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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 47, no. 1201: March 21, 1891

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March 21.1891 Record and Guide. ESTABUSHED*-^ M^RpH 2lf 1868. ^ De/oteO to I^L Eswe . BuiLoiffc A^KitectvJRE .(dus^old Degor^twI Business Aito Themes of Oijiififil ntc^^est IX dollars; Cortlandt ISIO. PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, ^Uished every Satur^a Telephone, Communications should be addressed to C.W. SWEEJ", 191 Broadway J. T. LINDSEY, BuHneos Manager. Vol. XL"?!! MARCH 21, 1891J No. 1,201 THE action of the Secretary of tiie tfeasiiry in refusing to furaisli gold bars for export has m« witb general approval, but. nevertheless, it seems utterly unjustiEble under present cir- cum-stances. The United States is a largi producer of ^old, and regularly iu tbe spring a certain amounSis exported, Iiis not likely that the exports thia spring will be any larger than usual, but they are just as inevitable, and nothpg is to be gained at a time when the disposition rather is lr co-operation among the different countries in financial latters. by hampering the payment of just debts by forjng exporters to use coin. The credit of the United States hs deservedly stood high in the past. We have paid in the best that we have, and we should continue to do so. The market lus not been able to get out of its rut during the past week. Bribers' offices continue as empty as ever; and the price of seats on tie Stock Exchange is as low as at any time for ten years. The siuation is not, however, without its redeeming features. There ai large capitalists, who, though suspicious of the Granger road dvtring the period of over-building and rate wars throuE;h w hi h these, properties have been passing, regard tbe present oui aok for harmony and better rates, if not better earnings, as m st satisfactory, and are consequently buying for the first time in fW years. It is believed that the most troublesome disturber of r^es in the West, the Chi¬ cago, St. Paul and Kansas City, wbich hal done more to demoralize trafc arrangements than any other singl^road, will be bought out in some way, leaving the path clear for i peaceful and equitable adjustment of differences, so that wheil tne times of big traffic again return the railroad companies will pe in a position to make the most of their opportunities. The danir of hasty and vicious legislat'on on the pai't of the Watern Legislatnres has disappeared for the time being, ThefKansas and Nebraska legislators and the more intelligent of the [farmers are, perhaps, beginnmg to appreciate that lieir attacks on Easiera es. Neither' need any time the embarrassment investors react disastrously on themsel trouble be feared from abroad. In a s'lor resulting from the Baring guarantee willilisappear ; the enormous assets of that fii-m will be distributed,jand tbe various institu¬ tions and capitalists who so advantageaisly for themselves came to the rescue will have an interest in an ictive and rising market, A good many people, it should be remyiibered, benefited by the panic ; there was no actual wtalth destroyed ; the properties repre¬ sented by the securities still possess ther earning power, and a rebound from the present dullness will sumly take place. Altogether investors have every reason to retain ihe'r patience and their atocks. The bad weatber has and will inure railway earnings. A significant straw is the large falling off in the shipments of butter, which is directly traced to the inclementweather, and the state of things this indicates is widespread. Peoijle are beginning to com¬ plain of a slackening of business. Retainers particularly are feel¬ ing uneasy. A large part of the distrust iiidue to tbe labor troubles, both nreaent and in prospect. Those intrested in the coal stocks shculd remember the pending strike for In eight-hour day, which may take place on May 1st. Both partiesare inclined tobe uncom¬ promising, and if Ihe struggle was proloiged it might well be as disastrous aa tbe smke in the Scotch ironftraiJe, described below. AS business conditions abroad remairt con stant, it is but natural that the stock markets should Wntinue dull. The dull¬ ness, however, has not changed for the ■^orse into weakness; and this, in spite of the continuance of therimors, groundless for the most part, affecting the solvency of impotant housea. Indications point to a year of moderate prosperity, Utthout any remarkable activity and without any trying depressiol. After a dispute, which bas extended over five months in the Scotch iron trade, the blast-furnace men bave acquiesced in the [iron masters' conditions, which reprtsent a reduction of ^0 per cent on ton¬ nage, and nine pence per day (on shift, wages, and w<,rk has already begun again in sev^al districts. The loss occasioned by the dispute has been very lirge. In the five months the make of Scotch iron bas been reduced by at least 330,000 tons. Nor will this direct reduction of production be the only source of loss. During these months the Scotch iron-master haa beeu fast relinquishing touch, not only witb bis home, but with his foreign markets. A few more months of such idleness and the Scotch iron trade would have almost passed into history. As it is, customers have been rapidly adapting themselves to new mixtures, and some makes are quite out vf the market, so tbat it will be a difficult matter to direct cer¬ tain sections of tbe demand back to the original channel. Neither do the iron-masters start again under favor¬ able circumstances, At the time they shut down, the cost of fuel and iron was such that little if any profit existed in selling their product at current prices. They have succeeded in reducing wages, which form only a small part of the cost of production in tbis industry, but as regards the price of fuel and 'he price of iron the markets are as distinctly as adverse to production aa ever. Ooly about a third of the seventy-two furnaces closed will resume. The strike has attracted but little attention compared to its importance, probably because it was in a trade which does not come into direct contact with many people; its results, may, however, be far-reaching. Now that tbe details of the issue of the new 3 per cent .Prussian and Imperial loans are available, it may be interesting to mention some of the facts connected wibh it. The 250,00(i,000 Prussian consols were subscribed to twenty-nine and a-half times over, and the Imperial loan of 300,000,000 forty-six times over. The subscrip¬ tions at some of the important banks and bankers of Berlin were very large—that at iilendelssohn & Co. beiug reported at 1,3,^0,000,- 000 marks ; that at Bleishroeder & Co., the same; that at the Deutche Bank, 1,100,000,000; that at the Bank Fur Handel and Industrie, 1,000,000,000, and so on. As 5 percentof these subscrip¬ tions bad to be deposited, the amount of deposits at these firms and banks would have run up to about 5OO,000,0Oi, marks, and would have amounted to 839,400,000 marks on the total subscriptions. The first payment on tbe loan, amounting to 20 per cent, is already due; and it is the transactions arising out of this issue tl;at is responsible fcr our constant exports of geld to Berhn. The invest¬ ing public has uudoubtecly bad a large share in tlie success of the loan, and this fact is perhaps the best comment on the disquieting rumors tbat are being circulated respecting the state of financial affairs in Berlin. THE suggestion of The Record and GmoE's that the Sinking Fund Commissioners should revise their determination to go outside of the City Hall Park in tbeir search for a site for the new municipal building, aud if necessary (as it will be necessary) obtain permissory legislation to do this, has met with such encourage¬ ment in various quarters tbat we feel justified in urging this course of action still moie strongly. The delay which is attending tte erection of-this building, imperative as is the need for it, is doubt¬ less vexations; but the sub-committee with tbe matter in charge does well to deliberate carefully before spending some millions of dollars in purchasing a site when a more convenient and more prominent location could be bad for nothing. If the alternative to going outside of the City Hall Park was the occupation of thac pare of the park aroimd the Register's office for the new building, we should hesitate to recommend the latter course, for the result would be an ill-arranged trio of incongruous edifices—about as defacing and unlovely as that remarkable combination of buildings just to the east, occupied by Judas, Ananias and the Republican Oracle. But a third course exists, which is open to the commissioners. With lhe consent of the Legislature the present City Hall could be torn down or removed, and a building equally just and pleasing in pro¬ portions, more imposing as a whole, and lesa* meretricious in some of its details, could be erected in its place. This would doubtless bave been done long ago were it not that the City Hall, in spite of ils shabby, barren and incon¬ venient interior, is possessed of dimensions most restful and admir¬ able compared with some of the uneasy and abortive sti-uctures by which the park is surrounded. But wheu we remember that besides much tbat is worth preservation the building contains many char¬ acteristics that are most vicious according to modern ideas of structure, and most abhorrrnt to those who believe in architectural veracity, and when we remember tbat this is the only really feas¬ ible way of saving tbe city the expenditure of several millions at a time when the pressure of needed public impri^vements is great, the conclusion is inevitable tbat the proposition'to remove the old building has a balance of arguments in its favor. Very certainly there are plenty of good architects in this city wbo could take advantage of such an opportunity to give the public a building far more noteworthy than ihe present City Hall, If a real compe* tition were to be established, under terms that would make it worth the while of tbe best architects to submit sketches, and if a com- mittee of experts were called in to pass on the designs, we axe very much mistaken if New York could not then havea building which, I