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March 25, 1911.
RECORD AND GUIDE
DeVoteD to F^EsTATE.BuiLDqfe %a^rrEeTUi^E,Ho\JsnfoiiiDecch^timJ.
BtJsit^Ess AfiD Themes of Ge]^rsL IHte^est^
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET
Published EVcry Saturday
By THE RECORD AND GUIDE CO.
President, CLINTON W. SWEET Treasurer. F. W, DODGE
Vice-Pres. Sc Genl. Mgr,, H. W. DESMOND Secretary, F. T, MILLER
Nos. 11 to 15 East 34th Street, New Tork City
(Telephone. Madison Square, 4430 to 4433.)
"Entered at the Post Office at New York, N. Y., as second-class matter."
Copyrighteii, 1911, by The Eeeord & Guide Co.
MARCH 25, 1911.
No. 22 4 5
THE IMPORTANCE OF FIFTY-SEVENTH STREET.
THERE are good reasons for believing that oTtli street
may become eventually the most important crosstown
street devoted to business ptirposes in tbe Borougb of Man¬
hattan. In certain respects it is better situated for the
transaction ot retail business under future conditions of tbe
distribution of population tlian is 42d, 34th, or 23d street.
In the flrst place, it is or will be much more directly con¬
nected with Queens than is any street to the south with
Brooklyn. The population of Queens is increasing by leaps
and bounds. Before mauy years are over there will be hun¬
dreds of thousands of people resident in that borough who
will be able to reach the neighborhood of 57th street in
Manhattan in ten or fifteen minutes. Another condition of
etiual future importance is the fact that 57th street Is the
first wide crosstown street south of Central Park. This ad¬
vantage will be of small effect as long as the center of busi¬
ness remains farther south, but as business pushes up along
Madison, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues, the beneflts of a
location in Fifty-seventh street will gradually be appreciated.
It will be extremely convenient for the dense population liv¬
ing to the west, east and north of the Park to do their shop¬
ping ou the flrst wide street to the south of the Park. Re¬
tail shops of any size will not push north of Fifty-ninth street
for an indefinite period, because the Park would interfere.
It will spread out south of the line of Fifty-ninth street, and
in the long run the western eud of the retail district should
be most advantageously situated, particularly considering its
accessibility from Queens. The crosstow^n street which
would have had the best chance of becoming a prosperous busi¬
ness highway is, of course, Fifty-ninth street, but the nar¬
rowness of that street, while it will not prevent business
development, will very much restrict aud hinder it. The
property owners cm Fifty-ninth street killed it as a com¬
petitor of Fifty-seventh street when during ex-Mayor Low's
administration they blocked the plans for widening it. Until
it is widened, narrowness and the consequeait congestion of
traffic will prevent it from becoming a flrst-class retail street.
Tn the course of time. Fifty-seventh street, also, will proba'
bly have a crosstown surface railroad, aud in case the Publif
Service Commission is wise, an express station,on one of the
new subways will be situated in the same vicinity. All this
will consume a great many years. Twenty years may well
elapse before Fifty-seventh street obtains all the business to
which it is entitled by its situation, but its destiny is plaimly
marked, A builder is foolish to erect a fire-proof residential
building of any kind on the street. It is ear-marked for
business—even though the process of transition is likely, for
many reasons, to be very slow.
OVER FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS was the
sum loaned out on real estate in the four principal
boroughs of New York City last year. Of this vast
total $365,Sij7,20S was placed on Manhattan-Bronx prop¬
erty, $107,070,325 on Brooklyn property, and $36,900,000
on Queens real estate. The total is $509,800,000. Of the
$365,867,000 loaned in Manhattan-Bronx, $178,000,000 was
from banks, title and insurance companies. These figures
were compiled from the Record and Guide Reports. Enor¬
mous as the totals are, they are smaller than the totals for
the previous year, being $8,000,000 less in the case of Man-
hattan-Broiix, So far this year the mortgage loans are
$1,640,000 ahead of last year's record. The vast sum of five
hundred million dollars which New York City puts out every
year on real estate mortgages exceeds the entire national
debt of many countries. It exceeds the valuation of all the
real estate in many of the States.
BUILDING MATERIAL SHOWS.
THE plan of holding au exhibition of building materials,
methods and devices in Madison Square Garden is an ex¬
tremely good one, and it is very much to be hoped that the
success of the experiment will justify its repetition. From
every point of view its effect will be both to strengthen those
firms who stand for new and improved materials, methods
and devices, and to popularize their products. No people
in the world have so much reason to be interested Jn good
building as the American people. They are paying for an
unprecedented amouut of new construction, and almost every
Americau citizen who makes a little money becomes interest¬
ed in building, either as an investor or as a house-owner.
At the same time, it is diflicult to popularize the best prevail¬
ing methods, materials and devices. Architectural and build¬
ing publications perform valuable service in this respect, but
in many instances ocular demonstration is necessary in order
to convince people of the advantages of certain improved
methods or devices. Every manufacturer or builder who has
a really good idea to offer to the public should and will
seize upon the opportunity offered of placing his wares or ser¬
vices before the public. Thus the exhibition from its very
nature will become an effective educational influence in
favor of higher standards and improved methods. An ex¬
hibitor will have to prove his claim to public patronage in
competition with other exhibitors, and i! his claims are weak
he will soon have an unpleasant demonstration of the fact.
Special efforts should be made to induce the builders and
owners of small suburban houses throughout the whole of
the metropolitan district to attend the exhibition and to tha't
end it should be well advertised and this class of patronage
should be attracted by a large number of peculiarly interest¬
ing special exhibits. Finally, it is very much to be hoped that
the co-operation of good architects also can be secured. The
interest of the good architect and the manufacturer of im¬
proved building materials or devices are identical. It is that
good architect—the man whose reputation gives him a real
influence with his clients—who is the largest purchaser of
good materials and the largest user of sound methods, and
anything which strengthens the position of the one also
strengthens the position of the other. In the case of the
architectural exhibit, the management should make special
efforts to secure models as well as plans, sketches and
photographs. An uninformed mau can understand and read
the value of a model very much quicker than he can a
sketch or a plan.
KEEP up the interest of young men in real estate. Once
every youug man's high ambition was to be a prop¬
erty owner. But now there are other pleasures and invest¬
ments which also appeal to him, and they are making every
conscious effort to attract him. The building interests par¬
ticularly should not let their claims go by default.
TWO PUBLIC NECESSITIES.
LOCAL patriotism, though it may not manifest itself
so constantly .in New York City as in some small
places, has been found upou occasion to be profound. Un¬
der proper direction and auspices herculean works have been
accomplished for the general good by informal co-operation.
The vast Interstate Park and the two "New Theatres" are
very recent instances. The leading men of New York have
their own way of doing things, but their undertakings are
always handsomely rounded out. At the present time there
are two great things necessary to have done. One is to
insure the perpetuity of Madison Square Garden as a place
for large public exhibitions. New York City could not get
along without such an arena. The purposes to which the
Garden has been devoted in the last few years have been
most admirable. National expositions of higb character are
being held there, one after another in rapid succession. In the
future these great "shows" wlU become of still higher im¬
portance, taking on more and more an educational
value. To the Horse Shows in recent years have
been added Automobile, Motor Boat, Real Estate aud
Building Material exhibitions as regular features, and all of
an elevating nature. Such expositions must be permitted to