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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 66, no. 1694: September 1, 1900

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September i, 1900. KECOKD AJSD GUIDE. 261 PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELBPHONK, CORTLANDT 1370. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. •Entered at the Post-Office at New York, N. 7.. as second-class nwti^r.- 1694, Vol. LXVI. SEPTEMBER 1, 1900. IN Wall street there are few new developments and no in¬ crease of business to cheer brokers. We hear exaggerated reports of foreign loans and of the demand for American coal abroad. Seemingly reporters and writers on Wall street topics will not he content with a natural, though somewhat slow ad¬ vance either in the way of loaning money or selling commodities abroad, but must treat both subjects sensationally. Probably their readers require to be astonished. However that may be, progress will be slow we may be sure great changes do not come without a careful preparatory process. As to brokerage business there is a feeling that with the closing of the vacations some improvement may be looked for. This is based largely on the fact that in spite of repeated requests, so to say, to do so, security holders refuse to scare over election probabilities. Not only that but if stocks weaken at all a buying movement comes to restore quotations, keeping up on the whole the somewhat exasperating, but at the same time satisfactory, steadiness that has prevailed for several months, in fact since the recovery from the June break. Besides this continued steadiness of prices, there are other small features that serve to keep up the faith of those who believe in higher prices in the near future. The fear of dear money has passed away under an inability of bankers to employ much of the funds in their bands even at the low rates prevailing; the improvement in the iron trade, though not bringing with it any increase in prices except on manufactured articles, is distinctly and per¬ ceptibly growing, and such assistance as can come from the signs of extension of our foreign trade is clearly to be had. If the colossal foreign orders for iron and coal of the report- orial imagination do not materialize, there are others of suffi¬ cient magnitude to provide that needed outlet for a surplus that a development of mines, works and appliances has created beyond our own needs and which in a sense is all profit. The only things that vex are the sporadic labor troubles, home politics (how slightly the influence of the last is shown by Mr. Bliss' recent remarks) and complications abroad. 1—J RBDICTIONS on the time when the Boer war wil! end are X"^ about as safe as those made regarding a settlement of the Chicago strike, but it does seem now that the end is near. The Transvaal Republic officially embodied has been pushed so close to tbe Portuguese border that it seems that it must now take that step across the line which will end its functions and existence. In China, too, the logical expectation is that the American official view of the situation will prevail and that the' vanishing government will appear again to make amends for past misdeeds and resume control of affairs. These two things are desired, because one means an increase in the world's gold supply and each and both together a large increase' in the world's trade. If the latest British railroad dividends threw an unfavorable reflection upon the business situation, the bank dividends of the same date do not, for we notice that these have on the whole been increased: Lloyds' from ITVa to 20 per cent, the London & Westminster's, Joint Stock's, City's and Midland's each by 1 per cent. Increased dividends by the banks may be taken as a fair offset to reduced dividends by the rail¬ roads, especially as the latter were due rather to the increases in the items of expenses, wages and fuel, than to diminished gross receipts. Regarding the reported action of the Prussian state railways in inaugurating rates that will encourage shipments of coal from this side of the Atlantic, it may be stated that the coal owners and the state railways have for some time been involved in a dispute on prices for coal for the coming season. The action of the latter may be intended to induce the home miners to come to terms. While complaints of general business are rife in Europe it is admitted that in coal there is no les¬ sening of activity. This is somewhat contradictory seeing how much the one is dependent on the other, though special pur¬ chases of coal by the various Powers may help to reconcile the two statements. The more probable explanation, however, is that general business is dull because of the season and coal Is active because of preparations to make other lines so when the holidays are over. Two Ways PUBLIC WORKS IN PARIS AND NEW YORK. ii ~r HEY do these things better in Prance." This, the opening * line of Sterne's masterpiece, must occur to American vis¬ itors to Paris during this year of the Exposition and at no time more forcibly than when contemplating the great works ot public improvement that make Paris the darling city of the world. Among these improvements the one that strikes the visitor of to-day most is the new bridge over the Seine. The American especially is struck by this structure because it be¬ longs essentially to a class of bridges practically the creation of American engineering genius and evolved out of the circum¬ stances attending material development in his own country, namely, the steel bridge; and yet it is not only not ugly but distinctly beautiful. Not only is the Alexander HI. Bridge beautiful, but a competent authority describes it is one of the most remarkable erections of the kind in modern times. Structurally it is a steel bridge forming one large arch of very flat lines, but these flat lines were dictated by artistic require¬ ments, the level of the roadways having to be kept aslowaspos- sible, consistently with getting the requisite headway over the river, in order not to obscure the view of the facade and dome of the Invalides which closes the vJsta at the southern end. This instance of calculating flnal consequences shows the care that was taken to procure the best results, so that in doing one thing another should not be spoiled, but everything brought into harmony. With this spirit presiding over the work it is not sur¬ prising that the result is good. Why this is so is because the au¬ thorities went to work in the right way. They entrusted the main design of the bridge totwoeminentarchitects.MM.Bernard and Cousin, and two eminent engineers, MM. Resal and Alby; the first were made responsible for the details of the design and the second for the structure. The work of these was sup¬ plemented by that of others, as for instance the massive bronze lamps standing on the bridge, which are the work of one of the most gifted young sculptors of the day, and the various sculp¬ tured designs and figures are the work of artists of the first order "That is," says our authority, "what goes to make a new bridge in Paris," and he asks, being an Englishman himself, "Is it not enough to make every Englishman who cares about art blush for his country, where for a similar work an engineer and a stonemason would be thought sufficient?" We may still more justly ask the same question of the American and of his country. Take New York now and note how few artistic works or memorials we have and how the attractions of our improvements depend more on external agencies for their effects than their own artistic merits. How much better all these things could have been had we taken a little thought of probable appear¬ ances to the cultured eye. Beginning with a very small matter, the connection of the elevated railroad with the Brooklyn Bridge, what a blessing an architect in coadjutation with the engineer would have been. Our bridges especially need thia union of the two varieties of talent, the practical and the aesthetic. The first bridge over the East River is saved from utter condemnation by the curve of its arch, the graceful lines of its supports, and the sturdy massiveness of its piers; but its entrances are simply hideous. The new bridge is likely to prove an eyesore because of the substitution of the open iron work piers for the stone ones. Those who uphold the nude in art have never gone so far as to clamor for the skeleton. The latest instance of the unsympathetic baldness and nakedness that characterize all our public engineering is found in the Manhattan Valley viaduct, the details of which will be found elsewhere in this issue, which like its predecessor is the work of an engineer acting alone and without the assistance of the artist. In fact with few exceptions every piece of engineering we have has a vulgar taunting expression as if it would say: "I'm ugly but I'm utile and cheap," and this will remain so until we follow the French example and make them composite works con¬ taining the expression of the artist as well as the usefulness of the mechanic. Until a better way of securing this is devised the designs and plans for every future bridge, viaduct and in fact