Jean Lafitte
Historic Resource Study (Chalmette Unit)
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The building, 52 feet 1 inch long by 20 feet 7 inches wide, to be of brick, two stories in height; each story to be subdivided into two rooms and a central hall, and each to be 11 feet 7 inches clear in height; the whole to be surrounded by a porch 10 feet wide and one story in height.

The general arrangement is clearly explained by the drawings, upon which the necessary dimensions are figured.


Necessary excavations to be made for foundation of piers and chimney-stacks; also trenches for drain-pipes; lay 8-inch vitrified drain-pipes from down spouts of roof to cistern wherever necessary, and cover the same when completed.


All foundations to commence 18 inches below the natural surface of the ground, and to be of the dimensions and form as shown by drawings, with suitable footings; to be built of hard, well-burnt brick laid in cement mortar, resting upon a continuous bed of cement concrete 6 inches thick, and to be carried up true and plumb to the level of the first-story floor, 5 feet 6 inches above surface of ground; the top course of the foundation for the building to be leveled off and one course of slate laid thereon. Above the ground the foundation for the building and porch will consist of a series of segmental arches resting on piers, as shown on drawings.


The exterior wall to start at first-story floor, 5 feet 6 inches above surface of ground, and to be 15-1/2 inches thick throughout its height; to be built hollow, with an inside furring of brick, one-half brick in thickness, leaving a space of 2 inches between its inner face and the body of the wall, which will be one brick thick, as per accompanying sketch.

The wall to be faced with first quality red brick, all laid in white mortar with close joints. The partition walls to be built of good red brick laid in lime mortar, and to be one brick thick.


All the piers of the porch to be capped with cut stone-4 inches thick; the imposts of first-story windows and outside door to be of cut stone 4 inches thick, all to be as shown on drawing. The sills of all the windows and outside doors to be of cut stone 4 inches thick, of suitable length, with not less than 11-inch wash.


Facings to first-story windows and outside doors to be 2 inches.


The fire-places and chimneys, each with two flues, properly pargeted, scraped, and with thimbles, flanges, and plates for stove-pipes in second story, to be as shown on drawing; to commence 18 inches below surface of ground, to be carried up above the roof and properly capped; the topping-out to be of good red brick laid in whte mortar.


Fire-places to be cased and hearths laid with hard red brick, and fitted with suitable grates.


The front and rear steps, front ground to porch level, to be as shown on drawing; to be built of hard-burnt brick laid in cement mortar; the treads to be of hard paving brick laid on edge.


All interior walls, partitions, and ceilings lathed; to be plastered with three coats of best quality lime, sharp sand, and hair mortar. The last coat to be hard finished.



Floor joists for both stories to be 3x10", ceiling joist of second story 2x8", all to be placed 16 inches between centers. Floor joists to be trussed with two rows of cross bridging.


The rafters for the building to be 2x6", framed on the ceiling joists and properly braced with inch boards. The rafters for porch to be 2x6", placed 24 inches between centers.


In lower story, 6 circular-headed windows, with box frames, having 1-1/4-inch pulleys and hanging stiles, and double sash 17 inches thick; lower sash with 4 lights and upper sash 6 lights, as shown on drawings. In upper story, 8 segment-headed windows, with similar frames and sash, each sash with 4 lights, all to be hung with proper cord and weights, and to be provided with proper brass sash-locks. The outside doors to have a transom, fan-shaped, as shown on drawing.

All the windows in second story to be provided with outside Venetian blinds, 1-1/2 inches thick, to be of hard pine, and to open in the center, with proper inside and outside fastenings; the lower panel to have movable slats. Pediments to have ventilating windows, as shown on drawing.


Each room to have one door opening from the hall, as shown on drawing; each to be double faced, with 4 panels, 1-1/2 inches thick, hung with 3-1/2-inch butts, and fastened with 6-inch mortise locks and white mineral furniture. Front and rear hall doors to be as shown on drawings, 1-3/4 inches thick, double faced, and double hung with 5-inch butts, and provided with 6-inch mortise locks, plated furniture, bolts, and night-latches. Closet doors to be single faced, 1-1/2 inches thick, and provided with proper locks and knobs.


Closets to be provided for and set up when shown on drawing, and furnished with proper shelving, books, and fixtures.


All floors to be of best quality 5-4 seasoned hand pine, tongued and grooved, blind-nailed and laid in courses; to be free from knots or defects, mill-worked and smooth. All floors to be deafened by at least 4 inches of lime mortar.


To be as shown on plan; to consist of one flight with winders; the tread of 5-4 hard pine, to be tongued, glued, and blocked to the risers 4-4 thick, with molded nosings and returns. The rail to be 3-1/4 inches molded and 2-1/4 inches turned ballusters, with 9-inch turned newel-post, all to be of black walnut, oiled and rubbed. The rail with ballusters and posts to continue around the well in second story.


All open fire-places to be provided with plain stone or marbleized slate mantels.


To be as shown on drawing; flooring to be laid with 5-4 marrow hard pine plank, tongued and grooved, mill-worked and smooth, blind-nailed, and laid on 2x* joists resting on wall and foundation arches, with one of bridging in center. Ceiling of roof to be covered with 4-4 narrow pine plank.


All windows and doors to be trimmed on the inside with jambs, head-casings, and plain beaded architraves. The rooms and halls to have 10-inch wash-boards, with 2-1/2-inch sub and a 2-inch molding.


Roof of porch and dwelling to be sheathed with 4-4 boards laid with close joints and well nailed to rafters, and covered with best quality cypress shingles, showing not over 4-1/2 inches to the weather, and provided with the necessary look-outs for cornices.


Provide for and set up in position, as shown on drawing, 28 cast-iron Ionic Corinthian columns, 9 inches diameter at neck and 10 feet in height; to be furnished by the United States.

Also provide and set up wrought-iron railing, with ornamented cast-iron newel-post, to front and rear, steps, as shown on drawing.


Step-flash around all chimneys; provide for and set up all necessary guttering and spouting from both roofs, connecting spouting with the 8-inch vitrified drain-pipes to cistern.


All windows and transoms to be glazed with best American glass; to be well bedded, bradded, and back-puttied.


All the inside and outside work necessary to be painted to have 3 coats of white lead in boiled oil; color to be slected by the Engineer. Doors to be grained, either in walnut or oak, if desired.


All rubbish of every kind to be removed during the progress of the work, when necessary, and on the completion of the building the premises to be left broom clean.


All materials used in the building to be of the best quality of their several kinds, and the work done in a neat, substatial, and workmanlike manner, conforming in every respect, both in form and dimensions, to the drawings herewith annexed and to these specifications.

All labor and material that may be necessary for the proper completion of the building, which may not have been mentioned and described in these specifications, shall be done and the same furnished as though mentioned therein, so as to form a complete and thoroughly constructed building, ready for immediate occupation.

*NA, RG 92. General Correspondence. Specifications.

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Last Updated: 05-Sep-2004