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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1772: March 1, 1902

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I, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 371 ^ #- w^ ESTABUSHED"^ " -^y- •- ESrABU5HEU-^BVU^H2l*r^l8Sa Demoted to Re>,l E^me . Bui Loif/c AjwifrrEtmmE MousdIoib DEOOHjiiDii* BusitJESs Alto Themes of GEiJER^..lifiER^T. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Commuolcatlons ahould he addreaeed to C. W. SWEET, I4"16 Vesey Slreet, New YorR .S. T. LINDSET, Business Manager Telephone, Cortlandt 3167 ' Enlered at the Post OMce at Neio Toric, Jf. K. as second-class matter.' Vol, LXIX. MARCH 1, 1902. No. 1772 ROW BEADY FOE DELTVEBT. lhe annual number of ihe Becord and Guide Quarterly contain¬ ing all the real estate reeords .for the year 1901, annotated and al¬ phabetically and nnmerically arranged. Published hy the Becord and Guide, 14 16 Vesey St. OF the stock market little can be said. It still preserves its enigmatic character and gives but little satisfaction from any point of view. Transactions are declining to figures that look very small in the light of experience of the past year, and sometimes such as would have made hut a small day's business at any .time. If from 'these figures the professional contribution could he deducted, it would leave very little for the commission houses, who are, indeed, doing comparatively nothing; and, in view of the high range of current quoted values on the one side, and the strength of the business situation and the general pros¬ perity on the other, are indisposed to advise their connections to enter a campaign either for or against prices. On the whole, this makes an uninteresting, not to say stupid situation, though one not without gratifying features. It is surprising and pre¬ viously unheard of how long stocks that are often referred to as possessing latent powers to advance have hung around particular figures. If one wants something of more moving encourage- menit, one is compelled to fall back upon the general business situation, which happily readily responds to the desire. Un¬ doubtedly that situation continues to be good; railroad earnings prove that, together with the flattering reports from the centres of the great and typical industries such as the iron and steel in¬ dustry where efforts, titanic as they are, are restricted by inad¬ equacy of shipping facilities. The market took this week's ship¬ ment of a large amount of gold nonchalantly, which shows how differently the same things influence in good times and in had. The years 18SS-1895 were years of net loss of gold, amounting in the whole period of eight years to the sum of $317,646,299; in 1896, the imports exceeded the exports 'by $46,474,419; in 1S97 there was a small loss of $253,589; the following three years were all years of gain, the imports for the whole period exceed¬ ing the exports by $160,539,012. Last year we lost again in the - sum of $2,968,009, but, as in January of that year we had already exported $8,000,000, it will he seen that most of what goes out now is quickly regained. Already this year nearly $8,000,000 has gone out, but as this is the season of the European demand on this centre this fact could only be unfavorably con¬ strued if it conld at the same time be shown that a compensating movement will not occur in due course before the year is out, as it did, for instance, last year, and leaving the net imports for the whole year much less than they were for the first month. BOTH the Assembly and the Senate have passed an amend¬ ment to the Charter which will permit the local authori¬ ties to grant a perpetual franchise to the Pennsylvania Eailroad for its tunnel in Manhattan; and it is known that the Mayor and the Corporation Counsel approve this hill. Presumably, it was only on these terms that the Pennsylvania Railroad will build the tunnel, so that considering the immense benefit which iit will he to the Boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, it is as well that the local authorities have consented to a perpetual fran¬ chise. Yet, we cannot but regard with distrust this departure from the principle, which was embodied in the Charter for the permanent protection of the city's interests. The present ex¬ ception will be made the precedent and excuse in the future for other departures cf the same kind. The privilege which the Pennsylvania Railroad has probably succeeded iu getting will be claimed by other roads as well; and when they are situated as the Pennsylvania is situated it will be difficult to refuse the privilege. There is this consolation in the present proposed arrangement, viz., that the rate of remuneration must be re¬ adjusted every twenty-flve years. At the present time the fran¬ chise, considering the large expense which must he incurred in order to make use of it, probably has not a very great value, but when there are 1,000,000 people living in Queens, instead of 170,- 000, and when the present population of Hudson and Essex coun¬ ties has trebled, the traffic to, from, and across Manhattan will he enormous,' and the franchise will be very valuable. Even if the Governor signs the hill, however, the railroad company will still have some difficult obstacles to overcome, for the Democrats are strong in ithe Board of Aldermen, and have apparently decided to block the improvement if possible. The Tenement House Law Amendments. ■^* HE hearing in Albany on Thursday before the Joint Com- ■*■ mittee on Cities indicated with as much certainty as can possibly pertain to prophesy in such matters that what may he termed the administration amendments to the existing tenement house law will he enacted. If the show of opposition made on that occasion represents the full force of argument and in¬ fluence now directed against the bill, it is clearly insufficient to prevail at this stage of the proceedings. For it must not be forgotten that the real incidence of attack at this moment can¬ not bear upon the amendments themselves alone which con¬ fessedly liberalize the tenement house law, but must also touch the law itself. It is hardly necessary to point out how great would have to be the opposition necessary in any case to abolish legislation already enacted and in force, or how serious and widespread would have to he the arguments and agitation suf- ficent to convert the administration and the Legislature to a retrograde movement. It is not belittling the opposition that does exist against the tenement measures to say that it is, for this purpose, quite ineffective. And, if for this purpose it is ineffective it follows that in its application to the amendments it cannot be quite free from the appearance of being illogical. If the law is to stand, the amendments are a distinct concession to the very criticism that has been directed against the law. On the other hand, if the amendments are insufflcient, the proper course is not to attack them, but to accept them and endeavor to enlarge them as far as possible without at the same time attempting to impair the spirit and purpose of a law too firmly entrenched to be overthrown hy a light cavalry movement. The difficulty in the path of opposition therefore is the exist¬ ence of the law and that which has been added hy the amend¬ ments themselves. It would be easier even from the point of view of the whole principle involved to deal with these amend¬ ments were they not so distinctly liberal and conciliatory. It would even perhaps be easier to deal with them did they not receive in peculiar measure a personal support from the tem¬ perate, judicial and reasonable attitude of Mr. De Forest, who has achieved the rare success of winning both his battle and his enemies. If he hasn't converted his opponents to tenement house reform as he understands it. he has impressed them to the point that the next best thing to its defeat is that the law shall be entrusted to his administration. As a matter of fact, however, there is very little serious op¬ position to the amendments. The earnest issues that remain concern the requirements for air shafts in three aud four story buildings in Brooldyn and the retroactive effect of the tenement house law upon owners of existing buildings in Manhattan as well as in Brooklyn. So far as the former is concerned, our sister borough is made to feel the effect of its alliance with a city of the first class. Conditions beyond the bridge are not similar to those prevailing in Manhattan. Buildings quite per¬ missible in a semi-urban town are distinctly impossible in a metropolitan city. Neither will it pass to contend that the semi-urban town will in time develop into the higher class, and so it is wise to proceed from the beginning in that expecta¬ tion, and prohibit in the lower stage everything that will he unsuitable to the higher stage. There is a time for everything and development would be impossible upon the principle of de¬ manding to-day the requirements of to-morrow, even thou'gb in meeting present necessities we produce much that will be distinctly disadvantageous in the future. We have seen no evidence that shows the narrow court to be a distinct evil in buildings planned and inhabited as two and three story tene¬ ments are in Brooklyn. By and by, when conditions change in Brooklyn, they undoubtedly would be as obnoxious in that borough as they are in Manhattan. The law to-day is anticipa¬ tory and the owner is called upon to pay for the anticipation. It may be a judicious investment for the city and the future, but for him it is something of a hardship. On the other Issue, that of the reti'oactive effect of the law upon existing tenements, we cannot hut see in it anelement rf