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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 61, no. 1575: May 21, 1898

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]\ray sr, iQgS. Record and Guide f I ■■#."1 909 tell. upiirViflGa. ESTABUSHED W tiyJlpH 21^"^ IS6 3. DnfiTrD TO f^LEsTAji.BuiLDiffc ApcKiTECTUi^,HouseholdDEGCB^«lDi^ BilSIt/ESSWiDTHEMESOFGEfiEIVl- IffTERfSl. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday Tklepiionb, _ . . - Cortlandt 1370- Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-lG Vesey Street. J. I. LINBSEY, Business Manager. ••Entered at the Post Offlee at New York, A'. P., asseoond-elass malter." Vol. LXI. MAY 21, 189S. 1,575 THERE is a general awakening to the fact that the high prices for grain and the disbursement by the Government of some millions of dollars a day bave a beneficial effect upon trade in geueral, though the war and other circumstances may have adverse effects in particular directions. This awakening is most and best shown in the continued strength of bonds under investment purchases. As we pointed out sometime since, the bond market affords a field for profitable operations conducted with care. At present there is a tendency to cling around a few issues that are put prominently to the fore by interested parties seeking a market for their holdings. This is particularly the case with the bonds issued in recent reorganizations—while old-fashioned issues which have given proof, under the test of time, of their worth are neglected. This comes chiefly from the ignorance of the investor and the indolence of the average broker. The investor does not know how to obtain information and the broker does not want the bother of it. It is much easier for him to execute an order in a bond that is active than to go to work and investigate an inactive one before putting the customer into it. Both broker and customer have the common liking for work¬ ing in the line of the least resistance, and this explains why so many big mistaltes are made in Wall Street. It is the same with stocks. The business favors a too limited list, often manipu¬ lated, of stocks of varying values, while some as good as any and better' than others go begging. The curious thing is that Wall Street is always so timid and will buy and sell oniy on the judg¬ ment of an altruist, known only through the news bureaus,whoae only happiness ia supposed to consist in giving out pointers by which other people can make money and thereby become happy also. To make the present market a really healthy one it must broaden and give opportunity to securities to sell more on their merits and less, upon gratuitously proffered testimonials. THERE is no doubt whatever that Mr. JefEerson M. Levy Is doing a public service by asking the courts to relieve the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx from the burden of carry¬ ing the excess debt of the other boroughs in Greater New York. Litigation is not a thing that anyone courts and, although one who engages in it has his own personai ends to serve, if he at the same time confers a benefit upon many others, they ought not to withhold from him their support and gratitude. Some doubt has 'been expressed of the wisdom of Mr. Levy's suit for fear that it may result in disclosing the unconstitutionality of the charter and thereby throw the government of the territory affected into confusion. Property-owners in the old New York City would receive such a disclosure with equanimity and find consolation for any temporary confusion created in the practical relief they would be afforded from burdens which were placed upon them in spite of their repeated and earnest protests. Be¬ sides, they have become so used to confusion since January 1st tbat a little more will not matter. In fact, if it was possible that Mr, Levy's suit could be regarded as a suit on the part oi Man¬ hattan and the Bronx for divorce, based on pre-nuptial coercion and deceit, it would take the form most satisfactory to the prop¬ erty interests of those two boroughs. Should it ultimately be de¬ cided that the antecedent debt of the several boroughs is a lia¬ bility only where it was made, the burden of futtire improve¬ ments would still have to be borne by Manhattan and the Bronx, because it is only in those two horough-s that increased tax valuations can be made of sufficient extent to meet improve¬ ment liabilities for many years to come. There are a great many questions involved iu the relations of these boroughs with which the lay mind will not attempt to deal, but at the same time it will want especially to see one answered, and that one is: As the constitution limits the debt of a city, how can the legislature create a city that must as a consequence of its creation violate the constitution? MONEY abroad is still somewhat easier, but the close ap¬ proximation of outside rates to those of the rate-making banks shows that there is no reason for believing that the ease is anything but temporary. The gold demand from this country is showing signs of ceasing, a great deal of money that was held to meet government demands, tbe payment by China to Japan, for ins'tance, has been released, and the Bank of England has again put itself in a position of strength; but gold is in such demand from various directions, presumably, in tbe expectation of politi¬ cal trouble, tharti a reversion to the low rates prevailing some time ago is not to be expected. The mail brings us the much heralded plan of the government to put India on a gold basis, and which proves to be an elaboration of the old scheme to com¬ pel the country to purchase rupees from the G^jvernment with gold, through a forced scarcity of the rupee. There is no need to go into details. The plan is quite impractical and has already been so condemned by the financial press that there is little or no prospect of its acceptance, and American interests that would be adversely affected by its adoption need have no further fear of it. A summary of British railway results for 18S9-97 shows that all companies had to face a proportionately larger rise in expenses than in gross receipts, bo that it was only by an un¬ usually heavy growth in gross revenue that any addition to tbe dividend was possible. The British consular report on the trade and commerce of Spain in 1897 shows that manufacturers, mer¬ chants and workmen were all sufiiering from the troubles of the country, while the position became steadily aggravated by the fact that the resources obtained under such difficulties were being rapidly expended. In Germany the strength of iron, coal aud im¬ provement shares shows the trend of business and that so far it is in a good way. Austria-Hungary linds much encouragement from the prospect of good crops, with prices for agricultural products maintained high for some time to come. PROPOSED BUILDING CODE. A sub-committee from the Joint .Committee on New BuUding Code, consisting of W. J. Fryer, chairman; Albert E. Davis, secretary, and delegates John De Hart, John P. Leo, Geo. A, Just, W. S. Miller, L. K. Prince, Merrill W^atson, Henry M. Tostevin, Lewis Harding, John J, Radley, Moses O'ttinger, Pi-ancis J. Schnugg, ex-Assemblyman Judson Lawson, Chas. O. Brown, and ex-Bullding: Commissioner Wesley C, Bush, of Brooklyn, appeared before Mayor Van Wyck, on Monday afternoon, to urge the prep¬ aration of a new building code as provided in the city charter. The Mayor advised the delegation to go before the Councilmanlc Com¬ mittee having the matter in hand, and if they failed to g&t satis¬ faction to come back to him. Yesterday a public hearing was given by the Council Committee on Law Department and Railroads on the resoluticn, intro¬ duced into the Council last week by Mr. Christman and published in our last issue, empowering the President of the Council to appoint a commission to prepare a building code for the City of New York, A sub-Committee of the Joint Committee on Building Code was present, their names, with those of'the as¬ sociations they represent, were: Wm, J, Fryer, Chairman, Asso¬ ciation of Architectural Iron Manufacturers; Albert E. Davis, Secretary, and John De Hart, North Side Board of Trade; John F, Leo and Merrill Watson, Builders' League; Lewis Harding and Charles A. Cowen, Building Trades' Club; Isaac A, Hopper and Henry M, Tostevin, Mechanics' and Traders' Exchange; Samuel McMillan ar.d Moses Ottinger, Real Estate Exchange and Auction Room Ld.; Cornelius O'Reilly and W, S, Miller, Real Estate Owners' and Builders' Association. There were present besides Wesley C. Bush, late Commissioner of Buildings for Brooklyn, and George Keister, representing the New York Chapter of-the- American Institute of Architects. Mr, Fryer, speaking for the Joint Committee on Building Cede, objected to a lawyer and a plumber being placed on the proposed commission. To the first, because he held that the Corporation Counsel's office could supply, through the assislants especially detailed to advise the several building departments of the city, all the legal information required by the commiss:on; and, to the second, because plumbing was not a matter of building law, but of rule and regulation compiled by the building departments under authority of the law. He would have the places of the lawyer and plumber filled by men technically informed on con¬ struction. He suggested that the resolution be so amended as to authorize the President of the Council to appoint a Com¬ mission of Experts consisting of seven members, and the three- Commissioners of Buildings members ex-officio, all to be resi¬ dents and voters in the City of Ne^v York, the choice of the seven members to be with the President of the Council. Messrs. Leo, McMillan, Tostevin, De Hart and Bush spoke in support of Mr. Fryer's proposition. Mr. Keister suggested that the commission should'consist of two architects, one constructional engineer, one mason (used -to handling fireproofing), one man from the Department of Build¬ ings, one sanitary engineer, one legal adviser, and, on the sug-