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December 13, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Publislied every Saturday,
191 Bpoadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, iu adTance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadivay.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
■ -DECEMBER 13, 1884.
The new Real Estate Excbangft has had its annual election, and
the report of its financial condition and prospects has given very
gdneral eatisfactton. It has so far been a well and economically
managed corporation. Great things are naturally expected of it
In addition to ita value to the trade and regulation of tbe real
estate busineaa, it ought to exert an influence over State legisla
tion affecting the interests of realty. "We have bad too many pre¬
tentious reform organizations undertaking to represent tbe tax¬
payers; but the interest tbis Exchange will have in laws affecting
property will be a real one. Hereafter there will be a centre for
the real estate ownership of tbe city, and the voice of the taxpayers
can be made known authoritatively in Albany and at tbe City Hall.
Although the stock market continues depressed tbere is a strong
undertone whicb may show itself iu higher prices after tbe holi¬
days. Our exports are very heavy, averaging some $3,000,000 per
week more than the corresponding weeks of last year. Oiir
imports at the same time show a falling off, Tbe movement of
corn and hogs is beginniug to affect favorably the incomes of the
western roads. The Northwest, which has been running behind
last year's receipts for seven months past, bas just begun to report
gains over last year. The combined reports of tbe Central and the
West Shora show tbat tbe receipts are as large as those monopolized
formerly by tbe New York Central, and were rates as high as three
years ago would produce enough income to pay 8 per cent, divi¬
dends on the Central as well as the interest on the bonds of the
West tihore. Tbe crop movement is simply enormous; there was
never anything like it. Take wheat and flour for instance, in
1881 from July to December there was shipped to the northwest-
em markets 36,983,303 bushels. Last year for the same period
there was shipped 59,730,766, but thia year the sum total of wheat
and flour shipped was 77,581,157. Tbe cotton movement haa been
relatively as large, and as we bave now commenced to market the
largest corn crop ever grown in the country we may expect rail¬
way receipts from this time forth to be in excess of those of last
year. "With gold importations, large exports, small imports and
a heavy business on the western roads there ought to be a better
market for securities not far ahead. All tbe dealers report also a
better feeling in the real estate market.
The Chamber of Commerce has memorialized Congress to con
struct adequate defences for New York harbor. It goes so far as
to specify tbe turrets, guns, torpedoes and submarine mines wbich
are required to make this city reasonably safe against any hostile
fleet. It is no secret to any one tbat New York is at tbe mercy of
any ordinary naval power. We bave no navy—not a single gun,
nor lhe means of making one, which would be of tbe slightest use
in beating off a foreign armada. Some people profess to believe in
torpedoes, but no torpedo syatem has yet been employed tbat has
been of any value in protecting harbors. Even if we had a usable
system it would require batteries of great guns to defend tbe shore
works from the cannonade of an ordinary fleet, and these are not
available. Aa a nation we are running a fearful and a criminal
risk in leaving our seacoast cities in tbeir present defenceless con¬
dition. It would take tbree years to construct the works and
batteries that would properly defend New York harbor, while
modern wars rarely last more than six months. This is a matter
whicb especially appeals to the real estate interest of this city and
Congress should be besieged with memorials from all our
exchanges to make tbe necessary appropriations not only for this
but for the other seacoast cities. But Congressmen who represent
rural constituencies care very little for our seacoast cities, while
the press of the latter would doubtless object to any appropriation
for defensive works on the theory that all government work is for
Some of our city journals are afraid that the presence of Amer¬
ican representatives at the Berl.n-Congo international conference
will commit this gcvernment to a foreign policy, tbo very opposite
o? that recommended by George 'iVasbington, But would the
first President of the United States, were he living now, give the
Bame advice that he did before the opening of the present century ?
We were then weak in numbers, wealth and cower. What took
place in the reat of the world was of small moment to us at that
time, but how changed is tbe situation? We soon will have
00,000,000 of inhabitants, and the products of our soil flnd a market
throughout tbe world. It is not inevitable that we muat intervene
in international disputes hereafter. It waa an American who
practically discovered this Congo land. Why should not we try
and proflt by the development of its resources ?
Should we endorse the Nicaragua treaty and construct a ship
canal outside of our own territory it would be accepted as a
ni.enace to western Europe, and would result finally in forcing ua
to build a navy and take a new attitude on all foreign affairs.
Washington's foreign policy was wise for bis day, but the nation
bas outgrown the traditions of its infancy and must meet the obli¬
gations whicb its maturity imposes upon it.
The Mortimer Building.
The Mortimer building, at Wall and New streets, is tbe latest of
the big office buildings. It is not very big in area, being 56.11
feet on Wall street and 05.7 on New street. In height there are
eight stories altogether, a basement of nearly white limestone, six
stories of yellow brick aud yellow terra cotta, and a roof story, the
openings of which are encased in terra cotta. The roof itself is
invisible, and the dormers inappreciable from any point opposite
the building. From Broadway, however, it ia seen tbat the central
part of the Wall street front is crowned with a steep, dome-like
Tbe ground on eaob front decline.* rather rapidly from the
corner, and the inequality of level is allowed for in tbe stone base¬
ment, the mouldings at the top of which are continuous and hori¬
zontal and wbich accordingly is lowest at this point. At the
lower corner on New street it asserts itself as a division of the
building, whicb is there composed of three distinct parts, as before
described. The central division of six stories is also subdivided
into three parts, each of two stories, by moulded cornices in terra
cotta. Tbese parts are virtually equal in magnitude, although tbe
first story is somewhat taller than any otber, and are identical In
treatment. The openings are round arches grouped by twos
between piers of slight projection stopped by tbe cornices, and are
rigidly aligned over each other, so that each division is a counter¬
part of either of the others.
Tbe corner is rounded and just after the wall becomes straight on
the Broadway front it is slightly projected to make a feature of the
central division of this front. The treatment of the openings ia
tbe same in tbis projecting pavilion, if it may be so called, as else
where, except in tbe lower stories. These are occupied by a very
large doorway, a round arch, sprung from the top of the basement
and occupying, with its spandrils and piers, the whole of the first
story in height and about one-tbird of the front in breadth. The
scale and treatment of this feature would identify the building at
once as the handiwork of Mr. Post, even if other signs were want¬
ing, as they are not. To the left of this, in tbe flrst story, is a
square-beaded opening, tbe only exception to the rule of pairs
of little arched windows.
This description, perhaps, suggests a monotonous building. If
so, the suggestion is not misleading. Six stories of little arched
openings, all virtually of the same size, all grouped alike, all
shaped alike and all treated alike do not exactly suggest au exu¬
berant and ever-changing fancy. It is true that the building is, in
point of fact, a collection of little rooms of the same functional
importance and consequently of the same architectural value.
That is a condition of the problem which may excuse the architect
for feeling as if he should like to give it up as insoluble. A plain
statement of the case by means of uniform windows repeated
through every story would not be exactly a work of art, but it
would be a respectable and prosaic performance. The number and
littleness of the necessary openings here seems to have annoyed
tbe architect into thinking tbat by coupling the stories he could
alter the acale of bis buitding eo as to make three imposing features
instead of six unimposing features. No doubt something like that
was feasible, but it could not be done by making the stories all
alike and then running a cornice over every other oue. That pro¬
cess does notgive the front to wbich it is applied any organization
of inter-dependent parts. The triple division, witb a corresponding
differentiation of tbe openings, would have relieved tbe monotony.
But the triple division, witb tbe stories left all alike, does nothing
to relieve tbe monotony, and. ou tbe other hand, dwarfs the little
storius still further by giving a multiple of a story to scale it by.
Tbe aame effect of belittling tbe stories is produced by the enor¬
mous doorway, which would be excessive on almost any commer¬
cial building, but is here particularly excessive, with the diminution
of the other openings brought about in the first place hy the
uniformity of treatment, and in tbe second place by the empha-
flis given to that uniformity in coupling the stories. In contrast
witb the apartments to which it gives access, thifl soaring