crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 7, no. 171: June 24, 1871

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031128_007_00000306

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE Vol. YII. NEW YORK, SATUEDAY, JUNE 24, 1871. No. in. Published Weekly by TIIE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS.- One year, in advance......................$6 00 All communications should be addressed to C. "W. SWETGT, 7 AND 9 Warken Street, No receipt for money due the REAL ESTATE RECORD will be acknowledged unless signed by one of our regular collectors, Henry D. Smith or Thomas P. Cumjungs. All bills for collection wiU be sent from the office on a regu¬ larly printed form. THE VIADUCT EAILROAD. Besides the confidence inspired by the bril¬ liant array of distinguished names which have been published in connection with the Viaduct Railroad, and which go far to convince the pub¬ lic that the scheme is a reality soon to be ac¬ complished, we have additional cause to re¬ joice that this great work will not only be speedily, but well done, if we look to the in¬ struments that have been selected for practi¬ caUy carrying it into full effect; we mean Mr. Serrell, the engineer, and Blr. Eidlitz, the architect. In all great engineering and architectural works—although every architect should be properly an engineer, and every engineer an architect—it has been the custom, not only here, but in other countries, to consider them as the representatives of two distinct profes¬ sions. Unquestionably there are works of magnitude, such, for instance, as the construc¬ tion of railroads, tunnels, water-works, etc.— works requiring nothing but a knowledge of mechamcal forces, and involving no question whatever of aesthetic beauty—in which the engineer may be said to be totally independent of architecture, as a fine Art, in the prosecu¬ tion of his labors. But then, again, there are many cases in which ifc is impossible for him to work without an intimate knowledge of archi¬ tecture, and where this is lacking, his work—^no matter how otherwise grand and imposing as a mechanical production—is sure to prove unsat¬ isfactory as a whole; for there is no good reason why the largest amount of strength and useful¬ ness should not be embodied in a pleasing as well as in an uncouth form. The whole sur¬ face of the country is dotted with instances of the kind:—Splendid constructions embodying all the triumph of scientific ingentdty, but so deficient in agreeable form that the merest tyro in a good architect's office could have improved them. One memorable instance of this occurs to us as we write, and that is fche great suspen- sioii bridge over the Ohio River, connecting Cin- cinnatiwith - Covington on the Kentucky side. We suppose this work may be justly con¬ sidered one of the grandest specimens of engi¬ neering skill, not only of this continent, but of the world; and yet, who can look at its splendid¬ ly built, but formless abutments of masonry, without wishing that the distinguished engineer had expended at least some little thought upon beauty, while devoting so much to magnificence of construction. Our Viaduct Railroad authorities seem, at any rate, not likely to fall into this grave error, by having selected two men of such varied, but co-operative knowledge and taste, as their en¬ gineer and architect. The one bears the high¬ est name among us for his scientific abilities; the other is a consummate artist, who, in all the large number of edifices erected by him in this city and neighborhood, has in every case, however large or small, left behind him a work of art to grace our city and improve the pubhc taste. We may therefore expect to see the bridges that are soon to go vaulting across our streets, the stations and stairways that are fco welcome us at every few blocks in our flying transit, instead of mere unsightly contrivances for the purposes of locomotion, real artistic ob¬ jects of beauty that wiU be a delight in them¬ selves to look at. The same combination of the beautiful with the useful which has, so far. made our Central Park a glory among all works of the kind—^no matter to what quarter of the world we look for a comparison—will attend the construction of our Viaduct Railroad, for the work is in the hands of precisely the men who can ensure it. THE NEW RAILWAY DEPOT. The grand depot now in rapid course of com¬ pletion at the junction of Forty-third street and Park avenue, for the New York and Harlem, Hudson River and New Haven Railroads, has arrived at a stage in which its grandeur can be fully appreciated. We have, in former num¬ bers, given such full descriptions of this buUd¬ ing as to make a repetition here unnecessary; but no verbal description can give an adequate idea of the commanding character of this struc¬ ture—^not so much from, any artistic beauty of detaU as from its enormous size, and the bold¬ ness of conception which permeates the whole design. The immense roof of curved orna¬ mental iron ribs and glass which vaults over the huge space in one unbroken span is in itself worthy of a visit from a long distance. We question if anything more simple in form and yet effective in arrangement can be found among any of the most vaunted roofs of iron construction to be found in Europe. In spite of aU the hurry among the operatives who are at work there, like a swarm of bees, it must be several weeks yet before the buUding can be completed, and everything prepared for practi¬ cal use. The artificial stone attracts attention, the whole of the platforms being laid down with that material, and apparentiy doing the work of the hardest blue-stone. The whole thing, when completed, wUl undoubtiedly be one of the grandest additions to the architecture of New York which has occurred in many years. A SUGGESTION. It may not be altogether in the line of Real Estate busuiess, but as a matter in which our Central Park Commissioners may be interested, we would suggest to them the propriety of using classical words as Httle as possible upon the different signs in the Park, if they would accommodate themselves to the comprehension of all who visit it. For " Garnivorium,''^ for instance, we would suggest '■'■Animals;''^ and English names accompanying the Latin ones, in the museuin, might prevent many a searcher after knowledge from mistaking a rattlesnake - for an electric eel. . Our reason for these remarks is philanthropic. We were seated near the Fifth avenue entrance, watching the gay cavalcades passing to and fro, when a bewUdered son of- Erin, accompanied by his wife and two chUdren, asked us the way to the wUd animals. We pointed to the sign right before us, on which was printed very distinctly} "To the Musuem and Camivorium," etc., etc. Our friend demurred, and said that was the Cami-something; but on our persuading him that we thought it meant to inclilde such things as tigers, lions, etc., he thanked us and went off, rejoicing in his new discovery. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC PARKS. The following extract from the recent Report of the Department of Public Parks is of inter¬ est, as reflecting the opinion of the Department, in regard to two important parks, and from the paragraph on " Conducting DaUy Busi¬ ness " we are enabled to judge of the manner in which the Eight-Hour Law works as regards the employer. The Department declares that this law increased the cost of maintaining Cen¬ tral Park alone $50,000 per annum, which cer¬ tainly is not a very pleasant pUl for our tax¬ payers to swallow. MOUNT MORRIS SQUARE. Mount Morris Square, the great public park of Harlem, and one of the most beautiful public places on the island for capabilities of omamen- tion, has received a large share of considera¬ tion. The former chief landscape gardener, Mr. PUat, believed it to be capable of being improved to a very high degree; the roads winding up to the hill in its centre, rising far above the grades of the streets adjacent, make it an agreeable place for resort when the at¬ mosphere is clear and a walk up the hill is in-