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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 51, no. 1303: March 4, 1893

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March 4,1898 Record and Guide. 817 ESTASLISHED^ MARCH Slti^ 1869.(^ CeiTED TO RpAj. ESTAJE , SuiLDIf/c 'AlF^CldTECTJflE .HoUSCrfOU) DeOOR^IWI PRICE, PER YEAR IIV ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TblbphonbI ... - Cortlandt 1370. Coimnimlcationa attonld be addreased to C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St. J. 7. LINDSEYy Business Manager. "Entered at tfte Post-office at New Yorlt, N. Y., ae second-class mat (er." Vol. li. MARCH 4, 1893. No. 1,803 'TTTE have to face again one of the troubles peculiar to a time of *' disordered currency, the rapid rise in the loaning rate for money. Itwasoiilya very short time ago, comparatively, that money loaned at2 per cent.; yesterday it went up beyond the rate generally considered a fair one for both borrower and lender. In Boston, early in the day, it was quoted at 10 per cent. This is not a pleasant contemplation at a time when tbe demand from the interior is very great, and judging by the past is not nearly ended. The situation is not helped by the published opinions of bankers that no improvement can come until the Treasury has placed its gold reserve in a better condition, nor by the fact that exchange rates are stiffening, and the probabilities of gold shipments nest week increased. The failure in Philadelphia has set rumor at work with, the credit of other houses thnre. Seeing that Philadelphia was a large buyer of the stocks that bave suffered most, such as Reading, New England and Northern Pacific preferred, it is somewhat remarkable that such stories did not appear earlier, and it will not be remarkable if they are found to be true. As people become acquainted with the answer of the Northern Pacific management to tbe report of the investigating committee, it becomes more and more disappointing. It does not disprove nor attempt to disprove the most serious points, the charges of jobbej'y, nor meet the asser¬ tions regarding the embarrassments of the company. It claims for Northern Pacific that it is a great property ; that was also claimed for Union Pacific when it passed its dividend nine years ago and may to-day be claimed for Atchison and Erie.. Itwould be inter¬ esting to know who is to pay for tbe large advertising patronage the Northern Pacific management bas just bestowed on the New York and other newspapers. With so much bad news and in the known condition of the money market the outlook for stocks can¬ not be good notwithstanding the great declines already seen. rriHE partial failure which recently befel an attempt of the -*- Comptroller's to market certain municipal bonds has naturally been attended by many wise newspaper explanations and by much diagnostication from free hut irresponsible individuals. A great deal of what has been said is marked by turns of ingenuity which do not, however, preclude ignorance. Our friend, the Trilnme, ■ throws tbe ilhimination of ita peculiar intelligence upon the subject by explaining that the financial world has become alarmed at. Tammany's many projects for municipal improvements, and fears that behind street widenings, Croton water shed land purchases, speedway plans and similar enterprises already disclosed are many other schemes of lik" nature hidden away as Tammany assets to be drawn upon by and by as occasion and the financial necessities of the " faithful " require. '-No wonder the credit of the city i;; impaired," cries the RepubUcan scribe. "The financial world is alarmed and is no longer disposed to lend money for Tammany extravagances and the ultimate ruin of the metropolis." The political twist in all this is, of course, obvious enough and may be left for what it is worth. The only point that we desire to touch upon is what may be called the groundwork of the argument, wherein the political pattern is wrought in such bright colors, for we regret to observe that amid the confusion of banal politics unfortunately so inextricably mixed up with every detail of the administration of our city's affairs, the public has come to confound expenditure with extravagance, so that to-day the two words are well-nigh interchangeable according, to their popular connotation. ryiHIS rascal ridden city bas ever been but poorly served by poli- J- tics of any stripe. No matter who has been the player, politics with us hae been at best a vulgar game with the public possessions. But no direct losses incurred in the past, estimate them at what we may, will be for a moment commensurate with the enotmousL indirect loss that would follow a general hostility on the part ofthe people to even a generous policy of expenditure for municipal development. The tendency of popular criticism of late has been decidedly towards parsimony. An ever-deepening mistrust of both the honesty and the capacity of the officials the people themselves create ia leading the public to believe that a degree of insurance against peculation is to be effected only by the adoption of a poor- house system of managing the city's affairs. No improvement is to be effected that can possibly be foregone. We must have police and water and sewers, we must enact the street cleaning farce annually, we must repave the streets when their condition would disgrace the County Kerry. But beyond these commonplace necessities for the mere foundation of a tolerable existence official enterprise must receive no encouragement from citizens. -------------■------------- IT would be difficult to establish a policy more disastrous than this to the growth of the metropolis and the welfare of its inhabitants. No sum of money saved from the rapacity of politi¬ cians could possibly compensate for the inestimable loss that would inevitably rssult from maintaining the city at a low state of effi¬ ciency. Tbere can be nothing so costly as inefficiency. Bad pave¬ ments exact a heavy tax from every wheel passing over them ; congested streets are but long toll-gates where traffic and passers-by pay according to the length of their way. Deficient park space entails a vitiated atmosphere and a depre,ision of the public health and vitality, and it is not necessary to say that a high state of the general health is of enormous economic value. Everybody must have observed how greatly his ijroductive capacity is lowered from time to time by depressing weather, and can under¬ stand how adversely permanent unsanitary conditions affect the general prosperity. Even the geniality and brightness of one's surroundings count for a great deal in maintaining vitality at a high point, and though one cannot fix the amount, who can doubt that pleasant shade tree,s along all our thoroughfares in summer would be worth thousands of dollars to the city. No set of politicians could possibly abstract from the public treasury the equivalent of half of one per cent added to the vitality and energy of the people of a city like New York. Every, body must recognize that nothing has paid this city better than its public improvements, no matter how much or little peculation they occasioned. There are very few of them that tbe city would part with now for their cost. FOR these reasons the wise citizen will welcome the more active policy concerning improvements which Mayor G-llroy is pur¬ suing. The trouble iu the past has been that|irapro7ement haa not moved fast enough, hasn't kept pace with population and the requirements ofthe metropolis. Tbe Elm street widening should have been undertaken years ago. Our system of docks is scarcely fit for a second-rate South American port; more park space in the huddled districts dowu town is required; municipal offices, now scattered about the city in private buildings, should have been gathered together long ago in a commodious structure worthy architecturally of the dignity of the metropolis. There is not one of the improvements suggested by Mayor Gilroy that will not pay the city. If to this it be objected that we cannot trust the politicians to spend the enormous sums of money these improve¬ ments require, the reply is, " Can the city afford to be without them V"' THE article in The Record and Guide last week, describing the French method of conducting foreclosure suits, has attracted attention from real estate men generally and not a little criticism, which we will publish in full next week. The first result of criti¬ cism upon any proposed reform usually is destructive. Self-inter¬ est or fancied self-interest speaks quickly. Difficulties at once suggest themselves. The workings of a new principle or a new arrangement have necessarily to be viewed through the light of present experience. We cannot see a reform amid the new con¬ ditions conformable to itself which it creates. Of coui-se, as we pointed out last week, the French system could not be transplanted root and branch to American soil; the most that we can get from the other side is suggestion. It is for us to embody the suggestion in methods suitable to our peculiar circumstances. We do not believe that any step should be taken that would in the least degree hamper the speedy sale of real estate. Everything that expedites the transfer of real estate increases its value as an asset, and gives it a wider and more active market. Everything that makes real estate more attractive as a temporary or permanent form of investments benefits it. Capital will naturally withdraw from the mortgagor exactly to the extent that he hedges his property around with tedious legal proceedings. But, while avoiding a mis¬ take of this kind, it is possible to greatly reform our methods of sale under foreclosure in the interests of the defendant. Every real estate man will testify that no one of any business capacity would undertake to dispose of his property in the manner that most property is disposed of under foreclosure. As a rule, the property is not, strictly speaking, put upon the market at all) for no