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October 11. 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
I\iblished every Saturday.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
OIVG TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSBT, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 11, 1884.
The political pot boils the more furiously as election day draws
near. When Grover Cleveland was nominated nothing seemed
more certain than his election as President; but the scandal affect¬
ing his private life turned the tide and the unespectedly large
RepubUcan majority in Maine put a decided damper on Demo¬
cratic hopes. But recently it looks as if the opponents of Mr.
Blaine have taken fresh courage and the result of the election on
all sides is admitted to be in the very greatest doubt. Next Tues¬
day may settle the question. If the Republicans lose Ohio, or
carry it by only a small majority, the chances will be iu favor of
Mr. Cleveland's election. If the Democrats, however, are defeated
by 15,000 or 20,000 majority the Republicans will claim that the
November election will be a walk over. The probabilities aire that
the Ohio election will still leave the matter in doubt, in which case
the contest will rage with increasing ferocity up to election day.
The canvass so far is not one of which America can be proud, and
all decent citizens will be heartily glad when it is over.
Before the next issue of this publication tho county tickets of
the Republicans and the regular Democrats will be in the field.
Should the Ohio election look like the success of Mr. Cleveland the
County Democracy will doubtless run a straight ticket, but other¬
wise there wiU be more or less trading. The Tammany ticket now
in the field is a very good one, and it is sincerely to be hoped that
the anti-Tammany Democrats and Republicans will do as well,
Tammany has been mindful of real estate interests in its nominees,
but there are plenty of material in the ranks of opposing parties to
make equally good tickets.
Some of the local congressional nominations are very good. No
better representatives could be found than Abraham S. Hewitt, Sam¬
uel S. Cox and O. B, Potter. Mr, Joseph Pulitzer is a very clever
gentleman, but why should he want to go to Congress when he has
a leading city daily paper to look after 7 General Viele would be a
round man in a equare iiole as Congressman, Good engineers such
as he are better employed in New York than in Washington. He
is of some use to the community in the Central Park Board, but
neither his training nor his talents are suitable for a Congressman.
Take a friend's advice, General, aud decline the nomination. You
will sare money and enhance your reputation thereby.
Our readers must not overlook the department entitled "The
World of Business," The matter given under this head will be
found of increasing interest from week to week. The account of
a great transcontinental line of railways, owned by the syndicate
of which C. B. Huntington is the head, ought to attract wide¬
spread attention. It aeems that this vast system of railways con¬
necting San Francisco on the Pacific with Newport News on the
Atlantic Ocean, with branches to every city of importance south
of the Ohio River, is about to be consolidated into one great com¬
pany, thus bringing into existence a corporation of greater possibil.
ities tban the systems controlled by Jay Gould or the Vanderbilt
interests. Ab yet the securities of this vast corporation have not
been put upon the market, yet, undoubtedly, they will be leaders
in the speculative field in the not distant future.
The various reforms which have bren incorporated into our city
charter through the efforts of Mr. Theodore Roosevelt were first
mooted in the directory of the Real Estate Exchange and Auction
Room (Limited) last December. After thinking the matter over for
some time, a majority of the directors decided not to press the
reform measures, as it might look too much like dictating to the two
political organizations, the final result of which was that Mr.
Roosevelt got the credit for the passage of the various measures
instead of the Real Estate Exchange. Thia year the directors of
the Exchange are disposed to be more of a power in legislative
matters. Its officers have been instructed to call the attention of
the State press to the great importance of the proposed amendment
to the constitution reBtricti.^g localities with over a hundred thou¬
sand inhabitants from incurring permanent debts of a larger amount
than 10 per cent, pf the aesesB^ valuation of their real estate. Tho
directors alao seem to be of the opinion that as the plan for liqui¬
dating arrears due on assessments and taxes in Brooklyn has
worked so well, the same law ought to be appliedto New York. A
number of matters will come before the Legislature at its next
session affecting real estate, and undoubtedly our Real Estate
Exchange will make its influence felt in the interest of real prop-
The Clark Houses.
These houses, at present twenty-seven in number, on the north
side of Seventy-third street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues,
constitute a singularly interesting experiment in street archi¬
tecture. As their treatment plainly shows, they are by the same
architect to whom we owe the Dakota, opposite them.
The total frontage on Seventy-third street is about 550 feet, the
houses being of about 20 feet each, and the corner on Nintli
avenue being occupied by an apartment house a full story higher
than the single dwellings which occupy the remaining space, but
architecturally united with them. The object of the designer haa
evidently been to avoid the monotony of a long row of houses of
similar design on the one hand, and on the other the restlessness of
such a row of houses if each be designed by itself. Twenty-seven
houses in a row, each one treated altogether separately, would
almost inevitably be a confusing and miscellaneous assemblage,
no matter how well each of its component parts might be done.
On tho other hand, as we can see evidence in almost any residential
street in NewYork, the repetition of one design is very tiresome,
and it would still be very tiresome even if the architectural unit
were a much better thing than the brown stone front. The aim
here is to secure the effect of a composition while individualizing
each of the components.
Tbe effect of unity is obtained by a high basement of Dorchester
stone running through the whole aeries, and by a moulded stone
cornice of the same material continuous except for the interrup¬
tions caused by the occasion&,l building up ot the upper story into
a full wall story instead of the roof story, lighted by dormer and
gable windowa, which usually completes the front. The ends are
emphasized by carrying the stonework through au additional
story, and also by a round bay window on the outer side of each.
The central feature is a gable between two walls rising above it,
and each crowned with a hipped roof. A similar feature, only
reversed so that the central hip roofed mass rises between the
gabled fronts, occurs about midway between the centre and each
end. Each of these features consists of three houses.
The individuality of the houses is largely attained by the use of
different materials. The walls above the sandstone basement are
built sometimes of red pressed brick and sometimes of the salmon
colored Perth Amboy brick. Sixteen of the houses are in red brick
and the remaining eleven of yellow brick, the latter material
being used in two groups of three houses each, and elsewhere in
single dwellings interpolated in the red brick. T.'ie yellow brick
waits, wherever they occur, are projected a few inches beyond the
normal plane of the front, the angles being quomed in stone up to
the cornice lines, and each house is divided from the next by a row
of quoins marking the line of the party wall.
There are many diversities of detail. In fact there are only two
adjoining houses in the whole row which are identical in design,
although one design has been repeated in the single houses in yel¬
low brick. These diversities are slight, being such differences of
roof treatment as the change of a pair of dormers for a single
dormer, of this for a gable, or of the basement as tho variation of
a round arched with an ogee doorway, or of this with a square
opening with a drip stone. In the second story each house haa a
large window, sometimes a round or a three-sidtu -bey, Hosrietinaea
a large segmental arch opening upon a balcony railed witb iron or
perforated stone. The treatment of the third story is virtually
uniform throughout, a pair of square-headed openings, the lintels
and jambs in sandstone, the only variation being the occasional
insertion of a carved panel in the space between.
Slight as these differences are they fully answer their purpose of
individualizing every houae, and of assuring the spectator that he
has not seen all where he has seen one. Of course, variety is not a
good in itself. If the features by which variety were secured were
ugly and crude and unstudied, they would not become less offensive
by being different. A choice of uglinesses is not beauty, though
oome architects appear to think so. Here, however, the study
which the variety of the detail invites, the excellence of the detail
As with the Dakota, the treatment of these housea has more
af&nity with French Renaissance than with any other historical
style of architecture. It is, however, everywhere free and modern
io handling. The features are euch as are actually appropriate to
a city house in the nineteenth century and might have been devised
for it whether they actually were or not. Considering the number
and variety of them the thoroughness with which they are designed
ia as unusual as it is creditable. In acale the detail is generally more
fortunate than that of the Dakota, which sometimes errs on the side