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The Record and guide: v. 36, no. 921: November 7, 1885

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- November 7, 1885 The Record and Guide. 1215 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 Broadw^av, IST. "^T. Onr Telephone Call Is.....JOHN 370. TERMS: GIVE TEAR, in adTance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXVI. NOVEMBER 7, 1885. No. 921 The business improvement continues, but it ia more manifest in the Northwest than in any other part of the country. The Granger roads were never so prosperous and they naturally lead the bull speculation in stocks. Nearer home the most prosperous interest just now seems to be New York and Brooklyn real estate. Never have so many new buildings been erected as at present, and the number of transfers of real estate are also unusually large. This week has been a busy one on the Exchange, and next week, it is expected, will surpass any of the year in the number of ** knock¬ downs." The general trade of the country is not only good but promises to be better. The rising rate of interest for the use of money tells its own story. The very large vote polled in New York at the recent election shows how the city is growing in population. Ifc wiU be noticed that the Republican vote shows an average of greater increase than the Democratic vote. It has always been a misfortune that oue party should have so large a majority over the other. Those municipalities are the best governed where the party machines are on their good behavior. They can afford to be reckless and cor¬ rupt with a large majority to back them, but such is not the case when the change of a few thousand votes would lose them the election. --------•-------- One result of the election is the rehabilitation of Tammany Hall. John Kelly has retired, but the discipline of Tammany is so good that it can marshal its forces on election day without the aid of that famous *'boss." Tammany offered to divide the city spoils and have a united ticket, but the County Democracy thought they were strongest and refused. They have been badly beaten—due to a belief that William R. Grace was running that organiza¬ tion for his own personal profit. There is an impression, which may be false, that all Mr. Grace's appointments have in view not only the advance of his political fortunes but of his private purse; in other words, that in his oflScial actions his main aim is his private gain. Tammany having been first in the field for Governor HiU will naturally profit most by his election. The voters showed discrimination in the choice of county oflBcers. Mr. Hugh J. Grant, sheriff elect, is a man of character, and will undoubtedly conduct his department in a way to satisfy the bar and the public. He is a large properfcy owner, and has been a dealer in real estate. We hear exceUent reports of the new county clerk, Mr. Flack. He has made a competency as an employing book¬ binder, and he wiU manage the county clerk's office after business methods. Now that the election is over it is to be hoped that the Real Estate Exchange, through its proper organs, wiU see to it that the necessary laws are drafted to reform our land transfer proceedings in this State. There are quite a number of laws to be got in readi¬ ness and no time should be lost. The Legislature wUl meet in seven weeks time, and such laws as can and ought to be passed should be introduced when the session opens. The Exchange ought to take the lead in this matter. It is a pity that our legislators elect cannot as a class be com¬ mended. With a few honorable exceptions the Aldermen, Assem¬ blymen and State Senators chosen last Tuesday are a very bad lot. They are a discredit to the city and our Republican form of govern* ment. Our political machinery is aU wrong, when the result of elections year after year is to return fellows for city and State leg¬ islators whose proper place would be in the penitentiary. The solu¬ tion of the problem of local government is, in aU likehood, the abolition of legislative chambers and the conferring of governing authority upon responsible heads of departments. transferred some 10,000 votes to Tammany HaU to help its local ticket. How strange it is that such a vast mass of intelligent voters as comprises the rank and file of the Repub¬ lican party in this city should aUow its representative organization to be controUed by one of the worst cliques of corrupt poUticians in the country. Some surprise has been expressed at the Uttle influence the press of New York exerts over the voters of this State. Arrayed on the side of HiU were the Worlds Sun and Star; aU the other leading journals supported Davenport. The same antagonism to the popu¬ lar candidate on the part of the press has frequently been noticed before in the history of this city. Fremont was supported for the Presidency by all the influential newspapers of New York City, but this did not prevent Buchanan from getting more than fche average Democratic majority on election day. When the late C. Godfrey Gunther was chosen Mayor, the Journal of Commerce was the only paper which helped to support him. Frank Boole, his unsuccess¬ ful rival, had the open or secret aid of aU the other journals, but he was badly defeated notwithstanding. The Herald seems to be the most unfortunate paper of all in its forecasts. The policy of its founder was to be on the winning side without any respect to party or principle. The elder Bennett and Frederick Hudson, his long¬ headed managing editor, were men of great political sagacity and rarely made mistakes. The younger Bennett, however, is scarcely ever right and manages nearly always to support the candidate who is beaten. As the Republicans poUed some 75,400 votes for Davenport in this city, it is clear they cc'ild easily have elected their whole county tickets had nofc tbe RepubUcan machine deliberately West of the Park. One must look through a new quarter to see how rapidly and completely the type of the New York dweUing is changing. We have not yet arrived at a new type of dweUing. Everything seems still to be in a state of architectural flux. But the old brown stone front, repeated through so many dreary mUes below Central Park, has fallen at last into hopeless discredit. It is scarcely reproduced at all except in tenement houses, and even here it is varied. The variations do it more harm than good. The old brown stone front had only two or three kinds of ornament. The cornice and the mouldings throughout were big and bloated. The front door had either a projecting lintel carried on consoles, or a pair of columns supporting a pediment, or some equaUy obvious and trite device. This device, through being repeated so often, came to be very well executed mechanically, and there was a reasonably good adjust¬ ment of parts. In such brown stone fronts as are stiU erected the desire for variety leads the speciUative builder to let loose his fancy and there is nothing commendable in its results. To see how far we have departed from the brown stone front it is only necessary to visit the streets on the west side of the lower half of Central Park. This region is jusfc now fche soene of an extraordinary building activity, perhaps greater than that of any other quarter of the city. YorkviUe, the corresponding district on the east side of the park, is now pretty soUdly builfc up east of Fourth avenue, with apartment houses and tenement houses for the most part. The improvements effected by the heirs of the Clark estate in building the Dakota and the row of dwolUngs behind it from Eighth to Ninth avenue are now seen to have been as judi¬ cious as they were liberal. They fijxed the status of the neighbor¬ hood, and prevented it from degenerating as it might easily have done, under the pressure of owners in haste to realize on their investments, into a quarter of cheap flats. As a matter of fact, the most noticeable of the new buUdings lately finished or still building on the west side are first-class dweUings, and it is in these that the present tendency of domestic architecture in New York can be best observed. Upon the whole, the result is such as to encourage those who pre¬ dict that the slice of territory between the Park and the Riverside Drive is to become *'the tenderloin of New York." A favorite scheme witli investors seems to be a row of five twenty-foot houses, varied and individualized, bufc so far connected in design as to show that they are fronts of one project. One of these rows may be seen on fche south side of Seventy-second sfcreet, between Eighth and Ninth avenues. These are of brick, with basements and first stories of brown stone, whUe bays of fchis latter material run through the second stories. The central three are gabled against a steep mansard roof, while the two on the flanks are flat roofed. The detail is not worthy of higher praise than that of inoffensive- ness, but it is worfch fchat. On the south side of Seventy-first street, between Broadway and Ninth avenue, is a row of five houses in brown stone and tin, in which the speculative builder has apparently taxed his own intel¬ lectual resources to produce variety, instead of hiring an architect to perform that office. If he had contented himself with repro¬ ducing the regulation brown stone front he woiUd have done something much less offensive than this tortured skyline, which is as crude and bad as possible. Near by is another quintette in brick, brown stone and terra cotta, which shines by contrast with this atrocity, and shows that