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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1768: February 1, 1902

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February i, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 195 ^ ESTABUSHED^KWPHSl^^iaea. Dd/o-teO to R^KL ESTkJt. BuiLOTf/o ApoKrrEcmJUE >{ou3Q(old DEBD^fnnil. Bu5I[/ess AftoThemes of GEriER^. IjftERFai. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Tublished eVersf tSaturdas CoEntnuxdoatdona should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK 3. t. UNDBET, BuolnoHB Manag'er Telephone, Cortlandt 3167 'Entered at the Post Ofice at New Tork, 2f. T., aa aecond-class matter." Vol. LXIX. FEBRUARY 1, 1902. No. 1768 Hie Index to Volume LXVITl of the h'ecord and Guide, cover¬ ing the period between July 1 and December 31, 1901, is now ready for delivery. Price, ^1. This Indej- in its enlarged form is now recognized as indispensable to every one engaged or interested in real estate and bnilding operations. It covers all transactions- deeds, mortaages, leases, auction sales, building jilans filed, etc. Orders for the Index should be sent at once io ihe office of publica¬ tion, 14 and 16 Vese;/ ISi. INTEREST in the stock market is kept aiive by tbe continued announcement of new deals; but it is still a professional interest. This is shown by the fact that the market has on the whole this weelc lieen weakest on the days when transactions were largest and by the poor response that is made to direct appeals, such as the United States Steel report may be consid¬ ered to be, to the confidence of the outsider. The gratifying feature of this report is the encouraging view it gives of the condition of trade generally. We know that if the iron trade has a certain prospect of full employment for a year to come, other Hues of industry cannot be depressed, because the activity of the'first comes from that of the latter. If any further testi¬ mony was needed of the satisfactory nature of general condi¬ tions of business throughout the country, it could be found in the returns of railroad earnings, which keep up with marvellous persistence. It might be argued from these things that security values ought to go up, but when we consider that phase of the question "we are met by the. immense, and even mad, discounting of the future that took place last year, and the fact that the securities of the new organizations are still on trial and have yet to prove, if 'they ever can, that the liberal addition of water they contain was justifled by their dividend-earning ability on a continuous stretch of years. ABROAD money is everywhere easy, and the cheerfulness noted in previous weeks continues. Still it should be borne in mind that too confident views of the industrial situatioa are discouraged by the best opinion in banking circles, which confirm our view that what we are seeing is simply a reaction pointing a period in the general decline. Capital, without which commercial and industrial movements cannot be sustained, is leaving them to participate in the low-rate government loans. Regarding this matter, the Chairman of the Union Bank of London, an accepted authority, when addressing his share¬ holders recently, said: Tt must not be forgotten how largely foreign capital has been attracted by various government issues —a fact which must have an important bearing on the future of our money market, and which goes some way to explain the comparatively easy conditions lately prevailing. Other causes have contributed to this comparative ease. There is no doubt that a reaction has occurred, and is still proceeding, not only iu this country, but practically over the whoie of Europe, from the great commercial and industrial activity which had prevailed during the closing years of the last century; there has been a smaller home demand for money owing to lessened trade and a check to speculative enterprise; monetary and commercial affairs have been unsettled in Germany, in Russia, and to some extent in France; industries which had suddenly sprung up and developed rapidly suffered severely, and confidence waa to some extent shaken, with the usual result that capital, to which active trade had given profitable employment, returned to the monetary centres." IT is not often that we can endorse an application to the Legislature for the amendment of the Mechanics' Lien Law, because the requests contained in such applications are generally so wild and one-sided. There is an application, however, now before the Legislature that we can approve and recommend for adoption. This is contained in Assembly Bill No. S5, introduced by Mr. Wilson, and its object is to provide for the identification and location on the property of goods supplied to buildings under what are known as contracts for conditional sale; that is, contracts providing that title to the goods shall not pass to the vendee until the stipulated payments have been made. At pres¬ ent it is not always possible for the purchaser of a building or the leaner of money secured by a mortgage on a building to ascertain w^hether any of the furnishings and fittings have beeu supplied under conditional sale contracts, even when he knows the name of the builder, and never when he does not. As a con¬ sequence, it has occurred that buyers and loaners of money have, after purchase was made or the loan effected, found them¬ selves obliged to pay for goods they had previously thought went with the property. To overcome this evil. Assembly Bill No 85 proposes that the conditional sale contracts shall identify the building for which the goods conditionally sold shall be sup¬ plied, and that the contracts shall further be indexed under that property so that in the event of a search their existence may be disclosed. This is a fair and simple requirement to which no one ought to object. The seller of the goods will still have his conditional sale contract, and in a proper case can take away his goods if he is not paid for them; but, at the same time, the intending purchaser of property or leaner of money will have protection, because he will be able by a search to find out what fixtures and fittings pass with the title and what do not. A natter of Looks. THE better public opinion of New York wil! demand from the new administration the establishment of a new policy in relation to all questions of public aesthetic decorum, and there is every reason to believe that the administration will respond to the demand. The consolidation of the various Boroughs into the Greater New York has greatly stimulated the municipal pride of the whole city, and has aroused atten¬ tion to the fact that the arrangement and the furniture of New York streets do not properly symbolize the metropolitan im¬ portance of the city or the prevailing standards pf aesthetic propriety. New Yorkers would like to take pride, not merely in the commercial and financial leadership of their city in American economic life, but also in the generosity and the beauty of its public works. This wish, which will doubtless increase with years, can unfortunately be gratified oniy to a limited extent and in particular ways, for the street plan oC- central Manhattan is inconvenient, ugly and almost entirely lacking in handsome, well-proportioned and well-arranged avenues and squares. Moreover, the ugliness and inconveni¬ ence of this plan are irremediable, because of the prohibitory expense of radical changes. It is probable, indeed, that even¬ tually some alterations of plan will become necessary, owing to the congestion of traffic, both in Greeley and Longacre squares; but it is not customary in New York to anticipate the need of such improvements. They will wait until the condition of things becomes intolerable. These local changes, however, can¬ not do anything lo ameliorate the impression, which New York makes, and will continue to make as a city, in which energy predominates over form—a city whose appearance suggests power, wealth, and a kind of careless efiiciency, but only a nig¬ gardly public spirit. But while New York can never obtain either a grandeur or comeliness of appearance commensurate with its economic im¬ portance and the better aesthetic standards of its citizens, an enormous deal can be undertaken in small ways, and a certain amount in large ways to improve the appearance of the city. So far as Manhattan is concerned, the best that can be done is to improve the street furniture. In this important business - the new administration is already showing an excellent spirit. President Cantor is conferring with representatives of the Municipal Art Society as to the designs of lamp posts, and it may be hoped that within the coming year the city will be pro¬ vided with convenient and well-designed electric light and gas posts and lights. This, however, is only one thing among many. All the street signs, over which the municipality has any control, should be made to conform to certain standards. Small changes could be made in the arrangement, and the plan of some of the squares, for the purpose both of improving their good looks and convenience; public buildings of all kinds should be gen¬ erously planned, and their design placed in the hands of good architects; and an effort should be made to increase the amount and enhance the quality of our public sculpture. Work cannot be pushed along all these lines at once; but the great thing is to get the municipal government committed to a policy of spending public money for the purpose of furthering better