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In spits of the spells of bad weather and incidental accidents which inevitably retard the schedule of construction of a large building, the progress on the Widener Library has been very satisfactory to those in charge. The delays have, by this time, been made up for and it is hoped that the roof will be completed on the northern half of the building before the seriously cold weather sets in. On the southern half, because of the bookstacks which occupy practically this entire portion, it is doubtful whether progress can be made as rapidly.
On the exterior of the building, the brick and stone work has reached third-floor height, while some parts of the skeleton construction of the interior are even higher. All of the twenty-eight Corinthian columns and capitals have been set, four in each of the four pavilions and twelve across the front of the building. The capitals are being carved in place with the use of plaster models and it is hoped to expedite this work, which is now being done by hand, by the installation of an air compressor, which is expected shortly. The stone-work on the gable-end of the northeast pavilion is now complete, while that on the northwest gable is about half finished. When the stone on this gable is set, the construction of the roof will progress rapidly. The modillions or carved projections under the saves are being set but the construction on the two southern pavillions has not progressed beyond the mould frieze.
Inscription Probably by President Eliot
On the front of the building the last of the frieze-course has been put in place. There is room along this space for an inscription of fifty-on letters. The exact inscription has not yet been determined upon but the authorship will probably fall to President Eliot, who has written many of the most notable and striking inscriptions of the time. There will be a similar space on the southern end of the building which is also to bear some legend.
As to the interior, the fireproofing has already been begun on the ground floor of the eastern building. This work is in charge of Roebling & Company of Philadelphia. The installation of the metal window-frames has commenced and the steel bookstacks, which on the southern half alone will have a capacity of about one and three-quarters millions of books, are nearing completion. 'For heat, the building will be dependent on outside sources, doing away with the dangers of a furnace and boilers in the cellar. A concrete tunnel has been built from Sever around the front of the library to permit the introduction of steam pipes on the west side. By this means, temporary heating facilities will be installed for the winter so that operations on the interior of the edifice may progress uninterrupted by the cold weather. This huge concrete tunnel will be completed within the present week.
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