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August 11, 1888
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W, SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager.
AUGUST 11, 1883.
The cheapaeaa of money ia a very unwholesome symptom in the
business situation. It is a proof that capital is suspicious and
declines to take any risk in investments. "When trade is most
wholesome money on call should command from 4 to 6 per cent.
It haa recently been offered as low as IJ^ and 2 percent., and yet
we have great crops to move, and thousands of promising enter¬
prises are in the market seeking a money backing. There is a
hope, aa the balance of trade has been in our favor during the past
year, ihat we would import some gold from the other side, but this
cannot occur when money commands a lower percentage in New
York than it does in London or Paris. However, our great crops
will soon begin to move and the funds must be aupplied from this
centre, when doubtless the stagnation will be at an end and money
will command a normal rate of interest.
for what is known as the Scott Law in Ohio, but in Missouri the
Downing Law waa passed by a Democratic Legislature. In the
latter state, from $85 to $200, the one for beer, the other for
liquor, is charged for licenses and the money goes into the State
Treasury, while county treasuries profit every six months from $3
to $400 for every license issued. Undoubtedly an attempt will be
made to pass such a law in New York and with every chance of
final success, for the hotel proprietora and the largest saloon
owners will willingly pay the fees to get rid of the competition of
the leiB reputable retail dealers. If license fees amount to over
half a millioo of dollars annually in a city like Chicago, honestly
collected in New York, it would be a permanent asset of great
value to our taxpayers.
The Hei-ald published a long article recently, showing the short¬
comings of our machinery for searching titles. This is an old story
tothereadorsof the Record AND Guide, but it is an encouraging
sign to see the daily press ventilating this matter. The real estate
interest of New York is to blame for not having had this abuse
reformed years since. It is simply monstrous that every time a
title ia searched the tedious work of re-examining every side of the
title must bs gone over again and again. Every full search should
be recorded and made official. No wonder that title searching
companies have been bo successful in Baltimore, Philadelphia,
Boston and San Francisco. They are a convenience to good lawyers
and save the money of investors. The only ones benefited by the
present system are the legal harpies who eat up in feea the property
of owners of realty. However, the present system is doomed,
and a reform we must have before many years are over.
As Mayor Edson will have the appointment of a auccessor to
Commiaeioner of Public Works Thompson, when the latter's term
of ofl5ce expires, it will place the great patronage of the Aqueduct
Commission practically in the hands of the Mayor, for with the
Comptroller and the other citizen commisaionfrs, the politicians
proper will have but little to say in the conduct of that great pub¬
lic improvement. There is a splendid future before Mayor Edson,
If he is equal to it, for he has it in his power to make a name and
exercise an inauence as honorable to himaelf as it will be useful to
the municipality he serves. When he made his first appointments,
he wai savagely attacked by the city press, but the Record and
Guide justified hia course as being wise under the circumstances.
He would have forfeited all command of the situation, had he
broken at the start with the Aldermen and John Kelly. His sub¬
sequent cotirse has juatifled our faith in his ability and good inten¬
tions. Mayors Wickham and Grace, to win the applause of the
public, broke faith with John Kelly who had put them into office,
but while they got the approbation of the newspapers, their admin¬
istrations were failures. Mayor Edson " stooped to conquer," and
it is a further sign of his wisdom that in choosing a Comptroller,
he has not broken with the party chief without whose co-opera¬
tion he could not have been elected or wield so large an influence
In city affairs.
Mayor Edson, in his appointment of a comptroller, must have
recalled the choice of public officials by lot which prevailed in the
old Athenian democracy. The Grecian law-giver who originated
this method of choosing executive officers did so to put a stop to
party plotting. Every election was a scene of turmoil when can¬
didates were presented to he voted for, but when blind chance
decides it there is no occasion for internal feuds. Mr. Grant's
appointment may prove to be a good one. Ha is doubtless honest
and competent, and what more does the taxpayer require. The
city treasury will be cared for by a business man, and without any
reference to politics. Had tbe appointee been a Republican poli¬
tician, or a member of either of the Democratic organizations, there
would have been far more actual disappointment than there is at
the advancement of Mayor Edson's personal secretary. John Kelly
was not a bad comptroller when he held that office, but his
appointment was open to serious objection from the fact that he
was an active party chief. Such a person might make a very
•fficient Mayor, but under no circumstances should he be charged
with thecare of the city's money. The politicians may grumble at
Mayor Edaon's choice, but the city taxpayer will wait to see how
Mr. Grant bears himself before condemning his appointment.
The plumbing law which went into effect a year ago last March
has proved to be a very salutary enactment. The houses recently
built are much more perfect in plumbing arrangement than those
constructed before the Board of Health was empowered to super¬
vise the plans for plumbing. Of course the great majority of
plumbers have always given good and honest work, but they were
constantly forced to compete against no less than a score of con¬
scienceless mechanics who could underbid them when contracts
were to be given out; but the rogues in the plumbing business hai e
no longer any advantage over their more honest rivals, thanks to
-the new law. We now nesd an amended building law, which, if
eaacted, would discourage the "cheap Johns" who now hire
away building contracts from well meaning mechanics who wish
to get a fair profit for good work.
The liquor interest of this city must be prepared for a proposal
o the next Legislature looking to the enactment of a high license
aw. In Illinois, Ohio and Missouri, all who sell liquor have to
pay large fees for licenBes. Tha Kepublican party ia responsible
More Out-of-the-way Architecture.
East Fifty-ninth street is not a promising place in which to look
for good architecture, but one of the most respectable of recent
buildings ia St. Thomas Houae, erected in that thoroughfare, be¬
tween Second and Third avenues, after the designs of Mr. C. C.
The front has the advantage of an unusual width for a mere
street front, forty-five feet or more, but it is also of unusual
height, three tall stories, the first unusually tall. The materials
are selected Croton brick and Belleville brown stone, the latter used
in arches, jambs, mulliong, string courses and the ffilirtg of the
gable which crowns the wider part of the front. This division is
slightly projected and occupies perhaps two-thirds of the whole
width, the remaining third, at the base of which is the entrance,
being crowned with a wooden dormer.
This is a very common arrangement ao far. What makes the
building noteworthy is the subdivision of the parts and the treat¬
ment of the detaih The openings are square-headed throughout,
except the low pointed arch of the entrance and a simply traceried
two-light window in the gable. The first story shows two very
tall windows in the wider part and a low mullioned window over
the entrance in the narrower. The fioor line above is marked by
a narrow but emphatic string course, and. the sill course of the
second story windows by another. The second story haa one large
mullioned window in the narrower part and a pair in the wider,
and the third two small and two large openmgs respectively. The
treatment of these windows is alike, with deep splayed jambs and
mullions and light dripstones with carved pendants, after the
manner of fifteenth-century English Gothic. All of
the detail ia carefully studied. The deep doorway is
particularly good, the arch heavily moulded, the mouldings
dying at the impost into the splayed and unmoulded
jamb. The principal feature of the front, however, and that which
redeems ita plainness from what would otherwise be monotony, is
the buttress separating the windows of the wider division in the first
and second stories. It runs through the first story as a buttress,
and above the windows of this story and between the windows of
the second becomes a canopied niche for a statue. The design of
this feature, which fits its place perfectly, is excellent. We do
not know whether it wag, in fact, originally designed for this build¬
ing, but it might have been. If it was it does credit to the archi¬
tect's skill, and if not to his judgment. Nothing can be more
clever than the modeling of the pedestal of the statue, and the
manner in which it is adjusted to the buttress from which it grows,
nor more perfect than the adaptation of the feature to its place,
and for this latter, at leaat, the architect of the building deserves
all the credit, The building would be respectable anywhere, and
is all the more grateful as an oasis in the architectural desert
which fiurrounda it.