crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1562: February 19, 1898

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_021_00000349

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
February 19, Record and Guide 317 mm. :H2i'-i^ia68, Oev&teD to I^LEsrAII.B^JlLt)l^'G ftj^rrEeTUf^E .HousEiloiD DEOfUjiKit Bt/sl^^Ess AifoThemes or GeHeraI. IffrEHEsi, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. TBtErHONE, Published every Saturday COHTLANDT 1370. Communloations shouid be addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered al the Post-Offlce at jVetu York, K. Y., as second-class matter." Vol, LXI, FEBRUARY 19, 1S98 No. 1,5'j'i WHEN an event so sad and solemn as the loss of the gallant cruiser "Maine" and her brave cre-w occurs, it is painful to have to allude to its influence on such sordid things as profits and losses ou stocks and bonds. It would he much more gratifying to indulge the high and noble sentiments that such a misfortune arouses, but the peculiar constitution of the stock operator will not permit that; and, when writing of the stock market, it becomes necessary, as he used it to depress prices to say how far the calamity affected them. In this case the eifect is probably less than appears on the surface. As we pointed out last week, the buying movement had ah-eady given signs of giving out and a decline was among the things to be ex¬ pected. Prices had fallen off under realizations before the as¬ tounding news of the destruction of the "Maine" reached us. Traders were quick to act upon it to force down prices, but their efforts were to some extent offset by support that was purposely given and a sensational break was averted. It is not necessary to allude to the reports that were circulated or the inferences that were drawn from interested motives from the fact that one of our warships had come to destruction in the harbor of an¬ other power, with which we were and are at peace, but with which our relations are of the most delicate nature possible. Every piece of malignity conceivable in the circumstances was used, but to the credit of the community, and in proof of its good sense, with only small results. It would have heen unreasonable to expect prices completely to hold in such a condition of affairs, especially in view of the premonitions of check, if not of break, the market had previously given, but all things considered, they have held fairly well. It may be that the decline has yet to come, and this is not unlikely, when the support the emergency ot the moment called out, is withdrawn, but this will not be because of political complications, but rather because the market is over¬ bought and liquidation is necessary to produce a healthier state. ■■^ HERE is none of the theories of the advocates of free coiii- ■^ age of silver that has been more thoroughly upset than what is known as the quantitive theory. Every year the gold production increases at a large ratio and judging from present prospects—the opening of new fields and the extension of old ones—the ratio will grow for some years to come. Recent re¬ liable returns show that the production, which for 1884 had a money value of about $100,000,000 only, was for 1S96 worth $200,- 000,000, having about doubled in the comparatively short space of twelve years. The estimate for 1897, made by the late Director of the Mint, Mr, Preston, is of 11,500,000 ounces, which at $20 an ounce, would he worth $230,000,000. Another calculator puts the probable output for 1898, after crediting the Klondike with 640,000 ounces, at 13,000,000 ounces, which would be equal to $260,000,000, These last flgures are, to some extent, based on guesses, but it must be admitted, in view of recent developments, they are probably good guessing. Even if the predictions for this year should not be fulfilled and it should actually result that there is a decline, the addition to the world's wealth of gold would still be enormous, and its influence in promoting indus¬ trial and commercial development commensurate with its bulk There cannot be any doubt that the extraordinary prosperity seen to-day the world over is very largely due to the accretions of gold that have been made in the past ten years, especially when It is remembered that the production of the gold mines unlike agricultural and manufacturing produce, is a permanent addition i.j lhe world's resources. Taking current estimates as was 77 fiir«.?'' '"'' '" '""^ '^'' '"^ ^'^''^ '^^ "''^' production was a,sio,S32 ounces, or in money, .n,556,216,640. These figures aione are sufficient to explain the enormous growth of capital which makes money to-day almost a drug on the market, and tne rise in the value of investment securities. So long as the gold fields continue to make such returns, so long must the world continue to be prosperous. There may be bad spots, due principally to crop failures and wars, if there should be any, and perhaps to over-speculation; but, if it should be asked when the end of the present term of prosperity will come, the answer might reasonably be, when the gold fields give signs of being worked out and the supplies of new gold become insufiicient to support a greatly widened basis of trade and commerce. The tendency of mankind is to overdo things and doubtless the business in¬ cited by the growth of gold production will be overdone, but at the present moment there is no sign of such overdoing. THE ENGINEER AND THE ARCH[TECT. ■T* HE Engineer represents modern science and the art of ■^ building according to scientific methods. Buildings in the past were constructed without what would now be called scientific methods. The vaulted halls of Assyria, built of sun- dried bricks and probably without centring of any sort, and sim¬ ilar buildings by the Byzantine architects in the fifth and sixth centuries of our era, were constructed in ways which no modern builder would dare undertake, and, yet, they were built by em¬ pirical methods—by experiment—by the simple process of cor¬ recting mistakes aud avoiding them for the future, and grad¬ ually improving the methods employed. Roman vaulting, like the hail of the Baths of Diocletian, although very massive, and the interior of S. Sophia at Constantinople, although very slight, were equally skillful and equally unscientific in their construc¬ tion. The extraordinary skill shown by the Gothic architects in inventing and developing their system of vaulting by means of independent ribs which support the vault itself and flying but¬ tresses which transmit the thrust of that vault to the buttress pier outside of the church walls, has caused many modern observers to wonder at the allegation that such work was done by unscien¬ tific practitioners. But these buildings were built without the aid of what we should call science; for mathematics. In any modern sense, was unknown in Europe at that time, even the rudiments of algebra being introduced into Europe almost at the same moment that the Gothic cathedrals were begun, and arith¬ metic being still in its infancy. The Arabic numerals them¬ selves were scarcely known in Europe, and it is safe to say that the use of these figures with the cipher, the very basis of all modern calculation, was unknown to the builders of the thir¬ teenth-century cathedrals. Geometry, indeed, in the graphical sense, the builders possessed in antiquity as well as in the Mid¬ dle Ages, but mathematics in the modern sense of computation and calculation, was hardly in existence before the fifteenth cen¬ tury, and even then, grew but slowly. These Gothic buildings contain a suggestion to the engineer, however; for here, for the flrst time In the history of building, was seen a very elaborate system of counter-balancing forces. The Roman system was one of passive resistance to the thrusts of the vaults, but the Gothic system carries with it the idea of the holding in checkof one thrust by means of another, and in this way transmitting the resultant of several such forces to a point where it could be met and resisted. It was with this in mind that Viollet-le-Duc conceived the idea of using modern materials such as cast and wrought iron to act with masonry in the production of a new system of building. The interiors which he imagined are on a very large scale, and that there is nothing, apparently, impracticable in them. The designs sub¬ mitted for the buildings of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 give us instances of still bolder experiments in the same direction. At the Paris Exhibitions of 187S and 1889, the buildings, both large and small, showed a strong desire on the part of their designers to employ modern materiais in the modern way, and those build¬ ings were worthy'of our study; but higher flights are to be taken in 1900, if all these propositions can be accepted as evi¬ dence of it. Mr, Baudot's design for a great interior, is, you see, conceived on a gigantic scale, and yet the simplest appliances of modern metal construction are used. Mr. Gautier's great pa¬ vilion seems suggested by the Buddhist pagodas at Buddah-Gaya and Chittore; but it is of the very simplest and most obvious plan for steel-cage construction. These views of our modern American buildings with steel- cage construction, exemplify the fact that as yet there has been but little attempt to make the exterior correspond in any way with the construction of the building. The exterior is a mere sheath of masonry which affects the old forms derived from an¬ tiquity, and which are without signiflcance in the new structure. 'Ihe Monadnock Building at Chicago gives, indeed, an instance of a building whose exterior shows its real construction, and the Guaranty Building at Buffalo gives an instance of a similar building, but treated In a far more decorative way. Perhaps the very high and steeply sloping roofs shown in the Columbus Building and the Astoria Hotel suggest what may be the future of our lofty city buildings. The plan of securing light and air to