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September 9, i8gg.
RECORD AND GUIDE.
DEV&TEÛ io f^EI^L £sTa:e , BuiLDI>''g ^CrflTECTUi^E.KoUSEMOU) DEGQîîATlOtl,
Bi/sir/Ess aiJdThèmes of Ge^JeraV I^Iterest,
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
l'iibUshcd eoeri/ faturdni/.
TELEPHONE, Cortlandt 1370.
CommiiJicatloDs should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
J. 'i. LTNDSEY, Business Manager.
"Enttrettat the fos(-uiiu:e at Hew York, N. î,, ai n-cond-elasamatter."
SEPTEMBER 9, 1899.
THE close sympathy between our own and foreign markets
noted last week was again apparent this, so that to a large
extent anything done hère is speculating on the chances of war
or peace in South Afriea. The rise in mon«y is more probably
due to the imeasy feeling the circumstances of the times engen-
der, than to a lack of supplies. The idea se*ms to be that if war
breaks out hetween the British and the Boers there wiU be a
sacrifice in otber directions in order to protect the immense
capital invested in the Rand and involved in spéculation in Rand
fihares. This to a great extent overlooks the lengthy warning
of possible trouble that has been given and the probability of its
being largeiy discounted in advance. Months ago we pointed out
Ihat a disturbance of this capital would bave widespread influ-
.enee, but by this time the possibility of pecuniary troubles aris¬
ing from war must bave been materially lessened. The outbreak
of hostilities would, we think, produce another such surprises as
4i(i the opening of our own war with Spain, which aetually dated
a recovery in the prices of securities and in business generally.
This was because tbe outcome was so certain from the start, and
it meant tbe final extinguishment of a very serious trouble.
Wbile the Cuban question was open there was no rest for busi¬
ness men in tbe United Stales. Uneasiness disappeared as scon
ils war was declared. Similarly, though Britain would bave a
tougher job on hand than we had with Spain, war would mean
eveatual security to the Rand gold mining industry, and would
«onseciuently beget confidence in financial circles. At first there
might be some spilling of spéculative stocks, hut they would ba
soon cared for, and the market promptly relieved of their pres¬
sure. If our market is called upon to take back much stock it
will bave the encouragement of a healthy commercial situation
in doing so. As a matter of fact, an opportunity to get back some
at our investment issues ought to be hailed with cheerfulness by
investors as a body.
iT must be a great disappoîntment to the sensational news-
papers that the gunners in South Afriea disregard their or¬
ders to fire. The sLockjobbers, who are participating offenders in
the propagation of false and injurions rumors do not care so
much, because they can make money to-day on the déniai of the
rumor by which they made money yesterday. Serious as the
position 'of affairs in the Transvaal is, there is still reason to
hope tbat it wili not lead to martial extremities. The closing oC
testimony in the Dreyfus triai afCords relief without lessening
the sympathy generally felt for the accused. Tbe piling up of
such bosh, as has been submitted lately as évidence, could not
help or injure Dreyfus, and his judges must hâve made up their
jninds long since. A mass of statistics regarding foreign busi¬
ness has come to hand this week, which supports all that has
been previously said of its activity and prosperity. The British
Board of Trade issues figures for August, making another satis¬
factory showing of foreign trade through an increase cf exports
of $2,072,500 and of imports of $3,489,200. Brewery share divi¬
dends and prices indicate a rusjiing business in the béer îine; the
rise in market values of the shares in five years has ranged from
50 to 100 per cent. Banking returns from South Afriea to the
close of June disclose that a tendency then already existed to
transfer funds to London. The quarrel between the Boers and
the British, antedating the Jamesou raid as it does, seems to be
almost too long drawn out to end in flghting. The soundness of
the improvement in Mexican financial and commercial affairs
was shown by the ready conversion of the national debt and the
way in which the décline in the price of silver has been met. In
the years 1894-98 there was a substantial favorable balance in the
foreign trade. It is also satisfactory to note that the United
States is improving its position in the country at the expense of
Europe. A substantial and fairly rapid advance has been seen
in Australian banking shares listed on the London stock ex¬
change, a fact that substantiates the reports of the recovery and
improvement in business in Australia. Of Brazil it is said;
Whilst it is iudisputable that by a séries of well considered
measures government is gradually introducing order into finan¬
cial chaos and improving its finances, yet the economical situa¬
tion is nb better, but, in truth, more desperate thau ever, and
scarcely likely to improve for some time to come, until, in fact,
coffee ceases to fall, and the rise tbat must come some day re¬
commences. The French government is trying to increase its
revenue by a sale of the privilège of advertising on match boxes,
matehes being a governmental moncpoly. An invitation for bids
received no response whatever. Germany's industrial and com¬
mercial progress may be judged from the increase of her banks'
assets from $1,480,000,000 in 1S83 to $3.802,000,000 in 1898. The
bauks number 156, cf all kinds, six more than there were in 1897,
of which 1C8 are crédit hanks, 8 banks of issue and 40 mortgage
institutions. The bank capital amounted to $322,000,000 in 1883,
the reserves to $43,500,000, or 14 per cent. In 1S98 the capital was
$540,000,000, and the reserves $115,000,000, or over 20 per cent.
THE NEW BUILDING CODE.
rHE new building code prepared by the Commission appointed
by tne Municipal Assembly in January last, pursuant to Sec¬
tion 647 of the Greater New York Charter, was presented to the
Municipal Assembly on Tuesday, the Sth inst. When the new code
ie adopted by the Municipal Assembly all existing "Building
Laws" and ordinances relating to buildings within the Greater
New York territory become thereby repealed and will cease to
hâve any force or effect. The new code is tO' take effect sixty
days after its approval by the Mayor. As it must pass both
branches of the Municipal Assembly, which will require, if ail
goes well, not less than one month, before it can reach the May¬
or's hands, and this time added to the sixty days to be given to.
the public for préparation will bring the eariiest possible time
cf actual opération quite near the middle of December next,
The new code contains 164 sections, divided into 36 parts, the
sections relating to one class of subjects being grouped together
under titles that indicate the subject matter. In Part I. the code
begins with Section 1, stating that the new ordinance is to be
known and cited as the Buiiding Code, and then în Section 2 it
déclares that the Building Code is to be construed liberally. It
proceeds in Part IL, Section 3, to say that new buildings and
buildings to be altered shall comply with the code; and in Sec¬
tion 4 tbat plans and statements shall be first filed, and approval
be obtained therefor. If buildings are to be demolisbed, Section
5, such démolition must be under the inspection of the Depart¬
ment of Buildiugs. After giving a variety of définitions and
stating the quality of materials to be used in building, the code
goes on, part by part, and section by section, in an orderly way
with excavations, foundations, walls, partitions and so ou, ar¬
rangea much after the manner in which a buildiug progresses,
winding up with the parts and sections which hâve to do with
the légal euforcement of the code.
The old New York Charter, or what was technically known
as the Consolidation Act of 1882, under Title 5 of that act, de¬
voted 47 sections to the Construction of Buildings—commonly
called the "Building Law." Whatever was added to the Building
Law of 1882 in the various revisions since that date, had to be
placed somewhere in thèse sections numbered 471 to 517, so tbat
thèse sections finally came eaeh to cover a variety of subjects.
The new code was not restricted as to number of sections, and
therefore many of the old sections were divided up.
The existing New York Buildiog Law was the basis of the new
code. A large part of the valuabie additions thereto are to be
found in the fourteen printed reports prepared by the Architects'
and Builders' Revision Committee of 1896-7. The recommenda-
tions contained in those reports were never acted upon after
beingprepared.for the reason that the State Législature appointed
a Commission to draft a charter for Greater New York, at about
the same time the reports were presented. With great good for¬
tune the Building Code Commission fell heir tO' thèse reports.
It required, however, a master hand to adapt the changes sug¬
gested in thèse reports to the existing law, but with equal good
fortune to the public tbe Code Commission contained within it¬
self that very kind of ability. The expérience of the Board of
Examinersindealing with questions not fully covered by existing
laws accrued to the Code Commission in drafting the new ordi¬
nance. The three Commissioners of Buildings, being members
of the Code Commission, presented their expériences in the De¬
partment of Buildings and heiped along greatly the compiete¬
ness and correctness of the work. The building laws of London,
Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and of many other large
cities were carefully studied. The Building Code does not, how¬
ever, contain anything wbich is specifically provided for In the