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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 63, no. 1611: January 28, 1899

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., January 28, 1899. Record and Guide 141 ESTABUSHID^i 31111. jHsm^iesa, BlfSD^S Jub)THE14ES Of GE>jEf)^ ItftER^I. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday, TELEFHOmS, COBTLANDT 1370. Communications ehoDld bft addreiaeS to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. 2. LTNBSBY, Business Manager. " Entered at the Post-0:ffice al I^ejB York.,N. T,, aeseeond-ctass mailer,*' Vol. LXIII. JANUARY 28, 1899. 1,611 WJTK SUPPLEMENT. Ihe Index to Volume LXII of the Eecord and Guide, cover¬ ing the pei-iod between July 1st and Pccember 31s/, 1898, is now ready for delivery. Price, $1. This Index in its enlarged form is now recognized, as indispensable to every one engaged or interested in real estate and building operations. It covers alt transacltons—deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building plans filed, ete. Orders for the Index should be sent al once to the office of publication, 14 and 16 Vesey Street. ANOTHEiR week has produced a new record for a day's busi¬ ness on the Stock Exchange, and the developments in one direction or another lieep the animation on the bull side, with no immediate prospect of its transference to the other. So far there is no indication of a coming change of sentiment or of the advent of conditions that will change it. Whether the turn is tn come as a result of military conflict with our new wards in the Caribbean and China Seas, or from an agricultural reverse, or from other cause, there is no sign and no way of producing one. We may be sure that everything will not go our way always. But meantime the activities of a large, intelligent people, en¬ dowed with immeasurable resources, will surely produce great results in many directions from which money may be made, and so maintain that liveliness that has characterized our great marliets for so long. The factor of cheap money is still to the fore, and so long as it remains it is an assurance against any considerable break in prices, except for local cause, which cheap money cannot cure. In this connection there is just one consid¬ eration that will arise to occasional thought, and that is, whether our reserves abroad are now as readily attainable as they have hitherto been. It is stated, and is probably the case, that the speculative activity abroad is supported by American capital, and that there is danger of that capital being called home at any time. The last clause of this statement does not quite de¬ serve the confidence given to the flrst. Our people having at last convinced themselves that they are prosperous, are not likely to deny themselves anything they wish. If they do their temper will have changed remarkably. Such a change, though desir¬ able, cannot be expected; rather may they be expected now to indulge that extravagance by which they have hiterto been known. Consequently, we may expect to see larger mercan¬ tile purchases made abroad from now on, and that the taste for foreign travel and incidental disbursement of income in other countries will revive. Nor can we expect that this country will continue to sell hreadstuffs to Europe in the volume it has been doing for two years. If, then, the prospects are that we are to buy more and sell less it will he necessary that the credits abroad be retained there to meet adverse balances to be created and our control on the gold supply be thereby lessened. This fact will materially affect the money market when the commercial demands begin with the opening of spring operations, and will help to make the rise in rates for money, which will assuredly come then. ANEW speculative movement has seized upon Europe, to which the Vienna market is probably the only exception. The latter still awaits the solution- of knotty problems in home and foreign politics before'venturing into huoyancy. The boom in gold shares, which is such a prominent feature in London. Paris and Berlin, is based upon the remarkably favorable report pf the Rand gold industry for 1S98. This was of a production of 4,295.602 ozs., an increase of 1,260,928 ozs., or 41.5 per cenf. over that of 1897. It is easier to underestimate than to over¬ estimate the significance of these figures, especially as the De¬ cember output was much the largest of any month in the history of the Rand, amounting, as it did, to 419,504 ozs., and showing that the reports of trouble with citizens of the Boer Republic must have been grossly exaggerated, or this Industry could not _haTe increased Jn activity. Notwithstanding a strong demand for gold in the open market, a belief exists in London and else¬ where that the withdrawals from this side will not be large, a belief that is most probably based on the considerations men¬ tioned in the preceding paragraph. In the British trade re¬ ports of this week there are some things mentioned which, be¬ sides displaying satisfactory conditions, suggests the course of coming events on this side. As has been the case here for seme time, the cotton industry in England was carried on for several years prior to last, if not at a loss, at a very small profit. The output for 189G was larger than that of 1898, but the profits were smaller. In the first named year the average profit for 94 companies was only £533; last year for 79 companies it was £3,156. In 1S97, with a much smaller business, 91 com¬ panies reported average profits of £1,608. On the whole the con¬ ditions of the trade have very much improved. Similar move¬ ments may fairly be expected in our cotton trade, now that this country has fairly entered upon a period of prosperity. France has not found the republican an economical form of government, according to figures published by the "Ligue des Contribuables," or League of Taxpayers. These show that after the payment of the German indemnity, in 1874, the budget expenditures amounted to 2,623,000.000 f. Since then charges have been re¬ duced by 132,000,000 f., but the budget for 1899 runs up to 3,495.- 000,000 f. The Imperial Bank of Germany continues to improve in strength, and business is encouraged thereby, but there seems to be some doubt of the ability of the Berlin and associated mar¬ kets to take new Imperial and Prussian 3 per cent, loans, which it is proposed soon to issue, owing to capital being so closely ab¬ sorbed by the better paying industrial securities into which the frugal classes, which formerly favored state issues, have become accustomed to put their savings. Australia gives evidence of recovery from the terrible depression it has suffered since 1890, by contemplating the issue of uew loans, mainly for develop¬ ment, amounting in the aggregate to £11,000,000. Mexican finances continue to improve, as will be seen from the following returns of government receipts for the fiscal years named: 1893-4, 340,211,700; 1894-5, 543.943,700; 1895-6, ?50,52L500; 1896-7, 551,500,500; 1897-8, $52,698,000. So world-spread is the wave of prosperity that even the Congo Free State can report a surplus in the budget for the current year, and, therefore, appear to he at last nearing the condition of self-support. NON-FIREPROOF APARTMENT HOUSE LITIGATION. THE mooted question as to the maximum height to which non-fireproof apartment houses can be built under exist¬ ing laws has been temporarily settled in a decision rendered a few days ago by Justice Scott of the Supreme Court, in the case of Brown against the Commissioner of Buildings. Plans were filed in the Department of Buildings in the latter part of No¬ vember last for a 7-story brick apartment house of non-fire¬ proof construction, to be erected on West 95th street, and of a height of 73 feet, 6 inches. This application was denied by Com¬ missioner Brady, basing his refusal upon the special Act of 1885, which limited the height of dwelling houses (apartment houses) to seventy feet on streets not exceeding sixty feet in width. A mandamus suit was brought hy Mr. Peter Mitchell, as the at¬ torney fcr the owner, to compel the Commissioner of Buildings to grant the application, for the reason that a later special law limiting the height of dwelling houses, passed in 1897, superceded the special Act of 1885, and for the further reason that the "building law" had been several times amended in regard to the height of non-fireproof buiidings, so that it now stands by an amendment to Section 484, which was passed in 1897, at seventy- five feet as the limit for all classes of non-fireproof buildings, excepting only theatres, schools and institutions for the care and treatment of persons, which latter are limited to thirty-five in height. After a full hearing of the case the Court sustained the Department of Buildings in its refusal to approve the plans, by a decision which we give below. Keeping in mind that the special law of 1885 limited the height of dwelling houses to seventy feet on streets sixty feet Or less in width and to eighty feet on streets or avenues exceeding sixty feet in width, without reference to whether such buildings should be fireproof or not; that a similar law passed in 1897 allows fireproof dwelling houses to be erected to a height of one hundred feet upon all streets and avenues not exceeding seventy-nine feet in width and to a height of one hundred and fifty feet upon all streets and avenues exceeding seventy-nine feet in width, the later act stating, additionally, that all statutes in force at the time of its passage, except as thus modified, should continue in force in their application to buildings; and further keeping in mind that the "building law" of 1885 estab¬ lished the height for non-fireproof buildings at seventy feet, amended in 1887 fo eighty feet, again amended in 1892 to eighty- five feet, still again amended in 1896 to seventy feet, and finally amended In 1897 to seventy-five feet, it would appear that this peries of acts, all of a date later than the special ^ct gf 18S5,