June 35, 1887
rhe Record and Guide,
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad^Aray, IST. IT.
Our Teleplioue CaU is.....JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
as if a larger business will be done in conveyancing real estate,
especially unimproved property.
JUNE 35, 1887.
The panic in the stock market yesterday was due to the manip¬
ulation of Jay Gould. He called his loans in early in the day and
marked down the price of his specialties; that is, Manhattan,
Missouri Pacific and Western Union. This knocked the whole
market. It is surmised his object was to break Ives and Stysor so
as to capture the Baltimore & Ohio system, telegraph and all.
After this raid speculation will be very dull in the " street." Jay
Gould has been reported dying ; the occurrences of yesterday will
make a great many people sorry that the rumor was not true.
Stocks have been panicy during the past week in Wall street,
due to the discovery of rottenness in fioancial institutions which
were supposed to be above suspicion. All the obvious factors favor
an advance in prices, for the railroad companies were never doing
a more profltable business. But the dullness in stock circles is
attributed to other and more general causes. The half holiday law
nominally takes twenty-six working days out of the year, but really
injures business to an extent that means a loss of fully forty days
in the year. Then the recent law of Congress, making Chicago, St.
Louis, Cincinnati and other Western centres reserve cities for bank¬
ing operations is seriously affecting the supply of money at this
flnancial centre. Under the old law as to reserves the banks every¬
where kept a deposit in New York, but under the new state of
things the New York banks are tempted to keep deposits in Chicago
and other banks, where the rate of interest is materially higher ;
hence the small surplus of funds in the New York associated
banks and the consequent damper upon speculation in securities.
These considerations suggest the proposed Arcade road under
Broadway. We have always believed that this was the best possible
plan for giving us real rapid transit and reducing the number of
vehicles on our great thoroughfare. The projectors of the Arcade
system have shown singular ability in the preliminary work of
securing the charter and getting the co-operation of legislatures
and executives, but we have always considered it an open question
whether they could raise the money to complete this great enter¬
prise. The attempt is now to be made. A committee, headed by
ex-Secretary of the Treasury William Windom, is out with a plan
for constructing the first section of a four-track road six miles in
length, running from the Battery under Broadway to Fifty-ninth
street, with a branch from Madison avenue to the Grand Central
Depot. To construct this work 400,000 shares of stock are to be
issued at the par value of $100 per share, together with $6,000,000
of bonds at 65 cents on the dollar. No money is to be paid until
the bonds and stock are all subscribed for. It is proposed to
complete the entire six miles within two years. The response to
this call will tell the story of the future of the Broadway
Chicago aspires to be the third city in the Union in population.
It is now about 63,000 behind Brooklyn, which at the last census
had 566,653 inhabitants. To help Chicago the Illinois Legislature
has made it easy for large cities in that State to annex their popu¬
lous suburbs. It is now proposed to take in' the town of Lake,
most of Lake View and a large part of Hyde Park. By 1890, at the
present rate of progress, these townships should contain about
125,000 people. This would, of course, give Chicago a start ahead
of Brooklyn. If it were only possible for New York city to absorb
its suburbs it would soon become the third city in the world in
It is claimed that since the world began there was never so large
a crowd as that which occupied the six miles of " ahoutirg streets"
from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on the celebration
of the Queen's Jubilee last Tuesday. On that occasion the crowd
was so well handled that no one was injured. Those who plan
modern cities would do well to keep in mind the possibility of vast
crowds assembling. The McGlynn parade last Saturday night was
in appearance a monster affair. Yet an actual count of those in
the procession showed it to be composed of less than 13,000 persons.
Of course this does not include the sympathizing throng of lookers-
on on the sidewalk. Heneo it does not require such very large
crowds to uncomfortably fill even the broadest streets in any of the
principal cities of the world.
London, it seems, has about doubled its population since Queen
Victoria was crowned. The ratio of increase is about as great in
New York as it is in London, taking into recount, of course, the
populations around the shores of New York Bay, which should be
considered a part of the metropolis. We will have our processions
and pageants twenty-five and fifty years from now, and we should
provide open spaces for the accommodation of citizens and strangers
on occasions of great popular festivities. Unfortunately those who
plan our streets have not as much " foresight as hindsight," and it
will be found a half century hence that our streets are too narrow
for the crowds that will occupy and the business that is to be trans¬
acted in them. Indeed the time has already come when something
will have to be done to relieve the streets below the City Hall
Park of the excess of vehicles and the sidewalks of the throngs
which now pour out from the tall office buildings.
It is worthy of note, anent the real estate situation, that while
the number of transfers is largely in excess of what it was at this
time last year, the filing of plans for new buildings is somewhat
slack just now. Of course, the principal activity in the architects'
offices is during the early spring. Summer is the time in which
building plans are being executed, not when they are projected.
Then an amended " Building law " has been enacted, and builders
• are timid about entering into new enterprises until they thoroughly
understand the provisions of the law. There is no evidence that
there will be any falling off in the building movement of the next
six months compared with the past five months; but it does seem
The Nation's Yearly Building Bill.
There is a class of statisticians who delight in taking one's breath
away with huge calculations. From time to time these individuals
make their appearance with computations as to how many pounds
of bread and meat or how many gallons of beer and wine are con¬
sumed by the nation annually. The digestion of the ordinary
mortal grows faint at the contemplation of such enormities, which
are made doubly vivid by means of examples. We are told, for
instance, that if the loaves of bread consumed annually were
strung together they might serve as a visible tail to the planet
Jupiter; and that the cattle we eat, if placed in a file within hearing
of one another, might bellow round the world. But no one has yet
computed for us how much the nation spends annually in new
building. What does our yearly building bill amount to?
In the number of The Eecord and Guide that appeared on Feb¬
ruary 38th, 1885, figures were given showing the value of the new
buildings erected during the previous year in twenty-one of the
]>rincipal cities of the United States.
The intention was to give a more extended report, but the figures
were all that could be obtained from both official reports and
inquiries among Mayors and municipal officers. Though the result,
as bearing upon the amount of building done in the country at
large, was unsatisfactory, it brought to light the important fact
that outside of the very largest centres of population no building
statistics are kept, nor is there any official supervision of edifices
constructed. Indeed, it showed that nine out of every ten houses
in this country are erected without any responsibility apart from
that belonging to the builders or the persons for whom the new
structures are erected. Bradstreefs reported last week that in the
following places either no records are kept, or if kept are not avail¬
Allegheny, Pa., Helena, Hon., Racine, Wis.,
Ashland, Wis., Jacksonville, Pia., Reading, Pa.,
Bennington, Vt., Kalamazoo, Mich., Richmond, Va.,
Boston, Mass., Key West, Fla., Savannah, Ga.,
Buffalo, N. Y,, Knoxville, Tenn., Scranton, Pa.,
Caiio, 111., Leadville, Col., South Bend, Ind.,
Des Moines, Iowa, Mobile, Ala., Springfield, Mass.
Elmira, N. Y., Newark, N. J., Syracuse, N. Y.,
. Fergus Falls, Minn., Norfolk, Va., Tampa, Fla.,
Fond du Lac, Wis., Pittsburgh, Pa,, Trenton, N. J.,
Tort Smith, Ark., Portland, Me., Utica, N. Y.,
Frankfort, Ky., Portsmouth, N. H., Wheeling, W. V,,
Grand Rapids, Mich., Pi'ovidence, R. I..
This absence of official supervision probably does not matter much
on farnis, or in villages and in small towns. The projector of the
new home or store knows what he wants and keeps an eye on the
builder. But in larger towns and in cities the Buddensiecks
make their appearance. What is everybody's business is nobody's
business, and so in cities some sort of official supervision is abso¬
lutely necessary to protect the community.
But, apart from this important side of the matter, it is desirable to