July 8, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published evert/ Saturday.
191 BroacL-vvrav, IST. 1^.
Oar TelepUone Call Is.....JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in adTance, SIX DOLLARS.
Commimications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
JULY 3, 1886.
On Tuesday morning next, July Qth, we will issue a handsome
volume which should be in the hands of every huilder, con¬
tractor, architect, and owner or dealer in real estate before
the close of the month. It is a new edition of the law
relating to buildings in the city of New York, with added mat¬
ter, marginal notes, and colored engravings to illustrate the
subject. It will contain the law limiting the height of dwelling
houses, also the existing Mechanics'" Lien Law. This work is edited
by William J. Fryer, Jr., whose original and well-thought-out com¬
ments will give it a special value. TJie volume will also contain a
complete directory of architects in New York, Brooklyn, Jersey
City, Neivark and Yonkers. The book will be handsomely bound
in cloth and sold at the low price of seventy-five cents.
in the treasury, is a step in the wrong direction. What we ought
to do is to withdraw the one and two dollar greenbacks and the five
dollar national bank notes, reissuing the face value of the with¬
drawn currency in larger denominations. Then the government
should have largely increased the number of quarter and half gold
eagles minted. This would give us a precious metal retail cur¬
rency, the same as that in vogue in Great Britain, France, Ger¬
many, Holland and all the leading commercial nations of Europe.
There are no small bills in the countries referred to; but our policy
of storing up the precious metals and issuing gold and silver cer¬
tificates in their place will finally result logically in driving all
gold and silver into the treasury vaults or away from our shores.
If gold and silver are used in other countries and not used here,
they will gravitate to the regions that want them most.
The continued exportation of gold is a serious matter, and if it
keeps up will break the back of the bull speculation in the stock
market. Th«re is some mystery about this matter, as from the
trade reports the balance of international transactions is in our
favor. Still the gold' continues to pour in copious streams to the
other side of the Atlantic. Another disquieting fact is the steady
contraction of our currency, which has amounted to over $43,000,000
within the last six months. Under the term currency we include
not only national bank notes, but silver and gold certificates.
Indeed, in the two latter nearly $39,000,000 has been withdrawn
and are now unused in the national sub-treasuries.
The Committee of One Hundred Citizens which aims to reform our
city government will perform a useful public service if they thor¬
oughly overhaul the city accounts as they promise to do. We
ought to have a permanent staff of auditors, appointed by our tax¬
payers, who would examine into every bill presented for payment
at the Comptroller's office. For years we have had no thorough
supervision of our city finances, and have but an imperfect idea of
the waste that is constantly going on. It is idle to expect that the
auditors appointed by the Mayor will ever be efficient in ferreting
out corrupt practices on the part of city officers and contractors. It
was a city newspaper which recently discovered that all the monies
collected on weights and measures were not paid into the city
treasury. By all means let the Committee of One Hundred over¬
haul every department of our municipal government and report to
the public every instance of extravagance, waste or sinecurism.
This kind of work will do more to give us good government than
mere meddling with the nominations of the respective parties.
There are other disquieting factors which would seem to militate
against a bull market, such as the Granger rate war in the West,
the dullness due to the holiday season in the summer, and in the
fact that we have had a May and June rise of large proportions.
But the bulls point to the easy money market, to the excellent
showing of the New York Central, Lake Shore and Michigan
Central, to the maintenance of peace between the trunk lines and
the revival of business in the South, and say that under such cir¬
cumstances there is nothing but some unexpected disaster to
depress the value of securities.
Real Estate Figures for Six Montlis.
The real estate market may be described as quiet, but very strong.
The usual summer dullness prevails, btit there is no concession in
prices; indeed, for the season, there is a good deal doing. The
tables annexed are of vital importance to all who are interested
in metropolitan real estate. The June returns show a larger
business in buying and building than did the corresponding month
last year. There were 1,244 conveyances of property in the month
just past, which shows 330 more transactions than for June of last
year. Nearly 500,000 more dollars was invested also. Then plans
were filed for 495 new buildings, costing $6,733,755, against 320
new buildings last year, costing $5,151,435, These figures show
that the labor troubles did not seriously check the buying of real
estate or the building of new houses, which continue in larger
volume than in the two previous years. The figures for the whole
six months just past are equally striking. There are some 1,500
more transfers, and the consideration was greater by over $41,000,000
than for the first six months of the previous year. The building
on the west side and the region north of the park continues
without abatement, and shows quite an advance over last year;
but the figures are so striking, not only for the month but for the
six months, that the reader would do well to make the compari¬
sons himself, for all the available figures will be found in the very
accurate tables which we append.
It will be noticed that the total amount to be expended in new
buildings during the past six months was nearly $37,500,000. Should
this continue some $75,000,000 will be invested in new structures in
New York during 1886, against some $44,000,000 the previous year.
But, of course, the spring is much larger than the fall business,
and the total investments will probably not be much over $60,000,-
000. But, in any event, there will be a handsome gain over last
year. It may be noticed that the mortgage indebtedness, created
by the transfers of real estate, has not proportionally increased.
While New York is forging ahead at this rapid rate, our sister
city, Brooklyn, shows a decided falling off in its building operations.
In the first six months, of 1885 3,080 new structures were projected,
to cost $10,567,033, This year the new buildings projected are only
1,878, to cost $9,367,417, The names in their respective directories
show that Brooklyn still keeps ahead of Chicago in population, but
if the building falls off in our sister city as it has done during the
past year Chicago will get and keep ahead,
A feature of the market was the trading of large apartment houses,
the seven-story brick and stone flats Nos, 333 to 328 West Fifty-
seventh street, 100x100,5, known as the "Princeton," were
exchanged for Brooklyn lots at a valuation of $300,000. The
" Galaxy " flats, on the northwest corner of Eighty-sixth street and
Lexington avenue, were exchanged for Brooklyn lots at a valua¬
tion of $230,000. The seven-story brick flats, known as the " Marl¬
borough," Nos, 354 to 360 West Fifty-eighth street, were exchanged
at a valuation of $290,000 for a farm in New Jeraey, formerly
The attempt of the silver men in Congress to issue silyer oertifi-1 owned by Jim Keene. Several Fifth avenue houses were also
oates of one, two and fire dollars, to represent all the unused dollars I exchanged, including No. 72, on the northwest corner of Thirteemtb
Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt's generous acknowledgment of the
services of the employes of the Central, Hudson River and Harlem
roads, is something which might be iniitated with advantage by
all the railway kings of the country, A kindly recognition of
services rendered is often more efficacious in allaying discontent than
an advance of wages or a reduction of the hours of labor. Among
the most bitter complaints of the horse-car employes is the disregard
shown by some of the officers to the personal convenience of the
men. Their hours for meals are shortened, or they are kept an un¬
necessary length of time away from their families, or they are
employed in a way to curtail their hours of recreation—all this is
annoying and leads to the discontent which too often results in
strikes. If Mr. Jay Gtfuld should imitate Mr, Cornelius Vanderbilt
and do some good for his employes with the enormous wealth he
has rolled up, it would soften the feelings of the masses who now
regard him as their natural enemy.
The famous Committee of One Hundred, in Philadelphia, pur-
suaded the Legislature to pass an enactment putting a stop to all
additions to its municipal debts. If improvements were called for,
new taxes had to be levied to pay for them. After standing this
for some years the city finally bullied the Legislature into allowing
it to borrow more money. Boston has just passed through a simi¬
lar experience. The reform charter forbade any more borrowing;
but the Legislature has just permitted that city to increase its debt
by $3,500,000. The eagerness of capitalists to lend money to muni¬
cipalities is one potent cause to account for the increase of munici¬
pal debts. It is the excellent credit of the corporations which gets
them into trouble.