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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 17, no. 416: March 4, 1876

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XVII. NEW YOBK, SATUEDAY, MAECH 4, 1876. No. 416. PubUshed Weekly by THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. C. W. SWEET...............Pkesident and Teeasureb PRESTON I. SWEET...........Seoketaet. L. ISRAELS.........................Business Mauageb TERMS. ONE YBAK, ill advance....$10 00. Communications should be addressed to C SV. STREET, Nos. 345 AND 34H Bboadwat. OUE BUrLDUSTG MATEEIAL. STONE VERSUS IRON. To tlie Editor of the Beal Estate Record : The New Yorker, returning after a few years' absence to his native city, will notice among other changes the increased elegance of its architecture. "Where he left no more fine edi¬ fices on the business streets than could be counted on his fingers, he now finds whole blocks of marble and stone fronts lavishly adorned with the sculptor's beautiful devices. The residences on the avenues and streets up town, also indicate an occasional original design, which promises a future for domestic archi¬ tecture. The introduction of new buUding ma¬ terials gives fuller scope to the now delicate de¬ signs of the architect. The sombre ULniformity of dingy brown-stone rows is relieved by the warmer tints of the Ohio free stone, the delicate olive of the Dorchester, the reddish hue of the New Jersey and Potsdam stone, or the rich ef¬ fect of a combination of either with the cele¬ brated "Philadelphia brick," or the still more ornate mixture of the serpentine and Scotch or Americain granite. The art education of the people can in no way be so easily accomplished as through the medium of street architecture. .Th§ beautiful. caryings which adorn the bridges and stairways, and the picturesque de¬ signs of the buildings of the Central Park, are calculated to instruct and elevate the taste of the masses. The same spirit is evinced in the design and structure of the Third Judiciary Dis¬ trict Court House, which rapidly approaches completion. Here the architect has placed a cheap school for the study of architecture. A better adaptation of a building to an irregular lot could not have been devised. The material without and within, combining strength, beauty, durability and economy, commend it as a model building, and the cheapest building of the kind . ever erected by the city. But it is invidious to particularize buildings, and the above were only alluded to as public structures. There are many buildings, to which I would like to refer in detail, and will do so if this subject is thought worthy of future mention in your columns. While we hail with pleasure every attempt to instruct and elevate the standard of beauty in the architecture of this city, we must deprecate the great opportunities neglected, and the false lessons taught by those who have the wealth and land at their disposal, but who possess neither a taste for the beautiful, nor the good sense to apply to those who do. Can anything be more unsightly than that great pile of iraa encircling 9th and 10th streets and 4th avenue ? Imagine a city bmlt under contract by the square mile on this pattern, alternated by abodes similarly extended along its avenues of funereal brown stone fronts, as fitting lodgments for those who do their business by day in such shops! Then consider for a. moment the oppor¬ tunity lost of presenting, on one of th« largest plots of grounds devoted to a single structure in the entire city, for architectural effect. No consideration of utility or cheapness can atone for this unpardonable neglect. The error is fun¬ damental; it lies at the base, in the material em¬ ployed. "Iron edifices" (says Ruskin) "are not architecture at all." The use of iron for building or decoration lacks that element which gives value to everything in this world—^the evidence of thoughtful labor. It is the machine, the lathe, the mould that has been at work, not the hand of the skillful artisan. "No ornaments," says Buskin again> "are so cold, clumsy, and vulgar, so essentially incapable of a#ae line or shadow as those of cast iron; and, while on the score »f truth we can hardly allege anything against them, since they are always distinguishable at a glance from wrought or hammered work, and stand only for what they are, yet I feel very strongly that there is no hope of the progress ot the arts of any nation which indulge in those vulgar and cheap substitutes for real decora¬ tion,'! Happily the rage for iron buildings has not seized the building community, the majority of the more important buildings recently finished or in course of construction being of some more worthy material. We do not desire to condemn as pernicious everything that is not in accord with the most critical standard of art. We know that creeping precedes walking, and, as in the other arts, none but the aiadent of years is entitled to enter the inner temple of the classic masters. So in architecture, whatever breaks the dull uniformity of our streets, and enlists the attention and study of the masses, helps to educate them to that higher standpoint which is the surest corrective of bad taste. There are many difficulties which beset the architect who. attempts "any innovation upon the domestic pigeon boxes distinguishable by numbers and night latches in which we axe ac¬ customed to live. We ob^rve annually, at the Aoadony of De¬ sign, beautiful drawirgs of house fronts, varied, to suit the size of lots, from 16 to 25 feet. We look in vain in' our perambulations- about the city to see them carried out. We'are doomed to look upon ^the gloomy brown-stone rows, rising on the new sfreets or having risen, glazed with the'same "sized plate glass, iticroBS which are sus¬ pended, at exactly the same line, like charity children's psiafaree, the inevitable white win¬ dow shades; Can you blame UiS whem we wish for an inno¬ vator who shall tteew into this seeming respect¬ ability a diskirbing element in the shape of a pictuxesque, broken front, rich in varied colors— in short, a home ? A few attempts of this kind have been made, acd could be pointed out, had I not extended this article T»eyond my original design. On» solitary ^eoimen now occurs to me, which stands \j itself, and seems to have put a stop to any ether building within cannon- shot. As referred to in the beginning of this article, the varied materials in tlae market offer every inducement for the exercise of taste, and their study would be advantageous alike to architects and owners, for it is a notorious fact that gen¬ eral ignorance in regard to tke worth of these various building stone is almost universal. Many caanot distinguish them or classify them, and many afchiteets cannot specify the best of their kind. A« Admibeb as Ettskin. CONVEYANCES. NEW YORK. Feyruanj 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, March 1. Bank st. (No. 40), s. a., 145.2 e. 4th st., 20x90.1. Rlcbard P. Berriea and Peter A. Welch (Exrs. ot Oliver Lovelapg) to Mary L. wife of Peter A.Welch. Feb. 28 ..................-....$12,000 Bkoadwat (Nos. 502 and 504), e. s., 46.8x100..) Gbosby St., w. s., 1,14 a. Broome St., 60.4x100.6. f Charles G., John C, WiUiam H. and Francis F. Gunther to Stephen R. Lesher and Nathaniel Whitman. Feb. 28..................325,000 Bboadwat (Noe; 549 and 551), w.s., 224.2 n. Spring St., 49x10©........................... Merceb St. (Nos. 94 and 96), e. s., 224.2 n. Spring St., 49.3x100.......;.. ..;............j Hewfiy J. Furber to Hiram Sibley, Rochester, N.Y. Dec. 2, 1875.......................510,000 Same property. (Lease.) Same to same.....nom Bboadwat, w. 8., 6A.3 s. 57th st., runs thence west 97.11 X south 50xw^t 100 xnorth 92.10 to land of Je*ia Morss x east diagonal along said land 5 x easf diagonal along said land 93 x again east diagonal along said land 90.6 to west side Broadway x south 22.9 to beginning. John J. Levy to Saul J. Lew and Samuel Cohen, (^part.) Feb. 21................7,000 Bboadwat (opened), w. s., 50 north of an angle in said west hne of Broadway, which is 390 north along Broadway from the south boun¬ dary of property fbrmerly of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, runs thence westerly at right angles to Broadway 95 feet x thence at right angles with llth av. 40 feet .x thence north parallel with llth av. 350 feet *x thence at right angles with llth av. 11 feet to west side of Moadway x. thence south along, w^st side of (Broadway 339 feet to be¬ ginning, Plots Vt, and 18 on Map qf ea.sterjy part of the property of said Institution. .Sam¬ uel Sehiffer to Perdinasd Forsch and Gotch© Blum. (Siibj. Mpcts. $4;60().") ' Max. 1..:.. .16,000 Centre Market pl. (No. 7), e.. s.',t'248x42."23e25x 46.1. (fforeclQS.) Charles H. Hildreth r