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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 62, no. 1586: August 6, 1898

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■list 6, i8q8. Record and Guide 187 BlrsD/ESs'Aito Themes'Of Ge^er^, IJftra^T.! PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Publ-ie/ied every Saturday Tbljphokb, Ooetlamdt 1370- Communications fhould be addressed to C. "W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. 1. LLNDSEY, B-usiness Manager. "Entered ut the Post-Offin at New York, N. Y., as setand-elass matter." Vol. LXII. AUGUST 6, 1898. 1,586 THERE has been and is still a steady buying going on iu Wall Street, whlcii has not only kept prices steady, but has advanced them substantially in some cases. The volume of buying is not so great in stocks as in bonds, and is investive rather than speculative. A good investment demand accom- ■panied by moderate speculation is not at all inconsistent and is explained by the plethora of money and the low rates that it is only possible to obtain for its use in the ordinary commercial cb:mnels. The reirarts of the State trust companies and savings banks, filed at Albany, summaries of which have just been pub¬ lished, show how rapidly money is accumulating in the bands cf investors. The resources of the trust companies increased in tlie first h>alf of this year by $43,344,608, and those of the savings banks by nearly $50,000,000 in this State alone. Doubtless, the sarae condition of things prevails in other States, and it is, therefore, not surprising if the markets are scraped over and over again for secure and paying investments. Under no other conditions would it be possible for the new railroad four per cents., which have become such favorites with investors, to oc¬ cupy the position they do. The old Atchison 4s, which were al¬ ways well considered until tbe property lien got into the hands of bad managers, never' sold higher than 89 in the best of times, The new 4s on the same property, improved somewhat, it must be admitted, in the matter of property lien, are now selling above 95, and may go to par. And so it is with others, which are steadily bought as if there was nothing else in the world to buy and with the certainty of making only moderate returns on the invested m'oney. The scarcity of good railroad bonds is due, in a considerable degree, to the restrictions that were put upon raiiro'ad extensions for some years past. When quotations were vt.ry much loiwer than what they are now we pointed out this fact to our readers, oyer and over again, and drew attention to lhe excellent position this would give railroad securities when¬ ever business became good. The business has been good for some time, and tbe results to securities are exactly what we predicted. Now with prices advanced so much in the well-known issues, it IS hard to see how they can go much higher, and it would be better, we think, to watch for favorable developments in the less known ones and for new issues of promise which the con¬ fidence and enterprise of the country are sure to produce from time to time, than to continually force up quotations that are al¬ ready unprecedentedly high. IN the European mariiets the only government bonds in which there seems to be any special interest, outside of tbe little fiurry caused by the reports of another clash in China, are Spanish 4's, which, having advanced considerably, main¬ tain their gains. It is evident from this tha,t Europe, as a whole, expects the negotiations for peace now afloat to be carried to a successful conclusion, and without any serious outbreak of indignation from tbe Spanish people. Based upon such an opinion the advance in the 4s is logical, inasmuch as Spain will be financially much better able to pay the interest on them and meet them at maturity than while rebeHious colonies were draining away ber life's blood. The work of promoting new^ enterprises goes on with increasing pace in London. The total offered for the flrst sevru months o( the year amounts to about £117,000,000, compared with say £93,000,000 in the sarae time last year, and £157,299,000 for the whole of 1897. The Hooley disclosures do not seem to cbe^k ■this business, though they cannot fail to influence the minds of investors. The report of the foreign trade of Japan for 1897 has recently been issued and its most remarkable feature is the enormous growth in the trade it shows with the United States, imports therefrom having increased from 16,373,419 yen in 1896 to 27,030,E87 yea lA 1897, and exports thereto from 31,532,341 yen in 1896 to 52,436,404 yen in 1897, increase in one year of 32.000,000 yen. According to the report of the State Mining En¬ gineer, the number of gold and coal mining "companies actually at work in the Transvaal in 1897 was 218. Of these the total working capita! was returned at £63,188,000, as compared with £55,358,000 in 1896, an increase of £7,830,000, or a little over 14 per cent. Of this capital £40,833,000 was paid out to sellers, vendors, etc. Out of the 218 companies working only 28 gold and 2 coal companines paid dividends during the year. The capital represented by these companies was £10,856,000, while tbe amount paid as dividends was £3,001,000, or an average of about 30 per cent. In 1896 the dividends amounted to £1,794,000, so that the returns in 1897 showed a marked increase. Improved weather has revived hopes for a good harvest in Austria. In Hungary harvesting has so far advanced that results can be fairly well predicted. While the damage clone by the violent storms of June and the early part of July removed expectation of a bumper crop, there turns out to be an average yield of ex¬ cellent quality. Owing to the fineness of the grain there will be a larger amount available for export than for several years past. The foreign trade reports are somewhat uninteresting read¬ ing, but while they dwell a good deal upon dullness, that term has a different signification, owing to the volume of the business being done, than it usually has. Money is plentiful with rates low, with only a vague possibility that the fall demands for harvest and revived industry may raise rates. THE HEIGHT FOR NON~FIREPROOF APARTMENT HOUSES THE question as to the maximum height to which a non-fire¬ proof apartment house can be built under the present laws has for some months past been the subject of considerable dis¬ cussion among architects and builders, owing to the opinion of the Counsel to the Building Department that such a building cannot be erected to the height of seventy-five feet on a street sixty feet wide, but may be erected seventy feet in height, the height to be talien through tbe center of the facade, and to in¬ clude the cornice. The building law provides that all buildings, excepting only hotels, theatres, hospitals, asylums, public institu¬ tions and school houses, may be erected non-fireproof to a height not exceeding seventy-five feet from the curb level at the center ct the building to the highest point of the roof beams—not in¬ cluding cornices, parapets, etc. That height was established by the act of 1897. In tbe same year the special law limiting the height of dwelling houses was so amended as to make up what was practically a new law. The question as to the height for apartment houses on the ordinary street turns on the construc¬ tion of the law as so amended. The law limiting the height of apartment houses was passed in 1885 and stood without a change until 1897. The old act pro¬ hibited the erection of houses to be used as dwellings for more than one family to a height greater than 70 feet upon all streets and avenues not exceeding sixty feet in width, and 80 feet upon wider streets aud avenues, the heights to be measured from the sidewalk line up "through the center of the facade, including attics, cornices and mansards." In the Legislature of 1897, As¬ semblyman Husted introduced a bill. No. 166, to allow fireproof apartment houses to be erected to a height of 150 feet upon all streets and avenues exceeding seventy-nine feet in width, and 100 feet upon streets and avenues of a lesser width. It also pro¬ vided that the height of such houses, when constructed non-fire¬ proof, should not exceed 70 feet in height, without regard to the width of a street or avenue. In all cases the height was to in¬ clude attics, cornices and mansards. Mr. Husted's attention was called to the fact that a bill to change the limit of height for non- fireproof buildings from 70 to 75 feet in the building law waa pending in the Legislature with every probability of passage, and he at once caused a change to be made in his bill to con¬ form with the greater height of 75 feet for non-fireproof houses, and the bill was reprinted as No. 166, 1049. It was on this bill that a public hearing was given by the Cities' Committee of the Assembly. The bill was drawn In the interest of the owners of the La Rochelle Apartment-Hotel building for reasons that make up an interesting story but need not be mentioned here. The bill was unsuccessfully opposed by tne then attorney to the Building Department. It was supported by representatives of the building interests, and the changes which they asked for were granted; the heights for fireproof apartment houses was left at 150 and IOO feet, these heights to include attics, cornices and mansards, but all reference to the height for non-fireproof apartment houses was stricken out, so that the height provided by the building law proper should con¬ trol—namely, 75 feet for non-fireproof buildings—and so that the non-fireproof class of apartment houses could have tbe benefit of not having to include cornices, which almost invariably rise above the highest point of the roof beams, in the measurement for height. The attorney for the Building Department declared