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Committee changed the plans, to build to the limit in height and depth, and these changes made the increased cost of building.
"After many revisions of the plans, keeping, however, the increased height determined on, and numerous conferences with lawyers, contractors and abutting owners; the Building Committee, having been duly authorized on July 21, awarded the contract for the building to The Whitney Company of New York, for the sum of $540,000; the building to be completed in ten months.
"The work on the building was begun on July 24 by President Samuel J. Elder throwing the first shovelful of dirt; and the work progressed rapidly, so that the corner-stone was laid on October 9, by ex-President Taft, amid great enthusiasm.
"Most of you gentlemen recall the financial conditions of the country in July, 1913, at the time the work was ready to be started on the new Club House. Having raised about $300,000 amongst our own members, we sought a first mortgage of $400,000 to complete the work, but no financial institutions at that time were interested in a big mortgage, even on a Boston City Club House at 42%, our maximum rate; and after many days of trial in Boston, New York, and other financial centres, the project of raising this mortgage was abandoned, until better times came.
"After much study and consideration a scheme was developed to go ahead on a part of the contract, and build the foundations up to the street level, the Club having cash enough in hand or in pledges on debentures to warrant this action, which was endorsed by the Finance Committee and also by the Executive Committee.
"This work was arranged for with the contractor as a supplementary agreement which allowed us to stop the work at the street floor if we so wished. The work on the foundations and basement floor progressed in a satisfactory manner, though it was not pushed, on account of the unsettled financial conditions.
"On February 16, the Building Committee reported to the Executive Committee, asking for authority to order the steel for the balance of the building, as the steel contractors advised it would take ten weeks, i. e., until May 1, to deliver the material, and that serious delays would be entailed in the construction if this steel was not ordered at that time. The Building Committee had been advised of this condition on November 18, by the contractor, who generously offered to wait for his payment for this steel until April 1, 1914.
"In March, 1914, a second financial campaign was carried out, whereby $150,000 more was raised amongst Club members; and a few weeks later the Finance Committee reported that they had at last succeeded in raising a first mortgage for $350,000, which completed the entire financing of the new Club House project.
"On March 6, the Executive Committee authorized the Building Committee to proceed with the construction, but meanwhile the contractors, The Whitney Company, having had more faith in the City Club than its executive officers, had ordered the steel framework, and
by substituting its order in the mills for some of their other work got very quick delivery; so that the work of erection was begun early in June.
"The work from this time progressed rapidly and with no trouble to the Building Committee, until some time in October, when the stoves and ranges for the kitchen came along from St. Louis.
"Now these stoves and ranges were perfectly good articles, made out of good iron, by good workmen - looked good and were good. But unfortunately they had been made by non-union labor; and by the dictate of some international dictator, could not be installed in Boston by any union labor, nor, as it finally eventuated, would any union men in any trade work on the building unless the apparatus already installed was removed, and "junked," as most of it was special and could not be used in any other place.
"Such was the "ultimatum" given the Building Committee on December 27, at which time practically all the apparatus was in place. The Building Committee thought too much of those good stoves and ranges, and also thought that the Boston City Club should not be a party to any interstate labor row, and declined the "ultimatum"; and for three weeks all work stopped on the building, but began with great vigor in conferences with labor delegates. Fortunately we had on our committee one man who was a diplomat, and who was cool enough to talk to these delegates. This man was Mr. John S. Lawrence, who, together with our counsel, Mr. Henry H. Fuller, spent hours in conferences, with the result that the "ultimatum" was withdrawn and all matters settled to the satisfaction of everybody except Mr. Moriarty, of the Sheet Metal Workers' Union.
"So our last sorrow was ended; and with the greatest cooperation of everybody on the House Committee, Mr. Bacharach and Mr. Westcott and the entire operating staff, the building was finally opened on February 15, 1915.
"To account to you members as to our financial management, we would make the following report:
"In July, 1913, when the final contract was made with The Whitney Company, the following estimates were presented to the Executive Committee:
Proposal of The Whitney Company, house only. $378,400.00
"The total cost of the building alone, to date, and the Building Committee consider it practically finished, has been $541,650, or $5,400 less than the estimate made. (Applause.)
"In addition to doing the work shown on plans, changes were made for further accommodations and improvements amounting to over $20,000, so that the Building Committee feels that it has a credit coming to it of about $25,000.
"The cost of interest charges during construction, legal expenses, permits, etc., have somewhat exceeded the estimates originally made, on account of the various delays in carrying out the work; but the combined estimate of the Building Committee, on a grand total of $850,000 for building and land complete, including all expenses and charges, will be practically realized.
"Also, our good friends the House Committee 'worked' us for a complete new outfit. We have furnished the new House in all its details, have provided them with much extra crockery, glass, silver and hardware, bedroom and other linen, and various other necessities.
"This, members of the Boston City Club, is an account of our stewardship. The Building Committee, to a man, from the first believed in the City Club-in its principles, its future growth, and in the great loyalty of its members. We started to build for a finality of 5,000 members; to-day we have 5,200 members, and 1,800 on the waiting list; so our effort to build to the limit for accommodations has proven to have been wise and proper.
"Mr. President, on behalf of the Building Committee, I hand you the keys of the Boston City Club House; a House we, the Building Committee, are proud of; and we shall get our reward for the years of labor spent on this work, in the knowledge and belief that we are. turning over to you a building worthy of our Club, its ideals and purposes, and of the founders and all the men who by their generous support and loyalty have made this Club and building possible.' (Loud applause.)
The President. "Mr. Chairman of the Building Committee, I accept this bunch of keys to the Boston City Club and renew my expression on behalf of the Club of gratitude to your Committee. Gentlemen, the House is not going to be locked against 5,000 or 6,000 good fellows that are entitled to come in.
(At this moment Governor Walsh entered as the orchestra played, "Hail to the Chief.")
"We are honored by the presence of His Excellency, the Governor. We wish that we might have seen him earlier in the evening, but there is no doubt whatever that his obligations are such that we should be grateful for his remembering us at this time. (Applause.) He knows the City Club and we know him, so I have no words of introduction except to present His Excellency." (Loud applause and cheers.)
HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR WALSH
"Mr. Chairman, Members of the City Club. This occasion is so memorable that I desire what I have to say shall be said with caution and with precision. And I am going to ask your indulgence while I read what I have prepared for this occasion.
"I am glad to be permitted to extend to you the congratulations of Massachusetts, for I feel that the State has at least equal reason with yourselves to rejoice in the great prosperity and vigorous growth of such an organization as this.
"I believe that I voice a widespread sentiment in saying that we have a surfeit of partisan politics. Too many candidates for office, too many elections turning on personal and selfish issues. Our views of public questions are too often distorted and our interest in the common welfare obscured by animosities and prejudices that are an inheritance from across the sea, and that are sure to fade away when men of different stock meet day by day as you meet here and learn as you do by personal contact how much better the other fellow really is than you had been led to expect to find him. (Applause.)
"And so I say that it is a great thing for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that we have here these daily gatherings of strong and intelligent men, men of affairs, whose interest in the common welfare is broader and more unselfish than that of the politician, and whose interchanges of opinion are more effective in respect and mutual liking which must inevitably result from such familiar meetings.
"When I recall the topics taken up by you for discussion in your former quarters, the long list of eminent men of all shades of opinions who have from time to time been invited to address you, it seems to me that you might, if you chose, lay claim to a conspicuous place among the educational institutions of the State. (Applause.)
"Men of national and of international reputation as the ablest exponents of conflicting theories, political, social, and economic, have welcomed the opportunity to submit their views to your consideration and your criticism. You have had the benefit of the best thoughts of our day, on public questions, ranging from city planning and better housing conditions for wage-earners and similar matters of primary local concern to the tariffs and currency problems, the control or disruption of the trusts, the transportation situation, the proper use of the Panama Canal, our Philippine policy, our relations, commercial and political, with Mexico and the rapidly advancing South American States. On most or all, in short, of the great questions of the hour which our local, State, and national Governments are called upon to answer and which will be answered rightly only under the impulse and direction of an intelligent public opinion. (Applause.)
"You have been therefore and with your enlarged membership in this beautiful and commodious quarters, you will increasingly be a civic university as well as a truly democratic social centre, and an indissoluble bond of good fellowship.
"In the name of the Commonwealth I congratulate your founders who have made possible this institution for Massachusetts.
"I congratulate this organization because it means a better understanding between man and man; because it means that in Massachusetts, in the future, when men like you gather and assemble here to discuss
these public questions which are of supreme importance for the future welfare and prosperity of Massachusetts, the question will no longer be asked, 'Is it Democratic? Or, 'Is it Republican?' Or, 'Is it Progressive policy?", but the question will be, 'Is it for the welfare of Boston and of Massachusetts? (Prolonged applause.)
"I congratulate the organizers of this Club and of this organization that no longer are men in Massachusetts or in Boston to ask the question, 'Is he wealthy or is he poor? Or, 'What land did his fathers. come from, or his ancestors?' Or, 'Is he a Democrat or is he a Republican?' 'Is he Catholic, Protestant, or Gentile?" But the only question is, 'Is he a man who is loyal to Massachusetts ?' (Prolonged
"And I know of no organization with greater possibilities of usefulness, with greater opportunities to help push Massachusetts and this great metropolitan city forward than this splendid organization.
"Men of all opinions, men of all parties, men of all races, men of all creeds, banded together for the welfare and the prosperity and the happiness of the people of our beloved community. (Applause.)
"And so I gladly and cheerfully bring here the greetings of Massachusetts, of all her people,-of all her people, nearly four million of them. and I bring to this Club the greetings and the good wishes of these people and I wish it unbounded success and prosperity, and express the hope in the name of Massachusetts and of its people that it will be an agency to assist and cooperate in solving the problems of our beloved State, and assisting in adding and contributing to all that may assist in giving a greater measure of happiness and of prosperity to Massachusetts and its people than they have ever enjoyed since the day our beloved Commonwealth was organized." (Tremendous applause.)
The President. "Gentlemen, you have all heard of the play, 'Hamlet,' out of which Hamlet had been left. I won't say that the Hamlet is left off the program to-night, of the speakers, but if that is the play of Hamlet, I am sure that either Hamlet or Polonius or Ophelia or the goat is left out because there is no reference on the program to one of the marked events of the evening, which is the dedicatory poem which you are to hear, written for us by a man of world-wide reputation who has traveled from North Carolina to Boston, and goes back to-night, for the purpose of being present and greeting you upon this occasion.
"He is a man of intense human sympathies, of a very keen intellect, and of tongue of gold. He is going to read his dedicatory poem, but, late as it is, I am very sure that we should all be delighted if he would do as much more than that as he chooses. (Applause.) We should welcome an exordium and we should welcome an aftermath; it is all in the hands of Mr. John Kendrick Bangs, whom I have the pleasure of presenting to you now." (Cheers and applause, the members rising.)