Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
October 5, 1889
Record and Guide.
Dented p Real Estme , BuiLoif/c A^ci(itectjhe .KousnioLO DEGOR^noii.
"'"-■BUsit^Ess Alto Themes ofGeHeraL I;JT£i\est
PRICE, PER YEAR IIV ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published evei'y Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
JTonunvmlcations should be addressed to
CW. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 5. 1839.
The Harlem Kiver Improvement.
Every subseribar of The Record and Guide ivill receive, with
to-day's issue, a supplement showing the lines of this important
improvement; also all that part of Manhattan Island as far south
as 173d street. The map also shows the boundaries at Inwood of
the site which was proposed for the World's Fair. On another
page will be found an interesting story of the section illustrated.
■ We desire once more to call atteutioD to the remarkable fulfill¬
ment of Samuel Benner's iwedictions made in the beginnmg of this
year in The Record AND Guide. "I predict," lie said, "that the
price of iron will advance, and that the average price for the year
1889 will be higher than the average for the year 1888 ; and I also
predict that there will be a wonderful advance in tire prices of iron,
stocks and all products and commodities in the year 1890 ; all busi¬
ness will be prosperous, it will be a year of good crops, and the
boom year in this period of activity." We bave already noticed
the success of Mr. Benner's predictions in reference to the crops ;
they bave been equally true in reference to iron. The'boom both
in pig iron and in steel rivals that of 1884. According to a dispatcii
to the Tribune from Pitsburg:
The boom in steel aud ii-ou rivals the memorable advance of 1884, Even
wheu compared witb that time, other things considered, the advance in
products of steel and iron is more remarkable. Steel rails cannot to-day
be bougbt for less than S33 a Con, and maniifacturers are quite indepen¬
dent on those figm'es, for it is confidently beheved that the prioe will yet
reach $35. In the last few days Bessemer pig has stiffened from $18.75 to
$13.50, and a heavy consumer said to-day that he doubted if he could buy
100 or 1,000 tons for less than $20. This is an advance in five weeks of
between $5 and $6. At the offlce of Carnegie Brothers & Co. it was learned
that tbe advance is caused by the increased cost in raw materials, "If,"
said the authority, " Bessemer pig advances to §20, rails aud otber pro
ducts must cost just so much, more, A §5 advance on pig means a $5
advance ou the finished product, for the shrinkage is estimated at 25 per
cent, aud ia addition to that is the shding scale under which our meu
work. In England Bessemer pig has risen from 40 to 50 shihings. which
cost, witb the duty added, makes the price of tbis foreign product free in
this country above om' price of $30, Moreover, oiu' advices tell us that
prices vriU go still higher in England, and, of course, that has an impoi'tant
heai-ing upon prices in this country.
In view of the success of these forecasts it is worth repeating
what he further says: " In tbe beginning of 1891," be proceeds,
" speculation will be at its height—a great business inflation—pig-
iron §50 a ton in the markets of our country." A panic, he thinks,
will follow in 1891, and it will be the beginning of a long period of
depression. The further fulfillment of Mr. Benner's forecasts is
something worth keeping a keen lookout for. "We can but argue
from experience. He has been right hitherto, presumably he will
continue to be right.
If there was anything that would help to sustain our opin¬
ion, that at bottom the market is a bull one, it is the activity and
the advance in u'on—the thermometer of the business of the coun¬
try. It would be useless to disregard the conditions that for the
time being are depressing the market; but it is safe to say that they
'are only temporary, and that they have their hopeful aspect. The
crops are not moving as fast as they might, but this is because the
farmers are holding back, being unwilling to sell at a sacrifice. A
letter to one of our prominent wholesale houses says that
'' in Iowa the crop is selling so low that the farmer is
kicking, as usual, and holding bis produce. Oats are sell¬
ing at 12 cents a bushel and coru at 10 cents ou the
field; consequently the small towns are doing a very light
business." As the writer says, corn and oats are very low—lower,
iudeed, than they have been at the same time for the past tbree
years. In Chicago the former is bringing Sl^^c, against 42^,^0. for
lb88, 415^c. for 1887, and 38c. for 1886, while the price of the latter
is 19Kc., agamst 83Xc. for 1888, and 25c. for 1887 and 1886.
Wheat, however, is selling at SOJ^c, a low price compared with
last year, but high compared to the 71c. of 1886, or the 78c. of 1887.
That the farmers can thus keep their grain for better prices ia a
sign of strength rather than weakness, and at all events is a
depressing factor that is Hkely to soon be removed. So it is with
tight money. It makes speculation in Wall street uncertain, but
it is a sign that money is actively employed. It would not be
light to expect an immediately bullish market; indeed prices may
range weak for some time, but in view of the larger conditions
at work, it is inevitable that prices should ultimately advance.
The Committee on Site did wisely in practically excluding Cen¬
tral Park from their plans for the Exhibition. Its retention would
undoubtedly have continued an acrimouious controversy and the
opposition, carried perhaps to the Legislatiu-e and the courts, might
have resultfid in defeating, so far as New York is concerned, the
liiau for the Exposition itself. All cause for contention being
removed, the financial and building arrangements should now be
hurried along, and the necessary State legislation should be effected
in a special session, whicb should be called this month, so that all
details may be completed by the time Congi-ess meets in December.
The Finance Committee should make tbeir plans public without
delay, and a definite decision should be' reached as to the size of
the Exhibition biuldings, their exact location, cost and other mat¬
ters. Some step ought to be taken at once to secure some of the
exhibits m the Paris Exhibition before they are scattered.
So far as the site is concerned, there are still diificulties
to be overcome. The owners of real estate in tbe two plots
chosen—that is, between UOth and 113th streets, 5th and
Manhattan avenues, and 108tb and 116th streets, Manhattan
avenue and the Hudson River—have yet to be dealt with.
No doubt many of them wUl follow the example already set by a
few property-holders, and give the nse of theu- unimproved land
free of cost. The plot between UOth and 113fch streets, Sth aud
Manhattan avenue, is in the hands of more than one hundi-ed
owners. On it there are forty-three buildings, and twenty-nine of
them are on the block between USth and U3tli streets, Sth and
Manhattan avenues. Two blocks in the plot, between UOth and
U2th streets, Sth and Stb avenues, belong to the Pinkuey estate.
As to the blocks bounded by 108th and U6th sti-eets, Manliattan
avenue and the river, the owners are quite numerous. Iu the
blocks between 114th and 116th streets there are now thirty-one
houses, but the blocks south of this are mainly unimproved, there
beiug only about fourteen bouses there.
The committee says:
If the laud cannot be leased, the site question will still be open. The value
of the land on the proposed site is so high that neither the Esposition Com¬
mittee nor tbe city could buy it all without an enormous increase in the
expenses of the Exposition. The city could not go into any real estate
plan for buying the land and reselliug it, aud it is doubtful whether the
committee would care to go into any such plau, which would involve a
great deal of speculation on a large investment. The easiest solution is for
the owners of the land to promptly communicate to the Sub-Committee on
Site and Buildiugs tbe terms on which they wiU grant the use of their
land. With this, and a good fiuaucial plan such as the Committee on
Finance will report, there should be no trouble.
It does not seem probable that the committee wUl be able to get
all the land tliey say they need on the site named without adopting
some "real estate plan." No small portion of the landis held
under such conditions that the holders could not allow it to be used
unless it were purchased from them. Col. S. V. R. Cruger says he
is trustee of an estate owning property on the proposed site, and it
could only be disposed of for a cash value. The difficulties, how¬
ever, may vanish as soon as they ai-e faced, but the matter should
not be left in abeyance. Such a course wiU not only injure the
Exposition, but the uncertainty as to the exact spots to be taken
will do great harm to the real estate interest of the entire section.
The movement for the Exposition of 1893 has thus far gone on
under the Mayor's organization of a Committee of One Hundi'ed,
sub-divided into four committees—on permanent organization,
finance, site and buildings, and legislation. These committees have
acted in harmony, and the points of difference that began to
become controversies bave subsided under the great pressure of
popular favor for the object. Until a corporate organization can
be made, which may take until midwinter, under the acts of Con¬
gress and of the State Legislature, these provisional committees
must continue, for they have done and can still do great work and
bring out a strong and united public opinion. The subjects allotted
to the four committees are not divided by sharp lines; each depends
on the other, and the need has been felt of a stronger administra
tive consolidation. The next probable movement wUl be the selec¬
tion from each of the four committees of four or five to constitute
an executive committee on the whole subject, under the presidency
of the Mayor or some other citizen who will devote his energies to
it, to continue untii a legal and corporate organization is perfected.