Wednesday, July 23, 2014

April 2, 1911, New York Times, page 10, START TO REMODEL DAMAGED CAPITOL.

April 2, 1911, New York Times, page 10, START TO REMODEL DAMAGED CAPITOL;
Contractors Tearing Down the Most Dangerous Parts of the Fire-Wrecked Walls.

ALBANY, April 1. -- A contracting firm under the direction of Franklin B. Ware, State Architect, began work to-day on the burned part of the Capitol. Some of the walls are being shored so that the more dangerous parts on the western side of the Capitol may be taken down. The most dangerous spot is in the wall which supports the dormer windows on the roof of the northwestern pavilion. The opposite pavilion must also be removed.

The work of salvage in the State Library is bringing about better results than was hoped for and Education Commissioner Draper said to-day that about 50,000 books, mostly from the reference section, would be recovered. These are being taken to religious and other buildings, where they can be spread out to dry. The greatest care has to be taken to prevent thievery by relic hunters. It is asserted that there are paid agents of various interests here who are resorting to all manner of means to gain possession of valuable books, manuscripts, and relics. Because of this all passes have been revoked and new ones are issued only to persons having business in the Capital.

Dr. Draper says that the most serious question in the rehabilitating of the State Library will be the necessary funds. He has called a special meeting of the Regents of the university in this city on Wednesday evening to initiate measures for the rebuilding of the State Library.

The Commissioner also issued an appeal to the school children of Albany to help the State in recovering Indian relics, coins, or other relics scattered by the fire, by bringing them, or reporting any knowledge concerning them, to the teachers of the schools or to the temporary quarters of the State Library in State Street.

Twisted sword blades recovered from the ruins were delivered to Commissioner Draper to-day. They are all that remain of the weapons presented by the Governor of New York to to Gen. Worth at the close of the Mexican war. The sword presented by Frederick the Great to Gen. George Washington is missing.

Arnold J.T. Von Laer, State Archivist, who is being assisted by H.F. Phelps Stokes as the representative of the Trustees of the New York public Library, watched every shovelful of stuff taken out of the library to-day. Mr. Von Laer said that the contents of the archive room, if figured merely in the commercial worth of the autographs on the documents, was easily $1,000,000, and that out of this approximately $10,000 has been saved.

Many records have been needlessly lost through the haste of workmen, according to State Historian Victor H. Paltsits. He says that he picked up yesterday about 500 feet from where the papers were being thrown out a conveyance of land in the Town of Groton bearing the date 1723.

Gov. Dix and many other State officials and employes to-day attended the funeral services of Samuel Abbott of Syracuse, the watchman who was burned to death in the State Library. The body of Mr. Abbott, with that of his wife, who died in this city in January, were taken to Syracuse to-night for burial.

The police to-day received a letter from the parents of David Mintz of Newark, N.J., who fear their son may have perished in the Capital fire. Mintz came to Albany on Monday with R.E. Sherman of Hartford, Conn. On Tuesday Mintz told Sherman he intended to sleep in the Assembly Chamber that night and would meet him the next morning. He failed to keep his appointment, and has not been seen since.

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