Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text
May 8, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Publislied every Saturday.
IQl Broadvsrav, IST. "S".
Onr Telephone Call Is.....JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should he addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MAY 8, 1886.
The disturbances at Chicago, Milwaukee and elsewhere are not
calculated to help the general business of the country. The stock
market recovered somewhat after the news came of the Anarchist
demonstration in Chicago. The street reasoned, and very correctly,
that the mass of the workingmen would disavow the use of bombs
and fire-arms in their war with organized capital, and that strikers
would be discouraged and strikes less frequent hereafter. But
after all a check has been given to business, and as confidence is a
plant of slow growth it will take time to beget a feeling of hope¬
fulness in business circles. There seems to be no abatement in real
estate dealings. The number of conveyances show an increase of
fully one-third over last year, but undoubtedly there has been a
check given to the filing of new plans for house construction. If,
however, the buying movement continues and the labor disturb¬
ances come to an end there will be a renewal of the building move¬
ment in the early fall, if not before.
The correspondence we publish between the editor of this paper
and the Chief of the Bureau of Statistics will be read with interest
not only by owners and dealers in real estate, but by the leaders of
the financial world as well. Up to this time there has been no
means of ascertaining the figures which would tell the story of
house construction year by year. The amounts spent for lumber,
brick, mortar and the other materials which enter into build¬
ing operation? are unknown. It is only a few of the larger cities
which have building departments. There is no supervision over
house construction outside of .'ess than a dozen centres of popula¬
tion. The Chief of the Bureau of Statistics admits the desira¬
bility of collecting this information, but he thinks it should be
done by the Labcir Bureau. This is a matter of detail, however,
which is not worth discussing here. The great point is to have the
general government collect building statistics as it does figures
relating to crops and the movements of our international trade.
It may be necessary to memorialize Congress for legislation direct¬
ing some department to attend to this matter.
What a foolish business this Third avenue strike was on both
sides. The company, according to the majority of the Railway
Commissioners " precipitated a conflict" rather than pay the ten
doUaTS a day which they had agreed to do in March, and must
have losfc by the strike over $80,000, and besides will have to face
the permanent ill-will of the laboring people on the east side of the
city, who Imve been their principal patrons. The employes were
equally unwise, for they have lost very much more than they
would have gained had the strike succeeded. How much better it
would have been to have referred the mafcters in dispute to an
impartial tribunal. No matfcer what the decision had been, both
sides and the public would have been the gainers.
President Cleveland has commenced vetoing, and he is likely to
use that prerogative frequently as the session comes to a close.
He and ex-Governor Cornell gained a great deal of undeserved
applause by their vetoing of all acts of the Legislature, good and bad.
The President's veto of the Das Moines bill seems to have been
entirely indefensible. It merely provided for sending a matter to
the courts which should have been legally determined twenty years
ago. Of course he will veto the River and Harbor bill when it
passes. Ex-President Arthur gofc unbounded praise for vetoing an
excellent River and Harboir bill, and the present executive will
expect a good deal of cheap applause in negativing a series of
appropriations, the great bulk of which are nofc only unobjectiona¬
ble, but are for improvements of rivers and harbors which are very
America, to the consolidated cable companies are far more numer¬
ous than can be controlled by the Mackay new cable. If the fight
continues it looks as though the younger company will be forced
to the wall. The true solution of the ocean cable problem is for all
the submarine telegraph wires to be put under the control of an
international commission and the service so organized as to confer
the greatest possible benefits on international commerce and com¬
munication. The rates should be established so as to pay running
expenses and provide a fund for new construction and repairs.
These occasional wars between rival telegraph and carible systems
do not permanently advantage any business interests.
While the State Senate has passed the bill providing for the
indexing of New York realty by lots nothing has been done with
the bill shortening the forms of deeds and mortgages. The Land
Transfer Commissioners unanimously recommended this abbrevia¬
tion of legal forms, but our Albany correspondent says there is no
reason to believe thafc ifc will be touched this session. Yet no one
can read a deed, bond or mortgage, or even a lease, without being
struck with the unnecessary verbiage. Our records are piled up in
monstrous volumes because of the verbosity and tedious prolixity
of the legal forms now in use. Bufc this waste of words is profitable
to clerks, copyists and small legal concerns. Hence the burking of
the bill to effect this very necessary reform. Will nofc some member
of the Legislature try and get a vote so as to put the responsibility
upon the members who are opposiog this needed reform. The
action of the Assembly on Wednesday looks as if nothing will be
done in the way of land transfer reform during the present session.
The cable rate war is an interesting one, and the public ought to
profit by fuller news from the other side of the ocean as the press
charge is only six cents a word. Although the stock of the consol-
-jdated cable companies is heavily watered, the old monopoly has
yet several advantages over the Mackay-Bennett cable. Ifc is clear
of debt for pne thing, while the mva| pnterprisfe carries a mortgage
oltjiree million dollars. Then tj^p feeders^ |?^)j in Europe and
The Improvement on the West Side.
For years previous to the building movement now going on west
of Eighth avenue and north of Fifty-ninth street, that region had
seemed to the veterans of the real estate market like a field on
which a, gallant efliort had once been made, and a hard-fought battle
lost. The prices that had at one time been realized for lots on the
Boulevard and the streets crossing it seemed almost fabulous in
th« retrospect. The west side is naturally the handsomest part of
the island ; and the Riverside Drive, the Grand Boulevard and
other improvements show the efforts that had been made to con¬
verfc ifc into a fashionable quarfcer by a liberal use of money. Even
the west side of Central Park has a wider drive than the east, and
shows in other ways the wish of its designers to make it especially
attractive. Yet those whose money was invested in that district
in the times when its exipecfcations were the greatest were severely
disappointed, and a large proportion of them were driven out of
the field long before the present improvement commenced.
When the recent hard times began to relax, and real estate
seemed likely to show a little activity, much of the attention of
investors and buyers was turned to this long-neglected part of the
city for various reasons. The most important of these lay in high
and firmly-established prices of building lots on the east side. Ifc
is long since there has been much building of dwellings for the sake
of the rents on thafc side, and the greater number of fchem have
been built for sale to parties intending to occupy them. Fifty thou¬
sand dollars is a low price for a home in a genteel neighborhood on
the east side of the city, and in a great many cases the house alone
has cosfc more than that sum. It is evident that in such a situation
of affairs, many people with moderate means, who had been con¬
demned to live in flats and boarding-houses, would be glad to
improve an opportunity to own houses in a quarfcer of the city that
should be tastefully improved by capitalists whose methods in sell¬
ing would afford a guarantee of good surroundings, and where an
expenditure of $30,000 to $25,000 would secure the lot and building.
Investors, too, who were tired of holding bonds that returned less
than five per cent, on the value, saw that lots west of the park,
judiciously improved, would afford them much larger incomes.
It is said that in the history of nations, when the hour of destiny has
struck, the man that the time demands always appears on the scene.
It is fortunate that men of the right kind to direct a newmove-
ment were at hand, when a beautiful quarter of this city only needed
the capitalist wifch the quick intelligence and courage to build and
improve, in order to awake to a growth and thrift to which ifc had
long been unaccustomed. Good judgment has been shown by owners
and builders, almosfc wifchout exception. Lots have usuaUy been
sold with carefully drawn stipulations as to the character of the
buUdings to be erected. The taste and tact of the architects who
have designed these is very marked, and is giving a distinctive and
very pleasing character to that part of the city. The styles adopted
are in very many cases decidedly novel as weU as tasteful, the effects
being homelike as well as artistic. The designs have won the
approval even of people of very old-fashioned and conservative
ideas, nofc only by their beauty and variety, but by the good judg¬
ment and originality often shown in the ground plans and aU the
arrangements for convenience and comfort as well as luxury. Ifc
is already certain that the west side will be architecturally, as
it is naturally, the most picturesque part of the island. The east
side may- jgng continue to show the most costly dweUings, with