April 6, 1884
The Record and Guide,
that portion of the Twenfy-loarth Ward known aa the Kingsbridge and the
The Governor has signed the bill eatabliabing a park at Coentiea slip. That
park ia now a fixed fact.
The opposition which at one time manifested itselt to the ayatem of parks
recommended by tbe commission appointedto locate parka north of the
Harlem Eiver, haa in a great measure disappeared. Senator Plunkett has
changed his programme to taking portions of the parks recommended by
tbat commission and abandon the other, on the agreement that the oill ehall
be amended ao as to place the parks when the title is acquired under ihe
control of the Park Department. The propoaed parks being located iu tbe
district which he represents, bis opposition endangered their passage, but
this change and his active support insures the paasage of the bill. It is lo
be considered in the Senate to-morrow. The establishment of tbese parks
now, when the property can be obtained at a moderate price, will be an
important step, as wtll aa enabliug the other improvements hereafter tn be
madn to be adjusted to tbem. There ia no measure before the Legislature
relating to local improvemeuts that haa received ao strong co umendatioua
from the largo property-holders in New York city as haa tbis measure for
tbe layin;; out and establishing an elaborate system oC parks north of Ibe
Harlem Eiver, Their letters tn members have been strong aud earnest fur
the passage of tbe bill.
Going Back lo First Principles.
A tenant in ono of the finest apartment houses iu New York said to
"I wish Thb Rkcord and Guide would advocate one change in the
building of large apartment houses, which I think is very much desired,
and if tried would, I am sure, be very popular, Tho water-closets, it
seems to me, aud tho accompanying bathrooms and lavatories should be
put in a building by themselves, or at least in a section or sections of the
building detached from the apartments in which the families live, I
reside in a fine apartment, but the water-closet is located between my
sleeping room and kitchen. Now it is impossible to rid the rooms of foul
smells with such an arrangement. Then there is the constant danger that
if there be any defect in tbe plumbing tbe sewer-gas, as well as the gas
which comes from the decomposition of fecal matter, pervading the
rooms in which our food is prepared and in which we sleep. You see
no provision can be made for renewing tbe air in a water-closet con¬
structed in the middle portions of most of the apartment houses. The
objection to tbe old privy in the back yard is that it was difficult of access
in stormy weather and was uncomfortable in the winter time, but if a
privy was attached to an apartment house it could be heated by steam
pipes and made as comfortable as any of the rooms in the main building.
In short, let us go back to fir.'^t principles. The instinct of men in all
times and countries has beeu to separate the necessary from the house in
which one lived. The need for doing so is quite as great and even greater
in an apartment house swarming with people. Reform they say of all
kinds is spiral. We don't gj back, but we keep going round, fioallv
reaching the same point at which we started, only higher. There ought
to be a prize offered for architects to prepare plans for an esoteric
structure such as I have indicated. We are only beginning to learn how
to live iu vast buildings, but tbis is a matter of vital concern and should
receive attention at once,"
The Cable Company to Go Ahead.
Abraham R, Earle, one of the Rapid Transit Commissioners, was asked
if the recent action of the Legislature would put a stop to the work ofthe
Cable Company in New York.
"Not at all," said Mr. Earle, "the Rapid Transit Commissioners will
organize a company, and the work will go right on. There is ample
power under existing laws to justify the company tbat is to be formed in
giving New York what it so urgently needs; greater facilities for inter¬
mural travel, cheaper rates and a mote rapid means of conveyance than
is afforded by the horse cars."
" Will the cross-town roads also be constructed ?" asked the writer.
"Yes," aaid Mr, Earle, "the constitutionalty of the laws prohibiting
tracks crossing Broadway and Fifth avenue below Fifty-ninth street.
Fourth avenue above Forty-second street, as well as the enactment pro¬
hibiting the crossing under or cer the elevated road tracks, is disputed,
and the matter will be brought before the courts. At any rate the longi¬
tudinal roads will certainly be constructed. The commiasion would have
liked to bave had the endorsement of tbe Legislature, but there is plenty
of authority to do this work under existing lii'ws," Since the date of the
above conversation Mr, Earle has resigned his place on tbe commission.
Why Dead Men's Property 7
It is well known that the property most eagerly bid for on " 'Change "
is estates suld by order of court or by the executors, I( it belonged to a
well-known citizen, sucb as ex-Governor Morgan, it will bring higher fig¬
ures thau if owned by an ordinary citizen. This preference of purchasers
is wholly unreasonable, for realty ia realty, and the factors which enter
into its value, whether it is a part of a dead man's estate or belongs to a
person who has not as yet "shuffled off this mortal coil," A couplj of
weeks since, some property offered by the Ottinger Brolhers, was sold by
A. H. Muller Se Son, at prices so low as to excite comment. Tbe following
letter from the foi'mer owners of tha property is pertinent to the point
New York, March 26,1884,
Editor Rbcobd and Guide:
Many were surprised that the houses on Sixth avenue, between One
Hundred and Thirty-first and One Hundred and Thirty-second streets,
recently sold for our account at the Exchange, sold so low, and that
■we did not protect them. In tbe first place, we did not wish to make a
mock-auction out of the affair, and we bad determined to sell the prop¬
erty offered, if possible. There is, however, a prejudice against the offer¬
ings by sellers wbo are still amongst the living, and dead men's property
brings the most money. We hope this may be an example to those wbo
missed bargains, by having less confidence in the living than the dead;
besides the accesion of owners in tbat block may help the others, as ten¬
ants generally in Harlem occupying private houses have had a pic-oic,
and are spoiled as to rentals, and have very frequently injured the sale of
property. They will run down the property in order to retain tbe house
at a low rental, whereas any private house below Eightieth street. West of
Third avenue, brings from |l,-.i00 to $1,500, aod west of Lexington avenue
much more. Yours, truly, Ottinger Se Brother.
Prominent Buildings Under Way.
The new Cotton Exchange has its flrst story completed. It haa a front¬
age of 116,4X feet on William street, 89.3 oa Pearl and 87.6 on Beaver.
It is to be eight stories and basement high, there being six floors ol! offices
above the Exchange proper, which is to occupy the entire space of the
t uilding, includuig entrance way, gallery and elevators. The offices are
to be routed, and will be laken up by cotton brokers, lawyers, merchants
and others. The material for the frontage is of Bowling Green Foolite
stone, with buffi brick aud Perth Amboy terra cotta. There are to be
three Otiis elevators in the building, and steam heating by Baker, Smith Se
Co. Tbo other contractors are: Plumbing, T, J, Byrne; iron, Weat Point
Foundry; carpenters, McGuire Se Sioane; stonework, Fordyce & Hipler.
The masons are A. A. Andruss Se g'on. The cost of tbe building is esti¬
mated at $530,000, and it is to be ready tor occupancy on January 1,1885,
Geo, B. Post is the architect.
The "Dakota" is at last near completion, and is receiving its flnishing
touches prior to its opening in May, when it will be quite ready for dwell¬
ing purposes. This huge structure is ten stories and basement in height,
and has a total frontage of over 600 feet, 204.4 feet on thd aveuue and SCO
feet on both Seventy-sec ond and Seventy-tbird street. It contains fifty-six
suites of apartments, with two to twenty rooms in each, there beiug about
five hundred rooms iu all. It is expected that wheu tbe buildiug is fully
occupied that some three thousand people will reside in it, including the
army of servants aud other auxiliaries. The material is of orick aud
Nova Scotia stone. A novel feature will be thac the building will be
lighted throughout by electricity, supplied by a machine of tJOO horse power.
This will communicate also with the row of buildings belonging to the
Clark estate on the uorth side of Seventy-third street, which will also con¬
tain electric lighting, being probably the first instance on recoid where
ihe uew light will be used for domestic purposes on so large a scale, there
being some thirty houses in all. The buildiug has eight Otis elevators,
four passenger and four freight. The principal contractors are: John L.
Banta, mason; T, Brieu, plumber; Post & McCord, ironwork; J, L. Ham¬
ilton, carpenters; J. Gillis Se Son and Henry Wilson, stonework, aud
Pottier & Stymus aud others, woodwork, Io may be interesting to note
that the highest pinnacle on the "Dakota" is 185 feet. The architect is H,
J. Hardenbergh, who states that the building when completed wili have
cost over $1,000,000.
The "Randolph." at Nos, 12 and 14 East Eighteenth street, will be a
fine building when completed. The interior is to be handsomely finished
and decorated. It is to ba eight stories and basement in height, 53x90 in
size, and have a front of brick and Belleville stone. There wiU be only
one suite of apartments on every floor, to contain twelve to fourteen rooms
each, David H, King, Jr,, is the mason, and the Durham House Drain¬
age Company the plumbers. There will be two Otis elevators, and all
the rooms will be lighted by the Edison electric light, the other electrical
apparatus being supplied by Edwards & Co, The building will be steam
heated throughout by.F. Tudor Se Co,, and among the other conti'actors
are Messrs. Post Sc McCord, who are supplying the iron work; Elien &
Kitson, the stone carving, and the North Belleville Stone Works, the
stone. The cost is estimated at $160,000, and the building is to be ready
in the fall. The original elevation was drawn by Prof, Clark, of Boston,
who has been succeeded by Montrose W. Morris, the present architect.
Tho New York Real Estate and Traders' Exchange have made the nec¬
essary legal application to have their title changed to that of the New
York Board of Trade, ■which will include bureaus devoted lo the buying
and selling of various commodities of trade. There is now in active
operation at 78 and 80 Broad street a cotton bureau and there will be
added an oil bureau aud one for real estate. We have received the
following communication from Mr, John W. Stevens, the president of the
Editor Rkal Estate Record:
Enclosed please find oue of the circulars indicating the change in the
character of the Real Estate and Traders' Exchange with the proposed
change of name and location. In view of the fact that real estate is to be
placed second in tbe business of the Exchange, and believing as per my
card published by you last fall, tbat the real estate intei-est should be
consolidated, I have offered my resignation to the trustees of the
Exchange, as I do not intend to allow my attention to be diverted from the
real estate business. Yours truly, J, W, Stevens.
A weU-known real estate operator, who is too modest to have his name
be made known, said to a representative of The Record and Guide that
he believed that we are not ouly going to have a heavy spring but also a
large summer business iu real estate. There was" to be a " boom," ho
thought, in improved properfcy. Three years ago he got rid of bis unim¬
proved lots and advised ex-Mayor Ely to do the same thing. His impres¬
sion was that improved property would assimilate to London and Paris
prices. The lower rate of interest hereafter to obtain would not reduce
rents but would enhance the value of house property. Stores and dwell¬
ings that now brought their owners from 7 to 10 per cent, would retain
tbeir rental value, but would advance largely in price, for investors would
be satisfied with 4J^ and 5 per cent, for improved realty. All his rentals
tbis year were better than last year. The only unimproved property
he held was in tbe anuexed district, in which he thought there would be
in a short time a great deal of activity.
The height of the Morse building, on the comer of Nassau and Beekman
streets, is 14S feet from tbe sidewalk to the top of tho cornice. Temple
Court is about the same height, and the Potter building, when finished
vrill measure 161 feet from the pavement to the top of the parapet wall.