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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 33, no. 839: April 12, 1884

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April 18, 1884 The Record and Guide. 369 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. Published every Saturday. 191 Broadway, N. Y. TERMS: ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway* J, T. UNDSEY, Business Manager. APRIL 13, 1884, The newspapers shout "job" so often when there is no occasion for it that their cries of alarm are not heeded when a case of real job¬ bery comes along. Five hundred thousand dollars is too much for paving Fifth avenue properly, for experts say $350,000 is more than euough. The Fifth avenue roadway is m a very bad condi¬ tion, and ought to be repaved from Washington square to tbe upper end of the Central Park. Tbe way things are going ou some time or other Broadway must ba repaved. The various companies that have torn up the street have not relaid the pavement in the best manner. The greatest sinner in thia respect has been the Western Union Company. The stones have been taken up to lay the pneu¬ matic tubes, and the subsequent repaving has been slovenly in the extreme. All this will be an excuse for a costly job for repaving the Broadway pavement some time. The determination of the cable company people to build new lines for city travel is not a matter for real estate owners to cry over. We need more surface cars and, if possible, a swifter means of conveyance than liorse-power. Anything that economizes time in traveling without adding to the expense is a public benefit. The opposition to the new street roads in the preas is, of course, in the interest of the existing horae-car monopolies. Then the promises of the cable company to charge only one fare of five cents to any part of the city, even though two or more lines of travel are used, is very attractive and will make the enterprise popular in spite of the newspapers. We cannot, however, but think that ibe city ought to have some return for the use of its streets. The cable company should pay a percentage on its gross receipts for the great privi¬ lege. Had this been done in the past by omnibus lines, horse-cars, gas and ferry companies and the elevated roads, we would have yearly a handsome addition to the receipts of the city treas¬ ury. Then a monopoly of the streets should not be given for steam power alone. Some motor other than steam may be found desirable in the future. The electric railway may be so perfected as to be used on our surface roads with safety and economy. The great cotton crop of 1883-83 reduced the price so low that growers became despondent and operators predicted that in a few years we might expect to see standard cotton selling at eight cents. But the pendulum swung in 'quite a different direction. Cotton is BOW worth twelve centa instead of eight and may go higher, and that in face of the cheapening of all standard products due to the endeavor of the commercial nationa to make gold alone do the work of gold and silver combined as the unit of value. Now the cry ia that we must stop growing wheat in this country, because the Hindoo is raising it, and can furnish a better quality at a cheaper price than we can. While it ia true that the great markets of the world are glutted with grain, that is no reason why w« should stop growing wheat in the future. Thecotton crop of India was a short one last year, because of the very heavy crop of the previoua year in the United StatPS, Wheat-growing nations this year will naturally refrain from planting so large an area, and it ia just possible that our fine growing crop of winter wh«at may command excellent prices next fall and winter. The wise farmer will continue to grow the product whicli the unwise farmer refrains from planting. If Mr. Jaj Gould even did say that America would be forced in future to conaume its own wheat ho talked nonsense. We are nearer Europe than is India, and can produce and transport wheat in the long run as cheaply as any nation on earth. ----------•---------- The number of standard silver dollars coined up to April 1, 1884, waa $168,425,639, about $3 per head for every man, woman and child in the United States, but t'rance has $14,40 per capita, the Netherlands $13.30 and Belgium $9.46 per capita. That this excess of silver does not drive out gold i) shown by the additional fact that France has a gold circulation ot $33,35 per head, Belgium <17.85 per head and Holland $8,00 per head, in other words France baa a gold circtilation of $13.00 per head greater than our own people, and Belgium $7.60 per head. Then the Bank of France, while it has $200,159,000'in silver five-franc pieces in ita vaults, it also has $197,- 461,000 in gold, which is a greater amount of the yellow metal than is in the vaults of the Banks of England and Germany combined. Only 32,397,467 eilver dollars are owned by our treasury, the rest are in circulation or in the form of certificates. The Bank of France haa over seven times the amount of ailver held by our treasury, yet gold is steadily leaving our shores to go to France. It ieems likely, however, that much of the silver now in the treasury will be needed in the channels of retail trade, as the one and two- dollar greenbacks are wearing out, The number of one-dollar bills originally printed was $58,168,C00, and of two-dollar bills $49,540,- 000. From this it will be seen that were these bills withdrawn there would be an immediate demand not only for all the silver dollars in the treasury but for the eagles and half eagles in gold. If France, with 20,000,000 less population than the United States, can make use of 540,000,000 five-franc silver pieces, it is very certain that the United states can keep on coining 2,000,000 silver dollars per month for the next quarter of a century without doing any harm. Across the North River. There are few places in tbe world more thoroughly dismal by nature than the flata of Jersey City and Hoboken, aa on the other hand there are not many places pleasanter by nature than the heights behind them. But the heights and the lowlands have equally been neglected in the past by art, and it has been a stand¬ ing wonder to the occasional visitor to these suburbs how those of the inhabitants who resisted the temptation to suicide have kept from taking to drink. It is gratifying to observe that the Eesthetic impulse has actually propagated itself across the river, People who have not had occa¬ sion to cross the ferry to Hoboken within five or sis years will, of course, scout such a statement as wild, but it is neverthe¬ less true that the surroundings of the ferry are interesting; nay, they are cheerful. The ferry houae itself was done early in the frenzy of Queen Anne, and shows memen¬ toes of the period in pot-bellied balusters and rising suns and other of those fantastical details which were then imagined to constitute a style, and of which the revivalists are now probably no more enamored than anybody else. But along with these affec¬ tations there is some clever and appropriate detail, the work ia soberly painted, and upon the whole is agreeable. Just outside of the ferry houae is a shingled tavern, which is still better, being simple and broad in treatment, and having the quaintness which belongs to a building of thia kind, and waa so conspicuously lacking to the building of the Jersey shores ten years ago. The quaintness of the building is enhanced to the dabbler in local history by the sign of "Duke's Honse," This is probably only a coincidence of names, aud imports no moi'e than that one Duke is the tavern keeper. Moreover, the "Duke's Farm," which makes ao conspicu¬ ous a figurein the colonial annals of "Paulua Hook" and "Harsimus," was, we believe, a mile or more helow the site of the house which aeems to commemorate it. But, at all events, the coincidence, if it ba no more, is a lucky coincidence. There are some brick buildings just beyond the wooden tavern which aeem to be parts of the aame "improvement," and are equally meritorious in their way, being of rather pale brick, relieved by brick of a more positive red in quoins, copings and jambs, all very modest, straightforward and inoffensive in the general Tiew. To say that a building in Hoboken is inoffensive is to give it high praise. 'I'he old, gaunt and depressing rows of houses are still there, but they are in a manner hidden by a foreground of better work. The German steamship company has however built a pre¬ tentious and overloaded edifice, apparently sheathed with tin, on the water front which ia conspicuoua for vulgarity even in Hoboken. Jersey City ia by nature more depressing than Hoboken, as being further from the heights, and topographically even more depressed, while by art it haa been made to look very much as Hoboken looked before the ersctiou ofthe buildings we have been talking about. The only oasis near the water front is a little two-atory house on an irregular corner which looks as if it might be a hundred years old, and consists of a rough stone wall with brick quoina, There is noth¬ ing to distinguish it except an absence of vulgarity, and this is really a great distinction among its neighbors. Further back, in the streets devoted to dwellings, the effect is as discouraging in its way as that of the business quarter. An immense stable, belonging to the Adams Express Company, is noticeable, not for its architecture, which conaists of a great round pediment in the middle and a gable towards each end, and is aa commonplace as possible in treatment, but for ita great size and its material, which is brick from Haver¬ straw, of a very good though light color, with variation enough of tint and roughness enough of surface to make a very pretty wall. The effect of it, as a piece of brickwork, is very good indeed, and is not injured by the rough courses of sandstone which belt it at intervals, although the rocky keystones of the brick arches look foolish and unnecessary. It is to he feared, from the character of