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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 46, no. 1174: September 13, 1890

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September 18, 1890 Record and Guide. 327 -^ \ ESTABIJSHED^IWPH««^1868. Dev6teD to RN- Estaje . BuiLoiffc ^^nEcronf .HcuseHoid Deoo^tioiL Bi/sii/ESS Alto Themes or Ce^ei^I IjncnEsi PRICE, PER ¥EAR IN ADYANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TEt^PHONE, . . - COKTI-ANDT 1370. CommumcatdaDS should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. L T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLVI. SEPTEMBER 13, 1890. No. 1,174 THE government crop report combined with the tightness of money has given the stock market a black eye. A certain amount of strength was evinced during the early part of the week; but the prices of the various securities soon began to chase each other downwards. And, indeed, it is becoming apparent that the gran¬ gers cannot expect another year of such large business as the past. Low rates and heavy operating expenses have deprived their stock¬ holders of any immediate advantt ge from this large business, and if good rates could not be obtained when business was plentiful, the outlook is scarcely bright when there will not be enough to go around. It is possible, however, that the effects of the crop short age are exaggerated. The yield is certainly not large compared with the high-water mark of recent years ; but it is by no means a total failure, so that while the increase in prices will probably make up to the farmers the deficiency in quantity, mechanics all over the country, having more to pay for their bread, will have less money to spend on other commodities—a circumstance that will probably have some effect on general trade. Aside from the crops, the continued tightness of money is the most unfortunate feature of the market. Secretary Windom does not seem to be able to remedy the scarcity, in spite of all that he has done, and he will probably b« obliged, as the most economical expedient, to increase his deposits in the national banks. It must be remem¬ bered as a partial explanation for the scarcity of cash that enormous sums of money are being locked up all over the country in build¬ ing, and in other forms of fixed capital. It is quite possible that this has l)een overdone; though whether it has been surficiently overdone to account for the continued scarcity of money, which argues, of course, an equally sustained cause, it is impossible to state. Manufacturers of all kinds have no fault to find with trade; and itis this fact of general business prosperity wh ch. after all, is the best security for the stock market in the future. While it continues, stocks cannot keep forever falling off. IT is now less than two months before the fall elections, and the I>olitical atmosphere is as foggy as it was during the heat of the summer sun. The voters of New York are still absolutely in the dark. Will Tammany nominate Mayor Grant ? Will the Repub¬ licans run a straight ticket ? Will the Municipal League nominate for Mayor some immaculate merchant of its own choice? These Matters are kept as closely secretasthe " Zodiac's brazen mystery." AU we know is that Col. Shepard is entertaining the Republican r^.;iiChine in a lavish manner; that Richard Croker has returned to pilot the Tammany ship during the next month or so, and that the Municipal League is sedately setting on a number of possible can¬ didates in the hope of finding a spotless nominee. We do not know of any municipal election of late years in which so few names have been publicly discussed as good running candidates and in which the people have had such a small opportunity of making up their minds as to their choice before the canvass is begun. One result of this mystery will probably be that totally unexpected nominations will be made. If certain names are in the air and their merits and demerits are being publicly considered, it is possible for political managers to gauge the comparative popularity of the different candidates with the result that one is chosen. But if the names are mentioned only in an undertone—in the way, that is, that Gren. Sickles and William Steinway's names have been talked about— it is more than likely that the choice of the " bosses" will be some¬ one whom the people have never heard mentioned before. How¬ ever, the mystery will soon be cleared up, for Richard Croker, whatever his faults, is not the man to let the grass grow under his feet. ♦ ------ THE newspapers contained the interesting item, during the past week, that Commissiorer Gilroy and Controller Myers had made a tour of inspection along certain of the new asphalt pave¬ ments up town and had been perfectly well satisfied with the results of their observations. This "soimds plausible," as the schoolboy once replied to 9- rem{u:k of the schoolmaster; but before resting entirely assured of its truth, we will await Mr. Myer's customary letter to the newspapers. Meanwhile, would it not be well for these gentlemen to extend the scope of their observations. The Controller, doubtless, is obliged to make occasional trips to Wall street to raise money on revenue bonds, and Commissioner Gilroy might well spare half an hour for the same journey. It is hardly possible that they would be so very much delighted with the result of this inspection. The new asphalt pavement in Wall street is in a condition that would disgrace the main thoroughfare of shanty-town. In parts the pavement is entirely dislodged, and from one end to the other there are valleys and hills that would make a Lilliputian imagine that New York was situated in a very mountainous region. We are aware that this is no new complaint. Within a week after the pavement was laid indications of incipient disintegration were plainly visible. The attention of Commissioner Gilroy was called to the fact by a newspaper that is something of an authority on asphalt pavements, and in reply the Commissioner stated that the Barber Asphalt Company had not been paid for the pavement, and would not be paid until it was in a satisfactory con¬ dition. Capt. Greene, when interviewed, pleaded that some time should elapse to give the pavement a chance to get harder. The time has elapsed ; the pavement has become " harder "—to repair, but still nothing is done about it. No doubt can exist now, even in the mind of Capt. Greene, that it is a disgracefully bad piece of work. And where, mav we ask, does the responsibility lie ? Either the specifications under which the pavement was laid must have been strangely defective, or else the inspector who was responsible that the material should be that authorized by the specifications was culpably negligent. As other pavements have been laid under the same specifications, and s'eemingly laid satis¬ factorily, it would appear that the fault lies with the inspector. The Barber Asphalt Company is a rich corporation and will doubtless in time so repair the pavement, or so relay it, that Wall street will not be longing for the days of granite block. But this is not enough. The system under which our pavements are laid should be such that bad work cannot creep in. Competent supervision is the city's only protection. FROM the architects' point of view the effort to erect a memorial over the burial place of Grant has been as petty and unna- tional as the getting of the necessary fund has so far been. In a sense both have been a disgrace to us as a people. The compara¬ tively small sum of money that has been tediously extracted from the public by beseechings, appeal after appeal, advertising schemes, etc., is well matched by the petty final competition among a few local architects which this week finally resulted in the selection of plans which can be carried out in part only, and must be left indefinitely to posterity to complete. One would have supposed that the selection of a design for a great monument to the hero of Appoma- tox would have been a national affair: that in it would have been enlisted the architectural talent of the country. Among any other civilized people on the face of the globe such would have been the case where a hero of Grant's fame and proportions was concerned. Instead, what have we? A petty local com¬ petition among half-a-dozen or so of architects only a few of which are of first-lass repute. We have not seen Mr. Duncan's plan, which may be of the highest order, creditable to himself and to the country. But that is not the point. The competition itself should have been of a very different char¬ acter. Many an oflBce building and flat has called for more effort and activity among the architects of the country. The fault, of course, lies with the lines upon which the first competition was con¬ ducted. In spite of what experience shows, committees and others cannot see that general go-as-you-please,' open-to-all sort of com¬ petitions have, as a rule, no attractions for architects of repute who have somethingelse to fill their boards with than imaginary sketches and designs for small prizes in a sort of lottery business. l^OW that the tariff bill has passed both Houses, aud the Force -^ bill has been laid over till the next session, it is to be pre¬ sumed that the legislative work of the present session is practically completed. Some of the appropriation bills have sfill to become laws; but no new legislation of great commercial or political importance remains to be accomplished. As our readers know, a good deal that has been done we cannot approve. The dependent pension bill was a criminal waste of good money, which is all the more discouraging because the Democrats, so far as their plat¬ forms allow us to judge, will not take issue with the principle on which this expenctiture is based. The Force bill was a piece of sectional legislation which many regard as partisanship run mad and it is thought its exponents will be able again to defeat it at the cominc: short session, if. indeed, the luke-warm manner in which the Westem Republicans regard it will not cause it to be dropped. Neither have the Repablicans followed a good precedent in admitting a couple of Territories as States, which have far less than the population sufficient to entitle them to a repreaentfttive. It is doubtful, also, how mucb $0Q^ will come of tfa«