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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 25, no. 634: May 8, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXV. NEV7 YOBK, SATUEDAY, MAY 8. 1880. No. 634 Published Weekly by %]^t %ml Muh %(taxh %BBai:miiau, TERMS. OJVE YEAR, in advance.. ..$10.00. ~ Communications should be addressed to C. W. SMTBET. No. 137 Broaoway " DOWN WITH THE BARRICADES." This cry has been raised at last in reply to the brazen defiance of the people's rights by Messrs. Decker & Quintard, the Riverside drive contractors. During the winter, very few persons not Riverside property owners cared whether tbe new drive was barricaded by these contractors or not, but now that spring and summer are upon us, complaints loud and deep are heard from all sides at the continued unwarranted assumption of these men, without the least shadow of interference on the parfc of the constituted authorities. The con¬ tractors claim that not being paid for work per¬ formed, they assume the position of ordinary lienors, who have constructed an ordinary build¬ ing, and that their lien upon Riverside drive is as good, in law, as that put by any builder upon a private dwelling. This is emphatically against the law, a statute which must be well known to these gentlemen's counsel, providing tho very contrary for public works. No man wto has a claim against the city can put a lien upon the work done by him, or keep possession of it at his pleasure. If this were so, the contractor who paves Broadway, and with whose work iault is found, might interrupt for ever the traffic of this great city. There is not even a clause in the contract made between the Departments of Parks and Messrs. Decker & Quintard, giving the latter tbe least show of author¬ ity to place obstaeles in the way of travel along this beautiful drive. It is not our purpose to dis¬ cuss here the merits of the contractors' claim against the city. It is evident that the warrants signed by the Comptroller, and as yet unsigned by Mayor Cooper, show that there is a division of opinion as to the justice of the claim, among the authorities themselves. But if, by this delay, the contractors feel themselves aggrieved, there ia but one and only one remedy for them, and that is an application to the courts. These are open to Messrs. Decker & Quintard; thither they can go, and sooner or later they will have to go there. They must, however, not be permitted to defy property owners and the public any longer with their barricades. These must come down, and that at once, whether Decker & Quintard are paid or not. In this emergency the public do not look simply to the Department of Public Parks to do its duty, but also call upon Mr. Campbell, the Commissioner of Public Works, to take a hand in the removal of the barricades. His Bureau of Encumbrances is compelled to take cognizance of the obstructions that have been erected by the contractors, not only on the line of the drive, but on the side streets which are under tbe jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works. As to the barricades on the public drive, If the Department of Parka will not remove them, the moment the road is declared open as a public WgUway, any citizen unable to proceed on his journey may remove them as a nuisance. There must be an end to this defiance on the part of men, who, owing to these high-handed proceedings, control more property than either the Astors or the Rhinelanders, their quasi jurisdiction actually extending over three miles of ground. Instead of continuing performances like theae, Messrs. Decker & Quintard had better consider whether, they themselves may not, one of these days, be. brought into Court by property owners who con¬ sider themselves injured by such doings. What¬ ever course, however, the contractors may deem necessary to pursue ,to protect their pnvate rights, there can be no question as to the public's rights in the premises, and hence we say again to those in authority, "Down with the barricades." THE NON-ACTION OF THE PAEK COMMISSIONEKS. Since the above was written we bave received the following communication, showing at least a temporary triumph tor the property owners. New York, May 7, 1880. To the Editor of Thb Real Estate Record. In your paper of last week appeared a report of an interview between one of your staff and the newly appointed Park Commissioner, Mr. Green, in which the latter is represented as saying that he was un¬ aware of any netition from the owners of Riverside property, for the opening of that Drive, having been sent to the Department of Parks. Such a petition signed by the owners of more than three-fourths of the front on Riverside Drive was banded to Mr. Wen- man, the President of the Board, three week since, and was discussed by them at the next meeting on the 5th inst. Of course, in vain! Two Commission¬ ers, a Tainmany Democrat and a Republican, voting one way, and a Republican and Anti-Tammany, in true Barnacle fashion, the other, or rather an irre¬ parable breach is said to have occured early in the meeting on some political question. Consequently the "slate" for that day was broken, and with it the hopes of the long suffering property owners, who have waited in vain for six months past to be allowed even to approach their lots much less to build on, or improve them. At last the gordian knot has been severed in another way, and the public can now judge for itself if the beauty of this long talked of and much wanted drive is founded in fact. Respectfully yours, C R. Robert, The following is the'petition : To the Commissioners of the Department of Public Parks : The petitioners, who are the owners of the property on the Riverside Drive to the number.of feet set opposite to tbeir respective names, respectfully repre¬ sent that the present inability which they and the public labor under to enjoy the use of the Drive is a very great, detriment to their interests and to the pleasure which was anticipated from its building. Your petitioners represent that the serious obstacles to its present use arise from the shanties and other buildings left on the grounds dedicated to public use. and known as Riverside Drive, and articles now left lying on the surface of the Drive by the contractors, and that their removal is what your petitioners desire. Your petitioners, therefore, request your Honorable Body to exercise your power to remove these obstacles, or to authorize your petitioners to have tbem removed. Signed: C. R. Robert, 378 feet; C. P. Huntington, 204^ feet; P. Callaghan, 998 feet; WiUiam B. Lynch, 101.4?^ feet; AbbyB. Blodgett (by I. M. Fiske, att'y), 75.91^ feet; Estate Wm. P. Blodgett.(I. M. Fiske, exr.), 27.6)4 feet; E. S. Bailey, 25 feet; Levi A. Lockwood, 109.1% feet: Fredk. K. Keller, 102 and 164 feet; Henry W. S. Mali (per Charles Mali, att'y) 153 feet; Jas. Rufus Smith, 50 feet; Saml. M. Schafer, 100 feet; Charles S. Weyman. 56 feet; Jno. A. Post, Edwd. C. Post, and Fredk. A. Post, 1,200 feet on Riverside avenue; S. R. C. Furniss, M. E. Zimmerman, and C. Furniss, 1,003 feet on Riverside av; M. A. Griswold, 20 feet; Sarah S. Whiting (extrx.), 20 feet; James Scobie, 48 feet; Fleming Smith. 241 feet; S. B. Clark (per Cyrus Clark), 210 feet; John A. Monsell, 106 feet; Charles E. Tripler, 89 feet; James A. Downing, 25 feet. A temporary injunction obtained. As the above petition was not acted upon, the prop¬ erty owners have since succeeded in obtaining the following injunction: New York Supreme Court, City and County of New York, Christopher R. Robert against the Mayor. Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York. Nicholas H. Decker and George W. Quintard. On tho complaint in this action, sworn to May 4th, 1880, and on the affidavits of Christopher R. Robert, John A. Post, Charles E. Tripler, Edward H. Ludlow, Homer Morgan, Adrian H. Muller, Hugh N. Camp, Louis Mesier, Vernon K. Stevenson, Jr., George H. Scott, Leopold Friedman, John A. Monsell.- all sworn to May 4, 1880, a motion being made by James A. Deer¬ ing, of counsel for the plaintiff, for a preliminary injunction against the defendants, and it appearing to the Court that the plaintiff has property fronting on Riverside avenue, and has right of free passajie and access to said property over and along said avenue, and that in the exercise of such rights, he is obstructed and impeded by the ads of defendants. It is hereby ordered, that until the further order of this Court, the defendants, the Mavor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York and Nicholas H. Decker and George W. Quintard, be and they are and each of them and their agents, servants and em¬ ployees, are hereby enjoined and restrained from placing, erecting, continuing or maintaining timber, planks, barriers or any other obstructions upon or along the Riverside avenue or drive, or at any of the streets intersecting and entering upon the same, or from permitting the same to remain as an obstruc¬ tion or interference to the plaintiff, his agents, ser¬ vants and employees, or any other person passing into, upon or along the said avenne or any part there¬ of. And on the complaint in this action and said affidavits! let the defendants or their attorneys, show cause before this Court at chambers thereof, on the 12th day of May, 1880, at 11 o'clock, a.m. of that day, or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard, at the Court House in the City of New Y'ork, why the fore¬ going order or some order to be made of like purport and effect, sbould not be continued in full force, and until the flnal judgment and decree in this suit. New York, May 5,1880. Abm. R. Lawrence, Justice of the Supreme Court. James A. Deering, Plaintiff's At¬ torney. In obedience to the above Injunction, the barriers were removed yesterday, and Riverside Drive is now pi-actically open. THE IMPROVEMENTS AT SIXTY-FIRST STREET AND PARK AVENUE. The southeast corner of Fourth avenue and Sixty- flrst street, comprising four full lots, purchased some four years ago by Mr. Francis Ehrmann, druggist of Sixth avenue, have just been improved by him in a manner befitting that locality, and creating a corner that will be universally considered ornamental to what is now generally known as Park avenue. The corner proper is occupied by a large, well-appointed drug-store, fronting eighty-three feet on the avenue and twenty-one feet on the street, occupying the first floor, while the upper stories have been arranged for the occupancy of Mr. Ehrmann's family. The • ex¬ terior of this corner building, however, which gives to Sixty-flrst street, as well as to the avenue, an orna¬ mental relief from the architectural monotony that prevails all around, at once arrests the attention of the passer by. It is a four-story and Mansard roof building with basement and sub-cellar, but with bow windows extending along the various stories on the corner proper and surmounted by a cupola, nu¬ merous ornamental railings adding a cheerful finish to the entire front, which is of Philadelphia brick, trimmed with brown stone .and encaustic tiles. The entire design shows artistic skill on the part of Mr. Hugo Kafka, the architect, who, in fact, has superin¬ tended not only every detail of construction but also of ornamentation. The bow windows in the drug-store, for instance, are so constructed that the colored bottles, which, also in accordance with his design, are