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May 23, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday,
191 Broad-w^av, IST. 'ST.
OIVE TEAR, in adrancc, SIX DOLLARS.
Communicatioiis should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MAY 23, 1885.
Next Saturday being Decoration Day and a holiday The Record
AND Guide will he issued one day earlier, and subscribers may
expect io get it on Friday the 29lh inst.
The markets all have a very quiet look. There is some firmness
in grain and petroleum, but the price of securities at the Stock
Exchange is kept up by manipulation wliich is not so difficult in
view of the abundance and cheapness of money. The roads are
handling a great deal of freight and would be earning dividends
if rates were remunerative, but the insane cutting goes on and
will continue to do so until the New York Central war on the West
Shore comes to an end.
Governor Hill has it in his power to say whether or not the work
on a Broadway underground road shall be commenced during the
coming year. Some time or other this great public improvement
will be undertaken and completed to the manifest advantage of
New Yoik City, and more particularly of the Broadway property-
holders. But the Governor by exercising his veto power can delay
for a year the beginning of this enterprize. The amendments to
the Arcade charter confines tt>e roadbed to the space between the
curbs, and hence does not interfere with Ihe vaults under the side¬
walks. We have all along bel ie ved that an underground steam road
on Broadway, with accommodations for way, tlirough and freight
trains, would be of incalculable value to every material interest of
this city, but especially to real estate. Two governors of New York
have vetoed Broadway Arcade bills, but if Governor Hill is con¬
sistent, he will approve this measure, as a similar one received his
support and vote when be was a member of the Assembly.
Had the British Parliament adopted the measure proposed by
Richard Cobden and John Bright, when the former was alive, to
purchase the land of Ireland from its large owners and resell it to
the tenants and peasants, it would have saved that unhappy
country from long years of needless misery, and there would have
been no Irish question to confound and discredit English states¬
manship, nor would the dynamiter ever have been heard of. In¬
stead, after years of unnecessary agitation, it passes the Gladstone
land laws, wliich in eflEect denied the right oC the owners to the
soil they inherited or bought, thus making a precedent for an
agrarian division of property in the rest of the United Kingdom.
After the mischief is done Mr. Gladstone now proposes to adopt the
Cobden-Bright programme. Purchase by the State would not
violate the right of an owner to the land lie possessed. Uuder the
Gladstone laws it is the courts which fixes the rents, and they are
forced by law to consider the necessity of the tenants, not the value
of the farm to its owners. No statesman in this country would
dream of proposing any such confiscating measure. Here, at least,
the rights of ownership are regarded as absolute.
The Army Ordnance Board is to commence experiments with a
war balloon, the invention of Russel Thayer, of Philadelphia. There
is nothing like new ideas, even if they are a little impracticable.
This same board was recently engaged in experiments with a dyna¬
mite gun. The gun proved to be measurably successful, but the
dynamite was a failure. We suspect that similar results will follow
upon the trial of an aerial battery. The balloon can be made to
rise, and, providing the wind be favorable, float over the heads of
the enemy. But a man, at his perpendicular, occupies a very small
space on a thirty-acre field, and the chances of being hit from a
fleet of fugitive balloons would be about equal to one in a million.
Captive balloons, could they be sent over the heads of an enemy
while a battle was raging, might disconcert him somewhat; but, in
this case, getting to windward of your adversary would be as im¬
portant as in the days of old-fashioned naval fights. Imagine two
armies marching and manceuvring for weeks to get to the windward
of each other. Imagine, also, the exasperation and dismay of the
successful force when, at the moment it found itself in a position
to give battle, it saw the wind change and blow first over the heads
of the enemy I Our Ordnance Board had better fall in love with
old-fashioned hard krocks and manage, by hook or by crook, to get
possession of some good guns. They will serve us a better turn
than balloons, whether captive or " dirigible." It will be time
enough to talk about war balloons when ballooning has been turned
to something more practical than perilous entertainment.
The Real Eslate Exchange.
So far the directors of the Real Estate Exchange and Auction
Room (Limited) have bent their energies towards the alterations'of
the buildings they purchased and the securing of a monopoly of the
auction business. Their efforts will now be directed to enlarging
the scope of the enterprise, and to building up an E.xchange which
will do for real estate what other Exchanges have done for stocks,
grain, cotton and the like. The salesroom is to become a trading
mart, and a meeting of the dealers belonging to the Exchange wiU
be held during the coming week to make the necessary arrange¬
ments for dealing in all kinds of property connected with real
estate. The brokers are now forced to call on each otiier at distant
parts of the city ; but hereafter, if they agree to the plans to be laid
before them, they will convene at a stated hour, and those who have
orders to buy or sell will find their market on the floor of the
Exchange. It is probable that, as in the Slock Exchange, the room
will in that case be divided up, so that those who wish to trade in
west side lots will have a designated locality, down-town property
wOl have its own corner, and in time, as business develops, resi¬
dence property, vacant lots and out-of-town realty will be dealt in
by brokers stationed in designated groups.
In tliis matter Chicago is aliead of New York. For nearly a year
past the real estate brokers of that city have met daily at noon.
Their gatherings have increased the number of tlieir transactions
and saved the time of the brokers. But better late than never.
New York for the first time will now have a bona fide Real Estate
Exchange. Nor is this all. Measures are under way for dealing in
securities representing real estate. The great apartment houses are
generally owned by companies, the stock of which is transferred
Irom time to time, but so far there has been no medium outside of
a limited circle for the buying and selling of shares. Embarrassed
holders are thus placed at a disadvantage, and the properties are
injured in reputation when a low price is accepted for the shares.
Then land and building associations would naturally seek the Ex¬
change if facilities were offered for dealing in their shares. Fire
insurance stock, contracts for buying or selling property, mort¬
gages, and even the land scrip of railroads would naturally find a
market in the Exchange when its possibilities are fully developed.
Perhaps the time may come when the buying and selling at auction
of building material —such as bricks, lumber and the like;—may
be regarded as germane to the scope of this institution.
Bnt all this will take timt*. " Make haste slowly " is a good motto.
The officers of the Exchange have wisely secured all the old busi¬
ness which naturally belonged to it, and are willing to open new
fields for business enterprise if the members of the Exchange so
desire. If the wider field is fully occupied every broker doing busi¬
ness in New York and vicinity wiU be necessitated to become an
annual member of the Exchange. Nor is it too much to expect
that real eslate brokers at a distance may find it to their advantage
to have business affiliations with the great MetropoUtan Real
Acoustics of Public Halls.
When architects are requested to draw plans for public halls
they should be required to give proof that they understand some¬
thing of the science of acoustics. In a number of instances recently
they have brought into existence legislative chambers, churches
and bu.siness exchanges utterly unsuited for the purpose of speak¬
ing or hearing. This is true of the Reformed Jewish Synagogue on
Fifth avenue, the San Francisco Stock Exchange, the New York
Stock Exchange, the Assembly and Senate chambers at Albany,
the Cotton Exchange and the Real Estate Exchange. In every
case we believe that the architect has assured the different com¬
mittees that the acoustic properties of the rooms would be all right,
but after they were constructed it was found that alterations must
be made to fit them for the uses for which they were originally
designed. There is usually very little difficulty with theatres and
opera houses. The cone form of the interior, the galleries, tiers and
pillars break the volume of sound, while the stage iiself actsagrtat
sounding-board, throwing the voices forward into the auditorium.
The problem there is simplified, because the speaking is from one
part of the house only. 1 he acoustic properties of many churches
are defective, as they are generally modeled after temples which
were originally designed for sacrifice and not for speaking. The
Roman Catholic Cathedrals were intended when first built in the
middle ages for music and the mass, not for oratory. Hence the
artificial sounding-board which they all requiie. And after all how
few of them are satisfactory to those who go to hear the sermon?
The legislative halls are often defective acoustically, because the
speakers occupy different parts of the hall, a fact not taken into
I consideration by the architects. It has been noticed that in