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March 3, igo6
RECOKD AND GUIDE
ESTABUSHED'^ fW.CHSU:'^ 1958.
Dev&teD p Re.\l Estate , Bl^LoI^''G %cKiTE(rrui\E .Household DESOftATioK.
Bilsii^ESS Ail3Ti-::r,^nsoFGE^Rf.l Wtei^est.
PRICE PER YEAR TN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS
Published el?eri/ Salurda.tt
Communications .sbnulil It-i n(lilrfss"d U>
C. W. SWEET, 14-10 Vesey Street, New York
Telephone, Cortlnudt 3157
'-'Entered al the Post O.W-ce al Ario Yor!:. H. Y, as second-clas3 mailer.''
MARCH 3, 1906.
INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS.
Clay Products.................xxll Lumber ..................xxvi
Consulting Engineers.........vii Machinery .....................iv
Contractors and Builders......vi Metal Work ................xv
Electrical Interests...........viii Quick Job Directory.,........xxi
Fireproofing ..................iii Real Estate..................xiv
Granite.....................xxv Roolers Sc Rooflng Materials,,xiv
Heating .......................xx Stone ......................xxiv
Iron and Steel ..............xviii Wood Products ............xxvii
MAYOR McClellan has nndoubtedty "scored" not only
with his friends but also with a great number of his
critics by the excellent letter that he addressed to the City Club
relating to the Elsberg hill. It is a long time since any official
in the Mayor's position has spoken so clearly and courageously
upon a matter of high public Importance. A person must be
strangely biased who does not frankly acknowledge that no
mere politician could have penned that document. It strikes
very boldly at a certain trend of our municipal affairs appar¬
ently quite popular at the present moment. This trend is
popular largely because it is to-day almost entirely an affair
of promises, and these promises are just now being shrieked
into the popular ear by a parade of blatant demagogues.
Municipal ownership is a serious matter. It merits every sort
of careful consideration, but to malte a popular tune of it and
then play it on a political hand-organ is not the proper
method of securing for the principle involved any sort of care¬
ful consideration. We doubt not that municipal ownership has
to be reckoned with much in the future, but no man of sane
sense is at all likely to take the doctrine from the mouth of
persons like Hearst. Methods and motives of his sort would
almost damn the ten commandments. No one can take seri¬
ously a propaganda of brass bands and rant. Municipal owner¬
ship is in the main an economic question. In speaking com¬
mon sense to the city at large, the Mayor has distinctly be¬
friended the cause which just now suffers more at the hands of
its friends, so-called, than it is ever likely to suffer from the
acts of its enemies. Mayor McClellan can well affoi'd to let his
opponents play to the galleries so long as he addresses the com¬
mon-sense of the community so directly as he did in his letter
to the City Club.
THERE is something of irony in the fact that the architect
who has been most opposed to the extremely tall sky¬
scraper should be called upon professionally to desigji an office
building that outtops even the Washington Monument. The
architect of the new*Singer Building is in that position, but
even those who have most admired his undoubted artistic abil¬
ity and have sympathized in the past with his moderate views
will not charge him with inconsistency. It is not the business
of the architect to limit his problems, but to meet them, and the
demand for higher and higher structures in this city is not the
result of conditions that are at all to be controlled by profes¬
sional ideas or practice. The jump that is to be made in the case
of the Singer Building, however, is almost a leap out of sight,
and it distinctly marks a new era in the history of the sky¬
scraper. Many plans have been talked of in the past for the
■erection of extremely high buildings. They were paper plans,
however. The new Singer Building is of another category. The
firm that proposes to erect the building is financially "capable,"
and the architect who has planned it possesses all the skill
necessary for the task he has undertaken. The successful com¬
pletion of the structure is sure to provoke emulation, and thti
question naturally arises—whether a city of Babel towers will
be in all respects a sanitary and habitable living place?
Buildings of sijcb magnitude involve unparalleled concentration
of population, and obviously concentration begets very serious
problems. Transportation is one of these. The disposal of
sewage is another. The provision for sufficient air and light are
others. Clearly, if we are to greatly increase the height of our
buildings, the municipality should take steps to meet the prob¬
lems inherent iu the new conditions that will prevail. Euro¬
pean theory and practice are dead against the results which our
architeets and builders are producing. It doesn't follow, of
course, that Europe is right, 'The question has two sides and
should be approached scientifically, A vast number of our peo¬
ple live and work to-day in buildings from which sunlight is
almost completely excluded. Is the electric light a healthy sub¬
stitute for the solar rays? From time to time warnings have
been.given that our sewer system is becoming inadequate for
the service imposed upon it. The Rapid Transit problem in
spite of the Subway is again reaching an acute state. Pneumonia
and consumption are claiming an increasing number of vic¬
tims. Clearly, there are many matters that deserve serious con¬
sideration. It is foolish to stare approaching facts in the face
and sit inactive.
The Financial Outlook.
WHILE the money situation is not as satisfactory as could
be wished—mainly for technical reasons—or in homely
phi'ase, because there is not enough money to go round—pros¬
perity generally prevails, and there is every prospect of its con¬
tinuance. Real estate is naturally favorably affected and the
year 1906 in that business promises to be unprecedented in its
numerous transactions and its appreciation in values. "Wall
Street, which is the real business pulse of the country, may be
said for the moment to be '"suffering a recovery" and the im¬
mediate outlook must be characterized as reassuring. While
prices are higher than in 1904, they are still in the main much
lower than in 1901. It seems not widely understood, and many
people may be surprised to learn, that about three out of four
stocks are lower than they were last spring and summer. The
popular notion is that we have had an unreasonable boom in
the past six months which it will be seen is fallacious.
This impression of an inordinate advance has arisen from the
fact that several groups of securities have risen greatly during
the last winter, notably the metal stocks and the Hill iosues—
and sympathetically Union Pacific, As a matter of fact the re¬
mainder of the list has been selling for much less than when last
year's bumper crops were in doubt and when the war between
Japan and Russia was still being waged with all the possibili¬
ties of a general war in which the principal and most powerful
of the great commercial nations of the world would be involved.
It is not, therefore, unreasonable to suppose that the prices at¬
tained a year ago and which were not then considered high
with the then earnings anfl other favorable conditions may
very wall be reached again or surpassed this spring with the
greatly increased earnings being constantly shown and with
the world at peace.
Five years ago the steel production of this country was only
about fifteen million tons, and then the United States Steel Com¬
mon soid above 50. This year the steel production will approxi¬
mate twenty-five million tons and yet Steel Common sells a lit¬
tle above 40. The gross earnings ot many roads have increased
since 1901 about seventy per cent., and consequently the prices
of shares should reflect this increase. Notwithstanding large
numbers are selling for much less than five years ago.
Each man knows in his own line of business that efficient
labor is so fully employed that additional help is either difficult
01- impossible to obtain; that every spindle, forge and furnace of
the country is being worked to its utmost capacity, and that peo¬
ple have money to spend as they never had before. That this
has been going on for a long time has certainly been manifest in
the real estate field and in the construction and building trades.
During the entire period it has been a matter of constant men¬
tion that there has heen little public participation in Wall Street
speculation, such as has hitherto accompanied all like periods
in the past. The shrewdest and most conservative observers
are of opinion that such participation is yet to come and that it
will be followed as it always has been by greater speculation
and activity in realty and building. Stock speculation invariably
l)recedes a period of bi'isk advance in all departments of com¬
mercial activity, and there is no reason why such should not
be the case in the immediate future, Thtis the outlook in every
respect is decidedly favorable.
In spite of some setbacks the stock market has shown no real
sign of doubt or apprehension. With a striking absence of reck¬
less speculation the underlying strength has manifested Itself in
many ways and there is repeated evidence of the absorption o*
good investment stocks by powerful interests.