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May 9, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad.-wav, IsT. "!r.
ONE ¥EAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MAY 9, 1885.
77ie Index for the past ten years to the region west of the Central
Park, betimen Fifty-ninth and One Hundred and\Twenty-fifth
streets, is now for sale at The Record and Guide office. Price
(bound), $10, (unbotmiJ), |8. This compendium is indispensible to
all who own or deal in real estate, or who as lawyers search for
titles on the west side, noio the scene of so much building activity.
It gives all the changes of owners and boundaries for the past ten
The verbatim reports of the majority and minority of the Land
Transfer Commission can beprocured at this office; price, 10 cents.
All real estate owners should have a copy of this document, as it
contains matter of vital moment to ihem. Lawyers also should
know what changes are contemplated in the land lauis.
The outlook in Wall street is blue, now that peace is assured for
the present in Europe and Asia. Unless the railroad troubles are
composed stocks will probably sink in value. An unpleasant
development just now is the liquidation which is going on in rail¬
road bonds. These are following .stocks in their downward course,
Too many railroads have been built for the business of the
country, and population must increase largely before they can all
become profitable again. Then there must be more consolidations,
and the weak companies must merge with the strong ones. The
fights which are going on is to .see which shall survive and which
succumb. Should the West Shore surrender to the New York
Central the entire situation would be changed, and stocks would
become buoyant for a time at least.
The legislative session will end with the close of ne.xt week to the
great relief of the good people of the State. Although it has done
some good work the Legislature has not made a favorable impres¬
sion. Its history has afforded another argument in favor of
restricting the powers of legislative bodies and giving executives
more to do. We need responsible governments to replace the
talking bodies who cannot be called to account for their misdeeds.
Professor Felix Adler has succeeded in organizing a company to
build a model tenement house to cost not less than |150,000. The
profit is limited to four per cent, per annum. It will, no doubt, be
a humanely planned edifice, and its tenants will have an advan¬
tage over poor people who will be forced to live in other tenements.
The gentlemen who are putting their money into this enterprise
deserve credit for their humane intentions and self-denial. But
one good tenement house will not advantage the bulk of poor
families any more than one swallow -will make a summer. The
great problem after all is a plan to house all the poor comfortably.
That has not yet been formulated.
The annex to the Grand Central Depot is described in an article
and by diagram elrewhere. It will be an accommodation not only
to the railroad company but to our citizens; but it will be noticed
tliat the egress will be on two openings on Forty-second street, a
street already crowded by the " L" road pillars and by horse cars.
There will^not be the open ground of Park Avenue as now for
carriages and express wagons. It is strange that the whole of the
new street—Depew place—is not to be used for means of egress,
were that done carriages could could be driven north as well as
south, east and west and there would be less crossing and no long
plank walk to travel.
There will be accommodations in the annex for the patrons of
the "L" road, but there ought to be a further connection made with
the station at the corner of Sixth avenue. There is a report that
the Vanderbilt interest has secured a large block of Manhattan
stock. Can it be there is to be some financial connection between
the Central and Manhattan systems ? It would be a great accom¬
modation for travelers if tickets for any point out of town could
be purchased at any of the " L" road stations.
A Suburban Exploration.
Many citizens of New York who have reached the sear and yel¬
low leaf know very little of the immediate neighborhood of the
metropolis so far as its features for atti-acting population are con¬
cerned. They may be familiar enough with the surrounding scenery
as seen from the decks of steamers, or the windows of railway
trains, but they have been impelled by neither leisure nor inclina¬
tion to seek the attractive by-ways that invite exploration on
every hand, and offer the gi-eatest wealth of natural embellish¬
ment. There are possibly thousands of people of New York
who are more famili.ir with the scenery of Switzerland than
with the interior of Staten Island, the almost enchanted neighbor¬
hood of Flatbush and Prospect Park on Long Island, and the
upland scenery of New Jersey within sight of the towers of the
East River Bridge. We are too busily employed at home,
either in the pursuit of filthy lucre or fashionable enjoyment,
to fiud time for long excursions around our own premises, and
when we wish for recreation we go abroad.
Take, for example, the site of Newark, within twenty-five min¬
utes ride from the Courtland and Liberty street ferry slips. To tha
average New Yorker, Newark is a city of smoke stacks and dingy,
low, rambling brick and frame buildings, the Market street station
house of the Pennsylvania Railroad, built, apparently, before Colum¬
bus was boi n, forming a representative specimen in architecture. It
is reported that Broad street is a fine thoroughfare ; that Military
Park has same noticeable old elm trees, and that the old Morris and
Essex Railroad climbs up a steep hill at the back of cht town to open
a way of escape into the Orange Mountain wilderness. But these
are vague generalizations which comparatively few New Yorkers
are prepared to verify by personal observation ; and beyond these
ideas everything is chaos. That Newark is a city covering about
twenty-five square miles of territory ; that in its site it rises some¬
times by easy gradations and sometimes by natural terraces from
near the level of tide water to an elevation that overlooks the entire
country between the towers of the East River Bridge and the
Orange Mountains, with all the enclosed rivers, bays, meadows,
valleys, woodlands, and hills; that it is liberally provided with
dwellings, which are sometims quite palatial in their pretensions,
and that it is becoming, also, the seat of an innumerable collection
of pretty cottages, " for sale or for rent" to industrious citizens of
the town, or to metropolitan house-hunters looking for suburban
homes, are facts that are very indefinitely known. But it is
unquestionably true that Newark, occupying, in part, the first
shelf that leads upward to the mountainous country to the rear,
offers some of the most sightly building places to be found in the
vicinity of New York. It is true, also, that these pleasant places
are being very rapidly improved.
The progress made in Newark during the last seven years is
something quite surprising. Considerably less than ten years ago
High street, which runs nearly p&raUel with Broad street from
north to south, was mainly an exterior street extending along the
western limits of the city. It seems now to be nearly in the centre
of population. In the northern end of the city, too, in the neigh¬
borhood of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, the advance has been still
more remarkable. Tho improvements have extended nearly a full
mile northward in solidly compacted blocks, and in a superior style
of structure. In the Roseville district, once a western suburb of
Newark on the Morris & Essex Railroad, but now known as the
Eleventh Ward of the city, the reign of Queen Anne seems to have
been renewed. Groups of cottages by the half mile have extended
in every direction, and there is an air of home comfort about that
section of the Jersey metropolis wliich is very inviting.
After having explored this much of the new city one is inclined
to say something complimentary about Newark architecture. The
new buildings are mainly of wood, and to those familiar with
Brooklyn wooden buildings, this statement wiU conjure up a vision
of cheap, commonplace monotony not at all pleasing to the imagina¬
tion. They will conceive of solid blocks of two or three-^tory houses
built precisely alike in every particular, and painted som6 uniform
disagreeable color, tiresome to the eye and offensive to the taste.
But they wOl fail utterly in realizing the conceptions of the Newark
architects. Take, for example, the new buildings in the northem
part of the city, the Eighth Ward. They are very cheap structures,
containing six to eight rooms, and were built to be rented at about
$20 per month. Economy both in design and space was necessary.
But the builders in no observable instance thought it wise to crowd
an entire block under one roof. Each dwelling stands alone, separ¬
ated from its neighbors on either side, sometimes by a few feet and
sometimes by only a few inches, but the distance is always suflScent
to enable it to have its own distinctive style and character in
architecture. The general effect is pleasant in the extreme. A
liberal use of bay, oriel and dormer windows, stained glass, porches,
piazzas, etc., decorations suitable for the different styles of archi¬
tecture employed, together with a decent sense of art in color, have
given to each block variety, and sometimes a real beauty that asks
no favors of more pretentious materials and plans. In this part of
Newark cheap houses do not seem, like frame buildings in Brook-