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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 43, no. 1105: May 18, 1889

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May 18, 188fl Record and Guide. 689 "^ ^ ESTABUSHED-^/AftJ^CHglti^ieeS., De/ojeO io I^L Estme , BuiLoif/c Ajict^iTEcrui^E .Household DEQOR^notl. "~ -Bi/sirJESS AtioThemes ofGeHeraL \m\^n PRICE, PER VEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, ■ ■ JOHN 370. Communications should be addreissed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. /, T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLIII. MAY 18, 1889. No. 1,105 In this number of The Record and Guide we pay our last tribute to the memory of David G. Croly. As announced last week we publish with tliis a memorial supplement which our read¬ ers should see ig in every copy. It contains the testimony of old friends and associates—many of them now leaders in the literary life of this city^as to tbe mental and moral strength of him who worked so well and so untiringly for this journal and its readers until the houi- of bis death. No explanation is necessary for our thus tm-ning aside a little from the every-day topics of a busy world to enter the sanctuary of deeper thoughts and purer emotions. The public desire for a permanent memorial of the Centennial celebration certainly should aud undoubtedly will be gratified. We have already pointed out that it should occupy a much more'Con- spicuous site than that at the foot of Sth avenue, which is but a mere by-way with reference to the main highways of traffic. It is be¬ cause the arch now erected at that place is so out of the way that, in order to see it, most people must go to see it, that the proposilion 'to reproduce this arch iu marble bas gained currency. The arch is not at all suitable for such a purpose, and tbose persons who are competent judges and wlio have been induced by the proposition to inspect tlie arch must be considerably surprised that anybody should have thought it suitable. It is doubtful whether the arch would stand if it were built in marble. It is certain that it would look doubtful, and tbis appearance of weakness is fatal to the eligi¬ bility of the design for a monument. In all the monumental arches of the world, from the ai'ch of Titus down, each pier is very nearly as wide as the arch itself. In tbe wooden arch of Washington square the piers and consequently the haunches are so painfully thin as to suggest their inadequacy to sustain the lateral thrust of tbe arch. In other words, this arch is without abutment, and re¬ quires a tie-beam to assure the eye of its stability. As it is not to be supposed tbat we mean to erect a mouumental arch that needs to be supplemented by such an exijedient it is evident that the de¬ sign will need to be so entirelj recast to adapt it to execution in masonry that the existing arch cannot be taken even as a sugges¬ tion. Of course this is not the designer's fault. That a construc¬ tion of clapboards could not be built in stone is no more an objec¬ tion to it for its own purpose than tbat a piece montee executed in sugar candy for a dinner table should not be so built. But, though the designer cannot be blamed for this, it is imiiossible to regard witbout wonder the conduct of the enthusiastic persons who insist that his work should be literally reproduced in masonry. priate than Washington square, should be placed. It is in one of them that the arch If a grand passenger and freight station were located in this city, of ten or more acres, aboutthe centre, at the intersection of Houston and Macdougal streets, where the land has not yet been occupied by modern buildings ; if from that station a bridge, similar to the Brooklyn Bridge, extended over the Hudson River; and if from this station over this bridge trains were constantly passing to and fro, and at its western outlet in Jersey City, a mile or two west of the river, diverging to the tracks of every New Jersey railroad, is it not obvious that it would be of great advantage to the city? more than the Brooklyu Bridge, for that connects difEerent parts of one city, while the Hudson River bridge would connect tbe metropohs with the whole continent. Time and comfort would be saved for every one who seeks and returns from their homes in New Jersey, niglit and morning by such a bridge. The freight and travel from the whole West, which now is broken and stops across the river, would come directly to the centre of tbe city, witb all the incidental business wbich follows it and its distribution. Eastern New Jersey lias grown great in wealth and population, for twenty years past, by attracting the natural increase of New York, Our elevated roads, by making our own territory accessible, began and tliis bridge would complete our friendly reprisal. What can be the objections to such a bridge? Capitalists are ready, and engineers are eager to build it. Those most strongly urged are that it will obstruct tbe navigation of the river by one or two piers ; but is not this obsolete? Travelers on the river have often noticed that now and then, for a little while, a big steamer hangs from her anchor in midsti-eam ; but it does not interrupt navigation very seriously. A pier would not cover more than one- half or one-quarter of the water area occupied by such a steamer, and would not present so great an obstruction. At night and in fogs a pier, by its lights and signals, could be made greatly to aid the ferry pilot and the voyager. Such obstacles to bridges have often disappeared after a bridge bas been built, as in tbe case of the Brooklyn Bridge and the one at Poughkeepsie. This might be the case in the Hudson River. The objection looks disproportioned. There have been occasional protests from correspondents in the papers during the past week against the situatiou decided upon for tbe Stanford White memorial arch. A writer in the Evening Post thinks as we do, that it would be most effectively aud con¬ spicuously placed on Madison square, while another in the Times is rather of the opinion that the best situation would be on the square at the junction of the 59th street entrance to the Park and Sth avenue. As yet, however, the papers themselves bave not taken up the matter, and as the committee seem to be pushing their preparations in a pretty lively way, it is not probable that these protests, scattered as they are, will induce them to alter their plaus. But however oblivious the managers and the press are to the criti¬ cism, it will certainly be a sad mistake to bury a monument intended to commemorate a national event in a part of the city which is but little frequented, and which will tend to become less and less central all tbe time. It is very likely that the wholesale trade will, before many years are out, envelop that entire district, si> that the arch would be as much out of piace there as it would be in Wall street, or as the truss manufactory of Matthew Arnold fame was for obverse reasons out of place in Trafalgar square. It would be extremely difficult to find a situation in New York which is entirely unobjec¬ tionable. We bave no open space such as the Champs Elysees in Paris, which is fed by a uumber of broad and beautiful avenues, and to which the citizens naturally flock on a holiday. But we have squares which axe tax toore Cedtral and hence far moreap|>r£H The decision of the trustees to increase the capacity of the Brook¬ lyn Bridge is another indication to this city of the stupendous blunder it is making in the rapid ti'ansit matter. No one would have believed five years ago that in so short a time the bridge would be inadequate to accommodate tbe traffic; that it would be necessary to double the capacity of the structure. Indeed, why is it necessary? Is it because Brooklyu has grown so rapidly from within; because the upper wards in New York are now well built up and populated, and an. " overflow " is inevit¬ able? Nothing of the kind. The fact is, the people of New York are seeking elsewhere the rapid transit facilities wliich poli¬ ticians at Albany, a demagogic press and a few selfish property- holders have so far kept from tbem. It has been made impossible to tens of thousands of people to live in New York. To reach the upper part of the city entails too serious inconveniences and the loss of too much time, while in the lower part rents are either too high or the locality too unattractive. The consequence ia, that the crass stupidity that has cried out against any improvement of the facilities we have (the only quick way of dealing with the situation) and opposed Arcade road, Cable road and every other scheme proposed, has positively driven out of the city as effect¬ ually as any decree could, tens of thousands of people who should be here giving employment to builders and trades people, aud adding to the wealth and solidity of New York, instead of Brook¬ lyn, Staten Island, tbe Oranges, and at least a score of New Jersey towns. We shall all, eveu the rapid transit experts of the daily press, be so wise by-and-by on tbis subject of transportation; but it will be at the wrong end. It will be only a melancholy, not a fruitful, satisfaction, to recognize the blunder that has been made in ignoring the means at band to give the city at once rapid transit, while searching heaven and earth for a scheme that will suit tbe municipal authorities, the politicians, engineers, all portions of the public and press, capitalists, property-holders, the needs of the present and the future. There is only one common- sense way out of our difficulties as they face us to-day—let the elevated roads build the third track to Harlem and the loop at the Battery. This will mean an increase of a third iu the accommo¬ dations and a saving of nearly 50 per cent, in the time of travel. This isn't the ideal system we are hunting for. But the rapid transit bas long ceased to be a matter of ideals or of preparing for the futiu-e; it is a hard necessity of the hour. Not the least important among the municipal improvements in Berhn during the past teii years has been the successful con¬ struction and maintenance of an immense system of public markets. A decade ago the ouly places where the citizens of Berlin could biiy their food at market rates were in the public squares. TW firii^es wei-e cheap ; biit the stands were" dii'ty and traffic was hin-