Martin van Buren photo

Special Message

December 21, 1837

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the last session, I transmit a report made to me by the architect of the public buildings, with the accompanying documents, exhibiting a plan of the Treasury building now in process of erection, showing its location in reference to the adjacent streets and public square on which it is located, its elevation, the number and size of the rooms it will afford suitable for office business and the number and size of those suitable only for the deposit of records, with a statement of the sum expended on said building and an estimate of the sum that will be required to complete the same. As the fifth section of the act of July 4, 1836, under the authority of which this building has been commenced, provides only for the erection of an edifice of such dimensions as may be required for the present and future accommodation of the Treasury Department, the size of the structure has been adapted to that purpose; and it is not contemplated to appropriate any part of the building to the use of any other Department. As it is understood, however, that the plan of the edifice admits of its being completed either with or without wings, and that if Congress should think proper accommodation may be provided by means of wings consistently with the harmony of the original design for the Department of State and the General Post-Office, it is not thought that the public interest requires any change in the location or plan, although it is believed that the convenience of the public business would be promoted by including in the building the proposed accommodations for the two other Departments just mentioned. The report of the architect shows the supposed difference of the expense that would be incurred in the event of the construction of the building with wings, in taking down the edifice now occupied by the Department of State, or repairing it so as to render it fireproof and make its outside conform to the other parts of the new building.

I also transmit statements from the heads of the several Departments of the number and size of the rooms that are necessary for their respective Departments for office business and for the deposit of records.


Martin van Buren, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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