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The Record and guide: v. 35, no. 899: June 6, 1885

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June 6, 1885 The Record and Guide. 64I THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every 8atui-day, 191 Broadwav, IST. "ST. TERMS: ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. CommimicatioDs should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXV. JUNE 6, 1885. No. 899 There is no improvement in the business outlook. The rate cut¬ ting on the railroads continues, and tlie reports show constantly diminishing receipts on all the lines. Jay Gould and liis following have succeeded in slightly advancing prices which is not diflScult to do with money so great a drug in the market and so little stock is in the street; but there is no backbone to the market. General trade is quiet and real estate dull, but strong. The reduction in the price of money ia Europe shows that business is stagnant everywhere. Plans are in preparation for a new depot for the New York Cen¬ tral Railroad at Mott Haven, in the neighborhood of One Hundred and Thirty-eighth street. This is for the accommodation of the large number of travelers wlio reside above Forty-second street, and who naturally object to riding so far down as the Grand Central depot. There has been no oflScial announcement of this improve¬ ment, but it may in time involve the turning of the Forty-second street terminus into a local depot. The line between the Harlem and Forty-second street may yet be a branch of the Broadway Arcade Road, and a mere feeder to the raUway system beyond the Harlem. There has been some talk of an anangemeut between the Man¬ hattan Company and the New York Central, by which the former would collect passengers and baggage at all its stations and convey them to the Central's depot to be located on the other side of the Harlem. The high valuation of Manhattan stock is partly due to rumors of an alliance with the Central Road, this end being in view. But this report may be set afloat merely to artificially enhance the value of Manhattan stock. It would uudoubtedly advantage trav¬ elers from elsewhere as well as our own citizens if the elevated sys¬ tems could be used to distribute as well as collect passengers using the steam roads in and out of the city. The full text of the Mechanics' Lieu Law, just signed by Governor Hill, will be found elsewhere. It is a verbose document and its text is confusing, except to technically trained lawyers. The new enactment will be a nuisance to buildersand wUl subserve no purpose, except to give more business to lawyers. This seems to have been the design tn the passage of the law. The Real Estate Exchange protested against the passage of any new law affecting mechanics' liens, not because the old law was perfect, but for the reason that all experience went to show that the changes made by legislators were never in the interest of the buUding trade. It is to be hoped that some day the Exchange wiU be in a position to make its wishes felt at Albany on matters affecting buUding interests. Mr. O. B. Potter is desirous that Governor Hill shotdd veto the bill prohibiting the erection of tall apartment hoases in New York. The enactment that passed the Legislature, it should be remem¬ bered, does not limit the height of office buildings. Mr. Potter's remarks are worth considering. The prohibition of high buildings in Europs was before the invention of the elevator. That " vertical raUway " has made tall buUdings not only possible but desirable. They can be made safer and more wholesome than the old-fashioned dweUings. The land of this island is limited, and the growth of the population wi?l be checked if high structures are not jjermitted. StUl there is a good deal to be said in favor of the proposed law. Unless the streets are widened adjoining property is injured by these taU buildings and the lower floors are necessarily deprived of light and au\ These high structures should be permitted when they occupy the entire block, or when they front upon a public square. Architecturally these splendid buildings have advantaged the metropolis very greatly. Cortain interested persons have been endeavoring to use the name of the Real Estate Exchange so as todescredit the bill now before Governor Hill, amending the charter of the company which has a right to build a steam railroad under Broadway. The board of directors, however, at its meeting last Tuesday passed au unan¬ imous resolution requesting tbj Legislative committee not to com¬ mit itself or the Exchange for or agaiust any of the biUs now before the Governor, The Legislative committee at its meeting on Wednesday did as they were requested, and the Exchange stands en¬ tirely uncommitted on the Arcade scheme. The directors felt that they had no moral right to pledge the five hundred shareholders of the Exchange for or against any alleged public improvement with¬ out taking a vote of all the members. There are certain matters which the directors and the Legislative committee can act upon without having their motives questioned. The business of the Exchange is of the first importance, and it is the duty of its officers to in every way develop its trade possibilities. They can also take action to induce legislatures to amend the land laws and simplyfy enactments affecting real estate and building operations. But the officers clearly have no right to commit the Exchange for or against works of public improvement, respecting which there is an honest difference of opinion. If any action is taken it should be at a general meeting of the shareholders. It is unfortunately the tendency of all corporations and large real estate owners to oppose all public improvements, no matter how necessary or useful, and if the Exchange was to go upon record upon such matters it would probably soon become discredited as a wise organ of the real estate interest. The Garden City Cathedral. The late A. T. Stewart would not have been amused if he had known what was to become of his pet real estate investment. Nothing in the nature of a pecvmiary sacrifice was amusing to him. He would, however, have been greatly puzzled if he had been per¬ mitted to revisit Garden City on Wednesday and see what his heirs and executors had made of it. Mr. Stewart was by no means devoid of charitable impulses. But lus owu idea of his own mon¬ ument was the Workingwomen's Home in Park avenue. His suc¬ cessors judged that it would be a shame to waste upon charity what might be made a paying investment, while there would be an appropriate object for charity in au investment that had failed to pay. So the Workingwomen's Home became a hotel, and the unprofitable suburb was converted into an asylum for bishops and other distressed persons of that class. Although this transposition would have faUed to amuse Mr. Stewart, it cannot faU to amuse many of his survivors. There has certainly been nothing niggardly about the manner in which the scheme to convert Garden City into a cathedral city has been carried out. The church was begun, it is understood, merely aa a memorial chapel to Mr. Stewart, and was afterwards expanded into the project of a cathedral for the diocese of Long Island, its dimensions remaining virtually what they were before. The origina plan would have provided a building appropriate enough in size as a memorial chapel, and ample, even extravagantly spacious as a parish church for the Episcopalians of Garden City; but it is absurd and inflated to describe as a " cathedral" a church 170 feet in extreme length, and gives a very wrong idea of a buUding which is simply a large parish church of extremely ornate architecture with a jjrivate vault of great gorgeousness attached to it. Nevertheless, money has beeu very freely spent upon the cathe¬ dral. The question whether, in an architectural sense, it has been well spent is another question. It is probably the richest church of its dimensions in this country. We know of no other in which there is so profuse an employment of carved stone on the outside. The windows are richly traceried, the gables are all crocketed, the pinnacles of the aisles and of the clere-story are aU furnished with gargoyles, the mouldings are generally elaborate, the tower and spire are especially rich. The general composition of the church is not ineffective. Spring¬ ing as it does from a level and nearly treeless plain, it makes an agreeable silhouette from almost any point of view. The rear, how¬ ever, or either flank makes a better impression than the main front, whicli is the east front, instead of the west front that it should be according to the usage of cathedrals. The transposi¬ tion has no apparent motive. The principal front is weakened by the tower. This with all its elaboration is a singularly feeble piece of design, being nowhere emphatically belted and visibly tied together by strong horizontal hnes. The gabling of each front of the tower conduces to this aspect of weakness, which is carried stiU further by the treat¬ ment of the spire, in which the " web " between the ribs is studded with pinnacles which are obviously of no use in such a situation. The apse is much better, although here the architect has thrown away the opportunity of distinguishing his work from the conven¬ tional Gothic church without straining after the difference. The point in which it does, in fact, differ from otiier churches is that it was buUt mainly as a Stewart mausoleum. The mausoleum was placed appropriately enough under the chancel. If it had been marked from the outside by appropriate features, the marking would have given this end of the church a character of its own. Nothing of the sort has been attempted, the crypt being lighted by mere " basement windows," and a legitimate source of effect and distinction has been wasted.