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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 44, no. 1136: December 21, 1889

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December 91, 1889 Record and Guide. T697 ESTABLISHED-^tfAKCH21i!^ia68. Dev&JeD 10 F^E^L Estate . guiLDif/o AficrfiTECTji^E .HouseiIold DESOfV^Tioi*. BiJsiriESs Alb Themes op Ge^eiv^I 1;Jt£i\es7 PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370. Commimlcations should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. 7. T. LTNDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLIV. DECEMBER 21, 1839. No. 1,136. The Record and Guide, this week, contains a sixteen-page Supplement devoted to illustrations of ike Paris Exposition and sarne recent examples of Aineriean Architecture. Subscriber's should see that they are provided with the Supplement in each copy of the paper. Ten copies of the Supjylement will he mailed to as many as len addresses upon receipt of $1.00, at this office. No. 191 Broadway. The most encouraging aspect of the stock market during the past wpek liag been a strong undertone, in spite of a rather depressing dullness. Indeed, throughout the whole of the fall this has been true of the general market. Certain specialties such as tbe sugar trust aud the coal stocks have been depreciating in value ; others like Union Pacific and the Vanderbilts have ranged strong, but the list in general has simply refrained from moving. If witb the new year a general upward tendency is developed some one stock is sure to lead tbe way. Undoubtedly tbe principal cause for the failure of the market to respond to the good business conditions has been due to the fear of a tight money market—a fear tbat is not likely to remain with tbe coming of January. It is noticeable tbat the increased business of the railroads is at last beginning to have an effect on tbe dividends. New York Central has declared an extra dividend of one-half of 1 per cent., Western Union three-quarters of 1 per cent., and Lako Shore is confidently expected to follow suit. Moreover, tbere is little fear of further Granger legislation in tbe Western States, for tbe experience of Iowa has too plainly shown that a State in hampering its railroads is simply cutting off its nose to spite its face. Perhaps, also, we do not quite appreciate the effect of the present English prosperity in tbe future of our own securities. Large amounts of capital have already been sent over here by English investors, but compared to the amounts of money lyine idle in that country awaiting investment, tbe capital already sent over is insignificant The political troubles in Brazil and the financial ones in the Argen_ tine Republic will tend to make the British capitalists pay still more attention to tbis country. This can hardly be called an immediate bull argument, but ultimately the conditions outlined are sure materially to increase the price of our railroad and indus¬ trial securities. The dead-lock that exists in tbe election for president of the Real Estate Exchange is unfortunate and, in a sense, iannecessary, for the candidates of both parties—Messrs. Geo, R, Read and George H. Scott—are men, either of whom would, without question, make an excellent officer. Both sides would no doubt admit this ; and the fact that this does not make tbe solution of the difficulty easier shows that the basis of the trouble is factional rather tban per¬ sonal, so far as tbe presidential position is concerned. Tbat tbe dead-lock has occun-ed is a sm-prise equaPy to both parties, and though it could probably be overcome if either side would support the claima of the vice-president to the higher office, botb are right in taking the position that despite the estimable cbaracter of that gentleman the president of tbe Exchange should be a representa¬ tive member of tbe real estate interest. It is to be regretted that the directors cannot make a selection for president outside of their own body, and thus make available the first-class material that exists for the position in tbe membership of tbe Exchange ; such men, for instance, as William W. Astor, who would be able to devote more time and thought to the Exchange and the furtherance of its interests than would be possible with men whose time is almost completely occupied with their business. The city authorities are again at loggerheads with tbe electric light companies, and again the city is in darkness. It is needless to point out, at this late day, tbat this is eminently proper. It furnishes the world with anotber splendid example of tbe perfec¬ tion of our municipal airangements and the profound respect in ■which our corporations hold tbe law and their duties, that when ,(3»e law 18 broken and the decrees of the courts set at naught and the life of people endangered in tbe public thoroughfares, the authorities have only one effective resource open to them, viz.: to employ gangs of men to proceed through the city demolishing property. It is to be hoped that no one will confound this witb . anarchy, which it somewhat resembles undoubtedly, or with pro¬ ceedings wbicb hitherto have belonged entirely to a state of war. We all know that most civilized communities enforce their decrees, in these times, principally withtbeaxe ; aud when a street railroad company refuses to put down proper rails, or a gas company to make proper connections, the municipal authorities in all the great capitals in the world proceed at once to send out their official des¬ troyers on a tour of devastation, and in this way they bring the corporations to terms. ---------•--------- We have at last, it seems, got beyond the stage wherein mere legal processes are effective, or the law in itself has any power to enforce its decrees. The law, indeed, still surrounds pretty closely those unfortunates wbo are prone to commit petty misdemeanors, but tbe circle between the law's activity and the activity of corpo¬ rations is widening rapidly. The position of New York City in electrical matters is now well worth studying. It is more tban instructive. It is so full of the elements of the grotesque, the ridiculous, the absurd, of those very qualititiea which, as it were, tickle and provoke the mind of tbe investigator, tbat it is doubtful whether there has been anything {in its way) so interesting since men first gathered themselves into cities and attempted to govern themselves. We have here a Board of Electrical Control composed of one butcher, one tbeatrical-agent, one lawyer—eminent experts, naturally, in electrical matters ; tbere are subways that no one wants to use ; poles in whicb the public fiud danger and the companies profit, and consequently which the former would remove and the latter maintain; courts making decisions which other courts upset; coroners investigatmg deaths without reaching any conclusive decision ; grand juries protesting and recommending; tbe public clamoring; the newspapers denouncing ; the streets of the city torn up and in a conditiou that would disgust tbe inhabitants of a second-rate town in Asia Minor; the city's departments fighting one another as to wbo has jinrisdic- tion; and, finally, the city in darkness and men employed hacking down wires and poles. This is the sort of management tbat would be expected tf the Sandwich Islanders were to undertake electric lighting, and is as near to what it should be as a savage's use of tbe hahilaments of modern society is. Tbe condition NewYork is in is not the result of anything that sbould be called government. It is the unwholesome product of a despicable system of managing a great city by "politics." Are our most filthy streets, our pave¬ ments twenty-five years behind the times, the present darkness in our chief thoroughfares, the corruption like that of which we caught a glimpse lately in the Dock Department, the confusion and inefficiency to be marked in every field of municipal activity the best that can be expected in the metropolis of this Continent? Is it the reflection of ourselves, as government everywhere is tbe refiection of the people ? or is it in a sense an accidental product? New York must decide whether the government of this city is to be a matter of positions and duties or of places and spoils. No man who walks our streets to-day can be so fatuous as to think that the result before his eyes is the outcome of the former. Tbe latest news from Brazil but confirms the impression created by tbe first announcement of the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic, There was nothing either heroin or dignified about it from the beginning to tne end. The people of ■Rio Janeh'o seemed to take it very much as a matter of course, Tbey neither aided nor interfered with the army in assuming the control of the government; they were simply apathetic. The worst tbat bas been alleged of the ministry was corruption, red-tapeism and a certain irresponsibility. It need scarcely be pointed out that deficiences such as these are to be found to a greater or to a smaller extent in tbe governments of all nations ; and that a people, which has no other means of correcting them than revolution, is scarcely fitted to assume the responsibilities of self-government. A revolu¬ tion is justified only when the central authority through'the weight of custom or privilege constitutes a bar to the advance¬ ment of the people. Nobody has alleged that such a state of things existed in Brazil. The form of government was represen¬ tative. If the p0O]3le really desired tbe overthrow of the ministry, it could have been accomplished by legal means. The fact is, tbat the apathy of the population was reflected in the inadequacy of their governors. To say that the state of such a country is improved by change to au elective head or a federal constitution, is to mistake the real form of Republicanism for tbe condition of popular intel¬ ligence tbat alone makes it possible. Brazil, in truth, seems to differ but httle in her fltness for Democratic machinery from the Central American Republics, in which, as we all know, it is the merest farce. If, however, tbe revolution was dignified, it bad an element of common sense in it which, though not impressive, ■was