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The Record and guide: v. 35, no. 897: May 23, 1885

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May 23, 1885 The Record and Guide. 535 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday, 191 Broad-w^av, IST. 'ST. TERMS: OIVE TEAR, in adrancc, SIX DOLLARS. Communicatioiis should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXV. MAY 23, 1885. No. 897 Next Saturday being Decoration Day and a holiday The Record AND Guide will he issued one day earlier, and subscribers may expect io get it on Friday the 29lh inst. The markets all have a very quiet look. There is some firmness in grain and petroleum, but the price of securities at the Stock Exchange is kept up by manipulation wliich is not so difficult in view of the abundance and cheapness of money. The roads are handling a great deal of freight and would be earning dividends if rates were remunerative, but the insane cutting goes on and will continue to do so until the New York Central war on the West Shore comes to an end. Governor Hill has it in his power to say whether or not the work on a Broadway underground road shall be commenced during the coming year. Some time or other this great public improvement will be undertaken and completed to the manifest advantage of New Yoik City, and more particularly of the Broadway property- holders. But the Governor by exercising his veto power can delay for a year the beginning of this enterprize. The amendments to the Arcade charter confines tt>e roadbed to the space between the curbs, and hence does not interfere with Ihe vaults under the side¬ walks. We have all along bel ie ved that an underground steam road on Broadway, with accommodations for way, tlirough and freight trains, would be of incalculable value to every material interest of this city, but especially to real estate. Two governors of New York have vetoed Broadway Arcade bills, but if Governor Hill is con¬ sistent, he will approve this measure, as a similar one received his support and vote when be was a member of the Assembly. Had the British Parliament adopted the measure proposed by Richard Cobden and John Bright, when the former was alive, to purchase the land of Ireland from its large owners and resell it to the tenants and peasants, it would have saved that unhappy country from long years of needless misery, and there would have been no Irish question to confound and discredit English states¬ manship, nor would the dynamiter ever have been heard of. In¬ stead, after years of unnecessary agitation, it passes the Gladstone land laws, wliich in eflEect denied the right oC the owners to the soil they inherited or bought, thus making a precedent for an agrarian division of property in the rest of the United Kingdom. After the mischief is done Mr. Gladstone now proposes to adopt the Cobden-Bright programme. Purchase by the State would not violate the right of an owner to the land lie possessed. Uuder the Gladstone laws it is the courts which fixes the rents, and they are forced by law to consider the necessity of the tenants, not the value of the farm to its owners. No statesman in this country would dream of proposing any such confiscating measure. Here, at least, the rights of ownership are regarded as absolute. The Army Ordnance Board is to commence experiments with a war balloon, the invention of Russel Thayer, of Philadelphia. There is nothing like new ideas, even if they are a little impracticable. This same board was recently engaged in experiments with a dyna¬ mite gun. The gun proved to be measurably successful, but the dynamite was a failure. We suspect that similar results will follow upon the trial of an aerial battery. The balloon can be made to rise, and, providing the wind be favorable, float over the heads of the enemy. But a man, at his perpendicular, occupies a very small space on a thirty-acre field, and the chances of being hit from a fleet of fugitive balloons would be about equal to one in a million. Captive balloons, could they be sent over the heads of an enemy while a battle was raging, might disconcert him somewhat; but, in this case, getting to windward of your adversary would be as im¬ portant as in the days of old-fashioned naval fights. Imagine two armies marching and manceuvring for weeks to get to the windward of each other. Imagine, also, the exasperation and dismay of the successful force when, at the moment it found itself in a position to give battle, it saw the wind change and blow first over the heads of the enemy I Our Ordnance Board had better fall in love with old-fashioned hard krocks and manage, by hook or by crook, to get possession of some good guns. They will serve us a better turn than balloons, whether captive or " dirigible." It will be time enough to talk about war balloons when ballooning has been turned to something more practical than perilous entertainment. The Real Eslate Exchange. So far the directors of the Real Estate Exchange and Auction Room (Limited) have bent their energies towards the alterations'of the buildings they purchased and the securing of a monopoly of the auction business. Their efforts will now be directed to enlarging the scope of the enterprise, and to building up an E.xchange which will do for real estate what other Exchanges have done for stocks, grain, cotton and the like. The salesroom is to become a trading mart, and a meeting of the dealers belonging to the Exchange wiU be held during the coming week to make the necessary arrange¬ ments for dealing in all kinds of property connected with real estate. The brokers are now forced to call on each otiier at distant parts of the city ; but hereafter, if they agree to the plans to be laid before them, they will convene at a stated hour, and those who have orders to buy or sell will find their market on the floor of the Exchange. It is probable that, as in the Slock Exchange, the room will in that case be divided up, so that those who wish to trade in west side lots will have a designated locality, down-town property wOl have its own corner, and in time, as business develops, resi¬ dence property, vacant lots and out-of-town realty will be dealt in by brokers stationed in designated groups. In tliis matter Chicago is aliead of New York. For nearly a year past the real estate brokers of that city have met daily at noon. Their gatherings have increased the number of tlieir transactions and saved the time of the brokers. But better late than never. New York for the first time will now have a bona fide Real Estate Exchange. Nor is this all. Measures are under way for dealing in securities representing real estate. The great apartment houses are generally owned by companies, the stock of which is transferred Irom time to time, but so far there has been no medium outside of a limited circle for the buying and selling of shares. Embarrassed holders are thus placed at a disadvantage, and the properties are injured in reputation when a low price is accepted for the shares. Then land and building associations would naturally seek the Ex¬ change if facilities were offered for dealing in their shares. Fire insurance stock, contracts for buying or selling property, mort¬ gages, and even the land scrip of railroads would naturally find a market in the Exchange when its possibilities are fully developed. Perhaps the time may come when the buying and selling at auction of building material —such as bricks, lumber and the like;—may be regarded as germane to the scope of this institution. Bnt all this will take timt*. " Make haste slowly " is a good motto. The officers of the Exchange have wisely secured all the old busi¬ ness which naturally belonged to it, and are willing to open new fields for business enterprise if the members of the Exchange so desire. If the wider field is fully occupied every broker doing busi¬ ness in New York and vicinity wiU be necessitated to become an annual member of the Exchange. Nor is it too much to expect that real eslate brokers at a distance may find it to their advantage to have business affiliations with the great MetropoUtan Real Estate Exchange. --------•-------- Acoustics of Public Halls. When architects are requested to draw plans for public halls they should be required to give proof that they understand some¬ thing of the science of acoustics. In a number of instances recently they have brought into existence legislative chambers, churches and bu.siness exchanges utterly unsuited for the purpose of speak¬ ing or hearing. This is true of the Reformed Jewish Synagogue on Fifth avenue, the San Francisco Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the Assembly and Senate chambers at Albany, the Cotton Exchange and the Real Estate Exchange. In every case we believe that the architect has assured the different com¬ mittees that the acoustic properties of the rooms would be all right, but after they were constructed it was found that alterations must be made to fit them for the uses for which they were originally designed. There is usually very little difficulty with theatres and opera houses. The cone form of the interior, the galleries, tiers and pillars break the volume of sound, while the stage iiself actsagrtat sounding-board, throwing the voices forward into the auditorium. The problem there is simplified, because the speaking is from one part of the house only. 1 he acoustic properties of many churches are defective, as they are generally modeled after temples which were originally designed for sacrifice and not for speaking. The Roman Catholic Cathedrals were intended when first built in the middle ages for music and the mass, not for oratory. Hence the artificial sounding-board which they all requiie. And after all how few of them are satisfactory to those who go to hear the sermon? The legislative halls are often defective acoustically, because the speakers occupy different parts of the hall, a fact not taken into I consideration by the architects. It has been noticed that in