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Real Estate Record
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEW YOBK, SATUEDAY, MAECH 4, 1876.
PubUshed Weekly by
THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION.
C. W. SWEET...............Pkesident and Teeasureb
PRESTON I. SWEET...........Seoketaet.
L. ISRAELS.........................Business Mauageb
ONE YBAK, ill advance....$10 00.
Communications should be addressed to
C SV. STREET,
Nos. 345 AND 34H Bboadwat.
OUE BUrLDUSTG MATEEIAL.
STONE VERSUS IRON.
To tlie Editor of the Beal Estate Record :
The New Yorker, returning after a few years'
absence to his native city, will notice among
other changes the increased elegance of its
architecture. "Where he left no more fine edi¬
fices on the business streets than could be
counted on his fingers, he now finds whole
blocks of marble and stone fronts lavishly
adorned with the sculptor's beautiful devices.
The residences on the avenues and streets up
town, also indicate an occasional original design,
which promises a future for domestic archi¬
tecture. The introduction of new buUding ma¬
terials gives fuller scope to the now delicate de¬
signs of the architect. The sombre ULniformity
of dingy brown-stone rows is relieved by the
warmer tints of the Ohio free stone, the delicate
olive of the Dorchester, the reddish hue of the
New Jersey and Potsdam stone, or the rich ef¬
fect of a combination of either with the cele¬
brated "Philadelphia brick," or the still more
ornate mixture of the serpentine and Scotch or
Americain granite. The art education of the
people can in no way be so easily accomplished
as through the medium of street architecture.
.Th§ beautiful. caryings which adorn the
bridges and stairways, and the picturesque de¬
signs of the buildings of the Central Park, are
calculated to instruct and elevate the taste of the
masses. The same spirit is evinced in the
design and structure of the Third Judiciary Dis¬
trict Court House, which rapidly approaches
completion. Here the architect has placed a
cheap school for the study of architecture. A
better adaptation of a building to an irregular
lot could not have been devised. The material
without and within, combining strength, beauty,
durability and economy, commend it as a model
building, and the cheapest building of the kind
. ever erected by the city. But it is invidious to
particularize buildings, and the above were only
alluded to as public structures. There are many
buildings, to which I would like to refer in
detail, and will do so if this subject is thought
worthy of future mention in your columns.
While we hail with pleasure every attempt to
instruct and elevate the standard of beauty in
the architecture of this city, we must deprecate
the great opportunities neglected, and the false
lessons taught by those who have the wealth
and land at their disposal, but who possess
neither a taste for the beautiful, nor the good
sense to apply to those who do. Can anything
be more unsightly than that great pile of iraa
encircling 9th and 10th streets and 4th avenue ?
Imagine a city bmlt under contract by the
square mile on this pattern, alternated by abodes
similarly extended along its avenues of funereal
brown stone fronts, as fitting lodgments for
those who do their business by day in such
shops! Then consider for a. moment the oppor¬
tunity lost of presenting, on one of th« largest
plots of grounds devoted to a single structure
in the entire city, for architectural effect. No
consideration of utility or cheapness can atone
for this unpardonable neglect. The error is fun¬
damental; it lies at the base, in the material em¬
ployed. "Iron edifices" (says Ruskin) "are not
architecture at all." The use of iron for building
or decoration lacks that element which gives
value to everything in this world—^the evidence of
thoughtful labor. It is the machine, the lathe,
the mould that has been at work, not the hand
of the skillful artisan. "No ornaments," says
Buskin again> "are so cold, clumsy, and vulgar,
so essentially incapable of a#ae line or shadow
as those of cast iron; and, while on the score »f
truth we can hardly allege anything against
them, since they are always distinguishable at a
glance from wrought or hammered work, and
stand only for what they are, yet I feel very
strongly that there is no hope of the progress ot
the arts of any nation which indulge in those
vulgar and cheap substitutes for real decora¬
Happily the rage for iron buildings has not
seized the building community, the majority of
the more important buildings recently finished
or in course of construction being of some more
worthy material. We do not desire to condemn
as pernicious everything that is not in accord
with the most critical standard of art. We
know that creeping precedes walking, and, as in
the other arts, none but the aiadent of years
is entitled to enter the inner temple of the classic
masters. So in architecture, whatever breaks
the dull uniformity of our streets, and enlists
the attention and study of the masses, helps to
educate them to that higher standpoint which
is the surest corrective of bad taste.
There are many difficulties which beset the
architect who. attempts "any innovation upon
the domestic pigeon boxes distinguishable by
numbers and night latches in which we axe ac¬
customed to live.
We ob^rve annually, at the Aoadony of De¬
sign, beautiful drawirgs of house fronts, varied,
to suit the size of lots, from 16 to 25 feet. We
look in vain in' our perambulations- about the
city to see them carried out. We'are doomed to
look upon ^the gloomy brown-stone rows, rising
on the new sfreets or having risen, glazed with
the'same "sized plate glass, iticroBS which are sus¬
pended, at exactly the same line, like charity
children's psiafaree, the inevitable white win¬
Can you blame UiS whem we wish for an inno¬
vator who shall tteew into this seeming respect¬
ability a diskirbing element in the shape of a
pictuxesque, broken front, rich in varied colors—
in short, a home ? A few attempts of this kind
have been made, acd could be pointed out, had
I not extended this article T»eyond my original
design. On» solitary ^eoimen now occurs to
me, which stands \j itself, and seems to have
put a stop to any ether building within cannon-
As referred to in the beginning of this article,
the varied materials in tlae market offer every
inducement for the exercise of taste, and their
study would be advantageous alike to architects
and owners, for it is a notorious fact that gen¬
eral ignorance in regard to tke worth of these
various building stone is almost universal.
Many caanot distinguish them or classify them,
and many afchiteets cannot specify the best of
their kind. A« Admibeb as Ettskin.
Feyruanj 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, March 1.
Bank st. (No. 40), s. a., 145.2 e. 4th st., 20x90.1.
Rlcbard P. Berriea and Peter A. Welch (Exrs.
ot Oliver Lovelapg) to Mary L. wife of Peter
A.Welch. Feb. 28 ..................-....$12,000
Bkoadwat (Nos. 502 and 504), e. s., 46.8x100..)
Gbosby St., w. s., 1,14 a. Broome St., 60.4x100.6. f
Charles G., John C, WiUiam H. and Francis F.
Gunther to Stephen R. Lesher and Nathaniel
Whitman. Feb. 28..................325,000
Bboadwat (Noe; 549 and 551), w.s., 224.2 n.
Spring St., 49x10©...........................
Merceb St. (Nos. 94 and 96), e. s., 224.2 n.
Spring St., 49.3x100.......;.. ..;............j
Hewfiy J. Furber to Hiram Sibley, Rochester,
N.Y. Dec. 2, 1875.......................510,000
Same property. (Lease.) Same to same.....nom
Bboadwat, w. 8., 6A.3 s. 57th st., runs thence
west 97.11 X south 50xw^t 100 xnorth 92.10
to land of Je*ia Morss x east diagonal along
said land 5 x easf diagonal along said land 93 x
again east diagonal along said land 90.6 to
west side Broadway x south 22.9 to beginning.
John J. Levy to Saul J. Lew and Samuel
Cohen, (^part.) Feb. 21................7,000
Bboadwat (opened), w. s., 50 north of an angle
in said west hne of Broadway, which is 390
north along Broadway from the south boun¬
dary of property fbrmerly of the Institution for
the Deaf and Dumb, runs thence westerly at
right angles to Broadway 95 feet x thence
at right angles with llth av. 40 feet .x
thence north parallel with llth av. 350 feet *x
thence at right angles with llth av. 11 feet to
west side of Moadway x. thence south
along, w^st side of (Broadway 339 feet to be¬
ginning, Plots Vt, and 18 on Map qf ea.sterjy
part of the property of said Institution. .Sam¬
uel Sehiffer to Perdinasd Forsch and Gotch©
Blum. (Siibj. Mpcts. $4;60().") ' Max. 1..:.. .16,000
Centre Market pl. (No. 7), e.. s.',t'248x42."23e25x
46.1. (fforeclQS.) Charles H. Hildreth r<Ref.)
to Geksaen Bache. (Subj. Morts. $4,500.)
Feb. 25...;."............. —...;:. .■.....;.. .1,700
Delancey st. (No. 1Q9), s. s., 46.5 w. Es^ex st.,
24.6x109.4. Cenfai^ Schwarzfaitfei;-i»Y Alex¬
ander Schutte. ■ •(% ■ part.) ' "(Subj'.' 'Mtfrts.
$17,000.) Mareh 1........................11,500