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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 701: August 20, 1881

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXYIII. NEW TORK, SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 1881. No. 701 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE YEAR, iu adfance.....$6.00 Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 13T Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Bushiess Manager. Elsewhere will be found the full text of the building law, passed by the last legislature, and just signed by the Governor. This enactment is of vital interest to builders and architects as well as to all who own or expect to erect structures in this State. As its text should be known to every one in the building trade, we propose to issue a pamphlet containing the law in full. It willbe sent to any address for ten cents. Apply to Real Estate Record office. 137 Broadway, Room 231^. The Irish land reform bill, which has just passed through Parliament, is a measure which would never be tolerated in this country. Here the owner of land can do what he pleases with it and tenants cannot ask any more than their bargains entitle them to. But hereafter the Irish landlord cannot call his property his own. The ten¬ ant has certain rights under the new act, which are, in fact, a perpetual lien on the property. Then, the courts have authority to interfere with a landlord in a way which would seem revolutionary in this country. Ireland has been and is in a bad way, and probably needs exceptional legislation; but Gladstone's great measure would be regarded as a nuisance both to landlord and tenant, in any other couotiy than Ireland. Indeed, as it looks to an American, the act should be called "a law to invalidate the landlord's title to his property, and to promote litiga¬ tion." What is needed in Ireland is some way of changing the tenant into an owner of the property he cultivates. If the gov¬ ernment purchased the land of its owners and resold to the farmer at a forty years pur¬ chase, there would be no interfering with the property and the owners of the soil, as in Germany, France and America, would be the people who tilled it. The plans are all completed for the Harlem River improvement. Everything is under¬ stood to be in readiness, with the exception of something that should have been done by the last Legislature, but was overlooked. General Newton, however, is all ready and before two years are over it is tolerably cer¬ tain that the work will be weU underway, if not fully completed. And what a change it will make. With a navigable stream between the North and East rivers, the whole water front at Harlem will become the scene of great activity. In addition to the great lum¬ bar and coal yards will be warehouses for all kinds of merchandise, including grain, and . much of the commerce now transacted upon the East and North rivers will find its way to this new waterfront. It would add enor¬ mously to the commercial facilities of New York and would be particularly valuable in building up manufactories on the other side of the Harlem River. The North River tunnel is being pushed forward at a reasonably rapid rate. Work on the New York side is soon to be com¬ menced. The tunnel was tested a short time since and found to be in good order. When completed, a vast change will take place ou both sides of the river. The tunnel will be used by most of the railroad lines which enter Jersey City and Pavonia and tiie consequence will be that probably three fourths of the business of Jersey City will be transferred to this island. Nor is this all. Another tunnel company has been or¬ ganized to connect the Hudson River tunnel with the Forty-second Street depot. This will permit the passage through our city of freight in every direction, without breaking bulk in New York. As in the olden time all roads led to Rome, so in these days every new improvement adds to the wealth, im¬ portance and population of the metropolis. THE M0RNING8IDE PARK. At length the long delayed and much needed improvement of Morningside Park is to be commenced. Years ago the assess- inents were levied and the money paid into tiie city treasury. Some of the work was done and two years ago the Legislature ordered an additional expenditure to get the work underway, but owing to a misunder¬ standing between the Department of Parks and the Department of Public Works, nothing was really done until last Monday when an agreement was arrived at between the two Departments. The plans for the avenue overlooking the plain below, have been prepared by J. Wrey Mould, the superintending architect. They are striking and beautiful and will be greatly admired when seen and understood. Ac¬ cording to the agreement of last Monday, the work on the west side of Morningside Park from One Hundred and Tenth to One Hundred and Twenty-third street, is to be commenced immediately and continued without delay. Hubert O. Thompson, Com¬ missioner of Public Works, however, in a formal communication to the park depart¬ ment, thinks he has discretion to postpone the work on the east side of the park. Mr. Dwight H. Olmstead, however, who drew the law under which the two departments are acting, says that its provisions are man¬ datory and not discretionary and that all the Commissioner has to do is go ahead and con¬ struct the work and make the improvements under the specification of the Department of Parks. We learn that an agreement has since been come to by both departments, to have no further delay. There is now every reason to believe that this beautiful, long de¬ layed and beneficial improvement, wiU soon be added to the attractions of the West side. , The Department of Public Works will at once proceed to pave, grade and regulate Morningside avenue, and also build a retain¬ ing wall; while the Department of Parks will prepare the specifications for the ap¬ proaches, steps, base, iron railing, and the like. There is no doubt that when this improve¬ ment is completed, a great enhancement in values will follow in some of the localities near the park. THE OUTLOOK Things look blue enough in Wall street. The sad event at Washington, the partial failure of the crops, the consequent excited speculation in grain, the hardening of the rates for money and the railroad war, have all thrown a cloud on the street, have checked transactions, and have led to lowrer figures for the whole range of securi¬ ties. Nor are the indications for the future propitious. A new administration W9uld cause more or less disquiet. Some gold is coming from abroad, but as the balance of trade will be against us. we must expect the drain to set the other way be¬ fore the present fiscal year is over. We have entered, according to some great speculators, upon a periodof liquidation so far as stocks are concerned, and the bear, so long suppressed, thinks he will hereafter have the freedom of the street. But the general business of the country is good, the great consumption of coal and iron shows that manufacturing was never so active. The working classes are all employed at high wages. Our farmers may have less grain, but they will get better prices for what they have got, and the cotton crop is a large one and will sell for high figures, and there is no stoppage in the immense immigration. The country will now develop in other direc¬ tions than in railroad stock values. The un¬ wholesome excitement on the Stock Exchange is over for the present and the active, speculative American will try and make money in other directions. The country never had so much currency nor such quantities of unemployed capital. When stocks are shrinking, the con¬ servative investor will see the wisdom of putting his money in real property, in houses, land and unimproved city lots. The prosperity of the nation will continue and increase whether stocks go up or down. THE NEW BUILDING LAW. It being understood that the new building law, which has been signed by the Governor, was drawn up by Mr. William P. Esterbrook, Inspec¬ tor of Buildings, a representative of the Real Estate Recoru called upon that gentleman to explain some of its provisions. Inspector Ester¬ brook explained that while it was true that he had drawn up a complete building law, the act, as it stood, could hardly be called his work; while much of the phraseology was his, the bill was changed in many very important particulars, but, as finally passed, he regarded it as a very great improvement upon the enactment which it replaced One of the most vital changes from the old law was in requiring the real owner to give his name when the plans of buildings were filed with the department. To evade some of the provisions of the old law, certain builders would give in fictitious names. Nor was there any way of preventing this. As a consequence, nobody I could be held legally responsible for any violation