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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 32, no. 800: July 14, 1883

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July 14, 1883 The Record and Guide. 497 Published Weekly by THE REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS; ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. ff. SWEET, 101 Rroadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. JULY 14, 1888. THE INDEX. Tlie index ivhich we present our readers vnlh to-day covers the record of Conveyances and Projected Buildings for New York and Kings counties, from January to June, inclusive, and is of the utmost value to all toho wish to keep thoroughly posted about real estate. At a glance the number of Conveyances in any one street for six months is shown, and by referring to P-oJected Build¬ ings it en« be seen at once what improvements have taken place within the same time, which information to those who seldom go up town to inspect their property is invaluable. We shall print a few copies of the index backed with muslin for the use of those who make constant use of their files. The additional cost iclll be about 43.50 each. Our public debt has been reduced over one tbousaod million dol¬ lars fiince 1865, The interest charge is now $51,436,709 annually. "When at its maximum, it was over $150,978,000; a decrease of over $99,500,000 annually. This enormous reductiou has taken place in 83 years, and is a creditable record so far aa it goes. But might we not have done better by devoting one half o£ the thous¬ and million to works of public improvement "i. "With that vast sum we might have nationalized the telegraph system, constructed a navy, manufactured some great guns to defend our harbors, now- defenseless, and improved our water ways and highways so as to vastly increase our transportation and trading facilities. Instead of using the money productively, we paid the debt before it was due—narrowed the basis of our national banking system, unduly enhanced the valueof government securities by constant purchases, thereby reducing the rate of interest unnaturally and feeding the fires of speculation in Wall street. The severity of the bard times, which followed 1873 might have been greatly mitigated if the gov¬ ernment had spent one or two hundred million dollars in making needed public improvements. There are $30,000,000 more liurplus no(v in the treasury than was available last year. And do what we will, no way of getting rid of it seems popular except paying our unmatured debt. But how much better equipped we would have been for the accumulation of future wealth if we had used our surplus means to increase what might be called our available business plant. The present debt is a trifle to this ^reat nation, but we are defenseless. Our flag is absent from the ocean and a WaU street speculator owns our telegraph, being able to make or un¬ make prices on every exchange in the country. All this is wrong and it would pay us to increase our debt so as to add to our facili¬ ties for transacting business. "Why not rehabilitate the Battery? The immigrant depot at Castle Garden makes that naturally lovely locality an eye-aore. The Battery is the first spot that greets the eye of the foreign tour¬ ist as he looks city-ward in coming up our noble bay. It ought to be so embellished as to present a pleasing, if not a striking appear¬ ance. Then its immediate vicinity is fast becoming noted for its splendid structures, The I'roduce Exchange and the "Wells and Field buildings dignify the neighborhood, and will necessitate in time a removal of this objectionable immigrant depot to some other quarter. The elevated roads, the ferries, the Coney Island traffic, all help to swell the throngs of people who pass through or by the Battery during the spring, summer, and autumn months of the year. By all means let this oldest of our city parks be restored to its pristine greenness and cleanliness. In casting about for new sources of revenue, a lesson might be learned by studying the workings of the high license laws in Ohio and Illinois, In the former state the so-called Scott law has proved very effective in replenishing the treasuries of the various municipalities. The "Scott" license law went into operation in March last, but already it has added nearly half a million dollars to the Cincinnati city treasury. The high license law in Illinois will be equally effective, when once it is put in force. It seems that Mayor Harrison has discovered some flaw in the law under which the liquor dealers have nine months grace before paying for their licenses. Honestly administered the Illinois law will put an extra million and a half of dollars into the Chicago city treasury, A counterpart of the Ohio and Illinois laws in this state would add to our city fund at least $4,000,000 per aumun. It is idle to say that such an enactment would not be enforced. When Thomas C, Acton was police commissioner and John A, Kennedy superintend¬ ent of police, Sunday liquor selling was substantially suppressed in the metropolis, A high license law would have a far better chance than Sunday prohibition, for those who paid the fees would dis¬ countenance unlicensed selling ao as to get the full benefit of their monopoly. It is not the intention of The Record and Guide to pass any opinion as to the desirability of high license laws; we merely wish to point out that were we to follow the example of Ohio and Illinois, the treasuries of the various cities, especially that of New York, would largely profit thereby. Educational Needs of the Metropolis, It is quite time that our leading citizens should agree upon a programme for supplying New York with those higher educa¬ tional facilities which would put her on a par with the other large cities of tbe Union, We want one great university and a first-class technological school. But these two institutions should absorb all the other so-called colleges. The univer"ity should be merged iu Columbia College, while the C'>Uege of New York should do far more thoroughly the work heretofore performed by tbe Cooper Union, Columbia should be the home of the humanities, while its departments of science, art, the law and medicine should bo superior to any found in or necr any of tbe large eastern cities. In technical schools we are woefully deficient. Nearly all trained and artistic workmen in our shops and factories are foreign¬ ers. It is the Frenchmen, German and Englishmen who do tbe finest metal and cabinet work, and who are our decorators and skilled artisans in the finer varieties of handiwork, Thii is not a creditable fact to us as a people. While we have been felicitating ourselves on our common school system, foreign governments have taken a step in advance and have been training their workpeople in technical and artistic seminaries, Peter Cooper was half a century ahead of his contemporaries in founding an institution to train young men and women, so that they could make a living by the work of their hands. The ordinary American wants to be a trader, a speculator, or a politiciao. If he farms it is under protest, and handiwork proper he passes over to tbe foreigner and the negro. But the ranks of trade have long been over¬ crowded, and with civil service reform, the poiitioian'd occupation will be gone. Farming has become less profitable as the available lands are being taken up, and the poor American of the future, to earn his own living must be taught some handicraft. Hence, the need of a great technical school in this city to serve as a model for similar institutions in other localities. The present New York City College where useless Greek aud Latin is taught, should pass out of existence, and its place be taken by au institution which will do all that is now accomplished by the Cooper Union and a great deal more besides. Boys and girls of the working classes must not only be taught to read, write and cipher, but to work with their bauds under the guidance of a cultivated taste. There must be no dis¬ tinction of sex, either in our great university or in our technical schools. Women will not care to become lawyers or engineers, but those that can afford it should have a chance of acquiring a liberal education without leaving the city limits, while every girl, as well as boy, who wishes to earn a living, should be trained iu the technique of some useful employment. It will not do for the metropolis to lag in the rear in the work of education. Interest as well as zeal for the public good should inspire-our citizens to make New York tbe great educational centre of the country. I A very short absence from this city shows a New Yorker how great a metropolis it is that he lives in, and impresses upon him more deeply that greatness than folio after folio of newspaper talk can do. The one thing in Western cities, which at first surprises and pleases a Gothamite, is the spacious grounds surrounding tbe elegant houses of the wealthy people of cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Cleveland, and even Chicago. The architecture, too, is more varied, and presents a pleasant contrast to the monotonous brown stone fronts which be has been accustomed to associate with the dwellings of the rich. Some day there will be enough Western men in New YorJi to begin building an avenue up with the style of houses now to be seen on Euclid avenue iu Cleveland, only larger and more typical of New York. It is doubtful whether this will be done below Harlem River but rather above it, where ground is now comparatively cheap. The elevated road makes such avenues as our Western to«ns have possible to the future residents of this city, but this will be only when the young New Yorker, who is now at school, takes his place among the build- era-up of new streets and boulevards. It is only he who will be able fully to forget that horse-cars are only fit for short travel from store to store, and that it is the elevated road alone which will