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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 54, no. 1384: September 22, 1894

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September 22,1894 Record and Guide. 387 M\ ESTABUSHED ^ iWPH £»> 1668,^ ,De6teD to Rea,l Estate,BuiLDiffe A^R,cKiT£crTui^>{ciisEHou)DEaa(^Tioi^ Btfsi(/Ess AifoThemes of GEjteR^L Iiftti^i., PRrCE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone,......Cortlandt 1370 Communications sliould be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1. LINDSEY. Business Manager. Brooklyn Office, 276-282 WAsnixGTON Street, Opf. Post Office. "Entered al the Posl-officc al Netv Tork, ff, Y., as second'Class matler." Vol. liv. SEPTEMBER 22, 1894. No. 1,384 For additional Brooklyn malier, see Brooklyn Department inmiediately followina Yew Jersey records {page iOO'i. Life seems so ruhptr, .'■■o casihi content with the commonpkiee things of every ihig ; nnd get it always nurses nnd cherishes certain higher claims in secret, anil looks about for the means of satisfying Ihem. Goethe. THE course of events lately iudieate.'* pretty clearly that the more thoughtful of the imlustrial community, that part of it which is in closest touch with the centre, is revising' or at least recousideriug its.ittdfTuient about the prohable iuimetliate course of mercantile affairs. |Tlie curious thiug about the present depression has been that from the very first onr people tave persisted in regi\Tding' it as an aecideiital luisfortuue whieli wonUi speedily pass away wheu one ov two small matters had beeu lighted. At oue time it was thought that if the silver (liiestion was di,sposed of busiuess would he resumed instantly as though nothing had happened, and when these anticipations were proved false every one said the taritf agitation was the source of had times, and that matter settled ono way or auother it would leave the country free to immedi¬ ately return to its former state of prosperity. When the last of Ihese inipedimeuts was removed a few weeks ago by the uew tariff act going iuto operation it was contidently asserted that fall trade woidd be marked by very great activity. Disappointment in realizing these hopes is per¬ haps accountable for the slightly gloomier views which the public have eome to hold within the last couple of weeks. Everyone admits that there has been, upon the whole, coiLsider- able improvement, hut the improvement has uot been auythiug like a.s great as was looked for. The opinion current now is that tbe coming election is the liou in the path, and W(! wait nntil the political wrangle is finished before the hu.siuess of the eouutry can resume its old state. The trouble with all these views is that they are fuudamentally wrong. In the tirst place the dLsasters which overtook us last year were uot by any means incidental. They were not caused by unwise monetary laws, nor were they iu any real sense continued by the, tariff agitation, though undoubtedly both of these luatters were factors whieh contributed to bring about financial disaster. There wa,s nothing at al! adventitious about the panic and depression of 189:!. It arose from adverse economic conditions whicii had been creating for some time, and just as our anticipations concerning the salutary effect of the repeal of the Sherman Act, and the settlement of the taritt" agitation were exaggerated and falsely based, so we .shall find that all anticipations as to immediate great increa-se ot i-om- mei'cial activity are erroneous. We eaunot .iump back into in'osperity. The country mnst grow into it. Our affairs have, improved within the last few months, and the pi'o.spect is that they will coutiuue to improve, hut improvement will be .slow and steady. In the meantime, sii long as people indulge iu wild hopes, there will be reactions, and reactions will occasion despondency. The situation, however, is and will he encourag¬ ing, hut it is unreasonable to e\]iect any very sudden stroke of good fortune to happeu to us. Like tbe man whom the waves washed out of the boat, we must trusc to our swimming to gain GUI' former position. It is foolish to think that anol^her wave is coming to wash ua back to where we were. TMPEOVEMENT in trade conditions iu EuTOpean markets -^ continues to he more an affair of symptoms than of actual transactions. The plethora of idle funds prevails in all the financial centres, and as yet there are no indications of auy ac¬ tivity iu demand to stir rates from the almost nominal point that has ruled of late. It is evident that people are not yet thor¬ oughly convinced of the reality of the much talked of " revival of trade." There need be no doubt, however, that things gen¬ erally are iu a nuich better shape than they were a few mouths ago. The greater activity in the iron trade is one indication of this fact; the larger receipts reported by railroads is another. Upou the whole, however, the feeling abroad to-day is some¬ what more conservati-\^e than it was a week or two ago, when slight activities were regarded as promises for more than has actually heeu realized so far. Investors are evincing a degree of caution that precludes expansion, particularly with classes of securities that have heen distinguished by "tiuanciei'ing" and other methods of manipulating certain peoples' property iuto the pockets of " insiders." This tardy caution on the part of the investor is rather hroad than linely discriminating, audit would be idle to deny tliat even reputable American securities will labor for some time to come^ under the odium which has beeu created by not a few criminally "managed enterprises which reached the end of their rope lately on this side of the water. Indeed, the commercial world at large is in bad repute; and that fact undoubtedly is one impediment tothe realization of the better times which couditious appear to warrant. Among the indications that trade is slightly hetter thau a year ago, the- increase in the receipts from shipping on the Sue/, Canal deserves to he noticed. The tolls received iu August of this year amounted to (5,110,000 francs, agaiust 5,840,000 francs in the same month of 1893 a.ud 5,420,000 iu 1892. lu Germany, bear operators are reported to be again on the agressive, and though the im¬ provement in business continues, thero is .something, itis said, in the general position which goes to support their efforts. In AiLStria, in iron prodacfion, there was during the first seveu mouths of 1894 an improvement of 660,000 cwts. compared with the same period a year ago. The reduction of the United Slates tarift ou pearl buttons from 140 per ceut. ad valorem under the MeKinley act to 84 per ceut. has been received with mixed feelings. It renders a limited exportation of this article possible again. The MeKinley tarifl', it will he remembered, practically ruined the button industry in Austria. It deprived 3,600 fiirnei's of work. Our former high protective duties were particulaily disastrous to Austria, whicii country exported to the United States in 1893 only about $4,.500,Oo6 worth of mer¬ chandise. ----------■---------. THEKE are predictions whicii people coutiuue to reiterate iu spite of the faet that uone of them has ever been verified. t.)ne of these is to the eftect Ihat the limit of the production of gold has been reached. AYhenever the output of that metal be¬ comes stationaiy or begins to fall off, the world is assured that it is drawing upon a supply \\hich has reached its maximum point antl which must (liereafter continue to diminish. There is always something plausible to these vaticinations, because their falsity cannot bo demonstrated by an actual appeal to facts. A year or two ago it did not seem to some people to bo at all iiuestiooablc that the greatest prediction of gold had been reached. Xo new sources of supply were in sight, aud the old fields were appareiiLly evidently giving out. To those who held this vnew, figures recently made public hy the Director of the United States Mint must bs a surpris:?. In his last report the director estimated that the world's gold production for the year 1894 would b.i about if; 169,000,000—greater than in auy pre¬ vious year. This was enough in its way ; but since issuing that report Mr. Preston has found it uecessary to even increase his estima.te, aud now he says that ho sees gold to the value of $174,000,000 in sight, and adils that the prospect is that even this amount will be below the fact. He estimates that the Uuited States will yield $42,000,000 or $43,000,000 of gold, agaiust $36,000,000 last year. South Africa will prodnce $40,000,000, against .^29,000,000 last year, and Australia $38,000,000, against $35,680,000. 1 iBSERVERS of our weekly reports of the statistics of bnild¬ ing cannot fail to have noted thecontinuous improvemeut, indicated hy these reports, in the huiltling industry of Brooklyn since the first of AugiLst. Compared with the records for the corresponding weeks of last year, when the pa.iiic was still hot upon ns, the figures fm- the last eight weeks are even more en¬ couraging. In tabular form they make the following showing: 1893 1894 I Week or. No. of hidgs.. Amount. No, of ItlllKS. Amount. Aug. 4 29 )P 143.100 50 $177,885 11 51 183.410 29 208,250 18 2:3 71,865 ti6 139,595 25 IU 109.550 .'JG 389,m Sept, 1 18 04,520 (J8 283,370 8 23 7!i,97.'> 70 224,225 15 22 ....... 182 151,810 97 . 436 274,683 $804,230 .*l.li97.119 Part of this remarkable increase is due, it is true, to tlieextension of Brooklyn's supervision of buildings over the newly annexed territory. But it ought fiu'ther tobe remembered that many ofthe jirojects for which plans were filed a year ago were not carried out at that time beeause of the tiuancial stringency then prevalent. So that, remarkable as these figures arc, they do not express the whole fact as regards the improvement iu building operations J