 129, 140
Girders, metallic 90
Going of stairs 122
Grade, cellar 96
Grade, lowest 14
Grain elevators 21, 50
Granite levellers 34
Grooms, etc 142
Gutter stone 42
Hay, straw, etc 142
Hearing, Board Aldermen 27
Hearths , 75
Heating apparatus, public buildings 124
Height of walls means 18
High service, etc 137
Hoistways 107, 108, 109, 110
House tenement means 17
Immediate action, unsafe buildings Ill
Incombustible material. 21, 29, 64, 71, 74, 102
103, 119, 120, 123, 130, 131, 133, 134
Inflammable compound 114
Ingress sufficient 15
Inspection of plans, etc 15
Inspector means 17
Inspector shall approve 28, 110
Inspector may approve 105
Iron beams 56
Iron columns, fire-proof 104
Iron plates 59, 66
Iron ties 59
Iron, inspector may approve 105
Isolated buildings 115
Isolated piers 34
Leader, rain-water 101
Levellers, granite 34
Licenses 84, 96
Lights in public buildings 121
Limits, building. 21
Lodging-house means 17
Made land 97
Market purposes 21
Metal clamps 57
Metal-covered doors 63
DIGEST OF BUILDIXG LAWS.
Metal-covered frames 63
Metal covered above forty-five feet .... 64
Metal collar 77
Metal columns 69
Metal pipe 82
Mortar 24, 37, 38
Moving wooden buildings 23
Necessary repairs 13
No building, hay, straw, etc 142
Notice, affix 112
Notice, Board of Aldermen 27
Observation stands Ill
Openings 47, 63, 128
Overheads public buildings 119
Partition wall means 17, 49, 54, 55
Partitions, fire stop 102, 103
Partitions in public buildings 1 20
Partitions over one another 90
Party wall means 17, 42
Party walls of dwellings, etc 51
Party walls other than dwellings 52
Permission Board of Aldermen 27
Permit lowest grade 14
Permit required 25, 26, 84, 85
Permit not required 13
Piers, columns, etc., buttresses, 34, 48, 66, 67
Piles 32, 33
Plans and specifications 15
Plates 59, 66
Public building means 17
Public buildings, plans filed 15, 116,
117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123,
124, 125, 126, etc.
Public safety Ill
Pugging 102, 119
Rabbeted iron frames 63
Railings in public buildings 121
Rain-water conductors or leaders 101
Ranges 72, 73, 79
Recesses 47, 53
Referees, how chosen 7
Register boxes 81
Relieving arch . . 129
Repairs, necessary 13
Repealed acts 147
Rise of stairs in public buildings 122
Roof, height of 92
Roof in good repair 100
Roof timbers 43
Roof trusses 130
Scuttles and step-ladder 93
Separate stairwa3's 140
Sheds, wooden 21
Shield 78, 80
Smoke-pipe 77, 78
Smoke-stop 102, 103
Soapstone ring, etc 77, 81, 82
Staging or structure Ill
Stairways fire-stop 102, 103
Stairs in public buildings 121, 122
Stand pipe 137
Stirrup irons 88
Stone cornice 40
Stone facing 57
Straight and plumb walls 38
Strength of materials 24
Structure over line of street 27
Sufficient strength 15
Support, temporary 26
Temporary seats public buildings 117
Temporary support 26
Tenement house means 17, 140
Tenement house external walls 29
Tenement house party walls 29
Thickness of walls means 19, 28
Through courses 67
Tie anchors 61, 62
Ties, iron 59
Timber in brick wall 58, 59, 74
Trimmer arch 75
Truss or girder '. 129
Trusses, roof 130
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
United States exempt 16
Unsafe building Ill, 112, 113
Upright supports 104
Vaulted walls 39
Ventilating skylight 140
Ventilation ducts 102, 103
Ventilators 138, 143
Wall, external, means 17
Walls, incombustible material 29
Wall partition means 17, 54, 55
Wall party means 17, 51, 52
Walls, height of, means. . , 18
Walls, thickness of, means 19
Walls, vaulted 39
Walls, external, dwellings, etc 44
Walls, external, other than dwellings, 45, 46
Walls, floor-bearing 55
Wall, side 60
Wall, rear 60
Water curtain 137
Water gates 137
Winders in public buildings 122
Wire lathing 140
Women and children 106
Wooden building means . .17, 20, 21, 22, 23
Wooden columns 56
Wood-work from chimney 74
Wood-work from pipes , . 82
DIGEST OP BUILDING LAWS.
INDEX TO DIAGRAMS.
And grade for cutting off same
Under isolated piers, columns, posts, and pillars .....
Under piers, columns, posts, and pillars for the support of continuous
Under external walls of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenement,
and lodging houses, 40 feet to 100 feet high ......
Under party walls of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenement, and
lodging houses, 40 feet to 100 feet high ......
Under brick buildings used for dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 35
feet to 60 feet high ..........
Under brick buildings used for dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses
exceeding 60 feet, but not exceeding 75 feet high ....
Party walls to be built 1 foot above roofs, and covered with metal
EXTERNAL AND PARTY WALLS.
Of dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 20 feet by 40 feet, and 30 feet
Of dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 30 feet to 60 feet high
Of dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 60 feet to 70 feet high
Of dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 80 feet high
Of dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 100 feet high .
Of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 40
feet and 60 feet high 13
Of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenenent, and lodging houses, 80
feet and 100 feet high 14
Of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 40
feet and 65 feet high .15
Of brick buildings other than dwelling, tenement, and lodging houses, 80
feet and 100 feet high ..........
Chimneys, headers, trimmers, metal fire-stops, etc., construction of
Open fire-places, trimmer arches, etc., construction of
Fire-stops at floors, ceilings, and walls, construction of
Fire-stops in partitions and stairways ........ 20
Fire-stops — transverse section, showing location of, and their necessity for
impeding the progress of fire ........ 21
DIGEST OP BUILDING LAWS. 41
CHAPTER 124, ACTS 1810, AS AMENDED BY
CHAPTER 109 OF 1860.
Section 1. That from and after the passing of this act no
building shall be erected within the town of Boston, and used
and improved as a stable, for the taking in and keeping horses
or chaises, or other carriages, upon hire, or to let, commonly
called livery-stables, within one hundred and seventy feet of any
church or meeting-house, erected for the public worship of God,
without the consent in writing of the proprietors of such church
or meeting-house, or of the religious society or parish worship-
ping therein, and the consent of the mayor and aldermen of
the city of Boston : provided, however, that this act shall not
be so construed as to prevent the finishing of any stable which
has been in part erected, if the completion thereof shall be ap-
proved by the selectmen of the town of Boston.
Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, that for any offence against
the provisions of this act, the owner or owners, keeper or
keepers, of such building shall forfeit and pay the sum of one
hundred dollars for every calendar month during which the
same shall be so used and improved, to be recovered by action
of debt, one-half thereof to enure to the use of the poor of the
town of Boston, and the other half thereof to him or them who
shall sue for the same.
CHAPTER 369 OF THE ACTS OF THE YEAR 1869.
AN ACT CONCERNING THE ERECTION OF STABLES IN THE
CITY OF BOSTON.
Be it enacted, etc., as follows: —
Section 1. No person shall hereafter erect, occupy, or use
any building for a stable in the city of Boston, except in such
place as the board of aldermen of said city shall first in writing
approve and direct, and every person so erecting, using, or
occupying a building without such approval shall forfeit a sum
42 DICIEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
not exceeding fifty dollars for every month he so uses or oc-
cupies such building, and in like proportion for a longer or
shorter time ; this act shall not apply to any stable now-
erected, occupied, or used, so long as the same is not enlarged
Sect. 2. The supreme judicial court, or any justice thereof,
either in term-time or vacation, may issue an injunction to
prevent the erection, occupancy, or use of any stable contrary
to the provisions of this act.
Sect. 3. This act shall take effect in three months after its
passage. [Approved June 9, 1869.]
CHAPTEE 192 OF THE ACTS OF THE YEAE 1878.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE REBUILDING AND IMPROVEMENT
OF STABLES IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.
Be it enacted, etc., as follows : —
chap. 280, 1871, Section 1 . Any stable now Qr hereafter legally existing in
Chap. 374, 1885. the city of Boston may, with the consent of the mayor and
aldermen of said city, be rebuilt, enlarged, and improved, in
accordance with the provisions of chapter two hundred and
eighty of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and seventy-
one, and the several acts in amendment thereof regulating the
construction of buildings in the said city.
Sect. 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
[Approved April 26, 1878.]
CHAPTEE 252 ACTS OF THE YEAE 1882.
Section 1. The city of Boston may, by ordinance, regulate
the building, management, and inspection of elevators, hoist-
ways, and elevator-shafts in said city.
Sect. 2. The said city may, by ordinance, require the regis-
tration of all persons carrying on the business of plumbing in
said city, and prescribe rules and regulations for the materials,
construction, alteration, and inspection of all pipes, tanks,
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 43
faucets, valves, and other fixtures, by and through which water
and sewage is used and carried ; and provide that no such
pipes, tanks, faucets, valves, or other fixtures shall be placed
in any building in said city, except in accordance with plans
which shall be approved by the inspector of buildings of said
Sect. 5. The facts and returns relative to steam-boilers, SeePSChap '
11, § 92.
required to be ascertained by section ninety-two of chapter
eleven of the public statutes, shall be ascertained and made in
the city of Boston, by the inspector of buildings, and not by
Sect. 6. The said city may impose penalties not exceeding
fifty dollars for each offence, for any violation of the provisions
contained in sections one and two of this act.
CHAPTER 173 OF THE ACTS OF 1883.
If any elevator, whether used for freight or passengers, Unsafe
shall, in the judgment of the inspector of factories and public
buildings of the district in which such elevator is used, or, in
the city of Boston, of the inspector of buildings of said city, be
unsafe or dangerous to use, or has not been constructed in the
manner required by law, the said inspector shall immediately
placard conspicuously upon the entrance to or door of the cab
or car of such elevator a notice of its dangerous condition, and
prohibit the use of such elevator until made safe to the satisfac-
tion of said inspector. Any person removing such notice or
operating such elevator while such notice is placarded as afore-
said, without authority from said inspector, shall be punished
by a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars for
CHAPTER 251 OF THE ACTS OF 1883. ,
Section 1. Every keeper of a hotel, boarding or lodging watchmen and
l • • 1 i i 1 1 ' n red ligbts iu
house containing one hundred or more rooms, and being tour hotels, etc.
or more stories high, shall have therein at least two competent see chap. 251,
watchmen, each properly assigned, and each on duty between 223 \g" 4 iap '
44 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
the hours of nine o'clock in the afternoon and six o'clock in the
forenoon. And every keeper of a hotel, boarding or lodging-
house containing fifty or more, but less than one hundred,
rooms, and being three stories high, shall have between said
hours at least one competent watchman on duty therein. And
in all such hotels or lodging-houses as are mentioned in this
section the halls and stair-ways shall be properly lighted at
night, and at the head and foot of each flight of stairs shall be
kept during the night a red light ; and one or more proper
alarms, or gongs, capable of being heard throughout the house,
shall always remain easy of access and ready for use in each of
said buildings, to give notice to the inmates in case of fire ; and
every keeper of such hotel, boarding or lodging house shall
keep posted in a conspicuous place in every sleeping-room a
notice descriptive of such means of escape.
Fire-escapes Sect. 2. Hotels used and occupied as public houses, for
from hotels, etc. 1 L
the reception and entertainment of guests, boarding or lodging
houses, and school buildings, being three or more stories high,
and accommodating or having the means of accommodating
thirty or more persons, also factories, workshops, and manu-
facturing establishments of said height, in which forty or more
persons are employed, shall be supplied inside thereof with
proper and sufficient means or appliances for escape, in case of
fire, or apparatus for that purpose properly constructed upon the
outside thereof, connected through doors or windows ; all such
fire-escapes shall be kept in good order and free from obstruc-
tions, and shall be approved by the inspector of factories and
public buildings, or in the city of Boston by the inspector of
Sect. 3. The inspector of buildings in the city of Boston,
the mayor and aldermen of other cities, and the selectmen of
towns, shall prescribe as they deem necessary, except so far as
is specifically required in the preceding sections, what addi-
tional night-watch shall be kept, and what further provisions
for the prevention of fires, and for the better protection of life
in case of fire shall be made by the several keepers of hotels,
boarding or lodging houses within their respective limits ; and
no license shall be granted to any keeper of a hotel embraced
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 45
in the provisions of this act until the requirements thereof, so
far as applicable, have been complied with.
Sect. 4. Whoever neglects or refuses to provide watchmen Penalties.
as required by this act shall be punished by a fine not exceed-
in o- one thousand dollars for each offence, and whoever violates
any of the other provisions of this act shall be subject to the
same penalty as is prescribed in section twenty-two of chapter
one hundred and four of the Public Statutes.
CHAPTER 223 OF THE ACTS OF 1884.
Section 1. All hotels, boarding, and lodging houses, sub-
ject to the provisions of chapter two hundred and fifty-one of
the acts of the year eighteen hundred and eighty- three, adopt-
ino- a svstem of electric watch-clocks that shall register at the
office the movements of the watchman throughout the house, or
adopting in the rooms any system of thermostats, or fire-alarm
bells, that shall be approved by the inspector of factories and
public buildings, or in the city of Boston, by the inspector of
buildings, shall be exempt from maintaining more than one
watchman, in addition to the regular night-clerk and porters.
Sect. 2. The provisions of this act and of said chapter two
hundred and fifty-one of the acts of the year eighteen hundred
and eighty-three shall apply to family hotels.
CHAPTER 382 OF THE ACTS OF THE YEAR 1885.
AX ACT IN RELATION TO THE PRESERVATION OF HEALTH IN
BUILDINGS IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.
Section 1. Every building in the city of Boston used as a
dwelling, tenement, or lodging-house, or where persons are
employed, shall have at all times such number of good and
sufficient water-closets, earth-closets, or privies as the board of
health of said city may determine, but the occupants of any •
two or more of any such buildings may use such closets or
privies in common, provided the access is easy and direct ; and
said board shall not require more than one such closet or privy
for every twenty persons.
46 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Sect 2. Every such building situated on a street in which
there is a sewer shall have water-closets, and shall not have a
cesspool or privy connected with it, except where, in the opin-
ion of the board of health, it can be allowed to remain for a
longer time, and then only as said board shall approve.
Sect. 3. No building in the city of Boston shall be con-
verted into or used for a tenement or lodging house, unless, in
addition to the other requirements of law, it conforms to the
provisions of this act.
Sect. 4. In this act the following terms shall have the
meanings respectively assigned to them, viz.: —
" Cellar " means a basement or lower story of any building
of which one-half or more of the height from the floor to the
ceiling is below the level of the street adjoining.
^Inspector" means inspector of buildings of the city of
" Lodging— house " means a building in which persons are
temporarily accommodated with sleeping apartments, and in-
" Tenement— house " means a building which, or any por-
tion of which, is to be occupied, or is occupied, as the resi-
dence of more than three families living independently of one
another, and doing their cooking upon the premises ; or by
more than two families upon any floor above the se.cond floor,
so living and cooking.
Sect. 5. Every tenement or lodging house shall have the
yard or area so connected with a sewer that all water and liquid
filth will freely flow from it to the sewer, or, if there is no
sewer, to the street gutter, by means of a passage under the
sidewalk covering, so constructed as to be easily accessible to
Sect. 6. If a building to be used for a tenement or lodging
house is on the front of any lot where there is another building
on the rear of the same lot, there shall be clear, open space,
exclusively belonging to the front building, and extending up-
wards from the ground, of at least ten feet between said build-
ings, if they are one story high above the level of the ground.
If they are two stories high, the distance between them shall
DIGEST OP BUILDING LAWS. 47
not be less than fifteen feet ; if they are three stories high, the
distance between them shall be not less than twenty feet ; and
if they are more than three stories high, the distance between
them shall be not less than twenty-five feet.
Sect. 7. If such building is on the back part of any lot
there shall be a clear, open space of at least ten feet between
such building and every other building in its rear. But when
thorough ventilation of such open spaces can be otherwise se-
cured said distances may be lessened or modified in special
cases by a permit from the board of health and the inspector.
Sect. 8. Every habitable room of such building not now
used, but hereafter used, as a tenement or lodging house shall
be, in every part, not less than eight feet in height from the
floor to the ceiling, except in the attic, and shall be at least
eight feet in height from the floor to the ceiling throughout not
less than one-half the area of such room ; and every such room
shall have at least one window connecting with the external
air, or over the door a suitable ventilator connecting with a
room or hall which has a connection with the external air.
Sect. 9. The total area of window communicating with the
external air, in every room of such building, shall be equal to
at least one-tenth of the superficial area of the room ; and the
top of one at least of such windows shall be not less than seven
feet six inches above the floor, and the upper half of each win-
dow shall be so made as to open for the purposes of ventilation.
£>ect. 10. Every habitable room of such building, of area
less than one hundred superficial feet, which does not com-
municate directly with the external air, and is without an open
fireplace, shall be provided with special means of ventilation,
approved by the board of health and the said inspector.
Sect. 11. Every such building shall have adequate chim-
neys running through every floor, with an open fireplace or
grate, or place for a stove, properly connected with one of said
chimneys, for every family and set of apartments ; shall have
proper conveniences and non-combustible receptacles for ashes
and rubbish ; shall have water furnished at one or more places
in such house, or in the yard thereof, so that the same may
be adequate and reasonably convenient for the use of the
48 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
occupants thereof; and shall have the floor of the cellar
properly cemented, so as to be water-tight.
Sect. 12. Every such building used for a tenement or
lodging house shall have suitable receptacles for garbage and
other refuse matters, and shall not be used as a place of storage
for any combustible article, or any article dangerous to life or
detrimental to health ; nor shall any horse, cow, calf, swine,
pig, sheep, or goat be kept in said building.
Sect. 13. Every such building, and the yard, court, passage,
area, and alleys belonging to the same, shall be kept clean and
free from any accumulation of dirt, filth, garbage, or other
refuse matter, to the satisfaction of the board of health.
Sect. 14. The tenant of any lodging-house or tenement-
house shall thoroughly cleanse all the rooms, floors, windows,
and doors of the house, or part of the house, of which he is the
tenant, to the satisfaction of the board of health, and the
owner or lessee shall well and sufficiently, to the satisfaction
of said board, whitewash or otherwise cleanse the walls and
ceilings thereof once at least every year, in the months of
April or May, and have the privies, drains, and cesspools
kept in good order and the passages and stairs kept clean and
in good condition.
Sect. 15. The owner, agent of the owner, and keeper of
any lodging or tenement house, or part thereof, shall, when
any person in such house is sick of fever, or of any infectious,
pestilential, or contagious disease, and such sickness is known
to such owner, agent, or keeper, give immediate notice thereof
to the board of health, and thereupon said board shall cause the
same to be inspected and cleansed, or disinfected, at the
expense of the owner, in. such manner as they may deem nec-
essary ; and may also cause the blankets, bedding, and
bedclothes used by any such sick person to be thoroughly
cleansed, scoured, and fumigated, and in extreme cases to be
Sect. 16. The halls on each floor of every such building
shall open directly to the external air, with suitable windows,
and shall have no room or other obstruction at the end, unless
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 49
sufficient light and ventilation is otherwise provided for said
halls, in a manner approved by the board of health.
Sect. 17. No person shall, without a permit from the board
of health, let or occupy, or suffer to be occupied, separately
as a dwelling, or place of lodging and sleeping, any cellar, or
underground room whatsoever, unless the same be in every
part thereof at least seven feet in height, measured from the
floor to the ceiling thereof; nor unless the same shall have
been so let or occupied before the passage of this act, nor
unless the same be for at least one foot of its height above the
surface of the street or ground adjoining, or nearest to the
same ; nor unless there be, outside of and adjoining the said
vault, cellar, or room, and extending along the entire frontage
thereof, and upwards from six inches below the level of the
floor thereof, up to the surface of the said street or ground,
an open space of at least two feet and six inches wide in
every part ; nor unless the same be well and effectually drained
by means of a drain, the uppermost part of which is one foot
at least below the level of the floor of such vault, cellar, or
room ; nor unless there is a clear space of not less than one
foot below the level of the floor, except where the same is
cemented ; nor unless there be appurtenant to such vault, cellar,
or room the use of a water-closet or privy, kept and provided
as in this act required ; nor unless the same have an external
window-opening of at least nine superficial feet, clear of the
sash-frame, in which window-opening there shall be fitted a
frame filled in with glazed sashes, at least four and a half
superficial feet of which shall be made so so as to open for the
purpose of ventilation : provided, however, that in case of an
inner, or back vault, cellar, or room, let or occupied along
with a front vault, cellar, or room, as a part of the same letting
or occupation, it shall be a sufficient compliance with the pro-
visions of this act if the front room is provided with a window
as hereinbefore provided ; and if the said back vault, cellar, or
room, is connected with the front vault, cellar, or room by
a door, and also by a proper ventilating or transom window,
and, where practicable, also connected by a proper ventilating
Or transom window, or by some hall or passage, with the cxtcr-
50 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
nal air : provided, further, that in any area adjoining a vault,
cellar, or underground room there may be steps necessary for
access to such vault, cellar, or room, if the same be so placed
as not to be over, across, or opposite to said external window,
and so as to allow between every part of such steps and the
external wall of such vault, cellar, or room a clear space of
six inches at least, and if the rise of said steps is open : and
provided, further, that over or across any such area there may
be steps necessary for access to any building above the vault,
cellar, or room to which such area adjoins, if the same be so
placed as not to be over, across, or opposite to any such external
Sect. 18. The board of health shall have authority to make
such other regulations as to cellars and the ventilation and
over-crowding of tenement and lodging houses and buildings
where persons are employed as they deem necessary, subject,
however, to the laws relating to building in the city of Boston.
Sect. 19. Every owner and agent, or person having
charge, of a tenement or lodging house shall leave his address
with the board of health and shall have legibly posted on the
wall or in the entry of such tenement or lodging house the
name and address of such owner and of the agent or person
having charge of the same ; and service upon parties whose
address is out of the city, of any papers or notices required by
this act, or any act relating to the preservation of health, or
by any proceedings to enforce any of their provisions shall be
sufficient, if made by sending a copy of such paper or notice
through the mail to the address of the person or persons so
designated as owner, agent, or person having charge of such
tenement or lodging house ; and service upon parties whose ad-
dress is in the city by leaving such copy at said address.
Sect. 20. Every officer of the board of health, and every
officer upon whom any duty or authority is conferred, shall
have free access to every part of any lodging or tenement
house, when required in the proper execution of the duties of
Sect. 21. Any court having equity jurisdiction, in term
time or vacation, may, on the application of the board of
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 51
health, by any suitable process or decree in equity, enforce the
provisions of this act, and may, on such application, issue an
injunction to restrain the use or occupation of any building or
structure in the city of Boston erected, altered, or used in viola-
tion of this act.
Sect. 22. Any person violating any provision of this act
shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars,
or by confinement in the house of correction, not exceeding
sixty days, unless another penalty is specifically provided
Sect. 23. Every member of said board of health, and every
inspector acting under said board, shall, before entering upon
the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath before the
citv clerk of said city that he will faithfully and impartially dis-
charge such duties, and the city clerk shall make and keep a
record of such oath. Every member of said board and every
such inspector who enters upon or discharges such duties with-
out having taken and subscribed such oath shall be liable to a
penalty of one hundred dollars, but such omission shall not
render invalid any act or proceeding of said board.
CHAPTER 11, SECTION 92— PUBLIC STATUTES.
The assessors shall, in each year, on or before the first
Monday in August, return to the tax-commissioner a statement
showing the whole number of steam-boilers located in their
respective cities and towns, on the first day of May then next
preceding, by whom and when built, and the aggregate esti-
mated amount of horse-power which such boilers are capable of
furnishing. Such returns shall also state the number of acci-
dents causing permanent injuries to persons which have arisen
from the use of such boilers during the year, with the causes
thereof, as far as may be ascertained by the assessors.
See Sect. 5, Chap. 252, Acts of 1882.
" " G, " 374, " " 1885.
52 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
CHAPTER 102 — PUBLIC STATUTES.
STEAM-ENGINES, FURNACES, AND BOILERS.
steam-engines, Section 40. No furnace for melting iron or making glass,
etc., not to be . .
used, etc., and no stationary steam-engme designed for use in a mill for
G-.S. 88, § 33,
planing or sawing boards or turning wood, or in which any
l Alien, 137. other fuel than coal is used to create steam, shall be erected or
put up to be used in a city or town which adopts this and the
eight following sections, or has adopted the corresponding sec-
tions of earlier statutes, at a legal meeting of the city council of
the city, or the inhabitants of the town called for that purpose,
unless the mayor and aldermen or selectmen thereof have
granted a license therefor prescribing the place where the
building shall be erected in which the steam-engine or furnace
is to be used, and the materials and construction thereof, with
such regulations as to the height of flues and protection against
fire as they deem necessary for the safety of the neighborhood.
Such license may be granted on a written application, and
shall be recorded in the records of the city or toAvn.
Public notice of Sect. 41. Upon application for such license, the mayor and
g.s. 88,' §34. aldermen or selectmen shall assign a time and place for the
consideration of the same, and cause at least fourteen days'
public notice thereof to be given, at the expense of the appli-
cant, in such manner as they may direct, in order that all per-
sons interested may be heard thereon.
Municipal Sect. 42. In a city or town which adopts sections forty to
officers may . , .
regulate steam- forty-eight, inclusive, or has adopted the corresponding sec-
Qg D g8 '535 tions of earlier statutes, at a legal meeting of the city council of
the city or the inhabitants of the town called for that purpose,
the mayor and aldermen or selectmen, after due notice in writ-
ing to the owner of such steam-engine or furnace, except for
making glass, erected or in use therein before the time of such
adoption, and a hearing of the matter, may adjudge the same
to be dangerous or a nuisance to the neighborhood, and make
and record an order prescribing such rules, restrictions, and
alterations as to the building in which the same is constructed
or used, the construction and height of its smoke-flues, with
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 53
such other regulations as they may deem necessary for the
safety of the neighborhood ; and the city or town clerk shall
deliver a copy of such order to a constable, who shall serve on
the owner an attested copy thereof, and make return of his
doings thereon to said clerk within three days from the delivery
thereof to him.
Sect. 43. An owner of a steam-engine or furnace who is A PP ealsand
aggrieved by such order may, within three days after the ser- thereon.
vice upon him of such order, apply to the superior court, or a 1873 26 i_ 117 '_
justice thereof, in vacation, for a jury; and the court or justice Mass. 76-119.
shall issue a warrant for a jury to be empanelled by the sheriff Mass. 237-128.
Avithin fourteen days from the issuing of the warrant, in like
manner as is provided in chapter forty-nine in regard to the
laying out of highways ; or, instead thereof, if the applicant so
elects, and after such notice as the court or justice shall order
to the adverse party or parties, shall direct a trial to be had
at the bar of the superior court, in the same manner as other
civil cases as there tried by jury.
Sect. 44. The court or justice, on granting the application injunction
J . pending appeal.
for a jury, may issue an injunction restraining the further use g.s. 88, § 37.
of such engine or furnace until the final determination of the
Sect. 45. The jury may find a verdict either affirming or G - s - 88 > § 3 ?-
annulling the order in full, or making alterations therein ;
which verdict shall be returned by the sheriff, if the trial is had
before him, to the next term of the court for acceptance, as in
the case of highways ; and the verdict, whether before the
sheriff or in the superior court, when accepted, shall take effect
as an original order.
Sect. 46. If the order is affirmed, costs shall be recovered Jjfjj*^
by the city or town against the applicant ; if it is annulled,
damages and costs shall be recovered by the applicant against
the city or town ; and if it is altered, the court may render
such judgment as to costs as to justice shall appertain.
Sect. 47. No stationary engine, propelled by steam or Stationary en-
J » ' I I J gines forbidden,
other motive power, shall be hereafter erected or put up for when, etc.
, . , , . . , 1862-74, §§ 1-3.
use in a city or town in winch tins section, or chapter seventy-
four of the statutes of the year eighteen hundred and sixty-two
54: DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
has been adopted in the manner provided in section forty of this
chapter, within five hundred feet of a dwelling-house or public
building, unless a license therefor has been first granted and
recorded in a manner herein provided.
steam-engines Sect. 48. A steam-engine or furnace erected or used con-
when nuisances. .. f» 1 • 1 T • 1111
g.s. ss, § 40. trary to the provisions or the eight preceding sections shall be
deemed a common nuisance ; and the mayor and aldermen or
selectmen may remove the same in the same manner as boards
of health may remove nuisances under sections twenty-one,
twenty-two, and twenty-three of chapter eighty.
May be ex- Sect. 49. The fire commissioners of the city of Boston,
forbidden. the mayor and aldermen of any other city, or the selectmen of
g.s. 88, §4i. a town, or anv person bv them authorized, may, after notice to
1880, 116. / 1 J *
the parties interested, examine any steam-engine or steam-
boiler therein , whether fixed or portable ; and for that purpose
may enter any house, shop, or building ; and if upon examina-
tion it appears probable that the use of such engine or boiler
is unsafe, they may issue a temporary order to suspend such
use ; and if, after giving the parties interested, so far as known,
an opportunity to be heard, they adjudge such engine or boiler
unsafe or defective or unfit to be used, they may pass a per-
manent order prohibiting the use thereof until it is rendered
safe. If, after notice to the owner or person having charge
thereof, such engine or boiler is used contrary to either of such
orders, it shall be deemed a common nuisance, without any
other proof thereof than its use.
May be removed Sect. 50. The fire commissioners, mayor and aldermen, and
as nuisances. • i -i
g.s. 88, §42. selectmen, may abate or remove a steam-engine or steam-boiler
erected or used contrary to the provisions of the preceding
section in the same manner as boards of health may remove
nuisances under sections twenty-one, twenty-two, and twenty-
three of chapter eighty.
steam-boiiers to Sect. 51. No person shall manufacture, set up, use, or
have safety- . .. ■ i l • l
plugs. cause to be used, a steam-boiler, unless it is provided with a
g.s. 88, §43. f us ible safety-plug made of lead, or some other equally fusible
material, and of a diameter of not less than one-half an inch,
placed in the roof of the fire-box, when a fire-box is used, and
in all cases in a part of the boiler fully exposed to the action of
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 55
the fire, and as near the top of the water-line as any part of the
fire-surface of the boiler ; and for this purpose Ashcroft's "pro-
tected safety fusible-plug" may be used.
Sect. 52. Whoever, without just and proper cause, removes Penalty
from a boiler the safety-plug thereof, or substitutes therefor safety-plugs.
any material more capable of resisting the action of the fire GS- so ' § 44-
than the plug so removed, shall be punished by fine not exceed-
ing one thousand dollars.
Sect. 53. Whoever manufactures, sets up, or knowingly PenaIt >' for
uses or causes to be used for six consecutive days, a steam- without safety.
boiler unprovided with a safety fusible-plug, as described in £ U g gS g 8 c 45
section fifty-one, shall be punished by fine not exceeding one
EEVISED OEDINANCES OF 1885.
OF THE EEGULATION OF BUILDING.
SectiOxV 1. The limits within which all buildings hereafter Building,imits -
erected shall be required to conform to the provisions of chapter
three hundred and seventy-four of the statutes of the common-
wealth, of the year eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and of
the acts in amendment thereof and in addition thereto, are
hereby established and defined as follows : All that portion
of the city which is included within a line beginning at the
intersection of the centre lines of Dover and Albany streets,
and thence running: east through the centre of said Dover street
to the harbor commissioners' line ; thence by the said harbor
commissioners' line around the northerly portion of the " city
proper " to a point on Charles river at the intersection of said
line with the boundary line between Brookline and Boston ;
thence along said boundary line to the centre of Longwood
avenue ; thence through the centre of said avenue to the centre
of Bumstead lane ; thence through the centre of said lane to
the centre of Ward street ; thence through the centre of said
Ward street to the centre of Parker street ; thence through
the centre of said Parker street to the centre of Ruggles street ;
thence through the centre of said Ruggles street to the centre
of Washington street ; thence through the centre of said
Washington street to a point opposite the centre of Palmer
street ; thence through the centre of said Palmer street and
through the centre of Eustis street to the centre of Hampden
street; and thence through the centre of said Hampden street
and the centre of Albany street to the point of beginning ; the
said district being shown on a plan made by the city surveyor,
dated June 28, 1881, and deposited in his office.
line of lot.
58 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
Sect. 2. Outside the limits defined'in the preceding section
wooden buildings may be erected, subject to the following
restrictions and regulations : —
A wooden building, to be used as a dwelling-house, shall
not exceed a height of forty-five feet, and the external side-
walls of said building shall not be placed at a less distance than
one foot and six inches from the line of the lot upon which the
building is to be located, unless a brick external wall is sub-
stituted for wooden wall, and of a thickness prescribed by
statute law regulating the erection of brick external walls.
The brick walls above required shall be built up to the under
side of the roof-covering, which shall be laid and embedded in
mortar upon the walls.
Distance be- Where a wooden building is already erected for dwelling
tween dwelling- .
houses. purposes upon an adjoining lot, there shall be between the
walls of the building erected and the one to be erected, if of
wood, a clear open space of three feet between the said
Eiis to dwelling- Wooden ells may be erected in connection with wooden
buildings used for dwelling purposes, but the ell shall not
exceed thirty feet in length, fifteen feet in width, nor be of a
greater height than twenty-five feet, or of any other dimension
not in excess of the superficial area of four hundred and fifty
square feet. Such ells may be built without the intervention
of a brick wall between said ell and the main building.
Party walls in j n t] ie erection of wooden buildings in blocks of two or more
blocks of two or
more. houses, to be occupied for dwelling purposes, the said buildings
shall have intercepting brick walls not less than eight inches
thick, said brick walls to be carried up and topped out twelve
inches above the roof, and covered with metallic covering.
see plate a. Wooden buildinos to be used for other purposes than that of
Height and g c .
range of wooden a dwelling-house shall not exceed a height of fifty-five feet from
than dwemn & a tne e ra d e °f the street, court, or place upon which the said
building is to be erected; and, if in a range of more than fifty
feet, there shall be constructed an intercepting brick wall, not
less than twelve inches thick, and carried up to a height of
twelve inches above the roof, and the said wall to be covered
with metallic covering.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 59
A wooden building to be used for any purpose other than Distances be-
° tween other
that of a dwelling-house shall not be erected or placed at a than dwellings.
less distance than ten feet from any other wooden building
which is twentv-five feet or more in height or at a less distance
than four feet from any other wooden building which is less
than twenty-five feet in height.
In no case shall the sills of any building referred to in this snis, how laid.
section be laid below the grade of the street, unless by special
permit of the inspector of buildings.
Sect. o. The restrictions contained in the preceding sec- Exemptions.
tion shall not apply to buildings erected or placed at a distance
of fifty feet or more from any other building, and from any
street, open or intended to be open, for public passage, whether
accepted by the city or not.
Sect. 4. All wooden buildings shall be built upon secure Foundations for
foundations of stone or brick, carried up to the surface of the buildings.
ground. The foundation, if of brick, shall not be less than 8ee pIate B "
twelve inches thick, and laid in cement mortar ; if of rubble-
stone, it shall not be less than sixteen inches thick, when
laid in cement mortar, and not less than twenty inches thick
when laid dry ; if of block stone, it shall be not less than
sixteen inches thick and laid in cement mortar. All founda-
tions shall be laid upon solid ground not less than four feet
below the surface which is exposed to frost, or upon piles or
other solid substructure. Piles shall be driven to a firm and
solid bearing, and the tops of all piles shall be cut off at or
below a grade to be prescribed by the inspector of buildings.
There shall be at least one row of piles, spaced not over three
feet on centres, in the direction of the length of the wall.
Piles shall be capped with footing-courses of stone. In the
construction of workshops or other buildings of a like character,
or for temporary purposes, built upon soft or marshy land, the
inspector may, in his discretion, permit the sills to be placed
upon mud-sills or blocking, or upon piles cut to height of
Sect. 5. All wooden buildings shall be built with posts, Framing, etc.,
size of posts,
girts, and plates, properly mortised, tenoned, braced, and girts, etc.
pinned in each story, and supported by suitable studding, thc 8ecpIatoC
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
notice to be
ing or alteration
studs to be not more than thirty-two inches apart, the posts
and girts to be not less than four by eight inches, or equivalent
thereto, except that the foregoing dimensions for posts and
girts shall not apply to buildings not exceeding four hundred
feet in area, and less than fifteen feet in height.
Sect. 6. No wooden building now erected, or hereafter to be
erected, shall be altered, raised, roofed, enlarged, or otherwise
built upon in any manner contrary to the terms of the five
Sect. 7. No wooden building shall hereafter be erected
without a permit being first obtained from the inspector of
buildings ; and no alteration of or addition to any such building
shall be made without such permit.
Sect. 8. Whoever violates any of the provisions of the seven
preceding sections, and neglects for twenty-four hours, after
written notice from the inspector of buildings, served upon
him personally, or posted conspicuously upon the building
erected or in process of erection, alteration, or repair in violation
of said provisions, to alter said building in conformity with the
provisions of this chapter, shall be liable to a penalty of not
less than twenty nor more than fifty dollars, and to a like pen-
alty for every day's continuance of such violation.
Sect. 9. Whoever intends to erect or to make alterations in a
building of any description, within ten feet of a public street of
the city, shall, fifteen days at least before he proceeds to build
or erect the same, or to lay the foundation thereof, or to make
the said alterations, or to do any act for carrying into execution
his intention to do such things, give to the inspector of build-
ings notice in writing of his intention, with the dimensions of
the structure proposed, the materials to be used, the number
on the street, or the precise location, and the name of the owner
or owners of the land, in order that any encroachment or other
injury or inconvenience to the public streets which might
otherwise happen may be thereby prevented ; and in default
thereof the city shall be discharged from all damages, of any
nature whatsoever, resulting from the failure to give notice as
above provided, particularly from all such damages or expenses
Sec too 7 1 <2
OTfoer Than Dime Zlu iqs. DtveZlu iqs,
_ JBiu'lctti t ps t/t alack
— ^IZSJj^Ml J&cfc^ 7feocsec6 OrcCazcc7ic€s .-
Plate C, for word " Stud" substitute word " Floor-timber."
_ jEtlzuaZtcn-L. -
Chcdd. 48. Seel' 5. J f euised, Orcluz etizces ,
- 7 7 7rt7^ -
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 61
as have been enhanced or occasioned by reason of anything
done previously to or without such notice.
Sect. 10. The number of assistant-inspectors of buildings Number of
provided for in section five of chapter three hundred and seventy- inspectors.
four of the statutes of the commonwealth of the year eighteen
hundred and eighty-five shall be sixteen.
CHAPTER 49 — REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
OF THE REGULATION OF PLUMBING.
Section 1. No person shall carry on the business of plumb- Plumbers
ing unless he shall have first registered his name and place register.
of business in the office of the inspector of buildings, and
notice of any change in the place of business of a registered
plumber shall be immediately given to said inspector.
Sect. 2. Every plumber, before doing any work in a build- 2sr ° tices t0 be
ing, shall, except in the case of the repair of leaks, file at the plumbing
office of the said inspector, upon blanks to be provided for the approved -
purpose, a notice of the work to be performed ; and no such
work shall be done in any building without the approval of
Sect. 3. Every building shall be separately and indepen- Buildin s 8 10 be
j i i separately
dently connected with the public sewer, when such sewer is connected with
provided ; and, if such sewer is not provided, with a brick and 8ewer "
cement cesspool of a capacity to be approved by the said
Sect. 4. Drains and soil-pipes through which water and Drains and
sewage is used and carried shall be of iron, when within a
building, and for a distance of not less than five feet outside
of the foundation walls thereof. They shall be sound, free
from holes and other defects, of a uniform thickness of not
less than one-eighth of an inch for a diameter of four inches
or less, or five thirty-seconds of an inch for a diameter of five
or six inches, witli a proportional increase of thickness for a
greater diameter. They shall be securely ironed to walls, laid
in trenches to uniform grade, or suspended to floor-timbers by
strong iron hangers, as the said inspector may direct. They
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
shall be supplied with a suitable trap, placed, with an accessible
clean-out, either outside or inside the foundation wall of the
building. They shall have a proper fall towards the drain or
sewer, and soil-pipes shall be carried out through the roof, open
and undiminished in size, to such height as may be directed
by the said inspector ; but no soil-pipe shall be carried to a
height less than two feet above the roof. Changes in direction
shall be made with curved pipes, and connections with horizontal
pipes shall be made with Y branches.
Sect. 5. Rain-water leaders, when connected with soil or
drain pipes, shall be suitably trapped.
Sect. 6. Sewer, soil-pipe or waste-pipe ventilators shall not
be constructed of brick, sheet-metal, or earthen-ware, and
chimney-flues shall not be used as such ventilators.
Sect. 7. Iron pipes, before being put in place, shall be first
tested by the water or kerosene test, and then coated inside and
out with coal-tar pitch, applied hot, or with paint, or with some
equivalent substance. Joints shall be run with molten lead,
and thoroughly calked and made tight. Connection of lead
pipes with iron pipes shall be made with brass ferrules, properly
soldered and calked to the iron.
Sect. 8. Every sink, basin, bath-tub, water-closet, slop-
hopper, and each set of trays, and every fixture having a waste-
pipe, shall be furnished with a trap, which shall be placed as
near as practicable to the fixture that it serves. Traps shall
be protected from siphonage or air-pressure by special air-pipes
of a size not less than the waste-pipe ; but air-pipes for water-
closet traps shall be of not less than two-inch bore for thirty
feet or less, and of not less than three-inch bore for more than
thirty feet. Air-pipes shall be run as direct as practicable,
and shall be of not less than four-inch bore where they pass
through the roof. Two or more air-pipes may be connected
together or with a soil-pipe ; but in every case of connection
with a soil-pipe such connection shall be above the upper fixture
of the building.
Sect. 9. Drip or overflow pipes from safes under water-
closets and other fixtures, or from tanks or cisterns, shall be
run to some place in open sight, and in no case shall any such
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 63
pipe be connected directly with a drain, waste-pipe, or soil-
Sect. 10. Waste-pipes from refrigerators, or other recep- waste-pipes.
tacles in which provisions are stored, shall not be connected
with a drain, soil-pipe, or other waste-pipe, unless such waste-
pipes are provided with traps, suitably ventilated, and in every
case there shall be an open tray between the trap and refrig-
Sect. 11. Every water-closet, or line of water-closets, on Water-closet
the same floor, shall be supplied with water from a tank or
cistern, and the flushing-pipe shall not be less than one inch in
diameter ; but this requirement shall not apply to water-closets
substituted for vaults, where the same are located outside of
the building proper, and water-closets may be arranged so as
to receive their supply directly from the main with such fixtures
as shall be approved by the inspector of buildings, and by the
water board and the board of health.
Sect. 12. Pipes and other fixtures shall not be covered or Pipes and
concealed from view until after the work has been examined b * concealed
by the said inspector, and he shall be notified by the plumber
when the work is sufficiently advanced for inspection.
Sect. 13. Plumbing w r ork shall not be used unless the same Plumbing to be
has first been tested by the said inspector with the peppermint,
ether, or water test, and by him found satisfactory.
Sect. 14. No steam-exhaust shall be connected with any steam-exhausts.
soil or waste pipe, or drain which communicates with a public
Sect. 15. Water-pipes in places exposed to frost shall be WaU ' r " 1,ipc8 '
1 how packed.
packed with mineral wool, or other substance equally good,
and they shall be cased to the satisfaction of the said inspector.
Sect. 16. A grease-trap shall be constructed under the sink Grease traps.
of every hotel, eating-house, restaurant, or other public cooking
Sect. 17. The provisions of sections three to thirteen inclu-
sive, and of section fifteen, of this chapter, shall apply only to
buildings erected, or to work performed, after the seventeenth
day of March in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-three.
64 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
CHAPTER 1 — REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
Penalties. Section 5. Whoever violates a provision of any ordinance
of the city, whether included in these Revised Ordinances or
hereafter enacted, shall, unless other provision is expressly
made, be liable to a penalty of not less than two nor more
• than fifty dollars for each offence.
Sect. 6. When anything is prohibited in an ordinance not
only the persons actually doing the prohibited thing but also
the employers and all other persons concerned therein shall
be liable to the penalty prescribed.
Sect. 7. When in an ordinance anything is prohibited from
being done without the license or permission of a certain officer
or officers, such officer or officers shall have the power to license
or permit such thing to be done.
Sect. 8. The words "street" and " streets," when used in
an ordinance, shall be construed as including alleys, lanes,
courts, public squares, public places, and sidewalks, unless
such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest in-
tent of the ordinance.
Section 1 of Chapter 48 is authorized by Statute 1885, Chapter 374, Sec-
Sections 2 to 8 inclusive of this chapter are authorized by Statute 1875,
Chapter 374, Section 20.
As to the validity of such ordinances as are contained in this chapter, see
Salem v. Maynes, 123 Mass., 372.
The principal act in force regulating the inspection and construction of
buildings in the city of Boston is Statute 1885, Chapter 374.
By this statute the following statutes relating to the same subject were
repealed : —
Statute 1871, Chapter 280. Statute 1872, Chapter 260.
" 1872, " 371. " 1872, " 377.
1873, " 298. " 1873, " 338.
" 1876, " 69. " 1876, " 176.
" 1882, " 101. " 1882, " 252.
Sections 3, 4, and 7.
It was intimated by Chief Justice Gray in Quinn v. Morse, 130 Mass., 317,
321, that the provisions of the old provincial Statute 1692, Chapter 13, relative
to the building of party walls in Boston, had never been repealed and was still
Chapter 49 of the regulation of plumbing is authorized by Chapter, 252
Section 2, of the Acts of 1882.
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 65
CHAPTER 23 — REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
VAULTS AND DRAINS.
Section 19. The owner, agent, occupant, or other person
having the care of a building used as a dwelling, tenement, or
lodging house, or where persons are employed, shall furnish
the same with one or more suitable water-closets, or, where
such building is located on a street in which there is no public
sewer, with a suitable privy, the vault of which shall be built
in the manner hereinafter prescribed, and shall be of a capacity
proportionate to the number of inhabitants of such building, or
of those having occasion to use such privy. Every such build-
ing situated on a street in which there is a sewer shall have
water-closets, and shall not have a cesspool or privy connected
with it, except where, in the opinion of the board of health, it
can be allowed to remain for a longer time, and then only as
said board shall approve. And whoever neglects to comply
with the provisions of this section shall be liable to a penalty of
not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars, or by
confinement in the House of Correction not exceeding sixty
Sect. 20. Every privy-vault shall be made of brick and
cement, and shall be of a capacity of at least eighty cubic feet,
and the inside thereof shall be at least two feet distant from
the line of any adjoining lot, unless by the consent of the
owner of such lot, and at the same distance from any street or
public or private passage-way ; and every vault shall be so con-
structed as to be conveniently approached, opened, and cleaned,
and shall be made tight, so that the contents thereof cannot
Sect. 21. All waste water and all matter discharged from
water-closets shall be conveyed through sufficient drains, under
ground, to a common sewer, or to such reservoir, sunk under
ground, as may be approved by the superintendent of sewers ;
and no person shall suffer waste or stagnant water to remain in
a cellar or upon a lot or vacant ground owned or occupied l>\
66 DIGEST OF BUILDIXG LAWS.
CHAPTER 28 — REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
USE AND OCCUPATION OF STREETS.
Section 3. The inspector of buildings shall see that all
statutes, ordinances, orders, and regulations respecting the use
or occupation of portions of streets for the purpose of erecting,
altering, repairing, or removing buildings are observed and en-
Sect. 7. Whoever desires to occupy or use a portion of a
street for the erection or repair of a building upon land abut-
ting thereon shall make application to the inspector of buildings,
who, subject to the consent of the superintendent of streets,
may grant permits for the occupation or use, for building pur-
poses, of such portions of streets, and for such periods of time,
and under such limitations and restrictions, as may be required
by ordinance or by the public convenience ; and any such per-
mit may be revoked by the said inspector at any time when the
holder thereof fails to comply with any rule or regulation under
which it was granted, or when, in the opinion of the said in-
spector, the public good requires such revocation. No part of
a street other than that so allotted shall be used for depositing
materials for work to be done or for receiving rubbish arising
from such work, and all such rubbish shall be carried away, by
the person or persons to whom the permit is granted, at such
convenient times as the said superintendent of streets or the
said inspector may direct; and, in case of the neglect or re-
fusal of such person or persons so to remove such rubbish, it
shall be removed at their expense by the superintendent of
Sect. 8. When a permit is granted under the preceding
section the portion of a street thereby allotted shall be enclosed
with a sufficient fence, which shall be maintained during the
whole time for which the occupation of such portion of the
street continues, and a lighted lantern or lanterns, or some
other proper and sufficient lights, shall be fixed to some part or
parts of such fence, or in some other proper manner, and such
lanterns or lights shall be kept lighted from the beginning of
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS. 67
twilight through the whole of every night daring such occupa-
Sect. 9. Whoever maliciously or wantonly, and without
legal cause, extinguishes or diminishes a light fixed in accord-
ance with the provisions of section six or of section eight shall
be liable to a penalty of not less than ten nor more than fifty
Sect. 10. Whoever violates any of the provisions of section
seven or section eight shall be liable to a penalty of not less
than two nor more than fifty dollars for each offence, and to a
like penalty for every day's continuance of such offence.
Sect. 11. No person shall, without a license from the
board of aldermen, construct or maintain a cellar-door or cellar-
doorway in a sidewalk, or projecting into a street, or construct
an entrance or flight of steps descending immediately from a
street into a cellar or into the basement story of a building
for the purpose of being kept open as an entrance, and all such
cellar-doors, doorways, and steps as may be licensed by said
board shall be constructed in such manner as said board may
Sect. 18. Whoever is duly licensed or permitted to occupy
a part of a street, or while erecting, repairing a building, or
making an excavation, or for any other purpose, shall provide
a safe and convenient passage for public travel around or over
the obstruction so caused, and shall be responsible to the city
for all injuries sustained in consequence of his neglect so to do,
and shall be liable to a penalty of not less than two nor more
than fifty dollars for each day's continuance of such neglect ;
and he shall at any time, when requested by the superintendent
of streets, or by a police officer, exhibit his license or permit
for such occupation.
CHAPTER 28 — REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
projections into streets.
Section 10. Whoever constructs or places, or causes to
be constructed or placed, a portico, porch, door, window, or
step projecting into a street, except in accordance with the
68 DIGEST OP BUILDING LAWS.
provisions of the statutes of the commonwealth, shall be liable
to a penalty of not less than four nor more than fifty dollars
for each offence, and to a like penalty for each clay that such
portico, porch, door, window, or step is continued as aforesaid
after notice to remove the same, given by the board of alder-
men, or by some person authorized by said board to give such
USE OF STREETS.
Section 33. Whoever, without permission of the board of
aldermen, obstructs a street by placing a building therein, or
moves a building through or upon a street, and whoever aids
and assists in so obstructing a street or moving a building,
shall be liable to a penalty of not less than ten nor more than
fifty dollars, and to a like penalty for every twelve hours that
such obstruction may continue, or that such building may
remain in or upon a street.
1. The covers of hydrants must be kept clear of all building
materials or rubbish, and easy access to such hydrants from the
roadway must be provided.
2. If brick, stone, or other building materials are placed
within the allotted space, they must be so placed as to allow
the free passage of water in the gutter underneath the same.
A violation of either of the above regulations will be suffi-
cient to cause an immediate revocation of a permit.
RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONSTRUCTION
AND ERECTION OF ELECTRIC LIGHTS IN THE CITY
No. 1. The framework to support said lights shall be con-
structed of iron, and of such size as the inspector of buildings
No. 2. The height of said framework shall not be less than
nine and one-ha*lf feet from the sidewalk to the lowest point.
No. 3. The said framework shall not project farther from
DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
the building than a point two and one-half feet within the
outer line of the curb-stone.
No. 4. The location, workmanship, material, and manner of
securing said lights to be approved by the inspector of buildings.
INDEX TO CHAPTER 48 OF THE REVISED ORDINANCES
Par. 1 Dwelling-house, height of. 2
Distance from 2
Thickness and height of brick
walls if constructed .... 2
Par. 2 Distance required between
wooden buildings 2
Par. 3 Wooden ells to wooden dwell-
Par. 4 Blocks of wooden dwelling-
Par. 5 Wooden buildings other than
dwellings, height and range of 2
Par. 6 Wooden buildings other than
dwellings, distance from surround-
ing wooden buildings 2
Par. 7 Sills of wooden buildings not to
be laid below grade of street 2
Wooden buildings exempted 3
Foundations of wooden buildings 4
Framing of wooden buildings 5
Terms for altering, raising, enlarging,
etc., wooden buildings 6
Permit required for erecting, altering, or
adding to wooden buildings 7
Buildings within ten feet of line of
street not to be erected or altered
unless fifteen days' notice has been
given to the inspector of buildings, 9
Number of assistant-inspectors 10
INDEX TO CHAPTER 49 OF THE REVISED ORDINANCES
Plumbers required to register 1
Notices for plumbing to be filed in the
office of inspector of buildings, and
all plumbing to be approved by said
Buildings to be separately and indepen-
dently connected with sewer 3
Drains and soil-pipes 4
Rain-water leaders 5
Sewer, soil, and waste pipe ventilators,
how constructed G
Iron pipes 7
Traps and special air-pipes 8
Drip or overflow pipes 9
Water-closet tanks 11
Pipes and other fixtures not to be covered
or concealed from view until work
has been approved by inspector .... 12
Plumbing work not to be used until
tested and found to be satisfactory. . 13
Water-pipes in exposed places, how
70 DIGEST OF BUILDING LAWS.
INDEX TO DIAGKAMS.
CHAPTER 48— REVISED ORDINANCES OF 1885.
Distances required between wooden buildings and construction of party-
walls in blocks of 2 or more ........ A 2
Foundations for wooden buildings ........ B 4
Framing, plan of, size of posts, girts, etc. ...... C 5
(Oct., 1886, 20,000)
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