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August 16, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR. iD advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communicatioiis should be addresBed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY. Business Manager.
AUGUST 16, 1884.
The stock market continues dull but strong. The wiaest leaders
in the street believe in higher prices jast as soon as the corn crop
is assured, and the conditions exist for a lively time in the fall.
Our banks never bad so much idle money on hand and gold has
begun to come from Europe. We may import thirty millions of
the yellow metal before the season is over. Yet it must be con¬
fessed that general business has not improved as yet, and there
may be a plentiful crop of failares among merchants. However,
as there are fully seven billions of railway securities in the country
an advance in their price will make many people feel happy and
will have a beneficial effect upon a great many industries.
The corn crop upon which so much depends, so far promises
well. Here about New York we have had a wet and cool summer;
conditions tbat if they prevailed all over the Union would have put
the corn crop in peril; but tbe August report of the Agricultural
Bureau is reassuring on that point. The corn in all points where
it is an important crop is in excellent condition, and the poorest
report is from Ohio, yet even there it is rated at eighty-six in a
possible hundred. A corn crop of 3,000,000,000 bushels, which now
seems likely, will give the railroads all they can do after Novem¬
ber. True, we do not ship much corn abroad, as it is mainly con¬
sumed at home ; but as it is carried from one point to another, and
being charged local rates in addition to being bulky, it is a more
valuable crop for the railroads to carry than even wheat. An
untimely September frost may again dash the hopes of the farmers
but it is reasouable to expect that Wall street will soon begin to
discount the effect of the coming great corn crop.
But let us not deceive ourselves in discussing the future. Even
if we have a large corn ana cotton crop in addition to our splendid
wheat crop, there will still be no assurance of tbe return of good
times. The liquidation that seems to be complete in the stock
market has not yet culminated in tbe business world. The depres¬
sion in the price of iron tells the story of the as yet dismal outlook
in manufacturing circles. We shall want another great crop year
as well as better prices to get back to where we were in the sum¬
mer of 1881. Even then there will he no prospect of any such times
as we had in 1879 and 1880. These will not come again until the
commercial world abandons the gold unit of value and re-establishes
The hope that the Asiatic cholera would die out in Southern
France will now have to be given up. It is spreading into Italy
and into Central and Eastern France, and will undoubtedly make
ils appearance in Germany and Austria before the close of the
year. The season ia so far advanced there is no danger of any
visitation to this country this year; but in all human probability a
centre of infection will be established on our shores by the opening
of the summer of 1885. It is for business people to determme what
measures they will take to save themselves from loss in a year of
And now the Brooklyn Common Council have given permission
to a cable company to build an elevated road connecting with the
Fulton and South ferries. But surely this is not what is needed.
No system of rapid transit in Brooklyn will be satisfactory which
does not aim at a connection with lhe New York elevated roads
via the Brooklyn Bridge cars. The end to he kept in view should
be the carriage of a paeseng*^ r from any part of Brooklyn to any
part of New York without clisnge of cars and vice versa, A cable
road on one side of the river will not fill this bill.
The New York journals persist in predicting disaster from the
continued coinage of the silver dollar, AU the newspapers which
represent the financial leaders of this city, and indeed of all the
seaboard cities, unite in declaring that the time must come when
we will get on a silver basis, and that some day gold will be quoted
at a premium. They do not adduce a solitary fact to prove that
position. Three-fifths of the precious metal money of Ihe country
H gold. We export more silver than gold, lhe iesue of silver
certificates baaed upon coined dollars has saved us from a ruinous
contraction, for they have helped to take the place of $28,000,000
of bank notes withdrawn during the past year. Then the finaDcial
history of France is full of instruction. We have but Httle over
$3 per capita in silver, while France has over $14.50, yet gold ia
not driven out of France but attracted there, and it has more of
the yellow metal per capita than any other commercial nation.
Were we to keop on coining silver dollars till the beginning of the
twentieth century we would not have as much in circulation,
relatively, as France has to-day. Our newspapers predict that
chaos will come again whenever Secreti'ry Folger complies with
tbe law of the land and pays the indebtedness of the treasury to
our Clearing House io silver as well as gold certificates and green¬
backs. Yet it is evident that whenever he does this he will holp
the finances of the country by retaining the (,old in the treasury
and circulating the representative of the silver dollar. In paying
over gold exclusively to the Clearing House he weakens the Treas¬
ury reserve, and violates the law in letter and spirit by discriminat¬
ing between the precious metals.
PresidentGasre, of the Bankers Convention, emphasized a point
frequently made in theue columns—we need a national bank. Hedid
not say so in so many words but he showed that our system was lesa
elastic thau that of Great Britain, because there was no authority to
alter the rate of interest or to issue credit notes to relieve the pressure
during a crisis. The powers ordinarily lodged in a national bank
are divided in this couitry between the treasury department and
the united bauks of New York. This division of respouaibility and
authority is unfortunate. No government official like the Se.:retary
of the Treasury should have the power to make money easy or
tight at his volition. Authority of that kind should be vested in a
financial board representing the banking interests of the country.
Presiddnt Gage's recommendations as to the proper attitude of the
banks in a crisis are all wise and timely. Financial institutions
should be in a position to lend and to sustain all solvent interests
during a panic. There is a bitter feeling against our national banks
because of their attitude to the mercantile community when the
May monetary cyclone was under way. If they heed the warnings
given at Saratoga, it may help them to recover the confidence of
the commercial classes.
Upper Fifth Avenue.
Three houses of very different degrees of architectural merit are
now going op opposite the park, between Seventy-fourth and Sev¬
The northern aiost of these three is much the most interesting; it is
theonlyone, indeed, which can be said in its present condition
to bo interesting at all. It is a " double swell front" of some forty
or fifty feet wide by three stories and a half high. The swell front is
the typical old Boston house, and there are many examples in New
York to show that it may be made a very comfortable interior and
a very comfortable-looking exterior, with no other merit of design
than un pretentiousness. Mr. Harney has reproduced it very agree¬
ably in lower Madison avenue. The dweUing we are now consider¬
ing, which was designed, we believe, by Messrs. McKim, Mead &
White, follows the main liuea of the old swell front house, with
more architectural elaboration than any old example shows. The
materials are red brick and New Jersey sandstone, the latter form¬
ing the basement, and introduced as belting in the brickwork
through the first story. This belting, together with the placing of
the door-way in the centre, recalls the well-known citadel at Cairo,
though the resemblance is in these points alone, and is doubtless
accidental. There are round arched openings in this story in each
of the projecting bays, which are of unequal width, and the failure
to mark the impost of theae arches gives them the indecisive look
which this failure always entails with arches the lines of which
melt imperceptibly into the perpendicular lines of the jambs. The
two nt^xt stories are grouped by string-courses above and below,
and each has square-headed openings—two in the wider bay, one in
tbe narrow—with stone jambs and lintels. In the centre the upper
window is enriched, the spandrils of its round arch being carved in
stone, and opens upon a balcony protected by a pretty railing in
wrought iron. In the story above the openings are tquare holes
in the brickwork, moulded and doubled over the single openings
below, and between them is a decorative pattern in rais<^d brick¬
work forming a sort of frieze to the composition. A cornice and
balustrade completes the building, architecturally, although it bai
a roof of a gooii pitch, only visible from the street in the chimneys
which emerge from it.
The detail throughout has an old-fashioned, sober and comfort¬
able character, which enhances the effect of the general design.
The house makes no prehensions to plcturesqueness, but it looks
very livable and respi-ctable. One is glad to note that it has been
made no deeper than could b,? done without sacrificing the
thorough lighting of the interior. This could not be done on a
single lot. It is indeed a condition of comfort that a house, except
a corner house, shall not be more than two rooms deep, which