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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 59, no. 1505: January 16, 1897

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January i6, 1897. Record and Guide ESTABUSHED-^ iHWPH 21!^^ 1668, DeV&TED id f^EA.L ESTMT.BmLDJjJc A^acKrTECTUnE.HaiiSElfOlLDElWIifTlOlC- Bi/sit/Ess Alio Themes of GejIeraI IfiTCRESi^ Rice, PER YEAR, IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone, ._...- Coktlandt 1370 Commnnioalions should be addressed to C. AV". SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street J T. LiyDSEV. Business Manager. "EnUred at the Post-o^ce ai A'nv York, N. T., at second-class matter." Vol. LIX. JANUARY 16, 1897. No. 1,505 The htijyrovcd ayd enlarged Index to the Record and Guide for Volume 58, Jnly lo December, 1S9G, '(S now ready for delivery. Price, $1. The Tndcr non- corcru till real estate transaetiO'ii>i and (/■ivea a complete record lo aitirei/ances, leases, wortijages, buildinris projected, auction salcii, etc. Subscribers mshinf/ copies must send in their orderx al once. NOT nnuatnvjilly. ;i good doiil is IXMiig made of llio large ti'adL' balance in favor of this country, shown liy the returns of our foreign trade for the hiKl governmental year. The excess exports for this period amount to no less than $325,322,184. It would have been better for the countiT it, while maintaining the great volume of exports that this indicates, imports had bofii more proportioned to exports; hut ou the theory that half a loaf is better tliau none, it is a mntter for congratulation that tho exporting halC of our foreign trade has been lively, though the importing half has been dull. Tho figures also serve a very good purpose ill removing from llie liniid mind of Wall street fears of gold exports, because if our merchants have been buying little and selling much abroad, it follows that the balance thus created in their favor will offset to a large degree those other factors not always immediately discoverable that eventually move the exchange market. More favorable news on the commercial situation is coming forward almost every day. , Among other tilings, the interested trade journals report an increase iu the production of iron; interviews with wholesale and retail mer¬ chants published by our daily contemporaries indicate the prev¬ alence of quite a cheerfnl feeling among distributors. Against this must be set the tali; of restriction of production coming from the New England mills, the fact that Washington may give us au unpleasant surprise any day, although that does not seem liiiely to-day, and the fact that the coming months, Febru¬ ary and March, not infrequently produce climatic conditions obstructive to commercial progress. But, notwithstanding these drawbacks, the conviction that better times are at hand is be¬ coming every day stronger and more general. This is the infer¬ ence also to be drawn froin tlie present strength of tho stock . market, in whiL-h the most decided feature is the steady demand for bonds of reorganized properties or properties about to be reorganized and which are still on the speculative lists. ANOTHER great sni-plus, this time of from $10,000,000 to $12,000,000, is likely to be reported at the close of the fiscal year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and be a further evidence of the continued commercial prosperity of Great Bri¬ tain because the increases are made wholly in the items of in¬ come that have their rise and fall from business activity or de¬ pression. The dullness on the London Exchange would be remarkable, if it did not bear out an observation, once cuiTent on this side of the Atlantic, that speculation is most active after the culmination of, and not during a commercial boom. The in¬ crease in the volume of business did not, however, put up prices as a rule. The high estimate put by Dr. George F. Becker upon the gold production of the Band for the next 25 years should favorably effect the value of gold mining shares predicated on that industry. This estimate is £700,000,000, and carries with it an assurance of much better dividends than have hitherto been paid. This somewhat offsets the ten'ible news from India that cannot fail to be having a bad effect upon Indian trade. Famine and plague make au awful combination that indirectly and oventunlly include widespread commercial disaster. Exposi¬ tions are going ont of fashion, as is proved by the indifference of the French public to the 1900 Paris Exposition bonds, whicli are now being sold by tho underwriters at a loss of 10 per cent. Bourse operations in Germany are restricted by the new law, but trade and manufactures are satisfactory. Encouraged by tlie success of the 4 per cent loan issued a year ago, Austria- Hungary proposes to emit the next one at SV^ per cent. -----------■----------- The Raiders. SOUTH AFRICA isn't the only spot where "raids" are engi¬ neered and men find occupation and gloi-y in robbing other people of tlieir property. In New York and vicinity the modern phase of buccaneering is understood, but the entei-prise is car¬ ried ou iu a more ignoble style than was Dr. Jim's, The coveted territory, too, isn't a whit less profitable than the Transvaal gold mines. There is also this analogy between our domestic affair and the African one, the seizure is to be made under cover of a high-sounding plausibility. Thievery doesn't sound well, and no man is bound to apply the word to his own transactions wheu the language is rich enough to afford liim a more euphoni¬ ous syononyjn. Jameson's cry was "Freedom;" and at home here the ery is "Greater New York." Both stand for "Raid." From the outset we have been opposed to Greater New York; not to the mere project of consolidating some of tlie outlying territory witli the metropolis; but to the scheme or method by which this political unification is to be accomplished. A large part of the new charter has now been published. A man with only one eye can comprehend what it means, and foresee the couditious which it is certain to create. If the out¬ look doesn't alarm the citizens of Manhattan Island it is because they are to be aroused only by some explosion or detonating attack upou their persons and property. The sight of a burglar at work at their front door doesn't disturb them so long as the fellow doesn't make a violent noise. If the Greater New York Charter is not a burglarious attack upon the small stock of decency and efficiency in our cily government, then one can never be certain as to what is and what is not a fully equipped "kit." Considering what tliis community is in the light of its past history, considering its political possibilities, its measure ot righteousness in the administration of its municipal affairs, this charter, dashed off in unseemly aud unnecessary haste, as a penny-a-liner makes "copy," is the most outrageous document of the kind that has ever been concocted. Should it bo adopted iu its present shape, or with merely such amendments as the political machine at Albany may vouchsafe, there will be a reign of chaos and civil terror in this community for the next decade at least. In a sense, of course, wo are U very floe people, very alert, sagacious and infinitely capable of self-government. That is the rhetoric of the situation. The hard truth is, we are an ignorant, inalert, boss-ridden crowd, of extreme inefficiency iu the administration of our own public affairs. For more than tweuty-flve years we have been struggling in a spasmodic, disunited, clamorous fashion to free ourselves from one de¬ grading bossism or other, so that our city may obtain for the millions spent upon it the commonest elements of civilization— clean streets, an honest police force and the like—controlled by officials of the lowest order of honesty. After a generation of effort we have succeeded in getting a slippery hold of one or two decencies. To obtain even this much we have passed through the mud of every species of political degradation. We have made aud endured every sad experiment circumstances pei-mitted. It is only the other day the Lexow Committee gave to the world the last chapter of the shame of this city. Y'et it is proposed, by the new charter, to throw us back again upon eveiy form and device of government that our past has damned. Can there he any possible doubt as to what may be expected from little local boards, legislative government, divided authority, scattered responsibility? We have tried repeatedly to arouse our readers to the gravity of the situation. When the Greater New York project was before them for a vote we pointed out the great danger it contained for New l^'ork real estate. Any¬ body who cares, now, to look at the charter can see that the raid ou the real estnte of Manhattan Island is not far off. The present metropolis will be at the mercy of the annexed districts —the villages and farm lands that are to be part of the new city. Take, as an example, the matter of policing the new territory. It is proposed that the force everywhere is to be paid according to the same standard—the standard of New York City proper. The salaries will come, of course, from the common treasury, but naturally Manhattan Island will be the real paymaster. Similarly with all improvements. What defense will Manhattan have against tho combined attack of the surrounding petty boroughs? They will combine, of course—this one for a new borough hall, that one for a new bridge; this one for parks, the other for something else. "Deals" and "dickers" will bo the order of procedure. Politicians will ask for nothing better, indeed it is easier to spend money after their manner in the quiet places of, the inflated city than on Broadway, where the critical faculty has finer sight. Higher taxation and fewer improve¬ ments on Manhattan Island are the inevitable result. A year or two after the charter goes into force it will be useless to talk of