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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 44, no. 1116: August 3, 1889

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August 3, 1889 Record and Guide. 1071 4 31 L^ 1 RKH ESTABLISHED-V/MW\C H ?1 ti^ 1B58. ^ DeAjeO to f^L ESTWE , BuiLDIf/G Af^cKlTECTUI^E .KoUSEKOLD DEQOI^noi*. BlTsiiJess AtJo Themes or GEfJEi^L l;^TEi\E5-i PUIilE, PER YEAR IN ADVAIVCK, SIX DOLLARS. Puhlislied every Saturday. TELEPHONE, . . . JOHN 370. £oiiimunlcatJons should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. /. T. LINDSEY, Bumness Manager. Vol. XLIV. AUGUST 3, 18S9. No. 1,116 The stock market has been dull and uninteresting throughout the past week. Both bears and the bulls seem utterly to lack any ani¬ mation. As far as the actual course of prices goes, neither one side nor the other has any right to feel discouraged; but, when we come to consider the prospects for tlie future, conditions certainly favor theconservative buyingof good stocks. For onething, stocksseem cheap, as there ia every promise of better eai-nings than at present. Mercantile trade in the West is picking up, and the reports of St. Paid & Burlington show that railroad returns are increasing. No boom, if we are to have one, can be looked for until after the first ten days in September are over, by which time a large or email corn crop will be assured. But, meanwhile. Wall street will undoubtedly, discount the prospects. It must nothe forgotten that according to the present outlook our commercial relations with Eiu-ope will in the fail be very similar to those which preceded the big boom of 1880. A short wlieat crop abroad and a good one here, together with ample transportation facilities, these conditions co-operating with a fair state of general trade, are certainly iiromising enough. They mean also that we shall be importing gold in the fall, rather than exporting it. Already the cotton crop is beginning to move, so that there need be no fear of tight money. Altogether the bulls ought uot to complain of future probabilities. The scarcity of water, particularly in the lo\Mer parts of the city, is a subject of very general concern at the present moment when during the daytime it scarcely rises above the basements. Among the causes assigned for this scarcity is the familiar newspaper one —that ■' factories and largeofflce buildings get the first supply, leav¬ ing only the surplus for private consumption," the said factories being equipped with " suction pumps," au advantage not enjoyed by other buildings. This can hardly be considered correct, for every tenement, fiat or apartment house now being erected in this city is furnished with a pumping engine of some description, consequently the factories and large office buildiugs have not a monopoly in the artificial supply of water. Perhaps it would be a better eluci¬ dation of the cause to attribute tlie lack of supply from street pres¬ sure to the number of new buildings which, while in process of construction, are a drain ou the preseut resources of the city's water supply, aud are still more so ^vlieu occupied. The greater the num¬ ber of new houses erected the greater the deficiency will necessarily be until -we have the new aqueduct completed. The statement that Austin Corbiu is about to establish a line of " rapid transit" steamers between Montauk Point and Europe is again going the rounds of the press. This is one of tbe stories like that about the gi-eat sea-serpent which the "silly" season has brought out with wearisome regularity duruig the last ten years. This BIou- tauk scheme has a grand air ahout it, but it will not stand com¬ mercial analysis, and until Mr. Corbin's first steamer is running, well-informed people are not likely to take any stock in it. In the fh-st ]daco, fast steamers to suit the present requirements of ti-avel- lers must be of large tonnage, as all the new boats on the Trans¬ atlantic lines show. The recent additii>ns to the Inman, the Nortb German Lloyd, tbe Hamburs-Americau aud the White Star Hues are ail of about ten thousand tons disiilacement. But boats of tbis size, to be remunerative, must carry heavy ca.rgoes of fii-st-class freight, for fhe time has not yet arrived when vessels can carry only passengers, and perhaps mail, aud pay. Vesselscarryiug freight must make for a large port possessing ample facilities for distribu¬ tion and storage ; and neither of these are to be obtained at Montauk. All goods landed at Montauk would have to be sent at once to New York, and unless IMi-. Corbin means to give shippers free transpor¬ tation over the Long Island Railroad they are not likely to pati-onize liis steamers. Montauk may one day be a great sMpping port for Europe, but it will not be until the passenger and freight services are completely separate. ---------■---------- The talk about this new steamship line may be not entirely unconnected with what is being said Just now regarding "sub¬ sidies ;" for a " real live American'line" of the kind spoken of could no more be run without n. subsidy than witbout conl. Until we can build ships and run them better and cheaper lb;in we can under present conditious, the "fiag" and the "appropriation" must go together. J^o vessel cau afEord to carry the Stars and Stripes abouti the world as a regular pai't of her cargo without receiving an enor¬ mous freight rate for doing so. No one but tho government can afl"ord to pay this freight, and unless it comes from tbo national pocket it is not likely to come at all. To some people the word "subsidies'' has a nasty sound, savoring of the old-time methods of kings who made their own political economy, and, with a large generosity with other people's interests, " promoted" this industry and " fostered" that, by royal grants and subsidies and permission to tax the people in other industries that were not fortunate to get close enough to the imjierial eai-. Still, even those who think this way will acknowledge tbat it would be quite as well for tbe coun- 'j try if our surplus were spent in the promotion of shipbuilding instead of in the promotion of a vast sj'stem of national mendi¬ cancy under the direction of Maater-of-Alms Tanner, Other nations have adopted the plan of trying to produce a mercantile marine from "subsidies" with different degrees of suc¬ cess. Great Britain gets along without subsidies. Tbe contrary is often stated; but it is not correct. She pays §4,000,000 a year or a trifle more for carrying mails, but if this is a "subsidy" then it may be said that our government subsidizes foreign ships, for every year the Post-ofiice pays to alien companies nearly §400,000 for services rendered. The only payment that the British government makes that might be regarded as a " subsidy " is the sum it gives to shipowners who consent to build theu- ships in a certain way so that they nnay he available in case of wai-, and who agree before¬ hand to surrender the sbiji fo the government if called upon in the event of hostilities. But this is only a quid i^ro quo, a,nd is not what we moan by subsidies. Fi-ance and Italy both pay bounties on shipbuilding, hut this does uot amount to a great deal, being in the case of France less thau SCO,000 a year since 1881, when the law first passed. In 1887 Italy paid bounties on new construction which amounted to about 1^23,000, aud on repairs iS;36,00O. Iu addition to this both France and Italy pay a certain sum for every thousand miles of long sea voyage made. If we adopted the French scale of subsidies, and it produced for us a vessel like the City of Paris, we should give lier owners for every trip across the ocean about $14,000, that is $7,000 each way. According to the Itahan scale the sum would be about $4,000 each way. The German government pays $10,000 to the North Germau Lloyd's for maintaining a regular service with the Orient, and to the American line belonging to tbe same company a minimum revenue of $76,000 for carrying the mails is guaranteed. Au stria-Hungaiy pays uo subsidies, but admits, duty free, materials to be used in the constniction of sliips. The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Denmark pay a few thou¬ sand dollars a year to shipowners for subsidies. Subsidies, no doubt, will give us ships, for if we are willing to pay we can get anything; but if we are to have avast fleet of vessels on every sea it must be established by something more potent than sub¬ sidies. "Byrsa's thousand masts," tbe Phcenecian ships, the argosies of Venice and Spain, and the fleets of the Netherlands, England and our own country before the war were not built-upon subsidies. One of the first things a New Yorker notices when he is on a visit to London is the comparatively moderate height of the houses in that city compared with the New York standard. It is seldom a structure, particularly a dwelling, of more thau five or six stories is seen. Yet, nevei-theless, it has been found desirable to make some attempt to regulate their height according to the width of the streets upon which they are to be located. A measure to effect this purpose has been inti-oduced into Parliament by Mr. Wbitmore, M. P.; one which in some way is similar to our New York law, but which differs as regards its scope and efficacy. Both the pro- posetl law in London and the statute here draw a distinction between streets of less and more than 00 feet in width, but here the resemblance ceases. The former includes all buildings within its scope, and permits none, except churches and chapels, to be erected more than 60 feet ^ high on a street less than 60 feet wide, whereas the latter includes ouly dwellings, permits a 70-foot structure on a fiO-foot thoroughfare, and bars any dwelling from being more than 80 feet high. In Mr. Whitmore's measm-e, if the street or place is wider than 60 feet, the building may be made as liigh as the street is wide. A further provision, however, throws light ou the intentions of the introducer of this bOl. In any partic¬ ular case, tbis limited height may be exceeded, provided the con¬ sent of the County Council can be obtained. It becomes apparent that the main object of the bill is to give tlie County Council the same powers to regulate tbe excessive height of buildings in exist¬ ing streets of London aa it has to regulate those on new streets. The water supply of Philadelphia, dej'ived as it is from the SchuylbiU River, which drains a region inhabited by 350,000, bas