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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 33, no. 835: March 15, 1884

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Uaroh 15, 1^4 The Record and Guide 259 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. Published every Saturday. )1 Broadway, N. Y. TERMS: ONE TEAR, io advance, !^1X DOLLARS. CoEomunicattoiiB ahould be addreased to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T, LINDSEY. Business Manager. MARCH 15. 1884. The propoaed building law doea not seem to be mailing much headway at Albany. Some difficulty appears to have arisen in regard to the Board of Arbitration and the power to be vested in the hands of the Superintendent of Buildings. Thai ofScial at present has large discretionary powers, and it would be well should the law be made more specific bo as to strip the oflice of tlie almoBt unlimited authority which it now confers upon the holder. It is stated in more than one quarter that Inapector Esterbrook will not long be retained in his present capacity. No doubt)|many builders in thia city would hail with satisfaction his removal, but are they sure that he may not be succeeded by a politician who will work the office for all it is worth ? It is, of cour9e, imperative that the law should be so amended as to define the duties of the Superin¬ tendent in certain cases, but should it not be so amended, who is to guarantee the builders of this city from being harrassed ten times aa much as they complain of being at present ? The board of experts propoaed is the only safeguard agaiast any abuse of power, wittingly or otherwise, by the present or future superin¬ tendent. This body would be composed of six experts, to whom architects, builders and othera would be able to appeal against the decisions of tlie inspector should they feel aggrieved thereat. To provide against frivolous appeals a deposit of twenty-five dollars would be required, to be forfeited should the decision be against the appellant. Such a provision should undoubtedly be embodied in the new measure, as it would ensure the owners of property in this city from being unnecessarily harrassed by the Inapector of Buildings, be he erratic and competent or incapable and corrupt. To show the glorious uncertainty of our laws, a case or rather two cases have occurred which ought to make our judiciary the laughing stock of the country. The "VVeBiern Union Telegraph Company is testing ita rights of way in several States of the Union, among others Massachuaetta and Illinois. Of course, in each inatance the case was tried in a United States court. In these two States a decision has been rendered during the past week. The facts io each case were preciselyaiike, but in one court the decision was in favor of the telegraph company and in the other against it. If the press would only emphasize tbe frequent folly of our courts, their waste of time and money, and the needless expense of the legal machiaery of this country, they would be doing a public service. The appalling disclosures of the results of receiverships in the cases of corporations attract no attention from the press. The point has never been made that England cau hang its murder¬ ers within a couple of months after the commission of a crime, but even so obvious a murderer as Guiteau was allowed to live a year after his deliberate murder of the chief magistrate of the country in open day and in the presence of scores of witnesses. The legal fetich ia atill worahipped by the American press and public. will be remembered that a scheme similar to this was suggested in The Record and Guide a short time since. At any rate, tbe ele¬ vator at the corner of One Hundred and Sixteenth atreet and Eighth avenue is a fixed fact. ---------•--------- Are We Drifting into War? The Lasker business has been a huge blunder from the start. The resolutiona should never have been passed by our Congress. It was taking sides in a party contest within a nation with which we were on friendly terma. Then the State Department is to blame. It published Minister Sargent's private dispatches about Germany's action on the pork question. These were free and easy comments upon the German government, which is permissible in all ministers, but wbich are held sacred by the home government. Of course, the publication caused Mr. S&,rgent to be put on an unfriendly footing with Bismarck, and now thia same Secretary Frelinghuysen adds insult to injury by insinuating in hia dispatch that Bismarck was impertinent and that he did not represent the German nation. Bismarck's return of the resolutions was cour¬ teous in terms, and no fault could be found with the wording of his dispatch. Representative Hiscock's resolution in the House was also insulting to Prince Bismarck. All this crimination and recrimination for nothing would not amount to much if the United States were in a position to resent insult or was a naval power of the meanest pretensions. But while we have all the conceit of a really powerful nation in war, we are, as a matter of fact, pitiably and contemptibly weak as a naval power. We are utterly unprotected. If anybody wishes to know how powerless we are, let them read the article on the subject in the March numher of the North American Review. Bismarck could capture our wholecoast, including Washington and New York, within aix weeks after a dec¬ laration of war. We have neither navy nor guns, nor could we get any defences for our harbors in less than three years. As the writer in the North American points out, our torpedo system, which is our vague panacea for foreign aggression, is utterly useless with¬ out guns to protect torpedo works from the assaults of the enemy. We are actually drifting into a war in which we will be utterly defenceless. A treaty of peace is about to be concluded between Germany and Russia. There is alao existing treaties between Ger¬ many, Austria, Italy and Spain. Fiance will be powerless to help us, and England will only be too glad to see the great Republic crippled and humiliated. Of course, Germany's only object would be plunder, and she ceuld probably exact as heavy an indemnity from the United State* as ahe did from France. If we escape a war, it will not be because of any exercise of wisdom on the part of the State Department, Ck>ngres9, or the American press. John H. Sherwood, John D. Crimmins, Edward King, Daniel R. KendaU and Simon Sterne have organized a company to be called the "North Central Park Improvement Company," which, with a capital of |100,000, intends to erect certain buildings on Eighth avenue, above tbe park, which will form a new departure in elevated road travelling in this city. These gentlemen intend to erect one or more bouaes at one of the corners extending from One Hundred and Fifteenth to One Hundred and Eighteenth streets. The peculiarity of these houses is that they will contain elevators which can be used by persons who wish to ride up or down upon the Metropolitan Road. The One Hundred and Sixteenth stree"; station is now sixty feet from the street below, and, of course, is a severe strain upon women, and sick and aged persons. Tbe elevator, however, will make it the most popular station of any on the other sections of tlie west or east aide roada. There are rumors that, aa soon as the trouble between the Manhattan and Metropol¬ itan is arranged, that the Manhattan Company will acquire title to the houses adjoining, all stations, both on the east and west Bide, with a view to improving them and putting in elevators for The Policy to Pursue. Every intelligent business man will agree that the first duty of American citizens is to amend the constitution;so as to nullify the recent dangerous decision of the Supreme Court giving Congress power to cie&te fiat money, or perhaps, to speak more accurately, to issue any amount of paper as a legal tender without demanding its convertibility into gold or silver coin. But so far the comments of the eastern press have been singularly unwise. They bave discredited the decision, and pointed out the tremendous evil it will some day bring upon the country. But with incredible folly these same journals have denounced the use of silver as well as inconvertible paper, placing them indeed to¬ gether as evils of equal magnitude. Now this will not do. The United States is a bi-metallic nation. If ita people had to choose between silver and gold they would accept the formi?r, which is the money of all mankind and required by them daily, whereas gold is the money of the banking and commercial classes alone and rarely finds its way into the hands of the people. Nine hundred millions of the thirteen hundred millions who live on this planet use silver exclusively, and know nothing of gold. The three hundred millions who dwell in the coun.tries having the gold unit also use silver largely in their retail trade. Hence, it is the supremest folly to suppose that the indispensable white metal must give way to the yellow metal so^rarely used by the children of men. The policy aa well as the interest of the United Statea ia to be bi-metallic. The extension of our trade is in the direction of Central and South America and Asia, which are inhabited by excluaively silver using people, while it ia also our interest to maintain our present trade with thegold using countries. Despite the united protests of the mono-metallic East, the United States has determined to uphold the equal use of the two metals. We called two conferences which met at Paris to get other nations to agree to international bi-met- allism, and there is not any—the slightest—evidence that Congress will pay any heed to the demands of the eastern press discrediting sdver. The wild statements made in our papers, unsupported by any facta, would make the person uttering them in the House or Senate a laughing stock. If the eastern press is in earnest in discrediting the Supreme I the use of passengers, aa well as the occupants of the houses. It I Court's decision and getting it reversed it must make common