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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 45, no. 1139: January 11, 1890

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January 11, 1890 Record and Guide. 31 •^ ^ ESTABUSHED ■^WARpHSl'i^ 1668. Dev&TED to f^L ESTME . BuiLDlf/G AjlcKlTECTJI^E .KoUSEHOU) DEBORAnod. BU5I^JEss ^^in Themes of General 1j^t£fi,es7 PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADTAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday, TELEPHONE, - - JOHN 370. Sommunlcatlons should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLV. JANUARY 11, 1890. No. 1,139. The Annual Numher of The Record and Guide, containing the Building Material Market Review for 1889 will he published next Saturday. In addition to the usual matter which has made this number indispensable to the building and mateHal trade, and all interested in real estate, it will contain a review of architecture in New York City during the year past, and Benner's prediction con¬ cerning the business world in 1890, which features insure this num¬ ber a large extra circulation among architects and investors gener¬ ally in WaU street and elsewhere. Advertisers who wish to reach users of building material and those engaged in buying, selling, leasing and lending on real estate shoidd avail themselves of the large circulation of this number. " Cop)," for advertisements can¬ not be received later than Tliv/rsday next, the \Mh inst. About the only Excliaage which has seen any marked activity or advance of prices during that small portion of 1890 which has elapsed is the Cotton Exchange. The prospect, apparently, of a large demand abroad, together with a continual and steady demand at home and the lai'ge crop have largely increased the activity and advanced the price of that material. The stock niarket has been depressed by the disturbance in the Coalers, which seem destined to hang over Wall street, just as the Grangers did last year, as lone as the present mild weather continues. Money has been easier, but that fact does not seem to have had much if any efifect on prices, probably because there ia not much feeling that the present state of affair's is permanent. Certainly after a rise in exchange of a point and-a half after the action of the directors of the Bank of England in increasing their rate of discount, and after their absolute refusal to sell gold bars for export to this country it is useless to look abroad for any help. But it is probable that before long we shall not need any. It may pretty safely be pre¬ dicted that after this last decline the sugar trust certificates have just about reached their bottom figure. The trust has undoubt¬ edly been doing a large business ; it has undoubtedly made money, and the actual value of the certificates cannot be much less than the present value. Even, however, if it is less, the certificates have a speculative value that ought to hold them at about their present figure. As a rule it is not until the second or third week in January that the new year of business in the real estate world fairly commences and it becomes possible to speak with some degree of certainty as to the " prospects." Very rarely has a new year opened more sat¬ isfactorily than the present one. During ibe past week the condi¬ tion of the market has greatly improved. Buyers for improved realty, especially for down-town property, have become numerous. The demand, is strong, and as will be seen by our reports in another column and by the recorded transfers, transactions are numerous aud at good prices. Residentisl propertj is in demand and some costly houses have been sold. As to renting, business has opened up well. ----------»_—_— The merit of the controversy between the Evening Post and Mr. Gilrny depends entii-ely upon the cost of laying a square yard of asphalt pavement. The Post estimates the cost at $1.75, and, so far as we know, the Commissioner of Public Works has not disputed the accuracy of the estimate, except, perhaps, by implica¬ tion in the statement he has made that the price paid by the Lon¬ don authorities is SS.25 a yard, against an average of $4.45 in New York. The comparison, however, is not a fair one, even if the -figures given are correct, for in London, as in most European cities, rock asphalt is the only kind used, and is considerably more expensive than the Trinidad asphalt which is to be laid down in New York. If the's figures are correct, or approximately so, unquestionably the contractors could (if they should choose to) forfeit the bond given to the city as security for keeping theii- work in good order for fifteen years, and yet make a sufficient, if not & handsome, profit on their contracts, leaving the future of the streets they have made to the care of the city. In other words, the bonds given to the city are valueless to secure per¬ formance of contract. In this matter it is not alleged that anyone is acting in bad faith. It happens that certain bonds are not suffi¬ cient for tbe purpose for which they were exacted. The Evening Post, if its figures are correct, has done the city a service, about which Mr. Gilroy shows a trifle too much sensitiveness. It is a good thing that the jjress should be watchful and critical before contracts have been cai'ried out and the city has parted with its money ; instead of, as is usual, after mischief has been done. If a mistake or miscalculation has been made in the Department of Public Works, it can, perhaps, be rectified ; if not, Mr. Gilroy is forewarned in the case of the contracts already given out, aud in those yet to be let he can see that the interests of the city are really and not apparently secured, ------------a------------ The deadlock as to the presidency of the Real Estate Exchange has been well ended by tbe election of Mr. George H. Scott. It is very fit that the position should be filled by one who is so well known in the real estate world, and who has given to the Exchange since its organization such valuable service as director, secretary and member of various committees. Mr. Scott knows well what the Exchange requires, and will bean excellent executive officer, and a matter that is of much importance, is capable of fitly rep¬ resenting on occasions of a public or semi-public character the institution over which he presides. ———•---------- It is inevitable that the annual message of the Mayor must be more or less of the nature of a twice told (ale. Rarely, if ever, is it the vehicle for the disclosure of any fads not already known in a general way by the public, for though nominally ifc is an address to the Common Council it is delivered solely for the public ear. In respect to any new information on municipal affairs, Mayor Grant's recent message differs in no wise from the messages of his predecessors. Everything that is said in it regarding the condition of the city's finances, the water supply, the street pave¬ ments, the street cleaning department, rapid transit, subways, and so forth was ah-eady well known even to those who give only casual attention to the management of the city in which they live. Despite this fact the Mayor's message is a straightforward, sensible and interesting document. It does credit to the Mayor, and we believe it is cn the whole a truthful statement of what his admin¬ istration has so far purposed and accomplished. True, the good points of his administration are at present more matters of prom¬ ise than of achievement, but this is not a fault at the beginning of a temi of office, ----------«------.— Tlie step toward a more general use of asphalt for street pave¬ ments is to be commended. The action of the Mayor in the street cleaning difficulty is also satisfactory, though much might be said in defense of Mr. Coleman. The problem, however, has now been reduced to the simplest terms. The Mayor says the streets shall be kept clean in spite of poor pavements, subway-making, and the dirty habits of citizens, and he has undertaken in the most public manner to find an official who will accomplish this feat. The task is a more difficult one than perhaps the Mayor realizes. Before we can have really clean streets we must have really good pavements, and citizens must be taught that the public thoroughfares are not to be used as " dumping grounds" for refuse. It is to be hoped that the Mayor will be more successful with his Raiiid Transit bill in Albany this year than last. It is haidly to beexpected, however The opposition to it from several quarters is strong, and to over¬ come it will need "considerations" of the most powerful nature. It is to be regretted that the Mayor has not adopted a broader policy in dealing with the Manhattan Company and its proposition to build a loop at the Battery and to construct a third track along its lines. This is the immediate and the only immediate solution or rather palliation of the rapid transit difficulty. The determina¬ tion of which the Mayor speaks to contest a part of the levy made upon the city by the State Board of Equalization (so called) is one that Justice demands aud all taxpayers will support. There is little doubt that the city is annually robbed under a system of legal¬ ized brigandage. The Mayor's statements about the future water supply of the city through the new aqueduct do not in all particu¬ lars square with the facts. It has been pretty conclusively shown that it is more ingenious than ingenuous to refer to the capacity of tbe aqueduct as the measure of what the water supply will be for many years to come. It is not "capacity" that isneeded in the third and fourth stories of up-town residences and in office buildings down town, but water. At present this has to be obtained at some expense by the aid of a pump, and probably will still have to be even after the new aqueduct is opened. If Mayor Grant should succeed during his term in giving us clean streets freefrom telegraph poles and a rapid transit act that will secure rapid transit, the city will be more indebted to him than to any other Mayor, He has a splendid opportunity to distinguish himself, ----------■---------- The certain detection of crime is a matter of quite as much im-