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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 60, no. 1552: December 11, 1897

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December ii, 1897. Record and Guide '■^^3 strike in the eiigineering liraneti, there Is considerable activity, and prices ai'e well maintained. DníriED 10 RpV.E:sTíaE,BiiiLDiKũ AFíCJ^ni:cTiní.E.HoiiSEtíoiiíDEQaíîAiiũíí. BUsnÍESs a^ídThemes of GeĩíeraI 1;Jter,esi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Fitbtishc and promises to extend well into next year, when au immense amount of capital, including the Union Pacific payments, will want re-ĩnvestment. This buying might be spread more with advantage to buyers, who favor too much a limited line of issues, with thé result that they accept poorer returns than they 'need to do if they will only examine the list a little more care- fully for bargains. The railroads as a whole are making excel- lent showings of earnings, and the reports that come from the several trade centres are aimost without exception in a cheerful key. -----------------1---------------- POLITICAL questions áre never settled; they are only tem- porarily disposed of from time to time by the introductîon of neW complications. The Eastern question, as it reĩates to Turkey for instance, has taken on a new phase by the seeming agreement between Austria and Russia on their several courses and spheres of action to maintain the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and at the same time compel the Sultan to move in the direction of humane government. Tlie same question, as ĩt relates to China, is re-opened by the seventeenth century policy of piracy begun by Gevmany, and while tiiei'e is a possibility of its momentary settlement by the abandonment of the raided ter- ritory for one granted under compulsion, there may be interven- tion from other powers with a mutually agreeable programme of letting no one in but themselves. Another international question that, though seemingly so, is by no means disposed of is the question of bimetalĩism. President McKinley's statement that correspondence was going on on this subject was preceded by an important speech by M. Meline, the Prench Premier, refer- ring to the recent negotiations with Britain, which contained the foilowing: "We did not propose the re-establishment of the free coinage of siiver, which did not appear to us indispensable. We conflned ourselves to demanding an ensemble of measures of a'nature to restore that ratio, and put an end to the monetary anarchy that exists in the world and eauses so great a disturb- ance in international trade. * * * i am convinced that a day will come when, from the force of events, Eui'opean nations will examine the question and apply a solution." The Europeau exchanges are full of eompĩaints of absence bf speculation and of falling off ín business. The foreign trade reports nearly all indicate declines in general activity, but the crop reports are sat- isfactory, those of Britain beîng especially so. Americans and Argentines are the only securities at all active on the boUrses, with shares of electrical industries added for Berlin. Of all the trades, the íron trade seems to be in the niost satisfactory eondl- tion; even in Bngland, ĩiotwithstandîng the continuation of tlie THE ENGINEERS' HOUSE THE new building for the American Society of Civil Engl- neers is a noteworthy addition to the archítecture oE West Fifty-seventh street. Lilte most of our "architecturesque" streets, that thoroughfare has more the air of an architeeturarmuseum than of a street. It derives this air not onĩy frora the number and variety of styles, of wĩiich it presents more or less faitbful examples, but also from the obstinate non-conformity of tlie architects to what has been done by their predecessors. It seéms as if they held that their artistie originalîty might be compro- misei:i, ĩf not their personaĩ indepencience, by paying any atten- tion to what had been done before, and trying to produce an ensemble instead of a eonspicuous object, wbich is ouly not an exception because there is no rule. It must be owned tliat, even if a designer were bent ũpon con- formity, lie would experience diffĩculty in West Fifty-seventh street in linding anything to which to conform. The biggest building in the street is an apartment house in rough brown stoue, which has no arcliitectural character whatever, and be- trays no evidences of design. At least this is the biggest excepL- ing Carnegie Hail, which was a coherent, feasible and impressivo structui-e, before the steel frame enabled the owners to make utilitarian additicns to ĩt, sincs which it does not even conform to itself. From that cdifice eastward the street has a_eharacter on one side of dismal monotony and on the other of a rather freakish heterogeneousness. Mr. U. L. W. Eidlitz, the arehitect of the new home of the Society of Civil Engineers. took the best course that was open to him in choosiiig the raost respectabie piece of architecture in the neighbcrhood, and making his work conform to it ĩn style. That building is undoubtedly the Fine Arts Buiĩding, iwhieh 's almost dii'eetly opposite the new ediflce, and which is a careful and generaljy successful study in French architecture of the time of Francis I.—being in faet an amplification of the so-called house of Fraucis I. in Paris, with the enforced substitutĩoh of a ground fíoor pierced with many openiugs for tlie solid terraee on whieh the original stands, and the voluntary addition bf a roof to the robfless origiual, although this roof is pretty pláihly either too important or not important enough. The new building is arehitecturally only a street frônt of 50 feet in extent and four stories in height. Practically its re- o_uirements are mainly a library and an assembly room, with incidental ofiîees and what, for want of a better name, is called a lounging room, though the building is evidently designed not at all for the uses of a club, but for the professional purposes of a professional associatîon. This lounging room and the larger meeting roora are in the partly detached building at the réar, the former below and the latter above the level of the groiind floor. The ofiîces and cĩepcndencies oceupy the two lower stories of the main building, leaving the third and fourth for the library, the lower for the reading room and the npper for the book stack. Ou the exterisr this aiTangement works out very natu'r'ally into the executed front, of whieh the baseraeut is in Indiana stone and the superstructure in white brick. Whether the French Renaĩssance ĩn which it is designed was adopted or not in deference to the existing Pine Arts Buiiding opTosite, the conformîty is an instance of comity all the pleasaritér for being unusual, and each building helps the éffêcfof th'e otĩier. Tbe líasement of the engineers' house is in Indiáua limestúne, which raaterial is used also in the wrought work of the super- strueture against a flekl of nearly white brick. The combination is effective, and has the advantage of giving effective relief ând detachment to the carved ornament. The basemeilt is p!ain, with simply moulded openings, of which the central ône, the doorway. is furnished with what is in effeet a Tudor dripstdne, although iu fact the pendants are coi-belled pilasters. The cove of the jarab is deep and emphatie and is decorated wkh croehets, and the whole doorway stands in a plane somewhat projected so as to aecount for the projected central featiire Fbove. This is the main æotive of the desîgn. In the secoud story a cano- pied ogee arch sui'mounts an openíng rather deeply splayetJ. with the cove decorated in the same manner as that of the doorway, and flanked by pilasters, decorated on their faces with ornament in higb relief. The tympanum of the arch above the square headed window is fiiled with ornaments likĩwise boldĩy designed and cut and in high relieL The flanking piĩasters are erowned with pinnacles. and the central feature is continued into the story above by a band of ornaments framing its broad window. An araple wall-space on each side of this central feat- ure enhances its vahie. The broad pier is pierced only with a singĩe ratber "navrow opening oĩi; ^ach^ side.; ip thG Becpnd story