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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 47, no. 1193: January 24, 1891

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January 24, 18&1 Record and Guide. 115 De/otcB P RE^L ESTME . eUlLDlf/c AjlcrilTECTUI^E .HoySEHOUl DEGORAnOl*. B JsiiJess AtiD Themes op GijitnfX. \m\^n ESTABUSHED ^ NWpH aiii'^ 1868. PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone, - - - Cortlandt 1370. Communications should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLYII, JANUARY 24, 1891. No. 1,193 The Index to the Conveyances and Buildings for New York City, published in Vohime XLVI. of The Record and Guide [July lst to December 31s(, 1890), accompanies this issue of the paper. THE BUILDERS' CONVENTION. We wish to draw the attention of our readers to the programme of the Fifth Annual Convention of the National Association of Builders, tvhich is published in another column. The Convention will be held in the Masonic Hall, on West 2Zd street, and will be called to order on Monday, February Qth. It icill be in sessioyi during the whole of the week. This promises lo be by far the most important and successful meeting which the National Association has yet held. Delegations from more than forty cities will attend, and with them there will be a large cohort of builders in an unof¬ ficial capacity. ■ A careful estimate places the number of those who will be in attendance, exclusive of the New Yo7lc, Brooklyn and Jersey City contingent, at about 1,500. As will be seen by the pro¬ gramme, most elaborate arrangements have been made for the accommodation and amusement of the visitors, and few have any idea of the really vast amount of thought and labor which has been given to the matter by the gentlemen in this city who have the arrangements in charge. It is hardly necessary to poin) otit that it is the duty of the Building Trades of the Metropolis to give their fullest support to the Convention, and to leave nothing undone to make the meetiny a grand sitccess Local pride and enthusiasm have already been aroused, and we think an opportunity is here presented for the Real Estate Exchange to recognize suitably, so important a meeting of the representatives of a great industry with which the fortune of real estate is so closely bound up. The Record and Guide has completed ai-rangements tvith the National Association of Builders, to officially report the proceedings of the Convention, from day to day; and during the week, from February ^th to lith, to issue a daily illustrated paper containing, in addition to a report of the proceedings, the official bulletins, the order of proceedings, etc., as well as all the news of the Convention and other matters of interest. MONEY is easy; but, itwill need something more than easy money to make prices go up. We are inclined to think that the low mtes mean an indisposition to undertake new enter¬ prises which will be hard to remove. Very certainly as loanable capital became more plentiful the stock market has become more dull and even more depressed. Doubtless, as the goods admitted to bond under the old tariff law will have to be taken out during tbe coming week and the duties paid money will be more in demand for the next few days; but the rise will be only temporary. Operators need not fear for tbe futm-e in this respect; but in other ways the outlook is by no means so good. The failure of the American National Bank of Kansas City is indicative of a most depressed state of trade in that centre. The real estate boom which it once enjoyed bas completely collapsed, and there are said to be some 5,000 dwellings unoccupied in the city. Other banks may be similarly affected in the course of time. Very certainly the collapse of the speculation, the foolish actions of the Farmers' Alliance and other causes have all tended to bring Western invest¬ ments into disrepute, and will consequently have a tendency to make money easier at this and other Eastern centres. More important, however, in its general bearings is the poor prospect for anything like a good freight movement for the Western rail¬ ways. The crops have all been pretty well moved, and the roads will have but little to do during the coming spring. They are getting better rates, it is true, and will probably continue to do so, but it is very doubtful if this circumstance will be a sufficient recompense for the loss in tonnage. At ail events rail¬ way earnings wiil be scrutinized during the next few months with some anxiety. If they do not make a good showing, much activity in stocks can hardly be espected until the something is known as to the crops for 1891. A bad year;.in this respect may very well mean the return of bad times, while a good year will make up for the past. Railway managers will have gained sufficient experience (let us hope) to take advantage of it. There are still a good many low-priced bonds on the market; and if prices are to rise at all dur¬ ing the spring, ifc ia more likely to be in this direction than in any other. One of the main disturbing' elements has of course been tbe continued fear of the free coinage of silver. This haa not so much depressed stock«; as it has made operators cautious. The improbability of anything being accomplished is very well known; but more disaster is feared than wil! ever take place, even if the bill is passed. As the ratio between our silver pro¬ duction and our gold production is only as $.10,000,000 is to $;W,000,000, aud as we already have 1600.000,000 of gold in the country, it will take far longer time than people seem to anticipate to put a premium on the yellow metal. (^HEAP money prevails in London as it does in New York; but ^ operators in that city do not anticipate that it will cause any immediate revival of speculation. Cheap money and dear money are rather the effects, not the causes of the situation; and theprer- eot cheapening is due to tbe fact during a recovery from a panic there is little employment for it in speculative channels and but little appetite for new operations. Then tbe Baring guarantee has acted as a drag on tbe whole market. Furthermore, as we have previously pointed out, the underwriting companies are heavily loaded with unsold securities and are not likely to take any new risks until they are in a stronger position. Consequently a slack year ia expected. There lias, however, been but little to complain of in the course of prices suice the beginning of the new yenr; and the different branches of trade, particularly the woolen, linen and cotton, are in a fairly strong position. The ship building and iron trades are the principal points of weakness. In Paris and Vienna prices are advancing, particularly in the latter city. On the whole. Aus¬ trian and Hungarian stocks and railway shares have been ' onsid- erably higher in price during 1890 than during 1989, while tbe shares of the iron trade and other industries bave experienced a fall. The entire situation has profited by the cautious attitude of the Bourse. Not only have both halves of the monarchy been able to get rid of their deficits, but about 100,000,000 florins is every'year repaid to investors. Besides this, the market has been recently called upon to absorb large amounts of atocks and shares which have returned from Germany. In Berlin prices continue to fall, and investors are not cheerful as to the outlook. The prevailing opinion is that 1891 will only continue the work of its predecessor by winding up the inflated speculation which has been going on for years. Neither the industrial and trade position nor those considerations which must be taken into account in regard to foreign loans lend any foundation to hopes for a steady and rising business. The annual report of the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg states that the year 1890 has been rather favorable to the shipping trade, n hereas the prospects for the current year are less favorable, owing to the increase of English steamer fleets. THE RAPID TRANSIT BILL, which Senators Stewart and Ives have evolved, while not being all that one might wish, is all that can be expected. We have searched carefully through tbe bill for some signs of the Tammany "job" which, as we have been repeatedly assured, would be certain to lurk in some of its [provisions, but the closest scrutiny has failed to detect tbe anti¬ cipated weakness. On the contrary, the bill has been most care¬ fully and wisely drawn in all of its provisions, and the errors, if tbere be any, are errors of omission. The bill appoints the preaent Rapid Transit Commissioners to carry out the provisions of the new act. Tbey are to hold ofEce for six years, and vacancies are tobe filled by tbe Mayor, as, indeed, they should be. Four mem¬ bers of the board constitute a quorum on all questions except those relating to elevated roads, when five must be present. The other provisions have been given in this and otber papers so frequently that it is needless to detail them at the present time. The section of tbe bill which is the most unsatisfactory refers to the sale of fche franchises. These may be disposed of for al! time if tbe com¬ mission so decides. Tlie wisdom of leaving such a matter to the discretion of tbe commissioners may well bs doubted. Under no circumstances should tbe rights and franchises be sold in perpe¬ tuity. At tbe end of a certain term of years they should revert to fche city, and a sinking fund shoul.l be established for the purpose. Whatever the franchises are worth at th-s preaent time, they will of course be worth far more fifty years from now. Provision should be made for the city to obtain the advantage of this growth. The terms of the sale, however, could easily provide for this in another way; and we believe that there will be a sufficient public opinion in favor of a stipulation for this purpose to force the Rapid Transit Commis¬ sioners into compliance with its demands. At present the desire to get a bill through and put tbe machinery in motion rightly pre-