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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 47, no. 1211: May 30, 1891: Supplement

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EAST^'SLDE NUMBER. ESTABLISHED '^ J8VARpH£l^Xl868, @mm. Wntertd at the Foit-offlee at New Tork, N. T., at $eoond-claumatter." Vol. XLVII. NEW YOEK, MAY Jo, 18yl. SUPPLEMENT. Review of Progress on the East Side. IN a review of the work that had been accomplished on the West Side, published by The Record and Guide last fall, we stated that the period of experiment liad passed in the improvement of that section of the city, that the building had been sufficiently wide spread to have determined the class of houses best suited to each locality, and that subsequent development would be modelled on past achievement. These assertions, which we were in some respects obliged to qualify as regards the West Side, are almost unreservedly true as regards the East Side. Of course very much remains to bea.ccomplished; and conditions will arise in the future wbich may give a somewhat different turn to the class of buildings East Side, as determined in the foregoing paragraph. It is no part of our intention to enter into auy set comparison between the two sections. The points of difference are obvious. From au sesthetic point of view the East Side would certainly suffer from being placed in " deadly parallel;" but there is no necessity of so placing it. The fcwo sections are not running a race, and consequently either the constitution of a judge or the selection of a winner would be an unneeded and unheeded gratuitv. The development of the southerly portion of the East Side has been conditioned on the character of the section immediately south of 59th street. Property in that locality, as we all know, is very valuable on Sth avenue, rather less valuable on Madison, still cheaper and less desirable for residence purposes on Park, and so on east. It was inevitable that the building of costly houses on Sth Madison Auenue—Looking north from Ninety-fifth Street. ia afew localities; but the changes will be comparatively unimport¬ ant, aud the new conditions (which we shall presently detail), will rather accelerate the speed of the building tban alter its incidence. In speaking of the East Side we mean more tban that section of the city north of 59th sireet and east of the Central Park, We include under the tei-m all the land improved or open to improve¬ ment north of 59th street and east of the ridge which goes to make up Harlem and Washington Heights. We admit that this may create some confusion in t\w minds of the reader, for ordinance and custom alike make Sth avenue the division line between east and west in New York. Our purpose necessitates, however, the adoption of the topographical distinction rather than the artificial one, for the character and the extent of the building north of 59th street has been and will be determined mainly by the lay of the land rather than by the conventions which prevailed during tbe improvement of the lower wards. Oue set of conditions variously modified in different places has built up tlie West Side in a certain way. The same conditions will jH-evail in the improvement of Morningside Hill and Washiugtou Heigbts. Another set of con¬ ditions has built up the blocks north of 59th street and east of Sth aveaue. Substantially, though not entirely, the same condi¬ tions have thus far prevailed, and will prevail as far west as the ridge and as far uorth as the Harlem River. The West Side ele¬ vated road in a way straddles our fence by curving to the east at noth street and continuing up 8th avenue, but it cannot obliterate tbe distinctiOD, The land to the west of the ridge will have to wait for another, and, let us hope, a better rapid transit line. The purpose of our present article is, then, a description of the avenue, below 59th street, would be continued to the north, just as it was inevitable that the less expansive dwellings on Madison avenue would find their counterparts along that thoroughfare, through tbe sixties, seventies and eighties. The force of tliis con¬ dition, however, constantly diminishes as we go further north, until by the time we reach BOth street it is pretty well expended. South of that street the character of the improvements has been as good as one could espect. Most of the houses are built singly rather than in rows; all of them are intended for very rich men, and their architectm'al qualities average better thau the residences on 5th avenue, soutn of 59 th street. Northof 90th street little building has been done until the neighborhood of Mount Morris Park is reached; and here it is of a most ordinary description. Furthermore, some of the blocks south of 9ijth street show manifest signs of deterioration. This tendency to a cheaper class of building shows itself still sooner on Madison avenue. The street retains its individualiej- pretty well up to the car stables, and to a certain extent even further north. Theu comes a break until 110th street is reached; and above that point tlie improveraents are principally second-class flats. Park avenue is more largely built up than Madison; Lesington more largely than Park, and 3d more largely than Lesington. But the tendency always seems to be towards tenements and apartment houses, This brings us to our second jjoint. The East Side has been and will be improved largely with this class of buildings. One factor in its development has been what we may call the elongation of the character of the avenues south of 59fch street into the region east of