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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 30, no. 763: Articles]: October 28-November 4

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Oct. 28—Nov. 4, 1883 The Record and Guide. 43 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. Offic;e, 191 Broad^way. OCTOBER 28—NOVEMBER 4, 1882. JUST ONCE. As the canvassers of The Record and Guide are on their rounds our readers will pardon an allusion to the paper itself and xvhat we propose to do with it. Established in March, 1868, this periodical is now over fifteen years old. During that time it has been the only organ of the real estate and building interest of the metropolis. More than a dozen other papers have been started to occupy the same field since this journal was founded, but they have one by one died out. The Record and Guide has, however, flourished in bad times as well as good and has constantly added to its subscription list. Naturally all our patrons belong to the well-to-do classes. It embraces bank¬ ers, large real estate owners, all money lending institutions, such as banks, t ust and insurance companies, lenders of money on bond and mortgage, lawyers interested in tnist estates as well as all real estate dealers, and many of ihe operators on the Stock Exchange. Over forty New Yoi^k banks are on our books, which have taken this journal almost since the commencement. Then the building interest is very largely represented among our subscribers, for suppliei^s of mateiHal must, of course, know when neiv houses are to be erected and whom to look up for business. Having a clientele such as above described, the proprietor of The Record and Guide has felt emboldened to enlarge the scope of the paper, so as to make it of more value to his, patrons by extending its circulation. With this end in view, new departments, such as house decorating, have been added and able pens employed to dis¬ cuss architecture, the new things in house building and house deco¬ rating as well as the larger questions of tlie day. So far the pro¬ prietor has been greatly encouraged by the reception given to what is substantially a new paper. The very large additions to our sub¬ scription li.'it will increase the patronage of the advertisers of The Record and Guide. Hereafter this paper will be industriously circulated among the best business, building and art circles in the Union and the Dominion. TJiis week ivill be commenced a series of letters by Moncure D. Conway, ivhose contributions to Harper's Monthly and the Cincin¬ nati Commercial, have attracted such ivide spread attention, throughout the country. He tells our readers about old London and some of the notable localities of the capitol of the Old World. Other writers of eminence will discuss important topics in these col¬ umns ; in short the policy is to make the paper so solid and able tliat it ivill command a very large circulation among the best classes of the community. The Local Political Prospect. Well informed politicians say there is little doubt that Mr. Pranklin Edson will be chosen Mayor, and the important point now is—will he be the Mayor of New York or John Kelly's Mayor. There are a number of very important city positions to be filled during the coming two years, and it is very desirable that good heads of departments should be chosen. Had our Mayor the power to make appointments without reference to the Board of Aldermen, there could not be a question as to what kind of men would be selected. Mr. Edson is not the man, so his friends say, who would make imworthy appointments if the entire responsibility rested on his shoulders. But if there is to be a dicker, a trade, it is the man¬ ipulating politician, never over honest, who secures the prize. As we have pointed out over and over again, the thing to be done is to induce the next Legislature to pass an amendment to Ihe charter, giving the Mayor authority to make all appointments and removals of heads of departments. To reform the city charter in this respect is the one, inded the only thing to be done. It is significant that neither the Democrats, the Republicans, or the Citizens have called attention to this matter. We have looked in vain for any such de¬ mand in any of the newspapers, partizan or independent. So we take it for granted, that notwithstanding all that has been said about reform and good government, no one among the existing organizations or the newspaper editors really desires to see our local govermueat purified. John Kelly has not been fortunate in selecting Mayors who have done him any good. Mr. Wickham, his first creation, turned against him as soon as he was warm in his seat, and is, torday, one of his bitterest personal enemies. Smith Ely, Jr., another of his candidates, insisted upon d ling what he thought right after he was elected. The nomination of Wm. R. Grace was of serious damage to John Kelly: it cost him votes and prestige, yet Mayor Grace is to-day one of the most uncompromising anti-Kelly men in the city. who know the Democratic nominee say, that should he be elected, it is not John KeUy who will be Mayor, but Franklin Edson. By the way Comptroller Campbell was first brought into political life by Mr. Kelly, but it is not the great Tammany boss who will profit thereby should he and not Mr. Edson be elected Mayor. ----------•---------- The Elevated Railv/ays. The decision of the Court of Appeals in Story's case, commented upon in our last issue, is of the first importance. The Court of Appeals decides that property ownei's have such a right or privilege in the streets of this city upon which their propei ty abuts as to eutitle them to have such street kept open and continued as a pub¬ lic thoroughfare for the benefit of their property ; that such right or privilege—technically an easement in the bed of the street—is private propertv within the meaning of the constitution which cannot be taken from them without compensation, and that elevated railway structures are inconsistent with the use of a street as a public street. The result of the decision is that neither the state nor municipal authorities can give an elevated railway com¬ pany the right to use and occupy the streets of this city so as to deprive abutting property owners of their property in the street. Every property owner in front of whose premises elevated railways are or may be erected, is entitled to compensation for the property taken from him thereby ; and he is entitled to restrain the erection and continuance of the road by injunction, as the builders and maintainers of the structure are trespassers and wrongdoers in liaving taken private property without compensation. The prin¬ ciples involved in this decision are not identical with those involved in the damage suits against the "L"'roads. In the latter the injury grows out of the operation of the road—the noises, smells and escaping steam. It was claimed that the roads in opera¬ tion were nuisances, inflicting special and individual injury on every person near whose house they ran. The Story case does not rest on collective or personal annoyance from the operation of the roads, but upon the right of property which, it is held, abutting owners have in the bed of the street in front of their respective premises. This decision will have a most important influence upon elevated railways. As long as the law remains as thus declared every "L" company will have to pay every abutting owner for his property in the street in which it has its structure. The decision is of general application, and every "L" company to be built in this or other cities will have to reckon with abutting property owners befoire beginning the construction of its road. It may be freely admitted that the gamblers who are manipu¬ lating the New York " L" roads are deserving of no mercy. The strongest language would not be too severe to apply to them. But the elevated railways should not be condemned for the misdeeds of those who have, for purposes of their own, seized control of them. Stock-gambling managers and directors should be denounced, but the properties they mismanage should be protected from them and for the public. The only kind of railroad which is available in New York and I Brooklyn at the present time is the elevated railway, substan¬ tially as we now know it. In one sense, elevated railways have to make their public, and this they do by the devel¬ opment of residence centres far removed from the centres of trade. Now, as such roads contribute to the comfort of large numbers of inhabitants of cities, and lead to a great increase of the taxable wealth of cities, and thus tend to the general reduction of the burden of taxation in such cities, it would seem wise and proper that the construction of such roads should be fostered. They are a form of highway suited to a special kind of travel. And, further, as the^ are not only costly to construct, but costly to maintain, care should be taken that their taxation should not be oppressive. Capital is timid, and if the conditions pre¬ cedent to the construction of elevated railways are made too onerous they will not be built. The real estate owners have in many cases exhibited a most malignant feeling to such railways. In the city of Brooklyn, which is in urgent need of , elevated railways, every scheme for constructing and putting into operation even one such road has been defeated. The " Bruff" road, which was intended to connect Fulton Ferry and East New York, was scandalously rnismanaged at the start, and its funds deliber¬ ately stolen. Theroad was a necessity, however. It was designed to make available as residences much territory now not so availa¬ ble. Considerable portions of the roadway have been built, and but for the opposition of certain property owners along a part of the route, that road would long siuce have been in actual opera-