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The most pleasing construction in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D. C.
Some of the Enduring and Artistic Engineering Constructions Supplementing Nature's Handiwork at Beauty Spots in the Vicinity
of the National Capital
URING the last ten years, Con- aggregating some million and a-half dolgress has been fairly liberal in lars were made by Congress to purchase its appropriations for the im 2,000 acres including the Creek, for the
provement of the outlying dis- establishment of a national zoological tricts of the national capital, and the garden, and, adjoining it on the north, Army engineers have taken much pride a national park, known as Rock Creek in devising plans for enduring and artis- Park. While the primal beauty of this tic engineering work.
region has, perhaps, not been enhanced
by the building of perfect driveways and Rock Creek Park
many bridle paths and the construction Rock Creek, a small stream which for of handsome bridges, these works have years was the dividing line between made it possible for the country lover to Washington and Georgetown, is a water- visit and see this section, heretofore the course possessing great natural wild haunt only of a great variety of birds and beauty in the seven or eight miles from wood and water animals. its debouchure into the Potomac back to The earlier history of the District of where it is a placid stream traversing Columbia bird and animal life shows farm and meadow lands. Considerable Rock Creek to have been an exceptional of a torrent in the flood season, it has breeding place. Over 500 species of birds cut its way through the comparatively have been observed within ten miles of high outlying hills and heights north and the national Capitol building, and 100 west of Washington. Appropriations have been known to breed within this limit. Many of these have retired from the scene since the opening of the Park; but in the early mornings of spring, Rock Creek is still alive with dozens of species of feathered songsters.
The Extension of Washington The City of Washington itself is rapidly encroaching upon the Park; and while the conservatives vigorously opposed such a large government expenditure in securing this land, the wisdom of Congress is now apparent. Magnificent residence structures now overlook the
northwest, the cost of which will be about three quarters of a million dollars. This imposing masonry bridge will be from one of the best designs of the late George S. Morison, assisted by Edward P. Casey, whose work in bridge architecture has attracted considerable notice. The bridge will have five full-center spans of 150 feet each, and two full-center end spans of 82 feet each. The piers of the large arches are 20 feet thick; and those between the large and small arches, 37 feet. These thicknesses were determined partly on the ground of satisfactory construction,
STYLISH LITTLE CEMENT AND PEBBLE BRIDGE.
Park from the city side, while beyond, for the scheme of work contemplates the land which a few years ago was undi- simultaneous construction of the large vided farms, is now being built up with arches and the consecutive building of handsome suburban residences, and the the short arches. The bridge will be 52 trolley takes people quickly back and feet in width between the faces; and the forth from the city. One of the most total length between abutments, 1,341 important improvements is the extension feet—a quarter of a mile. Above the of Massachusetts Avenue. This is a gov- main arches are a number of full-center ernment project nearing completion, and spandrel arches having spans of 14 feet costing about $200,000. The Creek flows each, and supported by transverse spanthrough a capacious granite tunnel with drel walls 3 feet thick. These arches are a 50-foot span covered by a huge em- open over the 150-foot spans, but closed bankment 80 feet high, which rises to the by face walls at the piers and over the grade of the Avenue, enabling it to cross 82-foot arches. The main arches are to the Rock Creek ravine.
be built of 1:2:412 Portland cement conAnother large bridge project for which crete; the transverse walls, spandrel the pier foundations are going down, is arches, and most other parts, of 1:272:6 the extension of Connecticut Avenue Portland cement concrete. Alternative proposals will be received for cut-stone and for moulded concrete blocks for parts of the trim and faces.
Rustic Ornamentation One of the handsomest rustic ornaments of the Park is a steel, rock, and 'cement bridge faced with rough, natural boulders, each as large as the body of a big man. This structure justly has the name of being one of the most artistic examples of engineering construction in the country. It has an 80-foot span and a 15-foot rise, and carries a 23-foot roadway. The clear width between the parapets is 23 feet; width over all, 27 feet. This locality of Rock Creek made it desirable to build a boulder bridge, if possible, for æsthetic reasons; but, as only $17,500 was available for construction, Rock CREEK TUNNEL UNDER MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, it was necessary to adopt some less ex
Culvert, 50 feet clear span, 200 feet long:
rise, 32.5 feet. pensive type, that selected being a Melan concrete-steel arch with a boulder facing, the concrete of the soffit being artificially about them, by means of four 34-inch darkened to harmonize with the faces of wire ropes. A number of arch stones the stones. The specifications state that were made by splitting boulders in two the boulder face of each stone shall pro- pieces. The bridge was designed under ject at least two inches beyond the neat Captain L. H. Beach, Engineer Commislines of the bridge and not more than fif- sioner of the District of Columbia. The teen inches. The mortar consists of one contract was for $14,890, exclusive of part Portland cement and two parts sand. steel and royalties, which made the total
Two men were employed to do the entire cost $17,500, the amount of the approboulder work, which, while apparently priation. natural, required considerable dressing Any Sunday, thousands of stylish on the interior faces. Each stone is at- equipages cross this small span, their octached to the top of the adjacent steel cupants enjoying the wild surrounding girder by a solid steel cramp cemented scenery, which but a few years ago was for at least two inches in a hole in the the resort of the small boy, willing to stone. The outside girders were bound tramp miles to enjoy a cool swim in a together, just before the concrete was put deep, secluded hole.
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NOT so long ago a waterfall was
nothing more than a picturesque feature of the landscape. Its chief purpose was to inspire the rhapsodies of poets, and to furnish artists with subjects for spectacular paintings. But now comes the science of engineering, and makes a waterfall a valuable commercial asset. All over the world, trained engineers are out looking for waterfalls as prospectors used to look for gold mines. And, if a fall be found within fifty miles of a large city-or even farther off—it is likely to pay a larger profit than the richest of Golcondas. For a waterfall is a source of power, and power is a commodity for which the demand is limitless.
Few mechanical inventions have produced more spectacular results than those which, by means of the electricai transmission of power, have made available the energy generated by far-off torrents of water. Already it has come to pass that a mountain river, tumbling over a ledge of rocks in some remote, almost inaccessible fastness, has been harnessed to turbine wheels, and forced to furnish light and power to the inhabitants of a city fifty miles away on the seacoast.
For months Russian engineers have been searching the country about St. Petersburg for a waterfall which might do the work of the Czar's metropolis. Now they have found it. Up in rocky New England, the mountain rivers and brooks are being made allies of the manufacturing interests of that section.
C A good many trains of thought are unable to get off the side-track.
a No man's a failure till he's dead or loses his courage, and that's the same thing.
C Watching the other man's patch will not keep the weeds out of your own.
C Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing
C All really great work is rough in the doing. though it seems smooth enough to those who look back upon it, or to contemporaries who overlook it from afar.
Even in Chicago, located as it is on situated that the cost of an electric plant swampy ground on the shore of Lake would be a minimum. Perhaps there is Michigan, the building of the great a waterfall nearby; or, if not, there is Drainage Canal to the Mississippi has probably a swift-flowing stream somemade possible the creation of an immense where on his land, which could readily water-power plant which may well, in be made to operate a plant to supply all the not remote future, furnish light for the electricity needed. Or the necessary all the streets of the metropolis, and water force might be obtained by buildleave, besides, a surplus to be applied ing a dam in any kind of running stream, possibly to the running of municipal and employing a simple water wheel street-railways.
such as can now be purchased at very The possibilities of solar motors and low cost. Or, again, electric energy can tide motors are as yet undeveloped. be generated from a windmill and stored Meanwhile there is still plenty of wasted away in a storage battery. In fact the water power, which waits only the hand windmill offers a magnificent prospect of the skilled engineer to be turned into as a source of electrical energy. Some a source of permanent profit.
farmers have not been slow to realize Don't waste your time looking for a this, but most of them have concluded gold mine! Go out and get an option on
that the windmill can serve no other puran undeveloped waterfall!
pose than to pump water. One farmer near Chicago has everything about his place operated by electricity through the agency of a couple of big windmills. By
means of electricity the house and Electricity on the Farm grounds are lighted, and water is pumped
for the cattle ; electric bells are on all the THE use of electricity on the farm
doors; electric signals connect all the offers inducements of which Ameri- buildings: there is an electric burglar can farmers seem to be ignorant, but
alarm system; a local telephone system which would transform farm life into an
reaches to every room in every house; existence of convenience and luxury
his wife's sewing machine is run by elecfrom one of toil and frequent discomfort. tricity; her laundry iron is heated by the France and Germany seem to realize the
same means; and they have a small elecadvantage of electricity on the farm, and tric stove which is used when the power the American agriculturist could gain
is not required for other duties. many valuable ideas by touring the rural
But even this enterprising farmer has districts of those countries. Not only is
not applied electricity to perform the this force capable of making the farmer's
most important farm work, as is done life more enjoyable, but it can be made
in France and Germany. In these couna source of wonderful economy of labor
por tries, motors are adapted for doing all
tries m and consequently a source of wealth.
kinds of work—plowing, cultivating, The cost is insignificant compared to the
reaping, etc. On smaller farms, tenants advantages. The American farmer, how
combine, making one motor do the work ever, plods along in his easy way, taking
for all by carrying it from place to place it for granted that electricity is only for
as needs require. The saving of labor is the convenience of the city. On the con
so obvious, that, even among the most trary, electricity can be made of tenfold
conservative, the value of the motor is more advantage to the farmer than to
admitted. By burying electrodes in the the urban resident; and he can better
earth, and then applying electric power, afford to enjoy its blessings, because the
the ground is freed from everything in cost to him would be comparatively in
the nature of crawling and creeping significant. He can have his own electric
things, solving the problem of dealing plant, whereas the urban resident must
with pestiferous insects. depend on the electric monopoly in the city where he dwells, and pay several
A writer says: times over the value for every electric
“Even the farmer need only touch a button light or other convenience electric power if he will avail himself of the results of modmay afford. Frequently the farmer is so ern science."