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her 15, 1883
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
191 Broadway, N.T.
0\E rSAR, iu advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager.
DECEMBER 15, 1883.
The announcpment made lasfc week that the price of seats would
be advanced in the new E.tchange after the firat 250 members were
secr.red, was made upon the authority of the committee of organi¬
zation, but it seems upon a farther consideration of tho matter It
was decided for legal and other reasons that all the 500 members
should be treated alike. It might be said there was favoritism if
one-half the members of the proposed Exchange paid less than the
others. Now they will all be put upon an equal footing, and the
500 subscribers will iiave all the "privileges now possessed by Mr. E.
H. Ludlow, who was the flrst to affix his signnture. At the meet¬
ing of the members, which is to be held next Thursday, ali will
have au equal votn iu organizing the Exchange, in decidiug upon
its constitution and in electing its officers.
The committee have done a great deal of very hard and thankless
work. They have held sessions during the pant three months
almost daily, and have negJeoted their own private buainess, to
attend to that of the Exchange. The real estate interest owes
them a heavy debt of gratitute. Their success eurprises themselves.
It shows that they have not misjudged the situation, and that the
times demand the organization of a new real estate centre.
Messrs. Charles Coudert, Franklin Edson, Wm. R, Grace, Jas. D.
Fish and Robert A. Chesebrough, who with some thirty other
gentlemen were organizing a rival Real Estate Exchange, have
concluded that after all it is better to abandon their organization
and join forces with the committee of brokers in founding the
"Real Estate Exchange and Auction Room, Limited." This was
done in a graceful and well-considered letter addressed by Mr.
Coudert to President E. H. Ludlow. All is well that euds well.
The full compliment of 500 members will soon be secured, and
then there will be only one great Real Estate Exchange in New
Architects and Their Clients,
It has been the practice of thia and other journals to criticise
witli more or less severity the shortcomings of architects in the
work entrusted to tiiem by their clients. It has been assumed as a
matter of course that anyone who desigus an imposing public
edifice invites criticism. The painter or sculptor may violate every
canon of art, but hia bad work ia not obtruded upon the public, and
if exhibited no one is forced to see it. Not so with the work of tlie
architect. His churches, public institutions and private houses
are ever exposed to the fierce rays of daylight. If good, his archi¬
tecture educates the public taste ; if poor or defective, hie short¬
comings cannot be passed by unnoticed. There is, however, a factor
in the case which the architectural critic ia apt to overlook, and
that is the person or persons who order the work or presume to
modify the plans. Sometimes it is a rich man, at times a lady, or
more often a committee representing a church or corporaiion.
Now it happens, unfortunately, that art education iu tbis country
is not very general, and that rich men and their representatives are
often ignorant and opinionated, as welliaa iutolerably mean. To
begin with they require too much for the money they are willing to
spend ; then they interfere with the plans and wish impossible
things done. Frequently they are in a hurry and will not allow the
architect time to think and work out his happiest conceptions.
Apartment houaes, for instance, are a comparatively new thing.
There are a number of factora in their construction which require
to be carefully studied out in view of the limited experience avail¬
able for those who design them. There are models for all kinds of
churches and public buildings which run back for centuries, but
the great apartment and oflfice building is a thing of yesterday, and
the conscientioua architect desiring to do his best finds a difficult
task before him when he receives an ordev to prepare the plans for
Bucb a structure. There has been much complaint on the part of
investors because of the difference in the sums called for in the
architect's plana and the actual cost of the building, but for this
the owners are largely responsible. Theyrequire an edifice which
ia pretentious but cheap. It must be showy in ita interior as well
M exterior, and yet must not cost over a certain sum. The arcbi¬
tect does his best, but hia employer has his whims, and v/hat would
be a noble building ia often made ineffective because of some vagary
on his part. There have beeu serious difficulties in connection with
tbe building of nearly all our apartment housea, due in great part
to the imposstWe conditiona imposed on architecta by the owners.
But the former has to bear the blame ; the critic ia bound to point
out the shortcomings of his design, as he is responsible to the
An exhaustive work on apartment house building, with plans
and the result of the experience of the last len years, would just
now be very useful. The popularity of the elevator has completely
revolutionized office and residence building iu all the large cities of
the world. Hereafter the ten aud fifteen-story incombustible
dwelling will be in demand by thoae who chose to live in great
cities. Their construction offers agreat field for the architects of the
future. Theae great abodes of humanity are exppcted to combine
splendor with comfort, and they wil) give even finer opportunities
to the architect of genius than the temples and mosques of the agea
of faith. Already they outvie in magnitude and oost the palaces
of eraperora and kings.
The Future of the Real Estate Exchange.
As over three hundred and fifty realestate owners and dealers have
joined The Real instate Excliange and Auction Room (Limited),
we may expect that institution to be organized, its officers
chosen and a site selected witliin a very short period. Jt is in order
uow to point out some of the changes which may possibly be
effected iu real estate dealings by the agency of this new factor in
the buying and selling of really.
Ia the first place, it will make New York, in time, the main
centre of the real estate interest. The negotiations for the trans¬
fers of large blocks of property in every part of the country will
naturally come to this market, for here will be found the largest
number of purchasers and Lhe most money to be omploj ed iu such
dealings; this will include large estates, hotels, theatres aud
important buildinga. Foreign investments in American realestate,
especially in unimproved lands West aud South, will naturally
work through ageucies established in New York and connected
with this Exchange,
The market price of rea! estate will, for the first time, be defi¬
nitely known. The reporta of private dealinga are often mislead¬
ing ; the official record of conveyances is not to be relied upon, aa
no legal penalty ia imposed for faUiTying the deeds. Even the
records of uur auction sales sometimes need verifying, as property
is often bought in or bid up when no real sale is effected. But the
quotations in this new Exchange must be accurate, or they will be
fatal to lhe prosperity and even the very existence of the iustitu¬
tion. There can be no fraudulent bidding or "Peter Funking"
Tben, again, commission rates can be established just to the
aellera and purchasers and satisfactory to the brokers. Now all is
chaoa. The seller is apt to be charged more than o.ie commission,
and the broker ia often defrauded of the results of hia hard labor.
The arbitration committee of the Exchange will see that justice ia
done, and thus prevent a great deal of ill feeling aa welt aa litiga¬
tion. In some quarters it is feaied that the brokers wno have con¬
trol of this Exchange may charge too much for their services, but
this, if attempted, will co.'rect itself. Dealera will make their
profits rather in the number of their transactions than in the ratea
they will charge.
With the guaranteeing of titles, either by the Exchange itself or
by some subsidiary company, will come a new era in real estate
dealings. It will help to mobilize realty, tbat is, make it available
as an asset upon which money can be borrowed quickly in the bank.
When a money lending institution is satisfiad that there is no doubt
aboufc a title, aud that an Exchange exists which furnishes a ready
market, there will be no hesitancy in acceptiug realty as a collat¬
eral for borrowing money in the same way that advances are
made on railroad bonds. To-day not a dollar would be advanced on
allthe houses on the island, hence raerchanta who are embarrassed
find iheir real estate unavailable to help them to tide over their
difficulties. But the secured titles and a ready market wilt render
available to property owners the money now lying idle in our bank
The establiahment of a Real Estate Exchange will effect other
changes. It will, in time, deal in the shares of land and improve¬
ment companies. These are now being orgauized far more gener¬
ally tlian ia understood hyreal estate dealers. Under a law passed
last winter a corporation dealing in houses aai lands can linld
property amounting to three milliona of dollars, Wiien the next
movement in real estate occurs it will be found that hundreds of such
companiea have been organized, thesharesof which will uaiurally be
listed upon the Real Estate Exchange. The operator in these secu¬
rities can deal in real estate without being troubled about judg¬
ments against former proprietora, dower rights and the other
armoyances caused by defective land laws. Incorporated capi-