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April 3, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadway, 3Sr. l£r.
Oar Telepbone Call in ~ - " - - JOHN 370.
OIVE TEAR, ia advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
APRIL 2, 1887.
Elsewhere will be found the official text of the Tenement House
law as passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. We
have had many inquiries for the text of this statute, and have pub¬
lished a larger edition to meet -the demand. It is idle just now to
either indorse or condemn the provisions in this enactment. It is
the law of the State and must be obeyed. If the changes in the
tenement system it enforces are harmful, measures can be taken to
alter the law at the next winter's session of the Legislature. Here¬
after it will be difficulfc to build structures in this city which can
become centres of infectious disease. But if the law is too strin¬
gent as charged, then will laboring people be forced to live beyond
our city limits, for tenement houses will not be builfc unless they
promise a profit to the persons who invesfc their capital.
From every part of the country come reports of unusual activity
in real estate buying and selling. This is as true of Boston as it is
of Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Denver, Duluth and a
hundred other centres of population in the South and West.
Indeed, the real estate speculation just now is more general than
ifc has been at any time since 1837, when the crash affected land
values. The country just now is forging ahead rapidly. We are
adding 2,000,000 annually to our population, and our wealth is
increasing in a still greater ratio. However, let us look at the
future soberly. A widespread real estate speculation will be the
forerunner of a financial crisis further along, but we see no signs
of any collapse this year.
of the bar and the public to the evils of our system of land transfers.
But when the commission was finally appointed to draft the neces¬
sary laws to effect the needed reform, he found himself alone on
one special issue. He favored the block, while his colleagues
insisted upon the " lot system " of indexing, claiming, whafc was
true enough, that the latter was ideally the most perfect. Mr.
Olmstead held, however, that it was impracticable at presenfc and
would be very costly and unnecessarily confusing. The '* block
system" would be comparatively inexpensive, he argued, and
would furnish "defined boundaries," and thus secure greater
For a time the majority of the Land Transfer Commission had
everything their own way. Many of the leading lawyers backed
them up and the Real Estate Exchange indorsed the position they
took. But Mr. Olmstead went to work in dead earnest, and the
result is seen in the vote of last Wednesday. He has had the
backing of lawyers like David Dudley Field, Luther R. Marsh, H.
L. Clinton and other eminent legal lights. The bill for short
forms, which was approved by all the commissions of land trans¬
fer, has been passed by the Assembly. The Senate Committee on
Thursday reported the bill for block indexing favorably, and there
is no doubt but this bill will be passed by the Senate, and perhaps
by the Assembly. The Record and Guide has never committed
itself to the advocacy of either system, for we believe the final solu¬
tion of the problem wiU be the same as that arrived at by the Tor-
ren's laws in force in the Pacific Islands, or the very similar system
which obtains in Prussia and other German Stales. Under these
systems there are official maps which show all properties accu¬
rately surveyed, and the government for a small fee records and
verifies a transfer of ownership when one takes place. As between
the lofc and block system of indexing we regard the latter as being
more immediately feasible as well as the least expensive, and would
be well satisfied if it could be tested.
The "Half Holiday" bill passed by the State Senate does not seem
to us a wise enactment. Had it been confined to the summer
months ic would have been unobjectionable. But the subtraction
of fifty-two half days in a year from the effective labor of the State
is a very serious matter and would put New York's industrial
establishments at a disadvantage with those of adjoining States.
Then the labor day holiday in September will be regarded, and
with reason, as a piece of demagoguery. We have already too
many meaningless holidays, and this making a special class of the
laboring population is un-American and may lead to evil conse¬
quences. We should not recognize any classes in this country.
We are all equal before the law, and our working population is not
confined to those who toil with their hands. Then, why, by law,
make these dangerous distinctions ? This act should not pass the
All well wishers of the Eepublic will hope to see the so-called
Socialistic candidates defeated in Chicago afc tho next local elec¬
tion. The Democratic party is so demoralized by the revolt of the
laboring people that it is unable to find a reputable standard bearer,
and there is danger that the rank and file may go with the new
party. We have never felt quite the same terror of the political
action of working people as have the leading organs of the daily
press. But a victory of the Chicago local candidates on the work¬
ingmen's ticket would be interpreted as a triumph for the detested
Anarchist. This would, we think, injuriously affect the whole
business of the country. The Chicago newspapers have not dealt
wisely with this local political problem. They have represented
the prejudices, passions and fears of the employing class, rather
than their business good sense. The bitter feud between the police
and the more radical working people which led to the Anarchist
outbreak was largely the work of the sensational daily press which
cared more for pleasing their advertisers and subscribers than for
maintaining good feeling between the various vital interests of the
community. But the mischief has been done, and all that remains
is for a union of all conservative classes to vote down the labor
The " lot system " of indexing was defeated in the Assembly on
Wednesday last, receiving only thirty-nine votes out of the neces¬
sary - sixty-five. There were, however, only forty-three, votes
against it. It is safe to credit this result to the personal labors of
Mr. Dwight H. Olmstead. It was he who first called the attention
There were some notable sales at the Real Estate Exchange
during the past week. For No. 6 Bowling green $92,000 was paid.
In 1834 this property sold for $25,250, and in 1818 it was purchased
for $11,000. These were regarded as very high figures in those
days. Bufc the estate of Patrick Dickie, subsequently sold, was a
still more interesting one to real estate owners. Dickie, in the
early part of this century, kept a drug store at the southwest
corner of Lispenard street and Broadway. Ifc was a very popular
establishment and dispensed a famous cure for colds. Mr. Dickie
retired with an ample fortune in 1840. He was an enterprising
person and advanced supplies to General Sam Housfcon when the
latter was fighting the Mexicans in Texas. Dickie was promised
millions of acres of land for his pecuniary assistance, but somehow
the ungrateful Texas authorities subsequently cancelled the grant
made to him. But he nevertheless left an ample fortune, as was
shown at the sale which took place on Thursday of his real estate.
We give the price realized^ together with the amounts originally
paid, as it is amatter of curious interest to note the difference of the
values of real properfcy now and in former years. Of course the
buildings now on the lots were built by Mr. Dickie.
413 Broadway, southwest corner Lispenard street.......$5,500
Chamhers street, No. 144.............................. 6,000
Chambers street. No. 150................................ 6,000
Canal street. No. 274.. .. ................................ 2,700
Thirty-eighth street, No. 7 West (house coat $12,000) ... 4,000
South Fif th avenue, No. 87............................... 6,000
Wooster street, No. 151................................. 6,0U0
Greene street. No. 127................ ............... 3,450
The World gives some figures to show that when the Central
Park site was purchased, in 1856, the Twelfth, Nineteenth and
Twenty-second Wards, which surrounded it, paid in taxes a little
over $1,000,000, whereas the same Wards now pay Over $10,000,000
taxes. This increase in taxation it credits to the park improvement,
and makes ifc an argument for the proposed immediate completion
of tbe Morningside, Riverside, Mount Morris and East River Parks.
Now, while we are in favor of the improvements of the parks
named, ifc is an over-statement to credit all this increase of values
to park improvements alone. The elevated roads have done more
than the parks, and there have been other causes at work to
enhance up-town values. But these park improvements are good
things, and we believe the future history of the city will justify
the creation of the great system of proposed parka above the
Harlem River, including that much-abused Pelham Bay Park.
The conversion of the trade dollars into standard dollars occurred
in a very fortunate time for the business of the country. Th©
Evening Post .a,nd the national bank organs bitterly opposed that
provisioia of the law which added tbe trade dollars tb the 2,000,000