Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 14 March 1808

Washington, March 14h. 1808


Agreeably to your desire I submit to you an estimate of one intercolumnation as erected on each side of the Presidents house, calculating for a Stone entablature, on the South front,—and also stating the difference if the entablature be of Timber. Should the public offices be accomodated in these rooms, the necessary security from fire might require them to be arched as in the Treasury fireproof in this case a stone Entablature might be necessary which has induced me to give you its estimate.—

Rough stone to foundation, & one cross Wall 100.—
Bricks in the South Wall 32.—
Freestone in the Column & Entablature 96.—
Workmanship on Freestone 150.—
Freestone on the North front & workmanship 135.—
Carpenters work (one Window, roof, one door & } 105.—
 frame) labor & all materials
Floor one joists, 32.—
Sheet iron, 4 square at 25$ 100.—
Painting do 12. 
Painting the Platform 10.—
Window glazing & painting 15.—
Paving the Colonnade Brickflat 6.—
Plaistering 133 Yds @ 50 ea $66.50
Digging, Scaffolding removing rubbish &c 50.—

The Treasury fireproof of 7 Columnations cost about 8000$. It has a vaulted Cellar, but no Colonnade.—But in other respects it is an expensive building; the Sashes being of wrought Iron, ornamented, & there is a range on each side. If a double row of Offices were built the additional expense would be only in the interior. The most expensive part the front & back freestone work would be the same; and I suppose 1500$ per Columnation would be the expense, & 2000$ if Cellars were added. The difference between a wooden & freestone entablature is 200 dollars per Intercolummation.

With the highest respect I am Yrs. faithfully

B Henry Latrobe

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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