This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The buildings under the control of the Treasury Department are for the use of the civil branches of the Government, such as Postoffices, Courts, Customs, Internal Revenue, Marine Hospitals, and Quarantine Stations. Such buildings as the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Executive buildings of the different Departments at Washington, are not under the control of the Treasury Department nor built by it; neither are forts or other Army or Navy buildings, or United States Jails.
Many of the buildings under the Treasury Department are very large and expensive, the New York Custom House and the Chicago and San Francisco Postoffices being buildings of this type. The larger number, however, are of moderate size, ranging from 40 feet by 80 feet outside dimensions, and one story high, to buildings of three times that area and three stories high, and costing complete, with heating apparatus, etc., from $35,000 to $175,000 each.
The large majority are of fireproof construction and classic design, with interior finish of hardwood and marble where the funds will permit. The best of materials and appliances are used throughout, as it is inadvisable and almost impracticable in public buildings of this character, to exercise the many economies which prevail in private building.
The interiors are fitted with the dest of modern appliances and conveniences; plumbing is extensive and perfect; the toilet rooms for Postoffice carriers are supplied not only with the usual appliances, but often with shower-baths; and no woodwork either in floors or in finish is allowed. Through the building, small private toilet rooms are provided for the more prominent officials; and in many, especially in the South, bathtubs are supplied. The heating, ventilating, and electric work are, in their lines, equally complete.
The buildings in the larger cities where the Railway Mail Service men change, have dormitories for the accommodation of from ten to seventy-five men. In the Postoffice proper are galleries with openings commanding every corner accessible to the men, from which Inspectors can watch for days, without arousing suspicion, any person suspected of pillaging the mails.
There is always a large "swing room" for carriers when off duty, where they provide themselves with games, boxing gloves, and occasionally a billiard table for recreation.
In the larger Postoffice buildings are the most perfect of mechanical equipments, engines, boilers, electric generators, elevators, mail-carrying and handling devices, sweeping machinery, etc.
From the above it is evident that there are few lines in the building industries which should not be interested in the erection and furnishing of these many buildings.