January 13. 1880
Record and Guide.
ESTABLISHED ^ WA^CK Sl'-i
De/oTED to flEA,L ESTME . BuiLDIf/o Af^cKlTECTUI^E .HoUSEHoLD DEC0R,ATlOtJ.
BUsifJESS AfJoThemes of Cej^eraI l^rttr^Es^
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVA^TE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every SaUirday.
TELEPHONE, - ' - _j___ JOHN 370,
Communications should be addressed to
C.W. SWEET. 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
JANUARY 12, 1889.
This number of The Record and Guide deserves ihe attention,
not only of the thousands of non-subscribers to whom it will be
mailed, but of its regular readers also. It contains, ii> addition
to the tmial matter, a review of the bnilding material markets
for the year past; Samuel Benner's forecast of business for 1889
and the following two years; the commencement of a series of
architectural articles on recent changes ?'t the constntction of
buildings; an iUusirated fnipplownt of the new " Times" build-
inj and the Progress Club: and a vast amount of valuable busi¬
ness information presented by our advertisers. Our readers shotdd
see that the supplement is furnished with each copy of (he paper.
For the information of those not already subscribers the annual
subscription fo The Record and Guide is $6: the office of ptibli-
cation. No. 191 Broadway.
The regular semi-annual Index to the Conveyances and Pro
jected Buildings, published in The R.ecord and Guide, will he
ready on January IWi. Subscribers desiring copies should send
word to this office.
We again present our annual report upon the conditions of the
markets for structural irafcrial as existing during the preceding
year, and exteusiTe details will te found in another portion of this
number. Tbe salient features are to te found in a lessened local
consumption and lower prices as compared with 1887, fuily con-
lirming the forecast of the record at that time. Operators as a rule
have managed affairs conservatiTely, and while the margin for
profit was by no means liberal the general condition of the trade
appears to be sound, and hopeful feelings ate entertained over the
prospect for the incoming year.
making any criticisms, however, to wait until after the olayor makes
his appointments—mdicates by his acts the way he intends to
carry out his own suggestions. He is quite right as to the necessity
of better pavements, a new Municipal building and finer docks for
our great commercs. We cannot, however, indor,se his views in '
regard to the new parks in the annexed district. His aim clearly
is to make them unusable as places of recreation. We object most
decidedly to putting the penitentiary, almshouse, the lunatic asy¬
lums and other charities, now on Blackwell's Island, on Pelham
Bay Park. Yet we do not know but the time may come when it
will be desirable to remove these penal and charitable institutions
from their present situation. That locality will make a very useful
public park when the opposite shores become densely populated,
which will be the case in a few years from now. But we want all
the park room and more provided for on the other side of tbe
What Mayor (irant says about rapid transit is disappointing. He
makes a call for plans and suggestions, so as to make up his mind
as to the most feasible scheme. This request Avill make him the
prey of every rapid transit and engineering crank in this section of
the country, and may hind him in the lunatic asylum. Our imme¬
diate need is some way to utilize to the utmost the facilities we
already enjoy. Our elevated system might be so reorganized within
two years' time as to permit the carriage of double the present num¬
ber of passengers. By means of extra tracks on the Third aud
Sixth Avenues, the time between the Battery and Harlem River
might be cut down to less tban tliirty minutes. Then another road
might be built over the widened and extended Elm .street, and one ou
the Boulevard connecting with the Ninth Avenue. The track should
be extended to the principal ferries, and in time the river fronts
might form part of the elevated systems. Any viaduct scheme
would involve enormous cost and at least ten years of time. An
anderground road would be objectionable, as any one can under¬
stand who is forced to use the tunnel above 49d street. Perhaps an
arrangement might be made between the Central Road and the
Arcade peojile to build from the Battery to 4?d street; but even that
would take five years and a vast sum of money. There is no dodg¬
ing this matter. The only reUef possible for immediate necessities
is the further utilization of tiio Manhattan system.-
Up to Fi-iday morning, when the results of the president's meet¬
ing was announced, the siock market was a vaiting one ; then, it
naturally took a turn upwards. Ail agreement has been reached,
but it will take time to see if it is observed and what the effect of
the raised rate will be on traffic returns. It is difficult to see how
even a maintainance of rates is going to help railway lines which
run through an unsettled country. The real difficulty is that the
Burlington & Quincy, the Atchison, the Missouri Pacific, indeed
most of the roads west of the Mississippi, have extended their lines
through regions that are without inhabitants, and consequently
withoat business or crops. Put the rates ever so high and maintain
them ever so strictly, and in such locahties, the trains mmt be run
at a loss. Of course, the restoration of rates will help the revenues
of the roads where there are inhabitants, business and crops; but
the regions Ukely to yield the best results are those which have
had a large corn and hay crop and very little railroad bmlding.
This is really the situation in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and a
considerable part of Miseouri, The restoration of rates ought to
make a great deal of difference in what is known as the corn belt
proper in the Middle and Western States, But speculators in
Chicago, who understand the situation West better than wo do
East, are eaid to be short of the granger stocks, and will so con¬
tinue in spite of the attempt to bulldoze the Western presi¬
dents into advancing and maintaining rates. The situation, how¬
ever, generally looks favorable for the corn roads, coalers.
Southern securities and the trunk fines. Tliey ought to show
handsome gains in the not distant future. One excellent symp¬
tom is the heavy buying of bonds by investors. This is generally
an indication that good stocks will be in demand after a certain
number of bonds have been absorbed. It is generally safi' to buy
junior securities when gilt-edge bonds and mortgages are in
unusual demand. . .
Mayor Grant's message has been justly, praiaed by the press of
the city, the Tribune being the most eulogistic. We prefer, before
The resolution pasred by Congress, warning foreign ualif.ns Ihp.t
they must not aid in the completion of the Panama Canal, is bravely
worded, but it implies a threat of war; and are we yet in a position
to take the field should even the weakest foreign power disregard
our warnings? The only nation we could attack at present would
be Great Britain, by invading Canada; but even that country has a
mighty fieet and has, dotted all around our coasts, fortified islands
connected by cables iu such a way that all our sea-port cities would
be attacked by an Englisii fieet that could come without warn¬
ing to try and captm-e Portland, Boston, New York, Baltimore
—not to mention a score of less impcrtant places. Then her gun¬
boats could pass up the St, Lawrence and menace Milwaukee, Chi¬
cago, Cleveland, Buffalo, in fact our whole water front on the lakes.
Even China has us at its mercy. It possesses now a splendid fleet
of gun-boats and could capture with the greatest ease San Fran¬
cisco and all the exposed cities on the Pacific coast. We have not
a ship to do om- fighting on the Pacific.and no way of getting one
there iu time to be of any service. China might very well object
to any action on our part in interfering with direct trade between
Europe and Asia,
The Prospect of the Futiu'e,
We give place to-day to a communication from the well-known
financial prophet, Mr. Samuel Banner, of Ohio, His forecast is for
three years. He expects to see a " boom " commence during the pres¬
ent year, which will last through the year 1890, and will be followed
by a panic sometime during 1891. For those who are not aware of
Mr, Benner's predictions it may be well to state that he has, on the'
whole, been remarkably successful in guessing out the future.-
Indeed, it is hardly fair to call his foreshadowings guesses, for they,
are based on experienced and observed data, Mr. Benner insists
that there is a law of periodicity in prices. Thus, in from eighteen
to twenty-one years we are certain to have a panic, as witness 1837,
1857, 1873, the next being due in 1890or 1891, At intervals between
we have periods of speculation and high prices, which also occur at
regular intervals. Mr. Benner's woi-k, published in 1875, made some
very remarkable and accurate forecasts as to the fature course of
prices in the stock, grain and provision markets, Accordingto him
the price of iron and steel is the keynote to the industrial situation.
When the price of tliat essential metal advances we may expect
good times. When it declines prices of all other commodities fall.
In the commanication from Mr. Benner, which we publish else¬
where, he lays stress upon other factors as affecting the situation.
The ejection of a Republican President, and the certainty that if any
change is made in the tariff it will be in the direction of higheir
imposts, gives us, he thinks, an assurance of good times. This may