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AND BUILDERS' GUIDE
NEW YOEK, SATUEDAY, OCTOBEE 25, 1873.
Published Weekly by
m REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOOIATIGN.
One year, im advance...........S8 00
All communications should be addressed to
C TV". BTVJEHHT,
Whiting Building, 345 and 317 Broadway.
EAPID TRANSIT-WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
the spivited West Side Association ? "Will it
be tlie pioneer in this movement, or permit
this matter to sleep another year, as surely it
will if half a dozen schemes are sprung sud¬
denly upon the Legislature after its re-assemb¬
ling without deliberate and well-considered
action having been had by our property own¬
ers and tax-payers beforehand ?
IMPORTANT TO LIENOES.
The season has now sufficiently far advanced
to convince all of our citizens and tax-payers
that the various rapid transit schemes of last
Avinter have all come to naught. The most
pretentious of these schemes, the Gilbert Ele¬
vated railway, which was more audacious in
its promises than all the other schemes com¬
bined, is apparently as much a phantom to-day
as have lieen many otlier plans like it in the
past, aud as no doubt others will be in the fu¬
ture. We do not find fault with its projectors
nor with any of its friends—if it has any to-
Ciay—for thus dashing the hopes of thousands
of our citizens who look toward the accom¬
plishment of a veritable rapid transit system
as tlie first step in the direction of cheaper and
better homes. Times have probably been too
much out of joint during the past season for
this enterprise to meet with financial success,
and there may be other reasons, better known
to its officers than to the public, for the post¬
ponement which has brought us to winter's
door without anything having been accom¬
plished. Tills is, however, no reason for per¬
mitting rapid transit to go by default for still
another year. Everybody now acknowledges
that it is as important to our metropolitan life
as a good sewerage system or as our water
supply. It is no longer considered a luxury,
but a necessity as urgent as anything that ever
engrossed the attention of our best citizens. It
is to them, therefore, that we appeal even in
these times Avhen new enterprises requu-ing
the outlay of vast amounts of capital are not
generally favored. Only two months intervene
between this and the re-assembling of the
Legislature. Now,' then, is the time to con¬
sult together and agree upon some practical
plan, which, well considered beforehand, and
taking in the best points that presented them¬
selves in previous schemes, must commend
itself to the good graces of legislators and
executive. We believe there are now in ex¬
istence in this city two or three committees
that last j^ear held frequent meetings where
the rapid transit schemes were discussed.
These committees might join hands and form
a nucleus for an organization that means bus¬
iness, and could bring this long and wearisome
discussion to a practical and successful end.
There is not mu'ch time for delay. What says
We notice a decision just rendered in the
Supreme Court (Kings County) on the jVIe-
chanics' Lien Law of 18G2 in relation to that
couuty. There have, heretofore, been a great
many cases where, bj'' means of conspiracy
between the contractor and owner, the " mate¬
rial man" has been defrauded of his just dues.
And there has also been a great deal of doubt
in regard to this law; but this decision, togeth¬
er with one in the Court of Appeals (Rollin v.
Cross) has, in a great measure, cleared up the
clouds that have rested upon it, and form a
beacon light by which the poor mechanic or
material man may steer to safety and -paj-
The suit was one brought by Keogh &
Thorne agt. John Donevan and another for the
foreclosure of a lien for materials furnished on
houses being erected by Donevan, and which,
when completed, would belong to him.
The defendant demurred because the com¬
plaint did not state that money was due to
Donevan from the apparent owner. This
brought up the question of law whether that
fact must be stated, or rather whether the ex¬
istence of that fact was necessaiy to enable
the plaintiff to recover.
The plaintiff held it was not necessary, as
under the clause " permitted by the owner to
build," which occurs in the lawj their lien was
The Special Term sustained the demurrer
and dismissed the complaint. The plaintiffs
then appealed to the General Term, and after
a delay of some months the judgment was re¬
versed and the views of the plaintiffs sustained.
This case is important, and we hope it will
appear in full in the law reports. William Q.
Judge was for the plaintiffs and James Troy
for the defendants.
INVESTMENTS BY INSUEANCE COMPANIES.
It is not our intention to at all deride the
usefulness of life insurance companies, and
we certainly do not desire to discuss the mer-
rits of quarrels which occasionally spring up
between the leading companies of New York.
There is, however, one thing connected with
the business of these companies to which policy
holders, as well as stock holders, should pay
more attention than they are doing. We
allude to the investments made by several life
insurance companies of New York. They are
not always directed by experts, nor dictated
by sound and safe judgment. Of late reports
have reached us of investments recklessly
made by one or two life insurance companies
in property which is not worth within several
thousand dollars the face of the mortgages
purchased on the same. It is in this manner
that the moneys which should be kept sacred
and in trust for widows and orphans is squan¬
dered away in times of prosperity, and which
may be lost entirely should in times of adver¬
sity these companies be compelled to sell them
for want of money. When one realizes how
carelessly some of these investments are made,
often through the agency of men who have
their own selfish interests iu view, there is in¬
deed reason for demanding judicial interfer¬
ence in the affairs of concerns that apparently
are solid, but whose bad investments show
them to be rotten to the core.
THE WEST SIDE AND JEESEY.
Some west side property owners express
alarm at whispers heard here and there that
the men they have trusted most in the past
have really no sympathy with them in their
anxiety to push on improvements on the West
Side. They fear that combinations—of which
more and more signs come slowly to the sur¬
face—have been formed some time back, by
which New York's interests are to be sacri¬
ficed to those of Jersey capitalists. We can¬
not coincide, as yet at least, with these suspi¬
cious property owners. We cannot believe
that the West Side Association has sold out
to Jersey, even though some of its magnates
own considerable property across the river.
True, we hear of " Jersey City as the metrop¬
olis of the future," but the majority of owners
on the Yfest Side are men of such excellent
common sense that they are not scared by
phantoms which are sure to make their appear¬
ance at certain stated times in certain fixed
quarters. Still, all these things are food for
reflection, the most important point in vviiich
ia that " eternal vigilance" should be exercised
by those interested in the improvement aud
welfare of Manhattan Island, and that mem¬
bers of the West Side Association especially
sliould not permit themselves to be always led
by the same strings, but should occasionally
do their own thinking.
The following private sales of ihe better
class improved property have been reported to
us: No. 23 East Fifty-seventh Street, 18.6x70x
100.5 feet, for $70,000; also. No. 18 West Fifty-
eighth Street, 25x75.xl00 feet, for |80,000; also,
No. 320 West Fifty-seventh Street, 16.8x55s
00.5 feet, for |30,000.