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Mtirch 32, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadway, N. Y-
OPfE VGAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Gruadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
MARCH 23, 1884.
Although there ia nothing approaching a " boom " the interest in
real estate investments steadily iucreaBes. The conveyances con¬
tinue larger than the average of previous years—the auction room
is thronged, and the highest prices since the panic of 1873 were
paid (or property at open auction during the past week. The buBi-
nees of The Record and Guide alao tella the same story. We never
had 80 large a subscription list, nor received so many unsolicited
new subscribers. Our advertising pages speak for themselves.
Readers who keep files will note the difference. So far the year
1884 promises to surpass all its predecessors, not only in the activity
of real estate, but in the higher pricea and the larger amount of
Governor Cleveland has done well in endorsing the Reosevelt
bill, giving the appointing power to the Mayor without reference
to the Board of Aldermen, This journal can claim to bo the first
of this city's papers to emphasize the fact that municipal reform
involved two things: the deprivation of the local legislature of
much of its power, and the lodging in the executive greater
authority and responsibility. The curse of the country ia its legis¬
latures swarming with lawyers and small politicians. "Were it not
for the veto power of the Mayors and Governors matter.^ would be
intolerable. Mr. Tiieodore Roosevelt ia ou the right track. He
may be defeated in some of hia measures this year, but if we are
to have better government it can only come about by greater exec¬
utive authority and the responsibility of heads of departments to
Theodore Roosevelt is the only possible Republican candidate for
Mayor next fall. He has literally accomplished wonders, and won
the admiration of independent Democrats as well as alt Republicans.
Mr. Roosevelt could, we think, be re-elected even though he had no
other endorsement than that of the Republican party. Tbe cam,
paign he is waging so successfully against civic corruption is pop¬
ular among all classes of citizens except only those who profit
by the misrule under which we have heen Buffering so long. Seth
Low, a Republican, was elected in the Democratic city of Brooklyn
twice in succession, although he had the whole Democratic party
and the corrupt members of his own parfcy to contend with. The
reputable citizens of Brooklyn went to work with a will, and the
active business men of any community are always more than a
match for the " machines " and the rabble who generally support
them. If the great exchanges, the clubs and the commercial bodies
were to unite on Mr. Roosevelt, he could be chosen triumphantly.
It will be remembered that in all the great contests for Mayor in
the past, the best man, or the one considered the best, generally
won. At any rate, the nomination of Mr. Roosevelt would force
the Democrats to put an unexceptionable candidate in the fleld, aud
New York would be sure of a good Mayor in any event.
The House of Representatives has taken such action as it sup¬
poses will atone for its blunder in passing the Lasker resolutions.
In the meantime it is curious to note that dispatches from Berlin
of the 18th inst. state that all parties in the Reichstag had given
their support to a proposition to appropriate 18,790,000 marks for
the construction of torpedo boats and batteries. The naval depart¬
ment received congratulations from all sides for the celerity with
which it had completed a naval fleet. It seems that in 1871, after
the war with France, the German navy only numbered 48 vessels,
mostly of small size, with 300 guns. In the spring of 1883 the
imperial navy consisted of 108 war vessels, carrying 5.8 large guns,
with a crew of 12,000 men. In fact all civilized natjions are at
work increasing their naval strength. As the Herald of this city
saya: " France is reconstructing her navy; Germany is reorganiz¬
ing hers; Russia ia fast streng'ihening hers, and Italy ia developing
a very powerful fleet. All Europe ie, in fact, recognizing the
necassity of having heavily armored ships, fitted with modern
ordnance and carrying trained crews." Daring 1883 England
launched 14 vessels of the most approved patterns, while 13 were
ordered to be constructed. The United States alone lags in the
rear. The great European cities are inland and are out of gunshot.
Oura are on the seacoast, utterly unprotected. We have three
vessels under way, which it will take three years to finish, and a
cry of wrath has gone up from the press because the Senate has
voted in favor of constructing seven new vessels of war. What
does Germany want with 108 vessels of war?
The attempt of the leading journals of New York to whitewash
the Surrogate's office is exceedingly reprehensible. Lawyers who
claim to know say that it is one of the most corrupt departments
iu the city government. This is a matter which appeals par¬
ticularly to the patrons of this paper, for once in every twenty-
eight years property representing the value of all the realty on
this island passes through this office in probating wills. The
testimony of lawyers who practice in the Surrogate's department
is that every probate of a wiilis charged every fos that can be
conjured up. In cases where there is no contest and only one heir,
costs are piled up when there is no need of any expense being
incurred. Mr. Theodore Roosevelt showed great courage as well
as good sense in telling the truth about this Republican depart¬
ment, as well as the Democratic departments. It is surprising to
see papers like the Sun excusing the Surrogate for the ra^ik corrup¬
tion discovered in his department.
A New Hotel.
A very large building, which seems to be meant for a family
hotel, occupies the block between Fortieth and Forty-first streets,
on the west side of Fourth avenue. It has the block front of 200
feet on the avonue. On Forty-first street it bas a frontage of 100
feet, wiiile on Fortieth street it extends back to the distance of
These are dimensions so ample that an elevator building can be
put upon it without the spindling look which is inevitable to such
a building on a restricted site. The height here is not excessive
for an elevator building, only six stories below the main cornice
and one above. There are, however, no visible roofs on the main
baildinga, these being reserved for decorations on the emphatic
Only one of the three fronts, the long front on Fortieth street, io
symmetrical, and the dimensions of this would make ifc susceptible
of a very effective treatment. The ends, each two openings wide,
are separately roofed and slightly projected, or at l«ast divided
from the curtain walls by a round bay window running through to
the main cornice, witha fiat top. The doorway is in the centre,
and the wall over it, one opening wide, is signalized like the
pavillions at the ends. The openings of the pavillions are enriched
with moulded stone jambs and terra cotta panels between the
openings. The central windows are furnished with balconies pro
jected upon consoles carved with masks.
The Fourth avenue front is rendered unsymmetrical by the
treatment of the south pavillion—where the ground is considerably
lower than at the north end—aa a tower, running a story higher
than the adjacent wall and crowned with a steep roof, which stands
on walls on the two outer sides and on an arcade of galvanized
iron on the inner side. The chief feature of this front, and indeed.
of the building, is the principal entrance, a colonnaded portico of
three openings, with single columns at the angles, while the inter¬
mediate columna are doubled. The central wall above this porch
is projected, enriched and gabled.
The shorter front ou Forty-first street has the tower already
mentioned at one end, with a round bay, similar to the bays of the
north side, adjoining. At the west end there is a flat roof.
The materials are granite for the sub-basement, which becomes
conspicuous at the north corner, tbe lines of the stories being
carried through level, while the dip of the ground is considerable ;
Carlisle stone for the basement, the porches and all the wrought
work, except the panels in terra cotta, and "pressed red brick for,
the field of the wall.
The granite is polished except in the chamfers of the lintels and
jamba, where it is left rough, and is of course lighter in color.
There is no moulded string course to mark the change of material.
Tha granite merely ceases, with a simple chamfer, and the sand¬
stone succeeds, giving the transition an uncouth and unfinished
look. The Carlisle atone ia a beautiful material, in color and in
texture, and better adapted to do justice to good carving than per¬
haps any other material available to our architects. But it ia
entirely unsuitable for combination with red brick, aud wherever
the combination has been attempted it has been to the detriment
of both materials.
In composition the elevations are not bad. The horizontal lines
are emphasized more perhaps than is necessary to " keep down " a
building of an area so ample in proportion to its height, and the
fronts are not " pestered " with multiplied features. In avoiding
restlessness, however, thti architect has not escaped monotony:,
His scheme would require very' interesting detail to make it