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R^EAL Estate Record
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEW TOEK, SATUEDAT, JANUARY 1, 188>.
Published. H eevly oy
•S^c Uml €statg EetoriJ ^ssonatton.
OIVE YKAR,. in advance.. ..SlO.OO.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. S"WjeET,
So. 137 Broadwav
The pressure on our columns, both for news
and advertisements, has forced us to lengthen
our pages which we hope our readers will
regard as an improvement. This is but the
beginning of other changes in the way of
new type and the like, which will, we hope,
make this journal still more attractive in its
"make up." There is every indication that
the year to come will show a larger real estate
business than was ever before transacted in
the metropolis. The signs are multiplying
that the investors and speculators, who have
made such large profits in stocks and general
merchandise, will now invest in real estate,
so as not only to permanently secure what
they have gained, but to get the additional
profit which clear-sighted business men are
unanimous in thinking can be got by invest¬
ments in real estate at present figures.
posssession of by a builder, who intends to
improve them without delay. This is really
an overflow from the East Side, where no
more lots at reasonable prices can be had,
and the West Side will at last be taken in
hand and built up—not with the magnificent
mansions some over sanguine owners have
pictured to themselves but nevertheless, with
houses that wUl answer the now constantly
increasing demand for homes in the upper
section of the island.
The year 1881 opens auspiciously and may
it end with the same feeling of satisfaction
and confidence in the future of our market
that inaugurates the New Year.
erty owners' interests and be taken in hand
at once by the members of the new incom¬
ing municipal administration.
INDEX' FOR VOLUME XXVI.
Our subscribers receive with, this issue of
the Real Estate Record, their regular semi¬
annual tndex for the last six months, cover¬
ing all that was contained in vol. XXVI. of
The Record, dating from July to January.
Especial pains have been taken to make
this index as thorough and complete as pos¬
sible, and no street, avenue, place or lane
has been overlooked either in New York or
Those of our subscribers, who should fail
to receive the Index to which they are
entitled can obtain the same by making
early application at this office.
The year opens with two important trans¬
actions which cannot fail to stimulate still
further activity in real estate. It will be
seen by our market reports that foreign
capitalists have invested half a millon of
dollars in Broadway business property,
..GSpjtalists too, who hail from a section of
Europe known, for its solidity and cautious
The next equally important transaction is
the silver lining that at last appears on the
: Western horizon. More than a dozen lots
•have been sold, as will be seen elsewhere,
• along Sixty-first street, between Ninth and
- Tenth avenues, and these lots have been taken
THE MADISON AVENUE EXTENSION.
We publish tp-day a diagram of the section
of Broadway that is to be affected by the
proposed extension of Madison avenue to
Union square, along with a letter from a
public spirited citizen, who gives cogent rea¬
sons for this much-needed improvement.
The scheme, though it may on the surface
appear to be a gigantic one, does after aU
only involve a comparatively small amount
of money for the required expenditure—a
sum total of one million and a-half being
deemed sufficient to do all that is required to
relieve Broadway at its now over-crowded
junction with Twenty-third street. Our in¬
telligent correspondent further makes the
striking observation that the carriage way
as it now exists along Broadway, between
Eighteenth street and Twenty-second street,
is not only owing to its narrowness the
source of great annoyance, but of actual
danger to both the occupants of carriages
and to pedestrians. It is virtually a throat
altogether too narrow for New York's prop¬
The map we publish to-day shows how
this can be remedied. The distinct lines on
the diagram cut off from the east side of
Broadway sufficient to obviate the present
difficulty of over-crowding this most iri-
portant thoroughfare of our city, while at
the same time, the opportunity is offered for
the-arrangement of a new plaza at the
Twentieth street point, where it is proposed
to have the beginning of Madison avenue.
The great desideratum, however, is the ex¬
tension of Madison avenue southward to the
point named and the virtual establishment
of a new avenue running parallel to Fifth
avenue and actually not secondary as to
the amount of capital invested therein.
We have heretofore spoken of the great
necessity of relieving Broadway from Sev¬
enteenth street to Twenty-third, and espec¬
ially at the latter junction. The letter of
our correspondent and the accompanying
diagram with the line of the proposed ex¬
tension distinctly marked throw the fullest
light possible on an improvement that ought
to be enthusiastically supported by the prop-
There seems to be some hitch about the
building of the Broadway Central Under¬
ground Road. From time to time, articles
appear in the newspapers, to the effect that
in a few days the work will be commenced;
but, somehow, nothing has been done. On
the 18th of December, the General Term of
the Supreme Court denied a petition made
by Mr. George T. Curtis, to appoint commis¬
sioners to open the road, on the ground that
the owners of one-half the property along
the line of the proposed road had not given
We have before us a printed circular, ad¬
dressed to the directors of the said Under¬
ground road, which we judge accounts for
the difficulty the new company has had,
both here and abroad in raising money. This
document alleges that Vandenberg and his
associates have no rights on Broadway, and
never had. The charter of the Central
Underground Railway Company, passed in
1868, gave no right to tunnel Broadway.
The circular then goes on to say:
I was one of the incorporators named in that
act. Vandenberg was not (see Act). Among the
forty or more incorporators were many who were
very strong, financially,politically and otherwise.
After electing a board of directors, amDng whom
were "Boss " Tweed and "Hank Smith," nothing
further of notice was done un.il 1872, when a
strong combination of capitalists, lawyers and
railroad men—among them, Brown Brothers,
Seligraan & Co.. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, G. P.
Lowery, Trenor W. Park and Samuel J. Tilden
—took the Central Undergound charter in hand
and made applica.tion to the Legislature for an
amendment to give the company rights on
Broadway, which application failed, while at the
same session (1872) the Legislature did give a
charter to Commodore Vanderbilt for an under¬
ground railway, which covered pretty much the
same route granted in 1868 to the Central Under¬
ground, thus practically repealing that charter.
The circular makes other equally strong
statements, and as copies were sent not
only to the leading capitalists in this coun¬
try, but also in England, it seems to have
prevented the raising of the money, which,
at one time, there seemed some Hkelihood of
being invested in this scheme.
But the fact is, it is not a tunnel which is
wanted under Broadway. "Never go un¬
derground until you can't help yourself,"
was the motto enunciated by Cyrus W.
Field at the dinner given upon the comple¬
tion of the elevated roads. He had refer¬
ence to the experience of the London Under¬
ground Road and in fact aU tunnels under
mountains, whether long or short. As a
contrast to the elevated .road system it is
•' Hyperion to a Saty." The one is the
pleasantest kind of traveling known, the
other the most unpleasant.
But, should we not have an underground