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The Record and guide: v. 39, no. 982: January 8, 1887

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January 8, 1887 The Record and Guide. ^7 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. Our Teleplioue Call is - - - " - JOHN 370. TEEMS: ONE YEAR, iu advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager, Vol. XXXIX. JANUARY 8, 1887. No. 983 have our fair share of this traffic, and would have it if Congress was wise.* Every regular subscriber to The Record and Guide is entitled to the Supplemental Index ive publish to-day, All ivho keep bound files toillfind this index indispensable to make the records complete. Next week, the loth inst., a very large edition of The Record and Guide will be published. It will find its loay into the possession of investors, real estate brokers, builders, architects, dealers in build¬ ing mateHal, decorators, real estate lawyers, indeed every class directly or remotely interested in real estate or building operations. This publication affords unusual advantages to advertisers, for the circulation will be among people ivho are likely to be purchasers of the various articles offered the public. Our advertising patrons should send their favors in early, as we "xpect to work off an unusually large edition of The Record and Guide. ------------s-----------. At its last meeting the directors of the Real Estate Exchange decided to press upon the Legislature the reform of the Land Transfer laws, proposed by the majority of the commission of which Mr. Southmayd is chairman. It is understood the matter will be promptly brought to the attention of our law makers. The chances are that the whole matter will be finally referred to the constitutional convention. But the real estate interest of New York will be justified in pressing this matter upon the Legislature with a -view to causing such discussion as will educate the public to the necessity of reform in our laws relating to the transfer of real property. Mayor Hewitt commences well. His message to the Common Council is brief and to the point. It will be seen that he does not believe in unwise economies. New York is a great city and ii should spare no expense to make it a suitable entrepot for the commerce of two continents. We should furnish additional facilities for trade and commerce. Then we require clean streets, good pavements and perfect sanitary arrangements. This will require money, but that can be supplied without adding to our taxes by getting rid of waste and scaling the interest in our city debts. It is to bo hoped that the Mayor's health will admit of his attention to his official duties. Governor Hill's message naturally excites very mixed comments. Everyone admits that the writer is a man of brains. It is, indeed, an abler State paper than any ever put forth by his immediate predecessor. But it is the work of a politician—an aspirant for re-election to his present position, if not a bid for the labor vote in a Presidential canvass. Ever since the large George vote in this city and the local strength developed else where by the organized working people it was inevitable that our lawyer politicians would try to ingratiate them,selves with what seemed to be the rising power of the working masses. Some of the recommendations of Governor Hill are wise and timely, and all are suggestive, but somehow the general impression left is that we have a firat-clasa demagogue for chief executive of New York State. Some years ago the United States Board of Engineers, an entirely disinterested body, officially recommended an appropriation of 160,000,000 for internal waterways and harbor improvements, lU vpould have been wise to have heeded that recommendation, for in 1883 and 1883 we had plenty of money, labor and material were very cheap, and all our waterways and harbors would have been benefited by the proposed improvements—New York more than any other city. Our then depressed industries also would be benefited by the expenditure. But Congress, instead of $60,000,000, appropriated about $19,000,000, and this modest sum was vetoed by the late President Arthur. It was what is known as a "silly season," when the papers had little to talk about, and they seized upon this veto as a text for the most causeless aud outrageous attack upon the national Legislature. Necessarily, in any measure passed by Congres?, there was some log-rolling in order to secure vote-s and a few suspicious items, amounting to less than $100,000, were seized upon to prove that all the appropriations meant plunder from beginning to end. Of course the rai'road corpora¬ tions were back of this villainous clamor, for they did not want the waterways to be improved so as to furnish opposition to the land transportation lines. But the ravings of the press bad their effect, and at the next election some of our most experienced public men were retired to private life. Even Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, whose integrity has never been questioned, and whose honor is without a stain, came very near ending his public career because he voted for the River and Harbor bill, which President Arthur subsequently vetoed. At the next session there was, of course, no appropriation bill to keep up our internal improvements, and every year since there has been trouble because of the cries of "job" uttered by the press, and the shrillest and most unreasonable of these eminated from the New York city journals. Since then it is with difficulty that any river and harbor bill can be carried at all. This year the Engineering Board recommended that at least $30,000,000 be spent, but the appropriation committee has brought in a bill providing for an expenditure of less^than $8,000,000. It is inevitable that this will be increased before the bill is passed. But one New York paper has the assurance to complain that the $300,000 set aside by the engineers for this port has been cut down to some $60,000. If our journals fairly represented this commuaity, New York should not have a cent, for every local improvement in any part of the country is denounced as a corrupt and useless expenditure of money. In truth, our harbor and the waters adjacent require an expendi¬ ture of several million dollars by the central government. The deepening of the channel in the lower harbor, to admit large steamers at any tide, will require many years work and a great deal of money. Then the Harlem Ship Canal will call for a great deal more than the $400,000 now appropriated, as the United States engineers in their reports have pointed out, it would add greatly to the commerce of this port if the minor rivers and har¬ bors in our neighborhood had their navigable facilities improved. But our New York journals, as well as representatives, protest against any appropriations for the harbors on the lakes and the improvement of the Mississippi, and so the members of the interior will probably vote solidly against any expenditure of Federal money for New York harbor. A bridge over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie will be completed, it seems, by the end of this year. This will be a blow at New York, for we shall lose the railroad business between New England and the rest of the country. Chicago and other interior cities have suffered and will suffer more by the tendency of the transportation lines to go directly East or West without paying tribute to estab¬ lished centres of business. The grain from the West now goes around Chicago instead of through it. In the future the traffic east and west of the Hudson of all the great railway systems will pass over this Poughkeepsie bridge instead of through the metropolis. The new bridge is to cost $4,000,000 and is backed by interests representing $60,000,000. It will more directly affect the coal roads. We must try and make up for this loss of trade by bringing a pressure to bear on Congress to encourage our foreign commerce. We pay from one hundred and sixty to two Comparative Tables for the Past Year. The Record and Guide of last week was the first jourual to publish the building statistics for 1886. Accompanying then! were comparisons with the two previous years. Several city journals availed themselves of our labors in this matter, but in no case was proper credit given. So as to make the record complete we give to-day the conveyances and mortgages recorded during the past year, together with a comparison with former years. We also publish the available figares for Kings County. So as to have all the tables together we venture to reproduce the cost of new build¬ ings in this city for the last thirteen years : Year: Estimated cost. | Year. Estimated cost. ' ~ 667,414| 1S81..........................§43,391,300 1874. _ . 1875........................... 18,226,870 1876.......................... 15,903,880 1877......................... 13,365,114 1878........................... 15,219,680 1879 .......................... 23,507,322 1880.......................... 29,115,335 1883......................... 44,793,18 1883 .......................... 43,314.346 1884........................... 43,215,423 1885.......................... 4.5,915,246 ^ ................... 58,479,653 Total thirteen years............................................... §409,014,769 This record shows how steady and how large has been the building movement in New York city. The total expenditure for 1886, while not as large as our estimates early in the year, still largely surpasses any previous twelve months in our history. Of course the above table is not entirely accurate. It represents the estimates of the I architects and builders when they filed their plans. Some houses cost a great deal more than they were expected to do when they were _ . ___„ .. .. commenced ; others, again, constructed by practical builders, cost