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January 8, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
Our Teleplioue Call is - - - " - JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, iu advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager,
JANUARY 8, 1887.
have our fair share of this traffic, and would have it if Congress
Every regular subscriber to The Record and Guide is entitled to
the Supplemental Index ive publish to-day, All ivho keep bound
files toillfind this index indispensable to make the records complete.
Next week, the loth inst., a very large edition of The Record and
Guide will be published. It will find its loay into the possession of
investors, real estate brokers, builders, architects, dealers in build¬
ing mateHal, decorators, real estate lawyers, indeed every class
directly or remotely interested in real estate or building operations.
This publication affords unusual advantages to advertisers, for the
circulation will be among people ivho are likely to be purchasers
of the various articles offered the public. Our advertising patrons
should send their favors in early, as we "xpect to work off an
unusually large edition of The Record and Guide.
At its last meeting the directors of the Real Estate Exchange
decided to press upon the Legislature the reform of the Land
Transfer laws, proposed by the majority of the commission of
which Mr. Southmayd is chairman. It is understood the matter
will be promptly brought to the attention of our law makers. The
chances are that the whole matter will be finally referred to the
constitutional convention. But the real estate interest of New
York will be justified in pressing this matter upon the Legislature
with a -view to causing such discussion as will educate the public
to the necessity of reform in our laws relating to the transfer of
Mayor Hewitt commences well. His message to the Common
Council is brief and to the point. It will be seen that he does not
believe in unwise economies. New York is a great city and ii
should spare no expense to make it a suitable entrepot for the
commerce of two continents. We should furnish additional
facilities for trade and commerce. Then we require clean streets,
good pavements and perfect sanitary arrangements. This will
require money, but that can be supplied without adding to our
taxes by getting rid of waste and scaling the interest in our city
debts. It is to bo hoped that the Mayor's health will admit of his
attention to his official duties.
Governor Hill's message naturally excites very mixed comments.
Everyone admits that the writer is a man of brains. It is, indeed,
an abler State paper than any ever put forth by his immediate
predecessor. But it is the work of a politician—an aspirant for
re-election to his present position, if not a bid for the labor vote in a
Presidential canvass. Ever since the large George vote in this city
and the local strength developed else where by the organized working
people it was inevitable that our lawyer politicians would try to
ingratiate them,selves with what seemed to be the rising power of
the working masses. Some of the recommendations of Governor
Hill are wise and timely, and all are suggestive, but somehow the
general impression left is that we have a firat-clasa demagogue for
chief executive of New York State.
Some years ago the United States Board of Engineers, an entirely
disinterested body, officially recommended an appropriation of
160,000,000 for internal waterways and harbor improvements, lU
vpould have been wise to have heeded that recommendation, for in
1883 and 1883 we had plenty of money, labor and material were
very cheap, and all our waterways and harbors would have been
benefited by the proposed improvements—New York more than
any other city. Our then depressed industries also would be
benefited by the expenditure. But Congress, instead of $60,000,000,
appropriated about $19,000,000, and this modest sum was vetoed
by the late President Arthur. It was what is known as a "silly
season," when the papers had little to talk about, and they seized
upon this veto as a text for the most causeless aud outrageous
attack upon the national Legislature. Necessarily, in any measure
passed by Congres?, there was some log-rolling in order to secure
vote-s and a few suspicious items, amounting to less than $100,000,
were seized upon to prove that all the appropriations meant
plunder from beginning to end. Of course the rai'road corpora¬
tions were back of this villainous clamor, for they did not want
the waterways to be improved so as to furnish opposition to the
land transportation lines. But the ravings of the press bad their
effect, and at the next election some of our most experienced
public men were retired to private life. Even Senator Hoar, of
Massachusetts, whose integrity has never been questioned, and
whose honor is without a stain, came very near ending his public
career because he voted for the River and Harbor bill, which
President Arthur subsequently vetoed.
At the next session there was, of course, no appropriation bill to
keep up our internal improvements, and every year since there has
been trouble because of the cries of "job" uttered by the press,
and the shrillest and most unreasonable of these eminated from
the New York city journals. Since then it is with difficulty that
any river and harbor bill can be carried at all. This year the
Engineering Board recommended that at least $30,000,000 be spent,
but the appropriation committee has brought in a bill providing
for an expenditure of less^than $8,000,000. It is inevitable that this
will be increased before the bill is passed. But one New York
paper has the assurance to complain that the $300,000 set aside by
the engineers for this port has been cut down to some $60,000.
If our journals fairly represented this commuaity, New York
should not have a cent, for every local improvement in any part of
the country is denounced as a corrupt and useless expenditure
In truth, our harbor and the waters adjacent require an expendi¬
ture of several million dollars by the central government. The
deepening of the channel in the lower harbor, to admit large
steamers at any tide, will require many years work and a great
deal of money. Then the Harlem Ship Canal will call for a great
deal more than the $400,000 now appropriated, as the United
States engineers in their reports have pointed out, it would add
greatly to the commerce of this port if the minor rivers and har¬
bors in our neighborhood had their navigable facilities improved.
But our New York journals, as well as representatives, protest
against any appropriations for the harbors on the lakes and the
improvement of the Mississippi, and so the members of the interior
will probably vote solidly against any expenditure of Federal
money for New York harbor.
A bridge over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie will be completed, it
seems, by the end of this year. This will be a blow at New York,
for we shall lose the railroad business between New England and
the rest of the country. Chicago and other interior cities have
suffered and will suffer more by the tendency of the transportation
lines to go directly East or West without paying tribute to estab¬
lished centres of business. The grain from the West now goes
around Chicago instead of through it.
In the future the traffic east and west of the Hudson of all the great
railway systems will pass over this Poughkeepsie bridge instead of
through the metropolis. The new bridge is to cost $4,000,000 and
is backed by interests representing $60,000,000. It will more directly
affect the coal roads. We must try and make up for this loss of
trade by bringing a pressure to bear on Congress to encourage our
foreign commerce. We pay from one hundred and sixty to two
Comparative Tables for the Past Year.
The Record and Guide of last week was the first jourual to
publish the building statistics for 1886. Accompanying then! were
comparisons with the two previous years. Several city journals
availed themselves of our labors in this matter, but in no case was
proper credit given. So as to make the record complete we give
to-day the conveyances and mortgages recorded during the past
year, together with a comparison with former years. We also
publish the available figares for Kings County. So as to have all
the tables together we venture to reproduce the cost of new build¬
ings in this city for the last thirteen years :
Year: Estimated cost. | Year. Estimated cost.
' ~ 667,414| 1S81..........................§43,391,300
1874. _ .
1879 .......................... 23,507,322
1883 .......................... 43,314.346
^ ................... 58,479,653
Total thirteen years............................................... §409,014,769
This record shows how steady and how large has been the building
movement in New York city. The total expenditure for 1886, while
not as large as our estimates early in the year, still largely surpasses
any previous twelve months in our history. Of course the above
table is not entirely accurate. It represents the estimates of the
I architects and builders when they filed their plans. Some houses
cost a great deal more than they were expected to do when they were
_ . ___„ .. .. commenced ; others, again, constructed by practical builders, cost