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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 24, no. 603: October 4, 1879

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXIY. NEW YOEK, BATUKDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1879. No. 60:i Published Weekly by Wibt Seal Estate Sfcorb ^ssonation. TERMS. ONE YEAll. in advance....SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to <:. W. SAVEET, Nos. 345 AND 347 Broadway THE BRIDGE AND TUNNEL ERA. Year by year the lower end of Manhattan Island is becoming less and less suitable for resi¬ dences because of the steady encroachments of business. Whether the times are good or bad it will be found that the area devoted to ware¬ houses, stores, oflices and exclianges is becoming larger and larger, and, although population increases, and will continue to increase for many years to come, yet this addition to our popula¬ tion is confined to the northern portions of the island. Even business, in certain .specialties, which had left New York apparently forever, has lately .shown a disposition to return. For instance the jobbing trade, a great deal of which we lost during the hard times, is gradually coming back to us and adding to the commercial importance of the metropolis. At times we have lost certain branches of manufacturing, but now- tliero are evidences of the revival of the manufac¬ turing industry on this island. The steam ship¬ ping interest which at one period threatened to leave us for Jei-sey City, is again returning to tho metropolis. All our coniinercial. rivals are forming new connections with New York. Time was when the Pennsylvania Central Railroad ended nt Philadelphia. It has been forced to secure connecting links with this cit3-. The Reading Company has lately leased the Bound Brook road and it is one of the probabilities of the future that the Baltimore Sc Ohio road will, in time, have an outlet to this city by way ofthe Jersey Central. When the bridge to Brooklyn is completed it will, of, help the other side of the East River in the way of population, while it will add to the business area of New York. But the conversion of this island into a business mart will proceed with great rapidity when tbe tunnel IS constructed which will allow railway access to this island without the necessity of crossing over the North River or on the ferries. All the enor¬ mous tonnage of the West, or at least such of it as will not be carried to some point on Long Island Sound and shipped direct to Europe from Port Morris, will find its way tlirough this pro¬ posed tunnel to the warehouses on this side of the North River. The fact of this rising tide of business in New York driving the residence portion of the city further up town towards Yonkei-s and New Ro¬ chelle, or across the rivere by ferries to New Jersey and by the bridge and fert-ies to Brooklyn, will necessitate the enlargement of the bound¬ aries of New York so as to include all the country near enough to admit of occupation as the resi¬ dence of those who do business in this great mart of trade. It will never do to commit the future •control of the metropolis to the 'longshoremen, the porters, the oflice cleaners and tho wntchnien, who will be the main occupants of the few resi¬ dences in the business part of Manhattan Island. In other words, and to .secure responsible govern¬ ment, the people who own property in New York, no matter where they Hve. muse be made citizens. It is monstrous that the lower wards of this city, where the bulk of the wenlth of the metropolis is situated, .should be controlled by the servants and laborers cf the gentlemen who own this property, while those who are directlj- inter¬ ested in the commerce of the city, because they happen to live in New Jei-sey, Brooklyn, Yonk¬ ers or New Rochelle, have no right to say how they shall be taxed or what they ought to pay to support municipal burdens. The real citizens are tho.'je who do business, own jiroperty, or who pay taxes and rents. It is time to suggest some amendment to the State constitution giving prop¬ erty holders their Just rights in this re.'peot, or else the surrounding country should be made a part of the great niuniciiiality. This latter course will jirobably be the best and easiest, but certain it is, that with the growth of rapid tran¬ sit, with the building of the bridge across the East River and the tunnel on the North River, NewYork Island is becoming more and more a great wholesale merchandise and financial centre, and less and less relatively a place of residence. We must expect our local government to get steadily worse as the pojiulation increases which does not own the property it legislates for and taxes. We have already suggested one reform based upon tlie experience of Eiij^lish municipali¬ ties, and that is to shift the burdens of taxations more upon tenants and householders nnd renters, and less upon the landlords. The present system of taxing the landlord and leaving the tenant free, leads to irresponsible government. To be sure, the tenant pays now all the taxes, but he is not aware of it. All he knows is, that he pays a very large sum for rent, but he is unaware of the real burdens, and what it costs to run the vari¬ ous parts of the city government. Were all who keep apartments or rented houses to lie in con¬ stant receipt of vi.sits of the tax collectors for Board of Education rates or police imposts and for city improvements, that class w-ould soon see to it that Aldermen and executive cflicers were elected who w-ould keep down taxation. We are entering upon a new era of prosperity, our active business people will be hard at work making money, and will leave the city more and more in the hands of the trading politician.'^. We expect gi-eat abuses and the fbrnialion of new and powerful rings to eat up the property of the people who live on this island, hut some day there w-ill be another explosion, and then either the surrounding country will be taken in and form a ]>ortion of New York, or else the voting population will be disfianchised and property have its rights in the matter of taxation. But in the meantime, everything goes to show- that New York will, year by year, become more and more an exchange and mart for commerce — a huge warehouse—and less and less a place for living. The business centres will steadily en¬ large, while, owing to rapid transit, to bridges and ferries, a growing proportion of our people will reside at greater distances from business centres. ABOUT CHURCH ARCHITECTURE. It was the good fortune of the writer to be present at the opening discourse ot the Rev. Rob¬ ert Collier, late of Chicago, but who commenced his ministry in this city, at the Church of the Messiah, last Sabbath. He is a man of fine pre.s- cnce, nnd has a charming manner, and will doubtle-sa prove popular and'useful in the .«ect to which he belongs. As a trade journal, we have nothing to do with religion or sects, and onh- refer to the commencement of Mr. Collier's min¬ istry in this city, to point out some grave decocts in our prevailing church architecture. It is sjife to say that seven out of eight of the Protestant churches in this city and Brooklyn are unlit for the purposes for which tliey are de¬ signed. The Church of the Messiah is one of those mistakes, and this was painfully ajiparent while Mr. Collier was preaching. Our Christian church¬ es, architecturally, are modeled upon religious conceptions which have come down to us from an idolatrous age. It is believed by many antiqua¬ rians that the church spire is a reminiscence or survival of Phallic w-orship. The Corinthian and Doric s'yles of architecture have each come rlown to us from ancient Greece, and were not de¬ signed for speaking. The great oblong temples were intended for sacrifices; for the olfering up of the entrails of beasts to the favor of some god: hence, every church in town which resemble the Grecian temples is an anachronism. The difii¬ culty of hearing in these edifices, as well as the solemnity and gloom which pervades them are thus explained. It is absurd to replace the priests with his vestures and pomp, and sacrificial knife, readj* to slaj- the inimal at the sacrificial altar, bj' the modern minister dressed in frock coat and a white necktie. The altar is out of place. Nor is the Catholic Cathedral form a proper one for a modern Protestant Church. The G< thie architecture of the middle ages was intended for the performance of high mass; for aweing the mul¬ titude; for personal devotions before the image of the Virgin or some favorite saint, and for the hearing of religious music. The " fretted vaults and long drawn aisles," where "music lingcied on asloth to die," were never designed for ordinarj- speaking by the human voice, and the Catholic hierarchs have made a mistake in following their Prote-stant rivals in allowing preaching in their Cathedrals. The ancient temples, be it remembered, were intended for sacrificial performance.s, for priests in gorgeous vestments, showj- procession-s, and were thus spectacular in their character. The human voice was uot brought into play. The Cathedral, the church of the middle ages, was intended for high mass, for music, for personal devotions but not for speaking. But the preacher is the pro¬ duct of modern times. His presence involves a desk or rostrum, an audience, and a hall or edifice where everj- one can see and hear per- fectlj-. These considerations were first found in this countrj-, so far as we know, in the old Broadway Tabernacle, situated not far from Leon¬ ard street, in which the late Joseph P. Thompson preached. Thej- are found iu the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's Church, in Rev. De Witt Talmage's Church, and in the edifice on Madison avenue erected for Dr. Hepworth. But the