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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 12, no. 277: July 5, 1873

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AND BUILDERS' GUIDE YoL. XII. NEW YORK, SATUEDAY, JULY 5, 1873. No. 277 Published Weekly by m REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS. One year, in advance......................§6 00 All communications should be addressed to Whiting Building, 345 and 317 Bro-j^-dway. A FAVOEED LOCALITY. The heading of our article shows clearly enough that it is not of the oily as a Avhole we intend to speak, though that is favored enough by nature, hardly by art—we mean to refer particularly to that portion bounded by Filth and Madison avenues, and lying above Forty-second street; and we long since referred to the lasting works in hospitals and asylums which decorate this part of the city, and do honor to their designers and builders. There is one remarkable fact about the locality of ■which we speak: it is the overplus of churches. We are a singularly pious people. Between Fifth and Madison avenues from Forty-second to Fifty-sixth streets can be counted a baker's dozen (padre's dozen, the Portuguese aptly puts it,) of conventicles, with at least as many more in sight on the side streets. If archi¬ tecture is frozen music, as Goethe said, then this score of chilly sharps and fiats can hardly be matched anywhere for congealed discord. They vary " from grave to gay, from lively to severe," and ring the changes from the im¬ mense Cathedral to Mr. Hepworth's "Church of the Disciples," the very latest idea in church¬ ing. There was once an architect named Vanbrugh, who wrote plays. His comedies were indecently light, his architecture deco¬ rously heavy, and of one of his pet " bizarre- ries," Pope wrote : "At length we in the dust descry A thing resembling a mud pie." On Sunday last, while, standing opposite the late-mentioned . corrugated edifice, our Avits, ^eedless of time, place, and circumstance, as his own woful " Blenheim House," fiew off to poor Vanbrugh and his " mud pie." Yet we hardly do it justice, for outlined against the *■ Commodore's depot (which looks like an hos¬ pital,) this ungainly erection has all the air of a circus. Unconsciously we listened, for it seemed as if we must hear the thud of . horses' feet and the shrill cackle of the clown from the central pavilion, while on either hand rose the turrets of small side-shows v/hich, but for the absence of drum and yard-long poster, predicated a three-legged pig and the bearded woman. The thing is so corrugated as to be wrinkled. A column, seen through the entrance, has its cinctm-e slipped on over the fl.utes; and the ornamental moldings (a neat collection of which, in seven different styles, we noticed, while gliding by,) look like the stamped figures on the ridged gingerbread of our childhood, for this unhappy edifice is condemned to sa,ve sinners in a suit the very hue of Master Blender's " little cain-colored beard." The interior plan is admirable; not a pillar interrupts the view, and the pulpit, backed by the organ, occupies the centre of a rising, semi-circular amphitheatre. No galler¬ ies, no transepts. Imagine a large fashionable fan spread out wide; the sticks are the con¬ gregation, and the ])rass-headed knob on the handle is the minister. There is not in the city a room so calculated for uninterrupted sight and heariitg by an audience; but here all praise must stop. The flat, corrugated ceiling, painted blue and plastered occasionally with unmeaning white bars of molding, the fiat cornice, the shallow cove—which is no cove—the tasteless pillars, the hideous poly- chromed organ, the impertinent column on either side it, all are simpl}'- unbearable. The whole thing is cheaply immense. We recalled the scene in the second part of " Faust," where Mephisto—fit personage for the office—ex¬ plains to the court Fool the value of the treas¬ ury notes he has just caught flying, and our imagination hit upon a somewhat free render¬ ing in a dialogue between the Architect of the corrugiited era, personified as Mephisto, and the retrogressive Parson, personified as the Fool: Fool. See here, will this small paper really buy? Meph. You have the wherewithal, there, only try. Fool. What, all these snuff'ers, flutes, and roof, and things ? Meph. Of course! just tiy it! all these money brings. Fool. With pulpit, organ, this unheard-of moulding? Meph. Yes! run, or else! cure your fears with scolding! Fool. To-morrow I'll begin the excavation. {Exit) Meph. (To tlie Public.) Who doubts a Patent Parson's calculation ? another in this matter of New York's relations to its suburbs. Whatever improvements are projected for these suburbs, whether it be in •Jersey City or Brooklyn or Westchester, must receive the cordial support of the residents of New York City; and no petty jealousies on the one side, nor the cry of burdensome tax¬ ation for these improvements on the other side, will at all be permitted to interrupt the steady gfowtlt of that suburb, and the improvements incident thereto. The policy of annexation has been set in motion, and whoever doubts that the ball will not be kept rolling, misinter¬ prets the enterprising spirit of our population. Speculators may here and there take advan¬ tage of that spirit, and endeavor to go faster than ordinary prudence dictates in such mat¬ ters. But after all, they are the mere off-shoots of a movement that has an unmistakable sound basis to stand upon. And that move¬ ment consists in this, that the City of New York must expand not only to Westchestei- not only to Brooklyn, but all around, anci especially to Jersey City and its adjacent towns and villages. . Whatever improvement is therefore being projected for the towns and ' villages on the other side of the Hudson is so much gained for the future, and must be re, garded as a beginning of still greater improve¬ ments that will come hereafter. New York certainly cannot permit Jersey City, with its magnificent water front, to grow up as a for¬ midable rival, as surely it will if our capital¬ ists are deterred by the cry of "burdensome taxation" from investing their money there. The Jersey shore of the Hudson fronting New York City will be ouis in due course of time and the sooner the small property holders in Jersey City and Newark, as well as their short¬ sighted organs here, see this fact the better it will be for their own peace of mind as well as their own future interests. The march of improvement must go on, and whoever doubts this mistakes the mission of the great Ameri¬ can metropolis. JERSEY CITY AND ITS FUTUEE. From NeAV Jersey there arises a cry of bur¬ densome taxation on the part of small prop¬ erty owners, who cannot possibly understand the broad views that must necessarily control the movements of those who have the future and welfare of their localities at heart; and here in New York, we regret to say, there are influential journals short-sighted enough to re-echo these cries and to endorse the narrow- minded views of a few Jersey property hold¬ ers. It is time that we should understand one CITY PEOJECTS VETOED BY THE GOVEElfOR. A large number of bills relating to improve¬ ments of streets, and in relation to city prop¬ erty, have been vetoed by the Governor. We give the most important of these: To provide an assessment for regulating, gi-ading and sewering parts of Tenth avenue and Ninety-third street in the City of New York. ' It is represented that under this bill unjust demands of-large amounts may be made against the City Treas¬ ury, and that a particular contract, executed in violation of law, may be rendered legal and of binding force To alter the map or plan of the City of Ne'vv York be¬ tween Fulton and Chambers streets, from the City Hall Park to South street. The charter reorganizing the local government of the City of Ne-sv York, section 105, gives the Mayor Comp¬ troller, Commiseioner of Public Works, the President of the Department of Public Parks, and the President of the Board of Aldermen, ample power to lay out open, widen, straighten, extend, alter, and close streets or avenues. There is no necessity for the appointment