July 21, 1900.
IIECOKD AND GUIDE.
Real estate is already seriously suffering from the burden im¬
posed upon it, and unless economy and efficiency become matters
more thought of and more sought after in New York City, our
attention will be forcibly directed to them by adversity.
DEtblKD p RpJ.ESTAJt.BlJlLDIjfe AjJpjflTEeTlffi?.KoUSEUOlDDEOa(«nl
Bu&ofess jub Themes of CetIer^I It^toi^l..
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
PufiHsfted e,very Saturdat/.
Telephone, Cortlandt 1370,
CommunlcatlonB should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Ve«ey Street.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
"Entered at the Post-Office at Sew Tork. N. T.. aa seconi-claaa matter."
JULY 21, 1900.
The I-ndex to Volume LXV oJ the Eecord arid G^dde, covering the
period between January 1st and June 30(/t, 1900, will be readij
for delivery July 28th. Frice, $1. Tfds Index in its enlarged
form IS now recognised as indispensable fo every one engaged or
Interested in real estate and hmUUng operations. It covers all
transactions—deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building plans
filed, etc. Orders for the Index sho-uld be sent at oricc to the
office of publication, 14 and 16 Vesey Street.
DURING the past week the stock market has naturally felt
the influence of the extraordinary complications in the
Orient, China suddenly has become enveloped in a sea of fog,
and behind the veil a tragedy of some sort is being enacted, the
precise proportions and nature of which it is not easy to define.
The situation is made all the more difficult to understand by the
greater than Mexican plague of lies and rumors which the press is
disseminating in place of authentic news. No one can tell ex¬
actly when the facts will emerge, nor when they do emerge what
their nature and the extent of their complications will be. The
possibilities can hardly be exaggerated, and until they are clear-
lyascertained,uncertaiutyand fluctuation are naturally the domi¬
nant characteristics of the market. Except for this cloud in the
far East, the situation continues to be highly satisfactory, and of
a kind to promote that advance in prices which in eight years
out of ten occurs at this season. General business is excellent,
the iron men have "got together" for the preservation of prices,
and the outlook for both the corn and cotton crops has decidedly
improved. With the exception of the bad luck that has fallen
upon wheat, and which, of course, will be felt locally by the
railroads directly interested in that staple, there is hardly an
unpromising feature to be noted. But, until the world sees
what the darkness in China hides, the full value of our domestic
conditions can hardly be registered in the market.
THE suggestion has been made that the material excavated
in the construction of the underground railroad be em¬
ployed to build a terrace along Riverside Park and beyond, from
72d street to Spuyten Duyvil, and that this terrace be used for a
bicycle path, and as a location for bathing pools and open air
theatres. The idea has received the indorsement of the engineer,
Mr. William Barclay Parsons, and the contractor for the tunnel,
Mr. John B. McDonald. There is a delightful Coney Island air
about the proposition which leaves hardly anything to be de¬
sired, except the Ferris wheel, the "chutes," the lager beer, the
frankfurters and the sauerkraut. The "swept by ocean breezes"
can be supplied in the advertisements. Pleasant as the idea is,
we must confess we sympathize with the alarm that has been
created in the minds of peaceful West-siders who have Invested
their money in property on or adjacent to Riverside Drive, and
who have their homes there. Riverside Drive and Park form to¬
day one of the most beautiful public places in the world. To
vulgarize it with the attractions of "the beach" is an idea only
worthy of a Philistine, an engineer, or an itinerary peddler. It
la not likely to appeal to anybody else, and probably least of all
to the already overburdened real estate owner, who is cheerfully
assured that "the question of expense is in part anticipated by
the increased value of real estate that would result from the im¬
provements." The trouble to-day is that the city is "anticipa¬
ting" the real estate owner out of his property, confiscating it
for extravagant public improvements and for the salaries of
overpaid officials. It is all very delightful to be lavish in build¬
ing botanical gardens, fire-engine houses with princely facades,
and to raise the pay of policemen until it is almost equivalent to
the earnings of highly educated professional men, but who is
going to pay for all this, and for the extravagance and misman¬
agement generally of the city in well nigh all departments?
A New Swindle.
"TT HERB are so many ways of swindling in the building busl-
^ ness, and every one of them ia worked so industriously,
that it may not seem possible that there can be anything new in
that line, or if discovered, that there would be people left to
work it. Ingenuity and industry, however, are inexhaustible,
and as a result, a new trick has appeared which it is our duty to
warn our readers to beware of.
The joker is hidden in the process of tearing down old build¬
ings. It is worked by a gang, literally a "gang," who, when last
heard of, were operating on the East Side. One of them makes
a contract with an owner to tear down his old building, promis¬
ing to pay, say $100, for the second-hand material as soon as tha
building is demolished. The contract made, they enter the build¬
ing, take everything out of it that is of value and leave to the
owner, as an evidence of his confidence, the valueless debris.
They don't pay him the ?100; and, usually, no doubt so that lie
may have sympathizers, they don't pay the laborers who helped
them remove the plunder. Frequently, too, they leave the build¬
ing in a dangerous condition, and then the LiTilding Department
steps in and "violates" the owner's misery-
Here is the story of the last case we have heard of: A well-
known property owner was approached regarding an old build¬
ing he was about to tear down. A contract was made with him,
and he was to be paid |400. A check was given to him for that
amount, but when a clerk went to the bank, he was met with a
refusal to certify the check. Thereupon the owner placed a
watchman in his building with instructions not to permit any¬
one to enter. He suspected that the "gentleman" with whom he
had made the contract might forget his good manners and in¬
trude. So it happened. The next day, not the "gentleman"
himself, but another party appeared with nine other men. When
the watchman refused them admittance, they gayly knocked out
a window, and obtained an entrance and went to work. The
owner telephoned to the police station adjacent, and was in¬
formed by the protectors of our peace that nothing could be
done; that the affair was a civil matter. After giving this com¬
forting decision, however, the police illogically arrested the chief
bandit and hauled him before the Municipal Court, but there the
judge promptly discharged him; again upon the principle that
the affair was strictly a civil matter. The owner then proceeded
to the police station once more, where hia lawyer informed the
captain that if the authorities would not grant the necessary
protection, he would secure it himself with a revolver. The re¬
volver in this case was not used, because the check was discrete¬
This case, and there are others like it, will suggest at once to
our readers some pleasant possibilities. We are not passing on
the legal points of the case, for legally, the police captain and the
judge may be correct; but, practically, where does their decision
leave a property cfwner who locks up his building and puts a
watchman in it with instructions to admit no one? Anybody
can break open the windows and, in spite of protest, proceed to
demolish the house. All that is necessary is to allege the ex¬
istence of a contract. The police won't interfere. It is a civil
matter. Yet it requires perhaps two days to get out an in¬
junction, and while you are busy obtaining it, your house la
being pulled to pieces. In the case we refer to, the demolishers
claim that they possessed "police protection"-—whatever that
WHILE planning for additional parks, bridges, armories,
and so forth, would it not be as well if we gave a little
consideration to the water supply of the city, instead of follow¬
ing the usual intelligent method of shutting our eyes to prob¬
lems ahead, waiting serenely until they are actually pressing us
and then acting either hastily or extravagantly. A merchant
who should conduct his affairs with the lack of foresight that
marks the management of this city would receive very little pity
when trouble should overtake him. Indeed, it would be an In¬
teresting matter to calculate, could the figures be arrived at, how
much of the city's debt Is directly chargable to lack of prevision
and preparation, to our happy policy of forever dealing with in¬
evitable difficulties at noon of the day they arrive. Regarding
this matter of our water-supply, everybody knows that Brooklyn
is now in a condition of chronic famine. Its average consump¬
tion is 102,000,000 gallons a day, and the supply available is bare¬
ly sufficient to satisfy it. In Richmond and Queens there has