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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 47, no. 1192: January 17, 1891

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January 17, 1861 Record and Guide. 69 -^ \ ESTABUSHiB ■§/ «WpH 3\*^^ 1668.; De/oteD to Rej^I. Eetwe . ©uiLDT)^o A:ficKiTECTU(^E .HouseKold DegoratioiC BiJ5»/E35 AiiD Themes ofGeHer^I- 1;Jt£i\est ^^ PRICE, PER YE4R IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. ; Published every Saturday. Telephone, - - - Cortlandt ISTO. , Commurdcations should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway /. T. LINDSEY. Business Manager. Vol. SLVII, JANUARY 17, 1891. No. 1,198 i THERE ia no denying that in the flnauoial vvorld Uciuidation continues. Prices are not so much affected by natural causes at the moment ae by the needs of large debtors atill laboring in the heavy sea of distrust and demoralization caused by the financial storms of last November, while the rottenness then revealed by tbe lightening shock of the suspension of the greatest commercial and banking house of the world, if it has done nothing else, has called a halt everywhere. Consequently, we find that while people talk hopefully they are acting conservatively, In all trades the instinctive feeling is that it is best to keep out of debt, or, if in debt, not to go in deeper until it is possible to peer a little further into the future; and so it may come to pass that this very caution, or perhaps excess of caution, may bring about a condition of business which will be called " dull," or may be even designated as " depressed." Such a state of depression is always bad for people with schemes to float or for banking houses having loans to place, based on the promise of new ventures; but those who can see beyond know that from the veiy moment extreme conservatism prevails all things at bottom are making for better times. It may be laid down as an axiom that when everybody is acting with caution one cau afford to bo bold. The stock market can hardly be called weak, for after a rise of nearly ten points on tho average some reaction was due, and it is undeniable that in most cases ruilroad atocks are cheap. The bonds specially selected by us in an article iu December as worthy of attention have all scored big advances. Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic firsts have risen from about 90 to 96 ; Peoria & Eastern firsts from 73 to 793-4", and Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Railroad firsts from 85 to 91. The Chesapeake & Ohio (Rich¬ mond & Alleghany Division) firsts and seconds have not advanced as they deserve to. There should b« buyers enough even in times like these for a hundred year 4 per cent bond of so great a corpora- tior to quickly absorb the offerings of all those forced to sell at current prices, 68 and 71, respectively. There are many encourag¬ ing features iu the situation. Tbe strong position of tbe banks ia one, and it should not be overlooked that never before have the great railroad systems been pulling together so harmoniously to produce net results. —•--------- TAKING the past year tbi-ough, Europe has been fairly prosper¬ ous ; but France has led all ber neighbors in this respect. A retrogression had been naturally expected after the prosperous exhibition period, but all tbe visible elements of national prosperity were maintained and improved on. Tbe revenue shows an advance on the favored year of 1889, and foreign trade both in imports and exports has increased. The government securities all show handome advances, and no catastrophe has interrupted business and disturbed credit. Nearly, all the miscella¬ neous securities dealt iu on ^ the Paris Bourse have also risen. Prices in Berlin, on the contrary, have steadily declined. Well-informed observers, however, consider the reaction healthy. The inflated plane of values which prevailed throughout 1889 were untenable, and the absence of a slow decline could have meant only a disastrous panic. If bad times should be in store business men will be able to meet them, whereas, if a revival of speculation and brisk business sets in, the decline in 1810 will have made room for advances in 1891, The _feeling at the present time is fairly hopeful for the coming year. In Vienna, -■■^also, a bullish sentiment prevails. Both the Austrian and Hun¬ garian governments are doing their level best to stimulate trade, to remove the existing restrictions and to devise a better system of governmental machinery. In England prices have stiffened up just as they have in this country, and we may expect, if no catas- K-trophe occurs, that English investors will buy back during the coming year a large part of the enormous mass of securities which were returned to us under tbe stress of the Baring trouble. respects, so confused that we continue to abide the event with Bom« misgivings. The matter will come up for consideration In the Senate next week, and very probably Mr. Stewart's bill, will be passed, without muoh opposition. According to last accounts thia bill has undergone a transformation, The Republican Senators have assumed a po^iition of sturdy independence in respect to Mr, Piatt; they have been converted to home rule. The number of commissioners provided for by the bill la five, and a unanlmoua vote is required for action on all Important matters. Mayor Grant is to flll the vacancies. This measure is said to be satisfactory to Hamilton Fish and to Tammany, As Mayor Grant put it, Tarn-, many wilt agree to anything that preserves the saored principle of home rule. And so tbe threatened battle royal may turn into the sweetest of agreements. How happy, then, will be the citizens of New York I Like little Peterkin, they will know that a great vlc^ tory has been gained; but, unlike that simple-minded person, they will understand the reason for the battles they will reap the fruits of the triumph, After many years of talk, and three years of bitter contest, they ■ have taken the first step towards obtaining accommodations, tbe necessity for which no one has ever disputed, and withal retained the right to manage their own affairs. Of course all this to some extent is still problematical. We have no doubt that the Even¬ ing Post will be able to discover several more Tammany tricks in the coui-se of a week or so, and that the Times correspondent wiU continuetoexpoaethedevlouswaysof the wicked Mr, Gould's agents at Albany. Little humors of this kind are inseparable from public events. While the course of things at Albany has been smooth, the Rapid Transit Commission have held a meeting in this city, and listened to a recital of the various plans among which In the future they will have to decide. Any discussion of this aspect of the matter may be postponed; but of the plans as yet submitted, the one deserving of the most careful consideration is the Great- head system. In the past there has been a most reasonable opposi-< tion to underground roads because of the intolerable discomforts of traveling on them. But if the claims of the advocates of this system are true, many of these ciacomforts have been removed, The one great merit of the system is its cheapness. TN another column we give the totals of the assessed valuation -L of real property in New York City for 1891, These totals will of com'se be revised to some extent, but not to so great an extent that they will not stand in a general way for the totals of the present year. The aggregate increase for the twenty-four wards Is $68,559,031, an increase which is undoubtedly justified by the activity of real estate for the past few years and the amount of building. The size of the augmentation recalls the protest which Tax Commissioner ColemF.n entered some weeks ago against the totals of the deputy commissioners. We do not know whether the protest resulted in auy diminution of the figures, but if it did, it probably should not have done so, for the increase as given is, if anything, rather too low than too high. About $68,000,000 was spent in building during 1889, and there is of course a steady growth in the value of property already improved or still to be improved. The only reason that Commissioner Coleman could allege for his protest was the then existing state of the money market, but in what way the temporary stringency of money could diminish the amount of capital already invested in buildings was something we have never beeu able to understand. The scare of last November and December did not affect the values of real property in this city at all; for its owners, even those who were speculators, were strong enough to tide over the diffi¬ culty without throwingany of their holdings ou the market. The anti-Tammany newspapers in their discussions of the matter renriinded one of the German commentators on Shakespeare, who read into the simplest phrases meaning too deep for anything but German words. When an increase in tbe assessed valuation of property is announced, a simple minded person would naturally turn to whatever facts were available to see how far the increase was justified. Did the unprejudiced critics tuni to the building figures? Did they make any inquiries as to the state of the real estate market? Not they. A Tammany " job " was immediately discovered aud loudly proclaimed—"merely another trick to reduce the tax rate," was the comment oft'ered on every side. It is such silly talk, born of prejudice and ignorance, tiiat brings the daily press into ju&t contempt. TF there has been any change, during the jJast week, in the pros- -*- pects for an early passage of a rapid transit bill, this change ■ has been for the better; but the reports are so meagre and, in some SOUND policy requires legislative atquitscence to the report of the Senate Committee recommending a government guarantee of the bonds of the Nicaragua Canal Company, It is in dealicg with questions of this character that representative government is generally seen at its worst, for such questions are seldom ma'tera of party polity, and consequently are seldom consistently advocated and triumphantly pushed to a conclusion, A strongly centrahzed government which is not continually obliged to keep the next elec¬ tion in view is far more likely to take intelligent and vigorous action on such a matter; the reasonsjor which do not appeal keenly