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Aprtl IS. IMO
Record and Guide.
•^ ^. E5TABUSHED'§/M^RPH^lu^^B68.
De/ojeO to Km- EsTWE. BuiLoif/G AJ!.ci<itectui^e .Household DzGOR^Tlofl.
BUsirJESS Atto Themes of GeHeivI- ^m^^n
PRICE, PER TEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - • - JOHN 370.
Commumcatlons should be addressed to
C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
APRIL 13, 1890.
A week ago bull talk od the stock market was prevalent, but it
was only talk, and as a consequence the first unfavorable news sent
prices down. At last week's close there were indications of an
advance, but no sooner was a little activity seen than the rates for
money became high and unsettled and checked the upward move¬
ment. Since that time tie continued refusal of the Missouri Paciflc
to join the Soutliwestern Association, the cutting of i-ates and
reports on this year's crop prospects have assisted the decline. At
the close last night the market was weak, with the probabilities
strongly leaning towards a further decline. Tlie reason for Mis¬
souri Pacific's obstinate refusal of friendly combination is yet a
matter of conjecture, and will only be revealed when it suits the
power which controls it to reveal it, but meantime its action on the
market can only be bad. United States Express has been promi¬
nent among the weak stocks, its weakness being due to the
announcement that the company has decided to reduce its divi¬
dend from a rate of 5 to 4 per cent, per annum, at wliicli it stood
prior to 1887, when the company increa-sed its capital .§3,000,000
to §10,000,000, to acquire the Baltimore and Ohio Express, and
increased the rate of the dividend paid upon it. Under one of the
causes which have depreciated stocks, namely the srop prospects,
the grain markets have been favorably affected, but tliere is no new
feature in the reports of business generally, which record, with
very slight exceptions, dullness prevalent, as tliey have not ceased
to do for some time. Eailroads continue to make fri'atifying
increases in earnings, but tbis is one of the periods when earning^s
cease to influence the market value of stocks.
The appointment of a Rapid Transit Commissioner by Mayor
Grant undoubtedly is primarily, if not entirely, a political move.
The personnel of the Commission he named ia quite satisfactory ;
but ifcs powers are too limited to give the city the rapid transit it
needs. Mayor Grant knows this. In May, 1889, after the first
defeat of his bill, lie said to a reporter of The Record and Guide
in answer to tlie question : " What course of action do you propose
taking now that your measure has been killed at Aibauy?" "I
shall have to fall back upon the power which the law at present
gives me. I can, on the application of fifty property-owners,
appoint a Commission to determine upon the solution of the rapid
transit question without waiting till another session. It would
only be a waste of time to wait till nest year and endeavor to push
tlirough another bill." Yet the Mayor did wait till another session,
and did endeavor to push through another bill—very unnecessary
proceedings surely if he had only to "fall back upon the power
which the law at present gives" to find a solution of the rapid
transit question. He knew better. He knew that no Commissiun
that he has power to appoint could give the city rapid transit; and,
in view of these facts, it is plain that bis last move is political. As
Hamilton Fish puts it—" it's a trump cai'd." Exactlj what the
outcome will be it is not easy to see ; but one thing is apparent, if
the Fassett bill should pass both Houses the Mayor's Commission
will give the Governor an excuse to veto it if he should wish to, as
no doubt he will.
And so the political game goes merrily on, while the interests of
New York city are injuriously afiected and her people suffer the
loss of time, health and comfort. The whole business is an outrage
that cannot be too strongly characterized. Here is a great city, the
inhabitants of which need and desire additional means of ti-anspor-
tation. This does not involve the expenditure of State funds or
even municipal funds, and the only matter of importance to deter¬
mine is the conditions upon which the franchise or franchises shall
be granted to private enterprise. On this matter there is no con¬
troversy whatsoever, nor any other so far as the people of New
York city are concerned. There is no reason why the acquiescence
of the Legislature should not be merely a matter dt routine, a per¬
functory proceeding; and it would be sucb were it not
for the dickering and self-seeking of a parcel of politi¬
cians who refuse to budge an inch from what they consider
their iMtereete, to serve thB welfare of a city of a mUlion emd three-
quarters population. The Fassett bill should pass instanter, as the
Mayor's bill should have been passed a year ago. Either of these
measures would have givim the city rapid transit under as favora
ble circumstances as can be expected. New York will pass out of
existence if we liave to wait for a perfect measure, free of politics,
to be carried out by absolutely immaculate men. In this generation
certainly the carrying out of any plan adopted is likely to produce
aome unsatisfactory and perliaps some unsavory results. Thia must
be expected. It usually occurs with our large enterprises. But
this is entirely the affair of the people of this city, and the politi¬
cians at Albany are not likely to save them.
Many complaints reach us from architects of the inconvenience
and loss of time and money occasioned hy the Health Department
and the Building Department being in different parts of the city.
In these days, when so many economies are effected by what may
be termed the "disposition of parts," it does seem that these com¬
plaints are well founded. The two departments we speak of are
intimately related, the law requiring that the sanction of both
must be obtained in the case of certain buildings before work can
be commenced. As it is now, two sets of plans have to be prepared,
and architects have to wait upon two departments, miles apart.
There is no occasion for this. Steps should be taken at once to put
the two bureaus under the same roof.
Judging by the little that appears in New York papers about the
Exposition it might be imagined that the enterprise had com¬
pletely failed, or bad sunk to the insignificance of a "Western agri¬
cultural fair. Once in a while there appears, as in the Tribiine on
Monday, a spirited editorial suggesting to the Chicago directors
that the Fair might be put on wheels with advantage, and be drawn
about their city to the inspiring airs of a steam calliope; but beyond
this deep though playful sort of wisdom New York " journalism"
has little to say about what is a great national undertaking. It
is apparent that this city has not yet learned the lesson that ber
failure to secure the Fair should have taught her. "When the
project of celebrating 1492- tiy an exhibition was proposed. New
York considered (it is an old time prejudice) that heing the metrop¬
olis she could have no real competitors in other cities. She was the
city of the country, pre-em nent in every respect. When Chicago
snatched away the prize New Yo?k comforted her pride by crying
"politics," "bribery," and so forth; and big in her own conceit,
settled down to the belief thai she was still the one really great
city in the country, and that a fair held elsewhere must be
something of a failm-e. This belief will in due time receive proper
correction, and it is to be hoped that then New York will perceive
that not as a city, nor in wealth, nor in enterprise, does she
occupy quite the exalted position of her fancy. To American cities
she is not by any means what. Paris ie to other Fi-ench cities, or
London to English cities. NewYork is woefully deficient in nearly
all of the distinguishing characteristics of a great metropolis. Her
municipal works and public conveniences would disgrace a second-
rate city; her museums and public buildings are unworthy of the
commercial capital of a wealtliy people; of public enterprise there
is scarcely auy; the government of the city is a "dire circumstance."
inefficient, and extravagant without result; and, speaking gen¬
erally, architecture, except in the case of office buildings, is of
inferior order, tasteless and vulgar. A competent jndge, who
recently spent oome time inspecting buildings in Chicago, says that
the architfccture of that city is decidedly superior to thnt of New
York, and anyone who makes the comparison will pass the same
judgment. Considering New York's pretensions these are dis¬
agreeable facts. Instead of repealing the ten million dollar bill
passed by the State Legislature for Exhibition purposes it would be
well it that sum were spent under judicious and honest guidance
in improving the city and bringing its condition somewhat into cor¬
respondence with the position it an-ogates.
As to the idea that the Fair will be a failure in Chicago, it is a
delusion, or rather a prejudice. Even the notion that the Exposi¬
tion will not be international in character is wrong. Foreign man¬
ufactm'ers and their agents in this country are already making
extensive preparations for exhibits. Against the statement of New
York ■' journalism " that the Exposition in Chicago will be but a
large agricultui'al fair, wherein big pumpkins and fatted pigs will
figure principally, let us put the statement cf one of the leadmg
Austrian manufacturers—Mr. B, Ludwig, now in Chicago making
arrangements for the exhibits of bis firm :
Tbe exhibits of Austria and Clei'uiany will certainly, and those of otber
European countries probably, far exceed both in size and beauty the exhibits
wiiich they made last year at Paris. At Paris, Germany had scarcely any¬
thing, because of the,strained political reiatiocB with France. The Austrians
have not yet forgotten that it was the French who beheaded Marie Antoin¬
ette, the daughte'- of Maria Theresa, the Austrian Empress. Until that is
forgotten France can expect ui .Austrian exhibit of importance. Such
eabibits as were made at Paris by my country and by Germany were, with
very rare exceptions, those of petly tl-adetmen and the smalktt reteikiB.
They «lld not ehoTT OTit iRtfeb ffesO^rces and iniaDtilRcliiitB.' .Acstria Tiiilea