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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 43, no. 1104: May 11, 1889

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May 11, 1889 Record and Guide. 645 De/oTEO ^0J<^ ESTME. SuiLDlf/c AflcKlTECTdt^E .HoUSEI^OLD D£GOiy,not*. '■ BiJsit/ESS AtJo Themes of Ge^efiaL lj>iT£i\Es7 ^^ ESTABUSHED-S5>MARCHer-i^lB68.'' PRICE, PER VEAR U ADTANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, - . - JOHN 370. (Commuiilcatioiis should be addressed to C.W, SWEET, 191 Broadway. /, T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLIII. MAY 11,' 1889. No. 1,104 It will be noticed that tiie records of the eonveyances, mort¬ gages, new buildings and other Jiliiigs are unusuaUy heavy this week, being perhaps heavier than ever before in the histm'y of this journal. This is due partly to the activity, which is usual about thefirst of May, and partly to the fact that the Centennial celebra¬ tion delayed the filing of documents at the city offices here andin Kings, Westchester, Essex and Hudson counties and elsewhere. Our readers will appreciate the extra effort which tliis extraordi¬ nary pressure on our columns necessitates. --------•-------- "We publish elsewhere the resolutions passed by the Press Club and the Real Estate Exchange upon the death of Mr. Croly. To his family and friends their value will be something more than conven¬ tional, for they are the expression not only of the real affection and admiration of men who knew him intimately, but of the two profes¬ sions in connection witli which the greater part of his life's work was done. The loss of Mr. Croly has been most widely and deeply recognized, and the tributes to his memory by his friends, associates and the Press of the country have beeu of such a character that we have deemed it appropriate to collect a few, which we will pub¬ lish uext week. The stock market, after enjoying a Centennial spurt, has again lapsed into the same characteristic dullness which has afflicted it for so many montha. The only business coming to brokers is from that class of hopeful people wbo are always looking or trying to look ahead, on the principle tbat the future is to be read only by the lessons of tlie past. They argue that things must have a turn; that the worst of everything has come out, and that no more need be said about old crops, but new ones are the pivot on which things must tiirn. Consequently the splendid prospect of the growing grains leads to the taking of chances by the sanguine, which, backed up by fine weather and additions to their ranks, is likel y culminate in a moderate bull movement. The great general con¬ ditions are not so much against this class of reasonere. While business is not good, it cannot be called bad, and when it is said that the volume of business is about the same as last year we get at very near the facts. If we are even holding onr own in comparison with the previous season it may be called a hopeful sign, for it was just about this time last year when shoes began to pinch. The great BurHngton strike was at its height, all labor was more or less disorganized, employes on tlie New York Central Road and on some of the otlier gi-eat syste]ns were uneasy, threatening a general stoppage of railroad communication, and the general government itself was doubtful as to the outcome of it aU. To-day labor, while not as profitably employed as a year ago, realizes the changed condi¬ tions and goes to work for smaller pay, accepting the terms with but little gi-umbliug. Had tlie government at "Washington called Congress together and kept tlie legislators in session until the two vexing questions of tariff and surplus had been settled there is no doubt but thafc tbe fall business would be a good one. As it is the speculator is hkely to have the best of it, and the slow mover will be his prey. Did it not strike some of the observers of the recent Centennial parade that there was an element of the ridiculous in making a procession, which was intended to commemorate the success of a constitution and the progress of a great people, pass under two arches in Madison square constructed of wood and canvas, that resembled more than anything a castle scene in a theatre? Apart from the inappropriateness of the masonry which the arches were intended to sliam, did it not seem that the Centennial celebration of a nafcion of 60,000,000 people ouglit to call for sometiiing architect¬ urally better and more permanent thau that flimsy combination of the mere mechanical work of a joiner and a painter? "Was there not something poor and petty about it, suggesting patriotism with a thousand dollar limit? The arch on the junction of Sth avenue with Washington square, being far more appropriate in design, should have occupied the moat conspicuous position, and it should in addition have been begun long ago and been built of solid mas¬ onry, so that when the troops marched under it, they couid have felt tbat it symbolized the prominence of that which is best in our constitution rather than the pettiness of a patriotism measured iu dollars. But ifc iJ not too late yet. They are going to erect a permanent monument across Sth avenue, just where it runs into Wasliington square. Good 1 By all means let us have a permanent monument. Let it be begun at once and finished in time for the celebration of 1892. But the junction of Washington place and Sth avenue is uot the spot for it. An arch of that kind should be put iu some centrai situation, where everybody, stranger or New Yorker, could not help seeing it. The nearest approximation to such a position in New York City is at the junction of Sth avenue, Broadway and 23d street. Let the permanent arch stretch across Broadway, just aa the temporary one did, overlooking the whole of Madison square, and visible to every one who visits a large store or takes a stroll to see the sights of the metropolis. Of course there are objections to this. The undertaking will be expensive, more so than if it was placed in a less conspicuous spot, and during the course of its con¬ structiou traffic may be impeded. All this allowed; but these objections cannot justify the concealment of a monument, national in its significance, in a residential and purely local part of the city. It ia not a question of trouble or money, it is a question of effect. The public feeUng shown by the proposition lo erect the Wash¬ ington square arch in permanent material is gratifying and hopeful. This municipality has never within the memory of its oldest inhab¬ itant been so much interested and excited by any subject of muni¬ cipal concern as by the Centennial celebration. Everybody waa positively anxious that the city should make a good showing and do itself credit. This state of feeling is so rare in the commercial metropolis of what Emerson called this '' great, intelligent, sensual, avaricious America," that eveiything ought to be done that can ba done to encourage it and to keep ifc alive. It is not merely or mainly as a municipal ornament tbat we need the Centennial arch, but as a reminder both of the Centennial commemoration and of fche tiling commemorated. Meanwhile, it is rather melancholy that the old and slow metliod of passing round the hat should be adopted in order to secure this result. The monument should belong to the city, and should be reared and paid for by the city. If an appeal could be made for a subscription to every New Yorker individually, the response would be ahnost universal. Everybody would be willing to conti-ibute according to his means. This being the case, there seems to be no reason why fche cifcy should not assess the cost of the erection upon the taxpayers directly. It seems strange that the people should be continually compelled to fight more or less plausible schemes for the spoliation of Central Park. If there is one thing that New Yorkers are agreed aboufc it is that the park is an honor and au ornament to the city. Never¬ theless, whenever anybody is in want of a place to play baseball, or to hold an exposition, or to race horses, his first thought is to get a few acres of the park for his pm-pose. The latest attempt at spoliation is not even plausible. This is the attempt which has now been authorized by law to remove the menagerie from the arsenal to some ofcher parfc of the park. Its excuse is the dissat¬ isfaction of the owners and occupants of property on the other side of the avenue. This feeling is entitled to be consulted. The menagerie ought to be removed, only it ought not to be removed to another site in tbe park. There is no other site where the park itself would be less defaced and injured by the menagerie than by maintaining it on fche presenfc site, while the change would involve the consti-uction of new buildings and the demolition of the old iu order to restore the present site to the park-hke condition it is proposed to destroy somewhere else. The spot selected is under¬ stood to be on the North Meadow, one of the most beautiful and rural parts of the park. A former commissioner gave the measure of his fitness for his place by recommending this site for this pur¬ pose on the ground that " there was nothing there," as if a pai'k were wasted unless it were built up. The Board of Estimate should refuse to make any appropriation for tbe transfer. The menagerie should be banished from the park altogether, and if the property- owuers concerned would insist upon this they would receive gen¬ eral support. Meanwhile, it must he remembered that the menagerie antedates all the dwellings the owners of which are the com¬ plainants, and in reason as welt as in law it makes a diffei'ence in the case of a complainant against a nuisance whether tiie nuisance comes to him or he goes to the nuisance. Perhaps the daily press of this city now sees that if the progress Mayor Grant's rapid transit scheme has hitherto made is mamtained it will give New York the transportation facilities it needs fifteen or twenty years from to-day. No othw measure is likely to move