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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 48, no. 1231: October 17, 1891

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October 17,1891 Record and Guide. 465 ^- - established'^ M,f.Rpn 2111^ 1868. DB/&TED TO f\EA.l- Es WE. BulLol^'o A;p.crfiT£:(rrai\E .KousEriou) DreoR^Tioil. BUSIt/ESS AttoTHEME,« Of GeKeIV-L l^TEI^EST PRICE, PER YEAR I!V ADTAiVCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone - . . . Cortlaxdt 1370. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St. J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLVIII OCTOBER 17, 1891. No. 1,231 The second number of The AECHiTECTTmAL Record is published to-day. and may he procured on the elevated railroad stands or at the offices of publication. Articles appear in this issue from the pens of such well-known writers on archilecture as Prof. A. D. F. Hamlin, Barr Ferree and Montgomery Schuyler, tlie first of whom points Old the " Difflculties of Modern Architecture," the second disoisses the qwstion of" What is Architecture f and the third continues his critical account of the " Romanesque Revival in America." Apaperby William J. Fryer, Jr.,on '^Skeleton Construc¬ tion," one by Barry W. Desmondji second part of Prof. AitchisorCs lecture on "Byzantine Architecture " and the regular departments corAplele a very interesting number. The magazine is, as usual, profusely illustrated, and in matter and appearance is fully up to the high standard set by the first issue. Subscription for one year, one dollar; single copies, 25 cents. THE stock market ended a dull week with an upward turn ; but the changes have been circumscribed and not particularly signiflcant. The feeling, however, is slightly better than it was a week ago, and an exposure such as that contained in the charges against John Hoey, reflecting as they did on the management of conservative investment property produced absolutely no effect on prices. 'What is particularly noticeable about the railroad earn¬ ings is the way in which the income of the branch lines of the Grangers are picking up. A company like the St. Joseph & Grand Island, which last year was ii'jured by the nhort crops, has during the month of September increased its gross about $20,000, and its net $25,000. But the most encouraging feature of the Immediate flnancial situation is the renewed buying of bonds. The purchas¬ ing is of a discriminating order, and is concerned mainly with the many good investment bonds at present selling at cheap prices. THE state of trade in the most prosperous of European countries at the present time, Great Britain, continues to be far from satisfactory. The downward movement in which the prices of nearly all commodities participated during the flrst half of this year has been continued throughout Ihe third quarter. It is not a very marked downward movement, but it has been steady and almost universal. Business suffered somewhat from the flnancial crisis of last autumn, and in certain cases the spasmodic stimulus given to trade before the passage of the JMcKinley bill has been followed by a severe reaction. This is shown by every known method of testing trade. The freight receipts of the railroads are falling off, and the returns for foreign trade are by no means favorable. For the first eight months of the present year imports showed an increase over the same period last year of 3J^ per cent, but on the other hand exports decreased 4^^ per cent. Most of this falling tfl has taken place in the last quarter. The returns for bankers' clearings in London to Septem¬ ber SOth are less by 13 per cent than during the same interval in 1890. This, however, is testimony rather to the decrease in specu¬ lation than to the decrease in general business, so that it is well to add that the same story is told by the cleavings of such centres as Manchester. In this connection it is interesting to note that the public revenue, particularly that large portion derived from the excise, is increasing, which, taken together with the increase of imports, indicates that, although trade is not as active as it was, the public have not as yet begun to moderate their expenditure. The domestic demand is just as good as ever; it is the consumption of foreign countries which is falling off. Manifestly, however, this state of things will not continue. In time the home consumption of home and foreign products will decrease altio, and business will become tar less prosperous than it in at present. The labor situation is already gaid to be very bad— large numbers of men are unemployed and wages are being cut down in every direction. The siuation may end by being far more serious than it is at present. THE " position" which the Press of this city ha'i taken concern¬ ing the World's Fair and Chicago is an unfortunate piece of folly. Thfe policy they are pursuing is reflecting injuriously upon this city's and even this State's reputation for generosity, magnan¬ imity and patriotism in the estimation of the many millions of people of this country, whose local interests are not confined to Manhattan Island. Despite the sour-grapes cry of the Evening Post, that after all the Fair would have been a sort of calamity to the city, the loss of the Exposition was a real misfortune to New York and a gain of incalculable value to Chicago. New York has undoubt¬ edly lost something of its former pre-eminent and uncontested metro]iolitan reputation, and that which New York lost Chicago gained. Be theExposition in the end a noteworthy success, or be it the dismal "country fair" failure which our great journalists prophecy, the Exposition is a nafiona? undertaking. No amount of talk can make it out to be a little "local celebration;" and it is ridiculous for New York to think that the people of the country and those abroad have valued the fact that this city was superseded by Chicago in a matter of national imrortance quite according to our own estimation. People have not done anything of the kind. Opinion n not altogether an unimportant factor in the affairs of men, and in this particular affair opinion is not entirely favorable to New York. BUT the loss of the Fair is now a secondary matter. The thing is done. The lamentable part of the business is that instead of coming forward in a broad-spirited way and giving Chicago a hearty support in an undertaking in which the reputation of the whole nation is concerned, the Press of this city persists in a mean policy of disparagement. Chicago and the Exposition have been turned over to that sad crowd, the funny men, though the most comic effortrof all are the supercilious editorials which appear once in a while to keep New Yorkers informed of the great national enterprise which is progressing steadily in Illinois. The effect of this policy is not only tbat readers 'u this city are befogged, for they know no more of what has been done and is to be done in Jackson Park than they do of the local affairs of Honolulu, but it is creating a nasty spirit of resentment against New York throughout the entire West. A Western merchant said th>> other day : " New York has acted so meanly in this matter that I'd rather pay a little more for my goods than trade in New York." Of course statements of this kind need not be taken at their face value, and we do not give this one as more than an indication of the unfriendly spirit towards New York of which any one traveling in the West just now can find plenty of evidence. And the worst of all is the people of this city have not moved a finger to do the slightest thing that might remove or lessen the unfriendly feeling. While other ciiies and other States are in some way showing an inter¬ est in the Fair, New York has scarcely stirred, has not done a tithe of what London and Paris and Berlin have done—cities which our " brainy " editors have been telling us will have nothing to do with a " way-side show." First and last this Fair business has been a discreditable thing for New York. THE report of the Manhattan Railway Company for the year ending June 30, 1891, is an impressive tribute to the growth both of the corporation and the City of New York. During the past year the elevated roads earnt d gross $9,959,710, against $9,3.18,- 681 for the year previous, an increase of $571,029. During the same period its increase in operating exijcnses was only about $150,- 000, so that a handsome expansion of net earnings is shown.. Few corporations in the country have to spend less in order to meet their increase of trafiSc. During the past four years, while the gross earnings have been increasing something like $1,100,00j, the operating expenses have increased only $250 000. The fixed charges have, however, undirgone a very heavy augmentation during the past year—increasiug about $300,- 000, and the capital stock is also larger by $4,000,000 than it was; consequently, although the same rale of diviJend has been continued, the surplus is only $50,000 more than ifc »vas at the end of the last fiscal year. As this surplus amounts to $976,586, it will be seen that the Manhattan Company is not poor in consequence. Indeed, the way in which Mr. Gould manages some of his properties is so different from the way he manages others that an investor may well be puzzled and ask himself \\ hether book-keeping has not a good deal to do with the apparent difference. The Missouri Pacific pays dividends which it does not earn, while tbe Manhattan and Western Union earn dividends which are not paid. Ostensibly these second two are among the most conservatively managed corporations in the country. In the case of the Manhattan, however, the wisdom of accumulating a surplus is very obvious. With all thesn damage suits hanging over the company, payments on many of whicb cannot be long postponed, if, indeed, they are not already being made, the management is obliged to be Conserva-