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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 64, no. 1652: November 11, 1899

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November n, 1899. RECORD AND GUIDE. 721 De^TED to REALE:.STATE.EîllIL01flG ^RcKlTEeTŒ^E.KûUSEliOLDDEQCifîATlOïf, BUsiiJESS Alto Thèmes or CeiIzi^^I. !WTEn.ESi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCEItSIX DOLLARS. Puàiisficd every Saturday. TELEPHONE, Cortlandt 1370. Qmbdbiui Ica tlons nhould b« addreM«d t« a w. BWSÎBT. 14-16 V«M7 Street. ■/. 3. LINDSEY, Business Maiiaf/cr. •'Entered at the J'OB'.-O!)iot atNew Sork, N t., as secona-Class-matter." Vol. LXIV. NOVEMBER 11, 1899. No. 1652 DIVESTED cf its sensational features, the stock market has resolved itself into a traders' market pure and simple. The good buying noted a few weeks ago is no more to be seen. The bond department, whieh usually moves ahead ol the stock department, has been all along disappointingly dull; this is lîot to be wondered at considering the way bonds hâve advanced in the past two years, and the présent tightness of and high rates for money, compared with the ease and low rates of but a récent past. It militâtes against another bull movement în stocks for the time being, that the interior demand for money is not so much due to agricultural requirements as to commercial demands and business expansion. An illustration of this is found in the report of nineteen new blast furnaces being under con¬ struction with a capacity estimated at 2,600,000 tons per annum. This, taken with the gênera! conception of the improvement in business throughout the country, explains why the return flow of money to this centre has not yet made itself apparent, though it is probable that signs thereof will soon appear. It is certainly necessary that they should, else how are the year's end settle¬ ments to be DieL withcut a further advance in rates? The stock market is directiy affected by these conditions; prices must dé¬ pend upon the volume of money available to the market and move with the quotation of rates. The best that can be ex¬ pected with any show of confidence is that meritorious issues will hold their own. Railroad earnings continuing to be satis¬ factory will help to hold up railroad issues and, as they imply profitable activity in gênerai business, other issues also, provided in either case that quoted values are really not inflation due to spéculation. NOT even Lord Salisbury's remarks will prevent the press from seeing probabilities of European intervention to end the struggle in South Afriea; the thing is too valuabie as a news idea to be thrown away simply on the statement of the chief of one of the governments engagea. He is too prejudieed and too swayed by wishes that beget thoughts to be considered in the matter; his ability to obtain information may be better than that of the newspaper correspondents, but what does that matter? The press notwithstanding, any sensible man can see that ali France and Russia fear is the création in South Afriea oC a tried and vétéran force that can be thrown into the Far East to in¬ fluence the diplomatie battle now waging for control of the trade of China and of the Indian Océan. The latter is brought into View by the suggested Franco-Russian north and south railroad through Persia and its appearance at this time indicates clearly the nature of Slav-Gallic views on the Boer question. To turn to another matter, the war's influence dominâtes finance in Lon¬ don; it keeps the guiding discount rate at a high flgure and its cash requirements are likely to monopolize all available funds. The foreign governments, the municipalities and the colonies that hâve been borrowing on an average £60.000,000 to £65,000,000 an- nualy in the London market for some years past will hâve to retire and leave the fleld open to the home government, and ln this way tbat market will be enabled to meet the latter's de¬ mand without much further disturbance, but with a loss of a considérable factor to activity. Apropos of South Afriea. M. Le¬ roy Eeaulieu estimâtes that the relative holdings of Great Brit¬ ain, France and Germany in South African mines are in the proportions of eight, six and four, and upon this he urges the French holders to put an end to the prédominance of British représentation on the boards of the mining companies. An or- ganization is in course of formation to protect German interesta in the mines, The German government has in préparation a bill to increase the fractional silver eurrency from 10 to 14 marks per head of population, taking the silver necessary for the in¬ crease from the existing stock of thalers. While this may hâve nothing directiy to do .with the présent advance in the price of silver, it has an indirect bearing in showing the natural causes for growth ih the demand for that métal. What applies in Ger¬ many will apply elsewhere where there is no reserve stock to draw upon. The German bicycle industry is in the midst of a Sharp crisis, similar to those already experienced by the same in¬ dustry in this country and in Great Britain; iron and coal shares in Vienna hâve slumped and a building trade crisis at Budapest caused the government to come to the relief of the trade by giving out orders for work. These are telling indications of the turn in European business affairs. Among other items of inter¬ est from abroad, we find that the Brazilian Minister of Finance has prepared a report attributing the flnancial distress of Brazil, primarily, to the enormous émissions of paper money, and for which he proposes the natural remedy ol a contraction of this form of eurrency. He gives a table showing that this eurrency muitiplied four-fold in ten years, and that the appréciation of gold kept pace with this increase. The Indian jute crop is esti¬ mated at about 5,000,000 baies, or 400,000 more than the estimate of last year. Masonry vs Skeleton Construction xo change THROUGH EITHER THE RISE IN PRICES OR THE NEW CODE. PRESUMABLY no one will deny that the building industry is suffering from one of those checks that come at intervais in all industries, which do not stop progress—that is not quite the right idea—but which create sueh radical modiflcations in the problem to be solved, that a new solution becomes necessary, and for which time is required. The interval is generalized as a dull time. That generalization meets only the requirement of a common deflnition of outward appearances, but as a matter of fact it is incorrect, inasmuch as the interum is occupied in re- adapting means to meet the new conditions; these means may be physical or economical, or both. The greatest obstacle that building has now to overcome is undoubtedly the rise in priées of materials as great in degree as small in point of time, which with other obstructions similar in their tendencies, such as the appréciation in the value cf land and, as far as New York City is concerned, a substantial appréciation also on tax values, makes the hait in building opérations that our statistics reveal easily un¬ derstood. One of the suggestions made to lessen cost of construction is a change of practice, through a rearrangement of materials guided by their respective costs. This suggestion, while interesting, has so far not advanced the solution of the problem very far. Probably the range of choice is not great enough to secure sat¬ isfactory results, and above all each case differs in merit and requirements which détermine the final sélections. As the rise in the price of steel has been proportionately much greater than that of brick, it naturaily follows that attention should be first directed to those two to see if, by substitution, the desired econ¬ omical resuit can be produced. But if brick is used instead of métal, rentable space is lost, and that is a permanent loss likely to be unacceptable to the owner, while increased cost in construc¬ tion will be no loss at all so long as the prices of materials remain as high as they were at the time of construction, and would be a gain in the event of further advanees, or stand a chance of be¬ ing compensated by an advance in the values of rentable space. In very high buildings there can, of course, be no manipulation of materials; steel construction is their imperative requirement, and the rise in the price of material has suspended work in their direction, pending either a reactionary movement in the material market, or a favorable change in the économie conditions which are their raison d'être. In buildings of médium height, where the loss of rentable space liy the substitution of masonry for steel construction would be comparatively small, and with steei ûdyanced 100%, as against 20% in brick, at first sight it would appear that something could be gained that way; but there the individual, as well as gênerai conditions, come in to make that doubtful. In the Loeser building in Brooklyn, erected this year, the architect, Mr. F. H. Kimball, while under no necessity to use steel, chose that for his front for several reasons. The time allowed for construction was short, an interval between two active seasons in the retail dry good-s trade; every additional foot of opening for Iight was an advan¬ tage as for some stories there was no side light, and the interior was 125 feet long; the métal offered obvious advantages bere in the superior carrying capacity of the piers for a given widLh over masonry piers; finally, the métal offered opportunities for décora¬ tive treatment which could only otherwise be found in the use of terra cotta, and that would then bave had to be supplemented for strength, probably to an estent that wouid hâve neutralized