crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

The Record and guide: v. 35, no. 888: March 21, 1885

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031138_001_00000249

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
March 21, 1885 The Record and Guide. 287 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 Broadway, IST. '^. TERMS: ONE TEAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXV. MARCH 21, 1885. No. 888 The stock market has looked blue during the past week, but the real estate market, at least so far as the salesrooms are concerned, was very lively. Investors are disposed to patronize the auctioneers rather than private dealers, which will be a good thing for the new Eeal Estate Exchange if this preference continues to grow. Not¬ withstanding the depressed feeling in the security market the busi¬ ness outlook shows signs of improvement. A bear market, for a time at least, is in order during the spring season. The United States Senate and Secretary Bayard are dispo.sed to be belligerent. The few wretched old hulks called war vessels belonging to the American Navy have been ordered to the coast of Central America to p'-otect American citizens and overawe the confederated states who talk of invading Nicaragua. We can probably aflford to put on a bold front towards these so-called republics, but we would not dare to use the same tone toward Chili. That power has at least two war vessels either of which would be more than a match for fhe whole navy of the United States. The defenceless condition of our coast and the entire absence of a navy will force President Cleveland's Cabinet tp speak with bated breath to any power wh ch has a fleet. Heretofore American citizens in Central and South America have been forced to deny their country and claim to be subjects of Queen Victoria to be protected against the native governments, all because we have no navy to maintain the honor of the country abroad. Mayor Grace no doubt means well, but if the poUcy he is pursuing had obtained in the past the city would never have had any large and wisely-planned improvements. He would have opposed the laying out of the Central Park, and vetoed if he could the Riverside Drive, the Boulevards and the other improvements which have so benefited and beautified the metropolis. He opposes tlie parks in the annexed district, objects to a cable road, and seems to think his only interest is that of the selfish and unenterprising taxpayer. It is not wise to hamper in every way new and imi^roved systems of intermural tran¬ sit. We have not taken much stock in the people who are managing the proposed cable road system. They have shown little or no sense in dealing with the public and the various official authorities, but cable roads have proven to be great public improvements in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and the other cities where they have been fully tested. If introduced in New York they would, we are convinced, prove a great advance upon our horse car systems. The cable companies propose to transfer passangers to any part of New York for five cents, and by a swifter means of conveyance than the horse cars. This would be a vast benefit to our citizens. Mayor Grace ought not to imitate the cheap demagoguery of our daily press in shouting "job" when any proposition is made to benefit the public by an improvement. Wheu public work is done somebody makes money ot it as a matter of course, but a wise municipal administration would favor all improvements and do what it could to avoid wasteful expenditure. Mayor Grace may gain some cheap applause with the present generation of taxpayers, but in the future annals of the city he will uot be regarded as one of its benefactors if he continues to bend his energies to putting a stop to everything in the way of an improvement. President Cleveland is making haste slowly. He realizes that a clamor would be raised not only by the Republicans, but by the civil service backers of Republican antecedents were he to set the guillotine to work at first in any wholesale way. He is determined, up to the present, to stand by his civil service reform professions, but he will probably be forced to succumb in the end as was President Grant when he first assumed office. The latter honestly tried to rule without the aid of the politicians, but ended by submitting to all their behests. But General Grant had the backing of an immense popular vote when first chosen, and was a strong and obstinate man. President Cleveland has no such prestige in the way of personal popularity, nor is it likely that he wiU have any more staying qualities ; so we expect to see his surrender to the party chiefs before his alministrition is maiy weeks older. Still it njuet be confe.i^al that he has shown sense and iirmness so Xar. The Democrats are not unreasonable in dem.anding a fair share of the offices now monopolized by the Republicans. They have been out of power for twenty-four years, and no sensible Repub¬ hcau would object to the heads of departments being filled by trustworthy Democrats. It will only be fair, too, that vacancies, when they occur, not subject to civil service rules, should be filled by members of the party which carried the last election. There is no justice in a civil service, the working of which would be to give a monopoly of all the offices to a defeated party. This publication has always held that business principles must be applied to the public service, and that competent officers must not be displaced merely because the political complexion of administration has changed. Indeed, we cannot understand why Postmaster Pearson should not give place to a Democrat; but whoever is appointed should be pledged not to remove efficient subordinates. The way the " mugwump " organs are commenting upon the few appointments that have been made looks as though they are getting ready to break with the new administration. The elements of discontent with President Cleveland's Cabinet are many and obvious. The Senate is oppo.sed to him politically, and in the House the Democratic majority is small. Then there are only four Northern Senators in the Democratic ranks, while the ablest and most active supporters of the administration are in the Southern wing of the Democratic party. It foUows that the recom¬ mendations for office by Senators and Representatives wOl be Largely Southern, and this will quickly lead to discontent in tlie North. The" mugwumps" are honest and well meaning, but in their ranks is a large assortment of chronic cranks and malcontents who will pass over to the opposition on the very first opportunity. Then President Cleveland made a capital political blunder before he was in office in antagonizing the bi-metallic interest, which was over¬ whelmingly strong in his own party and in the South and We st. But independent men of all parties should stand by the new admin¬ istration until its ability in the conduct of public affairs is fully tested. --------•-------- The Proposed New Parks. Just at present there is a good deal of feeling manifested between the frieuds and opponents of the proposed new system of parks in the annexed district. There would probably have been no controversy were it not for the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment prohibiting an increase of the city debt beyond 10 per cent of the valuation of the real estate of the municipality. Had that amendment to the constitution not been endorsed, the necessary lands would have been condemned and long date bonds issued for the payment of the same. But under the conditions of the acts author¬ izing the new parks a very summary method is provided for secur¬ ing payment to tbe owners whose lands are taken. Tax payers may be called upon to pay a very large sum of money, how much is not yet known, within a very short period of time. It is this possibility which is made the e-xcuse for trying to reverse the legisla¬ tion of last year authorizing the establishment of these parks. Of course the interests represented on both sides of this contro¬ versy are somewhat mixed. The tax payers and officials who object care very little for the benefits the proposed parks may con¬ fer upon people who will reside within the limits of New York ten or twenty years hence. All they know or care for is that heavy expenses wOl be incurrred, which tliey will be called upon to pay, and for which they can see no immediate equivalent so far as they are concerned. Then, on the other side, there are powerful selfish in¬ terests brought into play. The owners of poor lands are very anxious to sell them to the city at an exorbitant price. Contractors also know that in the construction of parkways and the making of park improve¬ ments there is a great deal of work to be done, and they, of course, are on the lookout for lucrative jobs. Then property-holders near the new parks know that tbe latter would enhance the value of their property. It is the fact that there are personal interests at work on behalf of the parks, which discredits the proposed pur¬ chase in the eyes of the more conservative taxpayers of this city. But after all those who have the larger interests and the future splendor of the metropolis at heart favor these parks, even the one at Pelham Bay. They have been planned in a large, wise and liberal way, and if carried out will add greatly to the attractioni of the American metropolis. Should they be constructed, the New Yorkers of the next century will recall with gratitude and admira¬ tion the services of those who planned these noble preserves. De Witt ('lintou, it will be remembered, in his day, proposed a great parkway 1,000 feet wide, midway between the Hudson aud North Rivers, and running from Twenty-third street to the Harlem River. It was put aside as impracticable, yet what a splendid improvement it would have been if sanctioned by the then city authorities. From an artistic aud recreative pointof vie wit would have been as fine a monument to Clinton's fame as is the Erie Canal to the correctness of his business instinct. And so of these projected parks. If the sinking fund could be treated in a sensible way there would