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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1565: March 12, 1898

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March 12, i8g8. Record and Guide 453 DntnED p Re*,l Estate.BuiLDiKc Ap,a^rrE(nuRE>(ousEaoiDDE3CBtjiiat Bi/sih/Ess Mb Themes of Ge^er^I ItfTo^si. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday Telephone, - . - . Cortlandt 1370- Commuulcaisons should be addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street. J. 1. LLNDSEY, Business Manager.' "Entered, at the Post-Offlce at New Yorlc, y. Y.. as second-class mailer.' .Vol. LXI. MARCH 12, 1898. No. 1,565 WITH SUPPLEMENT. OUR local market for securities has this week done just what was expected from it. The course of speculation demanded lower flgures, and political considerations have ag¬ gravated and hastened the decline. As the conditions are not changed at this writing, there is no reason to expect a change in the course of the market. So long as the Cuban question romains unsettled, the market must remain without the support of the public, without which an upward movement of any pro¬ portions is impossible, and no one can say when it will be set¬ tled, or what will be the outcome of the negotiations for its set¬ tlement. The break in Spanish 4s. on the European markets this week was seized as a sign that war between this country and Spain was certain, but that break was natural in view of the report that the interest on the bonds will not be paid on April ist. IE this is a fact, and it seepis very likely to be so, such a confession of financial embarrassment by the Spanish govern¬ ment would not favor the war idea, but rather that it was pre¬ paring its people for an abandonment of such a heavy burden as Cuba now is to it. The differences between the two govern¬ ments look like a case where tactful diplomacy on our part will win without the necessity of war. Spain has now nothing to sustain her but pride, and even Spanish pride may be expected to succumb to want. X T the moment the outlook the world over is what a politi- ■^~A cal pilot might call nasty. There have been several occa¬ sions in recent years when it looked as if a convulsion might occur all over the Eastern Hemisphere, but to-day in both hemi¬ spheres the peoples are frowning at one another, and it will take all the skill and tact of their advisers to keep them from each others' throats. It will be little .short of a miracle if this century closes without seeing the opening of another great war; but we think the miracle will be worked. On the other side of the At¬ lantic the most dangerous feature is the simultaneousness with which French and Russian differences with Britain crop up. This is a matter that the latter cannot overlook, and upon which there must soon be an understanding, or a conflict. So far, the Franco-Russian treaty has only been followed by an obliging readiness on the part of France to play Russia's game of antag¬ onism to Britain. This is not what the great French army, towards which France has recently shown herself to be so in¬ dulgent, was organized for; nor is it what the French peoplu themselves believed would be the result of the treaty of alliance with Russia. When they do awake to the fact that not only is Russia^using them for her own exclusive beneflt, but is at the; same time, whether intentionally or not. beneflting Germany thereby and drawing France away from her policy of revanche, there will be a howl of execration, that will startle some minis¬ tries pretty severely. Meantime, however, the game of obstruc¬ tion that is being played upon a historic foe serves to amuse the people, but if by an unlucky accident the game is carried too far and France meets disaster on the seas as she met it on land, something over a quarter of a century ago, where will she then rank among the nations? Not even Russia would care for he- friendship then. These considerations may seem rather more political than commercial, and so far out of our province, which is business rather than political complications. But the developr ment of commerce depends upon the probable outcome of these unpleasant conditions, and that makes them intensely import¬ ant to the business man. That the situation is more thau usually grave is shown hy the movement of government secu¬ rities which dominate the stock exchanges of Europe. These have been generally weak this week, even British consuls falling somewhat, while Spanish 4s. have had a big break, though not more than the indications of a default in interest on..April ist warrant. Other securities have also been disturbed on the an¬ ticipation that speculation will turn to Governments, as it always preferably does when the latter creates chances of profit from trading in them. ■T^HB bill introduced into the Senate by Mr. Cantor, and ■^ given in our Albany news, entitled "An act to authorize owners of property taken for a public use to institute proceed¬ ings for the assessment of damages in certain eases," seems to be one that all property owners should support. It proposes to give them the power to institute proceedings to assess damages for property taken by private corporations, as, for instance, the invasion of easements by the elevated railroad company, a step that, under the law as at present constituted, only the company can take and which, of course, it is most reluctant to take, with the consequence that the matter remains unadjusted for many years, to the manifest injury of the property owners, whose only remedy is an action at law or a suit in equity. Another matter that the Legislature ought to take up in the interest of the prop¬ erty owners is the devising of measures to secure prompter pay¬ ment of awards of damages for property taken for municip-al improvements, a subject that the previously referred to bill specifically declines to deal with. Every large improvement in this city causes hardship to some property owners hy reason of the title to the property required vesting in the city and actual physical possession being taken, long before the awards are paid and sometimes long before they are made. Everyone admits the injustice of this, but no one seems able or willing to devise a remedy for it. THE RIVERSiDE DRIVE. ANYONE who walks or drives along the Riverside Drive must be surprised to see so much of the private land there unimproved, considering the magniflcent natural advantages of the sites. Doubtless the fact that there are so many block fronts along the line of the Drive without a building upon them and comparatively so few built up for their entire length, that con¬ jecture must be often awakened as to its cause. Let the cause be what it will, there is evidence to-day that it will remain a fact for but very few years longer. Preparations are now being made which will result in considerable activity on the Drive this spring, and by which several whole blocks will be built up, besides a number of smaller operations carried on here and tliere. Probably one of the reasons that has delayed operations on the Drive has been a doubt regarding its ultimate fate, or in other words, what class of buildings would best succeed there. It was destined to. residential uses, of course, but the particular kind of residences only time could determine. As has often been pointed out, the advantages of the Riverside Drive were so numerous and of so high an order that it deserved the very best kind of development. At one time there was an intimation that it would have the best of fates, aud that a continuous line of fine mansions, each separate and standing in its own grounds, would give it a background from yzd. street to Claremont. A number of very fine houses were erected by wealthy private owners: but for some reason or another the Drive failed to at¬ tract many such, and that movement came to a head some years ago. Fashionable New York, with the few wise exceptions who made their homes on the Httdson, preferred to develop 5th avenue. The clubs and other advantages were there, and these outweighed the natural attractions of the river and the parks and drives upon its banks. Representative families like the Vanderbilts had made residential investments on 5th avenue, which they were quite reasonably unwilling to forego, and their action determined their social followings. So, that while Murray Hilt and lower 5th aventte. grew and had to expand, they pre¬ ferred to grow and expand from the old site. It may therefore be said, without any derogation to it that Riverside Drive, like the Boulevard, has disappointed first ex¬ pectations. Its development came somewhat to a standstill while it was being determined what course it would take instead of the oue originally expected of it. This course, however, seems to be now fully determined. For some years the 'best speculative builders in the city have been giving their attention to the Drive, until there have been put upon it some blocks of the very best kind of residences built for the market, handsome in exterior, conveniently planned and perfectly finished; sup¬ plemented here and there hy an apartment house. The success that has attended these operations haa been so satisfactory that capital has been enlisted to make new ones on a larger scale. It is stated that several blocks are to be simultaneously built up this spring with dwellings and several apartme.'it houses, and the announcement of lesser operations are more numerous than they have been any'year at this time, so that, even if all should not prove to have been based on actual fact, there is sufflcient work scheduled for the coming season to