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Jane Iti, 1894
Record and Guide.
'^'^ Y\ " ES™LlSHED'^'tfARPH2lu>186e.
Dr/otrD lo Rea,lEswe.Building Ap.cKitecturp.HouseholdDEOOf^jTiori,
BusiifESS aiId Themes of GEfto\.Al Wtei^esi.
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
ronmimiicatlons should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 1-1-16 Vesey Street.
./. 7. LfSnSET. Business Manager.
Brookly.n Office. L'76-282 W.ashington Street,
Opp. Post Office.
"Entered al Ihe Post-office at New York. N. Y., as second-class matter."
JUNE IG, 189 L
For additional Broollyn matter, see Broollyn Department immediately
foiliwing Veir .lerseii records (inigt !t!l4i.
rpHEHKis no break of the st.isi'iitioii in general biisiue.ss;
-a. tlieic is no reason to ]iarticiilarizo where the tlullness is.
l);'fausi' the cxeeiitioiLS are so lew aud so uniiiii)ortaiit that the.v
roiiiit for notliiiij;-. 'J'he Ineak of tlie eoal strike, wliicli is almost
assured, may do some .iiood, but that has yet to be seen. If as
roiisiderable a ))re.ik in the stream of talk at Wa.shiujjton eimld
be arcomiilislied il woubl be a relief to the feelin},'s, even if it did
not iniinove business, thou}i:h that is more than i)robable. The
stoek market is made up so largely of professional trading' in
Sufjar and Chieajio Gas that it calls for little com¬
ment. The unfavorable wa.v iu which the outline plan
for the reoi'tranizntioii of Atchison is received by the holders of
Ihe .iunior securities is due probably to a miseonci'ption of its
proper nature and luobable eft'ects. It ma.v al.so be due to a
misplaced tliou.yh justitiable want of faith in an.y statements pi.t
out b.v railroad managers or reoifianizers, based on results in
other cases. Unless the condition, tiuancial and physical, of
Ihe .\tchison .s.vstem hasbeeu grossly misrepresented, and unless
• here is to be no iniprovenient in the condition of busines.s. the
plau, if adopted, ought to place the Atchison securities in a
much better iiosition than they were in before, aud bring- about
better ((uolatioiis for theni.
THE immense amounts of idle funds ,at the great Emopean
tiiiaiu'ial centres continue to keep money very cheai)—it
has loaued in London on call as low as one-half per cent per
annum—aud governnient aud municipal i.ssuesiu deniaud, but of
sigus. of iniiirovement in trade there are none. Freuch crop
reports are f;ivoi able. The sowings ot both wiuter aud .spring
wheat are geuerally snuiller thau last vear. Amoug the many
conipliiints that are heard in (kruiauy, about the causes of dull
business, those from Hamburg and Hrenieu, relating to the stop-
p.ige of tlie emigrant tratlic to the United States, are particularly
loud. This traiiie brought a great deal of uiouey to these towns,
jiarticuhirly as. it is calciilati'd. SO per ceut was jiaid for from
this country. Negotiations for the establishment of a German
b.iiiU in Home are reiiorteil to have been successful. The Hun¬
garian wheat Clop prospects are described asoulyniiddliug. The
six million sterling three per ceut Indian loau was subscribed I'or
twice over and all placed at from a fiactiou under par to Ktli.
The idea that it is the duty of the goverumeut to tind tradiug
capital for thi; farmer is tindiug acceptance iu A'ictoria,
.\ustrjdia, where the govi'rumeut is having a bill prepared for
the cri^ation of a Credit Foucier which is to lend farmers mouey
at •"> per eent on both freehohl and leasehold security, with a 50
Jier cent margin, the nuniey icquired to be raised by the issue.of
bonds. This is one of the ideas that brought the Argentine
Republic iuto bankruptcy, and its adoption iu Victoria is an
illiistiation of how ob,ject lessons iu fiuauce are disregarded for
baseless theories. Wi h such a scheme having governmental
sanction it is really fortunate for the Colony that the Victorian
f.irmer is already so much in debt that he cauuot avail himself
of its privileges. Australian crop i)rospects are good.
"^'"OW that the North River Bridge Bill has become a law by
-^^ receiving the I'resideutial si.guftture, a more ditticult task
awaits its promotirs than that of (ditainiug their franchise from
Congres.s—raising the nioney to retain the franchise the.y liave
ohtained, and later to give ett'ect to their ugly desigu for the
bridge itself. It hardly needs be said that the times are uot pro-
jiitious for securing even the comparativel.v small sums that it i.«
uecessary to spend each year, to preserve the charter, to say
nothing of the forty millious of dollars which it is said will be
the lost of building the bridge and its approaches. For this
reasou alone, we are justilied iu doubting the accuracy of Ihe
report in the daily pr^s, made on the authority of somo
uunanied individuals, but aiiil.v desciilic'd as promoters, that the
whole work will be completed iu four years. Weshoiild not have
been inclined to be much more credulous it' the limit of time
had beeu doubled. Hencelorth we have, however, lo face the
faet that .i frauchise which iujurionsl.v ett'ects a considerable
strip of v.'iluable property in the city is iu existence and that it
is very ditticult, if uot impossible, lo terminate such a luivilege
when once granted, even if its conditions are uot very rigidly
observed. It is only necessary to follow the probabilities
through to see how this is. Bad limes may be pleailed in excuse
for not making the re(|uiiedex]!enditures on the work in a given
lime. Li^gal dilliculties ma.v arise to jirevent ils jiroseciition,
aud .so on without liijiil. Should an.v consider.ilile work lie done
and the undertaking come to a standstill for want of nioney or
by reason of Jihysical or mechanical ditticulties the authorities
would doubtless be indulgent, as the.y always are, ami noi
imjirojieily in such i-ase.-, aud loth lo exercise an.y powers they
ma.v have to cancel the fianchise the.v have gianted. Mear.timi'
Ihe Iirojierty along the jirojiosed route of the bridge's ajijiroach
must eonliniie to suffer the iiijuiy the scheme casts ujion it. 'i'hc
more the matter is considered the more it must be a source of
intense satisfaction to tlie holders of propeity and resideiitsou the
We.st Side, above Tilth street, and iu fact ihe cit.v at huge, lliat
the area for mischief accorded to this '■ tiiteriirise" has been
limited to a district where itwill do least haini, and that is,
ualortmiately, the ouly satisfactory feature it has.
Tiie Manhattan Life Building.
WK move so fast i,n the uialterof tall liiiildingsthat the Man¬
hattan Life is by no means the wduder. in point of mere
altitude, now that it is neariug completion, that it was when it
was Jirojected. Then it was renowned in advance as " the tallest
building ea.st of Chicago." Since then its architects have beeu.
as Shakesjieare has it, "exceeded by the height of hajijiier men,"
of wlnini one has bien comniissioned to erect a Imildin.g twenty
full stories iu height \'ery likely when the .American Surety
building <Minies lo he linished, it in turn will be overshadowed
by a jiro.jccl still more jiorteiitous. In suite of the lemonstranci s
of some architects who are amoiig.tlu^ chief ott'enders in altitu-
dinousness.it does not sei-iii likely that we are soou to see auy legal
restriction uiioii the height of ciiiiniicvcial buildings. On the
contrary, <'very new sky-scrajiei' jnits an additional jiressuic
upon the owners of iieighboriug land occupied In old-fashion<'d
buildiugs to go and do likewise. It is only the certainty of los¬
ing his tenauts temporarily aud the unc(;rtaiiity of getting theni
back permauently that makes many an owner hesitate to sup-
ijlant his Hve-story building with one often or fifteen or twenty-
It is demonstrable, we think, that every iuordinatel.v high build¬
iug lu.iures the owners of neighboiiug propertj who do not choose
to improve their jirojierty in the same way, though the iii.iury
does uot seem tangihle enough to become the occasion of a (juest
for legal redress. Ou the other haud, the high building owes
much of its sujieriov attractiveness to its isolation. If the whole
commercial quarter were built up with high buildings it
would be a very terrible region for all but the occupants of the
topmost stories, a regiou of Cimmerian gloom, while it is not
practicable in- eveu conceivable that the streets shall be widened
so as to bear the same relation to the sky-scrajier that tlKqireseiit
streets bear to the uiaxinnim of five or six stories with refeieui-e
to which they were laid out. To uiiderstaud how niui-h the at¬
tractiveness of the high liuilding dejieiids ujion itsisolation.it
is uecessiuy only to imagine another building like the Maniiat¬
tan adjoined to it on the south side, with a cniterparting court
of the same dimensions at the eeutre. The tenants who now
have iiiire air and a wide outlook would face other teuants
across a well.
Meauwhile tlie economical limit of high building is by no
means tixed. When conimercial bnilding was an att'air of
masonry, the limit was lixed liy the necessity of thickening the
Avails ill projiortion to their hi-ight. Now that it is an affair of
a steel skeleton with .-i masoni-y tilling, there is no structural
limit shorr of the Eillel tower. This is one and the most urgent
of the many civic jiroblems in coustructiou that make it so
de.--irable that we shall have an a-dile. and that sliow inilixidu-
alisni to such a disadvantage in the construction of cities.
But at least every n(-w tall buildiug oft'ers an interesting
problem in architecture, and one look.i with interest lo the new
work in this kind of an architect of ability. The results of one's
looking may uot be satisfactory to the architect, and indeed the
architects of sky-scrapers m.ay regard the architectuial critic in
much the same light in which his ojiinions upon the ttrst sky¬
scraper, the tower of Babel, are viewed by Mr. b'udyard
Thov liiiibb'il a toner to .shiver the sky anil wi-ciicli tin- stars ajiait.
Till the Devil gninted licliiml the liricUs: "It's striking, hut is it
Nevertheless there is some amusement and there may be .some
utility in a.sking the question. The most gratifying thiug about
the evolutioii of the tall building, from an architectural point of