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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 26, no. 664: December 4, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXVI. NEW YOEE, SATUEDAY, DECEMBERS, 1880. No. 664 Published Weekly by €bt %ml ^uhh %ttaxii %nBatmixm. TERMS. OWE YEAR, in advance....810.00. Oommunications should be addressed to C. W^. SW^EET, No. 137 Broadway WHAT WILL THE CONSERVATIVE RICH DO? There can be no reasonable doubt but that the whole world has entered upon an era of cheap money. On all the bourses of Europe it is expected that all government debts will be refunded at lower rates of interest. In this country we have seen money ruling at two or three per cent, during a period of great business activity, at the very busiest season of the year. Tliere is here and, ap¬ parently, aU over the world, a plethora of new money ; that is, capital seeking profit¬ able investment and eager to take less than the old per centage. The cheap money is due to a variety of causes. The general use of the telegraph is one. Before steam, money had to be trans¬ ferred in bulk from point tj point; and dur¬ ing the time of carriage was lost to the com¬ merce of the world. Steam added to the abundance of available money by increasing its portability; that is to say, it could be used ten times, where formerly it could be employed only once. Then came the tele¬ graph, which has made the money of one part of the globe immediately available in every other part. Then all the improve¬ ments in the iristrucaents by which com¬ merce is transacted, have helped to add to the volume of available money. The bill of exchange, the draft, the check, the dealing on margins, all tend not only to increase the volume, but to economize the use of money. The resumption of specie payments in this country has added to all the paper previously afloat some $612,000,000 of bullion coined, or available for coinage. And what has been the result ? An advancement of values, of which we have only seen the beginning. All the ac¬ tive stocks doubling up in price, and soon merchandise will feel the inflation, tb be fol¬ lowed by an immense rise in realty. A weU- known Wall street banker intimates that the next five years wiU see an addition to the price of well-located farm lands in this country of fully thirty per cent. This rise in values will give an enormous impetus to trade of all kinds, and insure us good times for several years to come. But is there no other side to be considered —win everyone profit by the advance in prices and in cheap money? Clearly not. A very worthy class will be seriously in¬ commoded, if not injured, by the enhance¬ ment of values and the difficulty of finding profltable employment for money. We al¬ lude to people of fired incomes, including government officials, army and navy officers, widows, orphans and conservative investors in government and gilt edged securities. Nominally, some of these classes will be better off. What they have in property will be represented by larger numerals. But their expenses will be greater, due to the rising prices. Their incomes will be less, because of the lowering of th© rate of in¬ terest. All this will result in adding to the pro¬ ductive forces of the country, for it will cause the retention in business and the re¬ entry into business of heads of families who will not, without a struggle, see their stand¬ ard of comfort lowered. Many young men, who supposed they had securities which would ensure them an income from $5,000 to $50,000 per annum, will be prevented from living an idle life by the reduction in their income, occurring simultaneously with the rise in prices. Periods ol! inflation are use¬ ful, because they set the whole social hive at work. Periods of contraction are unfor¬ tunate, in so far as they add to the value of money, which, in effect, make the rich richer and the poor poorer. A GRAND OPERA HOUSE IN RESER¬ VOIR SQUARE. While the directors of the Academy of Music are endeavoring to secure the Madison Square Garden plot by lease or otherwise and while an effort is being made to induce the directors of the new opera house to abandon the idea of building on Vanderbilt avenue, the city of New York might for once go out of its way and do something for art. Reservoir square is nothing but a play¬ ground for noisy schoolboys to-day, and a virtual nuisance to thos(} compelled to cross it occasionally. Let the city donate this ground, which can be done through act of Legislature, for the purpose of erecting a grand opera house. See what Paris has done in this respect, and all France to-day is proud of the noble structure, devoted to music that ornaments its capital. We must once begin to do something for the pro¬ motion of art in New York, and we might as well begin now. The corporation, by its liberality, has filled our up-town streets and avenues with hospitals for the lame, sick and halt. It is time that those who possess "sound minds in sound bodies" should re¬ ceive some favor at the hands of New York City'^s government. The area here pointed out is the most central for the purposes in¬ dicated. The square has a frontage of four hundred and sixty feet on Sixth avenue, and a depth of five hundred feet. Strictly speakings all that is required for a grand opera house is only 200x250, and abuilding of this size would not interfere with the idea of turning the re¬ mainder of the square into a plaza. Adjoin¬ ing property owners would gMdly favor any movement of this sort, and Forty-second street especially, already containing promi¬ nent hotels and clubhouses, would then, in¬ deed, become the great connecting link be¬ tween the residences of the wealthy and the centre of the city's places of amusement. Is there any alderman disposed to submit a proposition of this sort? If so, it can be acted upon at the legislative session next month, and those now anxiously discussing the propriety of building two rival opera houses may find it to their interests to '' pool their issues" and expend their spare funds upon the building proper that ought to be, indeed, a credit and ornament to our city. THE FRESH BLOOD IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET. It is not often that the queer legislation of one State of our Union favors indirectly particular interests in another State. And yet such is, indeed, the spectacle presented to us in this city to-day, by the advent of lead¬ ing capitalists from the Pacific. We have heretofore shown how the attractions of our metropolis, its parks, drives, opera houses, club houses and general vivacity, were drawing moneyed men from other states to our city. We find, however, that in addition to our own local attractions, other causes, notably the new tax laws of California, have been depriving that flourishing State on the Paciflc, of the power, strength and influence naturally following the accumulation of wealth. Under the State laws for instance, recently enacted in California, under the new, extraordinary constitution, several wealthy men after having paid a general tax, which was already flfty per cent, higher than those in the city of New York, had to submit to a special tali, and therefore found it necessary to place their personal as well as their real property in some other states. Already Mr. D. O. Mills is a resident of the Fifth avenue, and claims by right New York aa his residence. Mr. Crocker, the second largest tax payer in San Francisco, having paid tax on over nineteen millions of dollars there, now also claims his domicile in New York. He considers the tax imposed upon him in California as unwarranted and regards the laws in said State as they now exist, unprecedented and unreasonable. The special tax levied on him last year was over