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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 33, no. 842: May 3, 1884

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May 3, 1884 The Record and Guide, 461 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. Published every Saturday. 191 Broadway, N. Y. TERMS: OIVE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J, T. LINDSEY. Buaineas Manager. MAY 3, 1884. Governor Cleveland has a chance to win the good will of all intel¬ ligent owners of realty in New York, by promptly signing the bill which has passed both branches of the Legislature by ovenohelming majorities, amending the Broadway Underground Road act so as to permit of the construction of an Arcade road under the present surface of our greatest of thoroughfares. Only nine votes were recorded against the passage of the bill in the Assembly and four in the Senate. Ex-Secretary of the Treasury Windom telegraphs from London that the money will be in readiness for the construction of the road the moment the Governor signs the bill. Should it ever be completed New York will become the most important city of any capital in the world. It will be the terminus of every railway in the country. It will reduce the time of transit from the Battery to the upper boundary of the Twenty-fourth Ward to loithin thirty minutes. The through and way roads under the present sur¬ face of Broadway mil have a capacity to transport 500,000,000 of people per annum.. It will solve the problems of setverage, water service, pneumatic tubes, telegraph and telephone wires, as well as gas, steam heating and the other subterranean necessities of our great city. Governor Hoffman vetoed a similar ■measure at the instance of the Tweed ring, bringing on himself deserved censure for all time. Governor Cleveland should see to it that this improve¬ ment, so important to the metropolis, be forever associated with the history of his administration. ----------•---------- The most important session of tlie New York Legislature ever held draws to a close. The reform measures passed under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt mark an era in the history of this city. Of couse much remains to be done, but the policy of the State haa beeu fixed and there is a reasonable assurance that the metropoliB will hereafter have the advantage of responsible local government. If matters go wrong we will know hereafter who to blame. The passage of the Broadway Arcade Underground bil! by both Houses is an event of the utmost moment to New York provided the Governor approves. It is also settled that we shall have additional street car facilities as well as an improved and workable building law. The present Legislature has done well. Congressman Randall's proposition to cut down the appropria¬ tions for our diplomatic and consular service, so as to force our rep¬ resentatives abroad to pay their own postage bills and live in garrets, should be responded to by a shout of indignation through¬ out the whole country. The United States ia potentially the rich¬ est and most powerful nation on earth, and the mere proposal by a committee of Uongress to conduct our government upon the mode! of a crossroads country store or a Chatham street pawnbroker's Bhop, is a gross insult to the American people. Mr, Randall engineered the Democratic House before upon economical prin¬ ciples, and it lost the Democratic party its majority in the House and the presidency at the last election. The time haa come when the Upited States should take its place among the nations of the earth, when it ehould strengthen its diplomatic service and extend its relations with distant countries, Franklin's "Poor Richard's Maxims" were well enough in the middle of the Eighteenth 'Century, but tbey will never do ai the ideals for one of the greatest Jiations on earth at the close of the Nineteenth Century, So we are to have two more commercial cables although those already in existence are not aaed to one-third of their capacity. This, of course, is a sheer waste of money. It is literally throwing millions of dollars into the ocean, never to be recovered. In truth, .all the cables in the world should be controlled by a commission representing the various commercial nations. Great Britain, Ger¬ many, France and the United States might combine to purchase existing cable lines and lay new ones wherever there is a commer¬ cial need for tbem. By thig means needless expenditures of money Tfiqjild be^obviated, and t^e commerce of the wof:id_would be taxed only for the international telegraphic service, while there would be an assurance tbat the cables would not be made usp of to advance private speculation at the expense of the commercial public. So long as the cables are owned by private companies there is always an apprehension that its owners may take advantage of the market news communicated by this agency. -———•—■----------------------------------------------------------------■ The building of new telegraph lines, is, of course, anotber waste of capital. Like the railroad the teleetraph or the telephone is a natural monopoly; it can never be otherwise. Bat millions and tuillions of money have been spent and wasted in constructing rival and competing railroads, and in every case the result has been either a consolidation of the lines or a pooling arrangement, which amounts to the samo thing. The government built the first tele¬ graphic line in this country, and proved its value. Had it kept the monopoly itself, literally hundreds of millions would have been saved to the business community. There would have been no unnecessary lines nor any gigantic stock watering. The poles, wires and offices would have represented actual and not fictitious outlays. Had Mr, C. C. Washburn been heeded in his speech in the House of Representatives on December 23, 1869, and the gov¬ ernment had then acquired possession of the telegraph, we would have had telegraphy, as he demonstrated then, for a cent a word, and fifteen cents for twenty words all over the United States in towns of over four hundred inhabitants. The corrupt relation between the Associated Press and the telegraph company at that time l3d to the suppression, so far as the public were concerned, of Mr. "Wasburn's proposition, while the misleading counter-state¬ ments of the monopolizing telegraph company were published far and wide. ■ ■ ■ -—-•--------------------------------------------- The attitude of the government to-day is stimulating the forma¬ tion of rival telegraph companies, by which new and unnecessary lines are being constructed. The business public must, of course, foot tne bills in the long run, while in the meantime the stock market is being demoralized in the break in the shares of the tele¬ graph company. All this is wrong, wrong, wrong. Our telegraph system should be nationalized and made an adjunct of the Postoffice Department, as in every country on earth save alone the United States. Every dollar spent on rival lines is a criminal waste of money for which the United States is itself responsible. The only representative in Congress who seems to have any com¬ prehension of this vital matter is Mr. Sumner, of California, whose speech on the subject on Msrch Sth last should be read by every¬ one who wishes to be posted respecting the merits of the telegraph controversy. Around the Bridge Approach. When an engineer confines himself to engineering he is apt to produce very good looking as well as very good woik. It is only when he tries for architecture that his work becomes offensive by reason of his lack of special training in this direction. Upon the whole, however, the building of engineers is apt to be much better, even as architecture, than the building of the common run of architects. These remarks are suggested by the fronts of the warehousea which are now in course of insertion in the arches of the viaduct on the New York side. These are designed, we suppose, by the engineering staff of the bridge ; at any rate they look like engineers' work. They are certainly not monumental in treatment and, although Ihey are appendages to a work which is monumental in scale and durability, and ought to be, though it is not, monumental iu design, these thingsought not to be monumentally designed. IC there were no question of income they would not be built at all. Inasmuch as their purpose is purely utilitarian they ought to appear as mere screens of brickwork inserted in the openings of tho great viaduct, without reference to its primary purpose as a viiduct, and without obscuring that purpose ; and so they do. The openings of the arches thus far filled in the New York approach are about 20 feet wide and not far from twice as high. The brick screens are set back so as to show nearly tbe whole depth of the granite pier and arch. They are in two stories, the lower consisting of three brick piers wilh granite binders and springers, between which are turned two segmental arches. A few feet above each of the arches is a panel filled with brick laid diagonally and relieving the monotony of the wall without any decoration incon¬ sistent with the prosaic purposes to whioh these buildings are to be devoted. The second story of the warehouse corresponds to the arch of the viaduct, the sills of the openings being nearly on a level with the impost moulding. These openings are three in number, the central being taller than those on the sideu, so that their arrangement con¬ forms to the arch. The wall is of common brick, the archea alone being composed of pressed bricks of a stronger color. Nothing could be simpler or more satisfactory in treatment, or interfere less with' the dignity the viaduct derives from its size aud mas^ aiveness. »■ Even better than these, simply because it ia more extensive and