” Clust’s first completed building was the Metropolitan Hook and Ladder Company’s fire engine house. Dedicated by Mayor Wallach in February 1864, it reflected the city’s decision to assume responsibility for building fire houses and paying at least some of the formerly all-volunteer firemen. The Evening Star reported the event and included the first of what became a characteristic Cluss “news release,” a publicity device to advertise his work that he employed throughout his career. It included a detailed description of the building’s dimensions (two stories with belfry), including its doors and windows (“in the French style”), its materials (pressed brick), and its features (hot air furnace, “Potomac water”, water closets, ventilators, second floor meeting room orchestra gallery and chandeliers). Cluss news releases always praised and named the architect, contractors, and civic officials. “The building is a substantial one,” he reported, and ‘reflects great credit on all concerned,” especially in view of the total cost of $5,000, which he said “is regarded as very low, when the size and character of the work is taken into consideration.'”

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