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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1559: January 29, 1898

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ESTABUSHED-S^MU^HSm^l868. Dri(rtiD p Rea.L EsTAJi.BuiLDifJ'G AjipidTEcruFiE.t{ausEHou)DEoa^fcliDii, Bifsif/Ess uio Themes of GEjteRAl Ijft^Esi ,^ PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. TELErHONE, Published every Saturday COETLANOT 1370, Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 2. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered ai the Post-Offlce al New Yorlc, N. Y.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXI. JANUARY 29, 1898. No. 1,559 IT Is remarkable bow much reassuring tbe community seems to need. Notwitbstanding the gold plank o^ the St, Louis platform and Mr, Secretary Gage's announcement last spring, it seems to bave been necessary for tbe President himself to come to New York and assure the country that he favored the maintenance of tbe accepted standard of %'alue of the civilized world and the immediate reform of the currency. This ought to finally dispose of any doubts as to the position of the admin^ istration ou these matters. It is true that the Senate stands in the way of reform of the currency, but so long as matters are shaping themselves to that end, and the other parts of the law¬ making machinery are, meanwhile, prepared to prevent any step- back, the currency situation is as satisfactory as can be expected, considering all things. Of course, as President IMcKiuley said, the reform should be made now; but there are those who do not think so, whose opinion finds support in the divergent views on details of the reformers themselves. The dissidents iu holding up the matter may be unwittingly doing a good service In get¬ ting it thoroughly threshed out down to its smallest particular. When the public has decided specifically what It wants the ob¬ struction to reform will quickly disappear. Meantime we can get along with the currency as it is. This is shown by the condi¬ tion of the treasury, the activity in trade and manufactures and the confidence of capital in home investments, which only grows as time goes on. The movements on the Stoc!?: Exchange Sn the past month show that, with public interest and confldence aroused, there are endless ways and combinations by which busi¬ ness can be developed and values increased, and which assure a good and active market for some time to come. AfEairs abroad are evidently shaping themselves into satisfactory form, so that we may expect the assistance of more foreign capital than has been sent here for some years. The struggle in Cuba seems to be about over, and the trouble in China ended in a way to suit the ouly nation that we can want to be successful—the one that keeps that market open to everybody. In view of the way our manufacturers are branching out to capture foreign trade, this fact has immense significance. BRITISH foreign trade for 1897 declined 5% in exports and increased 2,5% in imports; re-imports increased 6,4%. This statement is, on the whole, a satisfactory one. India began ^sending wheat in substantial auantities last month. The engin¬ eering strike, from a stock exchange point of view, is rather a .surprising onOj because, on the whole, the stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange, which would naturally be supposed to be adversely aifected by the strike, increased in value. Where there were declines the latter ranged from a fraction to 5%, but there were almost as many advances as declines, with the range up to 16, The Government views the opening of Parliament with confidence, its Chinese policy being approved throughout the country with an unanimity that is rarely seen. The India office has as good as promised a currency based on gold for India within a year or so. This announcement would be all the more satisfactory if it were known precisely what were the immediate effects of the last financial move and the methods by which they were brought about. Recent estimates place tbe increase of the gold production of the Rand for 1897 over 1896 at about $15,000,- 000 and that of tbe United States at about $3,000,000. The latter leads the gold-producing countries of the world, but the Trans¬ vaal is only $30,000 behind it. Since JWay, 1887, the total pro¬ duction of the Transvaal has been 14,131,582 ounces, valued at $240,000,000. Prices upon tbe Em-opean bourse have ad¬ vanced on prospects for settling tbe Cretan difficulty by the acceptance of Prince George of Greece as Governor, probably a step toward final atthesatlon to Greece, The commission to control tbe Greek debt is to consist of six members, one ap¬ pointed by each of the six intervening powers; but while thi,5 commission will exercise direct control, in order to avoid wound-, ing Grecian feelings, the collection of the revenues assigned to meet tbe debt is to be done by a Greek company. Reports from the German iron and steel trade continue to be encouraging. Austrian business, both financial and commercial, is picking np somewhat,'now that an interval of quiet has supervened and a truce has been called in racial and fiscal disputes. Servia has had to suspend duties on grain owing to the bad harvest of last year. It is the general impression that the terms upon which work will be resumed in the shops of British engineers will remove the restrictions upon the employment of improvements in machinery, which the manufacturer has all along claimed has been one of his greatest obstacles in meeting recent Amer¬ ican and German competition in his line. Not only have the employing engineers made this complaint, but those of other trades, boot and shoe makers, for instance, have complained that they were handicapped by union restrictions on uses of new machinery, ' It is probable, therefore, that the British unions generally will have at least to consider the propriety of allow¬ ing the employers more latitude in tbe introduction of labor- saving appliances. BROADWAY REALTY. ■^p HERE is nothing of which an American is more proud than ^ of the celerity of his movements, whether in traveling, eating, drinking, or, what we are more immediately concerned witb, building. It can be said without the slightest fear that any other nation can, or may possibly want to contradict us, that in no other country could the modern cage and skeleton methods of construction have been adopted so readily and ap¬ plied so extensively as they have been here. But like every other people, we have to stop and take breath some time. Inhala¬ tion is probably a shorter and quicker process with us, but it has to be done. It is just such a breathing spell we are taking in the structural reorganization of Manhattan Island, and the interval allows us to consider costs and consequences a little. Owing to rush being so pronounced a tendency of the national disposition building on Broadway, north of Murray street, has gone on with continually accelerating speed in the past two or three years, without arousing any emotion, except perhaps awe of the kind of architecture that has been placed w^on our leading busi¬ ness thoroughfare for what must be considered hy the present generation as a pei-maneucy. The results at this date are not .altogether satisfactory as the facts, presented in another column, bearing upon the achievements of this building movement will show. The article in which these facts are presented has been very carefully prepared with the view of presenting as close an ap¬ proximation as is possible of what has actually been done up to this time and what are the present results from the financial point of view. When it is borne in mind that the commercial housing space of a new building on Broadway is on an average of 180% more than that of the oid one it displaces and that this substitution has been going on at a great rate, it will not be surprising to flnd that a disturbance of economic conditions sur¬ rounding Broadway realty has been brought about. The superior attractions of the new buildings have drawn severely upon the tenants of old ones and tbe renting space has been so increased, not only on Broadway itself but on the side streets also, that rentals have been materially reduced. The unhousing of a great many firms in order to tear down and rebuild has dispersed patronage which has made satisfactory settlement elsewhere, and new has to found and installed. In view of these facts it would be rather surprising if the conditions were other than those our article portrays. There is no need either to exag¬ gerate or minimize tlie consequences of the rapidity with which Broadway has been rebuilt; they are only really important if it can be shown that they are permanent. It would be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to do this, tiroadway occupies a unique position as tbe leading thoroughfare in this city; and, accommo¬ dations and business faculties being equal, business men are willing to pay a premium for the name. To address from Broad¬ way has a commercial significance as to address from Fifth ave¬ nue at one time bad a social one. Property owners, whose instincts as a body may be safely trusted, have apparently faith in the sustention of values on Broadway, because there is no sign whatever of a willingness to make sacrifices in order to realize. While there Is not much market for Broadway lots, reither auction or private sales sug¬ gest eagerness ou the part of holders to get rid of their holdings; such desire as is patent, is only what is always fouud where there has been a speculative movement of large protjortiolie—a . desire to reali::e profits and rone to forego them, Aii efltSr&rlea i 1