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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1775: March 22, 1902

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Mareh 22, 1903! RECORD AND (JinDE. 503 1.1^ V^ ESTABiiSHm^teiHSi'^isea. c-;Di:vbiTSioRyiEsTAn:.BuiLDij/o ^R&rfrrECruwj{(W3EriomDiSfflipinil, BusifJEss AfbThemes of GrtteR^. Wnufst. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Tublished eVery Satarday Oommuuications Bhoiild be addressed to C; W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK J. T. liINDSET, Buslnoaa Manager Telephone, CoTtlaudt S16T 'JE^ered at the Fast Office at New Tork, N. Y.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXIX. MARCH 22, 1902. Nl'. 177.) ANOTHER week iias passed on the Stock Exchange in which operations have heen very predominantly professional or manipulative. Tbe volume of husiness from day to day both in the stock and hond divisions of the market has been about the same as it has been for weeks past and this, taken, v^-ith the levels of prices maintained shows that there is no unusual real¬ izing or liquidation. This makes the task of keeping up quo¬ tations an easy and calculable one—legitimate buying and sell¬ ing are probably about equal, and tbe professional operators and the manipulator do the rest. Under the circumstances it is not likely that interested support need be very large. Such con¬ ditions favor the great financial leaders and the managers of the big enterprises, who are carrying everything their own way. There is no doubt that the U. S. Steel Co. wil! get the new cap¬ ital they want as the Metropolitan and Brooklyn Rapid Transit have done. So far as the investing public are concerned they are clearly with the leaders in consolidation and concentration, and the latter can do as they please with them. This is one re¬ sult, as well as a sign of the pervasiveness of prosperity. The public are never critics or grumblers while they are making money fast; it is later when profits dwindle and expenses are hard to reduce that the kicking comes. This condition of the moneyed-public's mind makes it still possible that the tactics employed to advance quotations may yet be successful before; the dull season comes. The country has met the latest test of the soundness of business conditions—the storms of this and last month—without, so to say, turning a hair; time has shown that the growth of industrial and commercial activity were more than an offset for the crop losses of last year and, unless these are to recur this year with greater severity, which is unlikely through something no one is able to determine, the sky is clear for the immediate future. Under such circumstances, were prices lower an advance could be confidently predicted; being what they are. the question is, can manipulation gather another dividend from the buoyancy of public feeling? NO matter how well-disposed one feels towards the plans of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, it must be admitted, as the Record and Guide has already pointed out, that the au¬ thorizing bill now before the Mayor is open to serious objection. The justifiable ground for such objection is not in our opinion the proposal to grant the franchise in perpetuity, for it is nat¬ ural that the Pennsylvania Railroad should object to investing on a revocable lease a great many million of dollars in a tun¬ nel, which from its point of view is only the terminus for many thousand of miles of road in other states. Moreover, the fran¬ chise it seeks has not very much value, apart from the connec¬ tions which are made with the tracks of the Pennsylvania and Long Island Railroads, It is not as if a company were asking for a franchise from the Battery to Harlem on a similar pretext, for in that case the franchise would have an independ¬ ent local value and should not be permanently alienated. But while under the circumstances, the company is justified in ask¬ ing for a perpetual franchise, the conditions governing the grant should be made as special and exceptional as the Consti¬ tution allows. There is no reason in the world why the Alder¬ men and the Board of Estimate should be given authority to grant perpetual franchises for tunnels running in any direction to any railroad that has tracks outside of the city limits, for by so doing the restrictions against the permanent alienations of city franchises are destroyed; and while the public has abun¬ dant confidence in the present Board of Estimate that Board as well as the Board of Aldermen has had predecessors within the past ten years, who might have abused the power. The pro¬ test of the Rapid Transit Commissioners is consequently so far justified. If the bill in some way unmistakably restricted the power of perpetual alienation to this special case, it would be unnecessary to seek the acquiescence of that commission, for public opinion has unmistakably approved the route and plans' of the Pennsylvania Railroad. But just in so far as the powers' granted by the bill to the Aldermen and the Board of Estimate are general aud go beyond the limits of the special case, the Rapid Ti-ansit Commissioners are justifled in considering that' their functions are ignored and their rights infringed. The Stations of the Metropolitan Electric Railroad in Paris. WE are living in a century of progress—progress not only in scientific, but also in social matters—and Art itself is affected by this universal transformation. The conditions un¬ der which we exist are constantly undergoing improvement; things are now valued according to their degree of usefulness; the industrial and commercial portion of the world is becoming more and more active every day; "Time is Money," as the Eng¬ lish proverb says, and there is no longer any opportunity for leisure. These are considerations which more than sufBce to explain the great favor which the Paris "Metro," as it is com¬ monly called, has met with at the hands of the inhabitants of tbat city. It was essential that the stations of this railroad-—which was an absolute novelty—should have a distinctive appearance, so that the public could know unmistakably at a glance what they were. In view of this, the Paris Municipal Council instituted a competition of architects. Upwards of eighty designs were sub¬ mitted, hut not one of them was entertained by the examining committee. All these designs proceeded on the old lines and em¬ bodied the old classic formulae taught in the schools; the au¬ thors had entirely ignored the fact that they had to deal with an underground road, and that these stations were to cover en¬ trances which amounted to mere holes in the ground; ahd they had failed utterly to realize the uselessness of erecting any¬ thing of a monumental character, as the ticket offices and other , bureaux were to be located beneath the sidewalks, to say nothing of the limited amount of space available. Most of the com¬ petitors remembered, as usual, that the Parthenon had columns, and Saint Peter's at Rome a cupola—that is to say, the elemen¬ tary rules of the architect's education. This servile worship of the past spares the necessity of exercising any imagination, any initiative or any ingenuity; a church may resemble a Greek temple, and an insurance company's building a Florentine palace. The structure is immutable; whether or not the internal accommodation meets the requirements is a minor matter! This competition having proved a failure, and the work hav¬ ing to be carried out within a limited time, a municipal coun¬ cillor—M. Lebreton—proposed that the task should be entrusted to M. Hector Guimard, the architect of the "Castel BSranger" and the winner of a prize for the best fagade. This gentleman, who was known as the promoter of what is called "I'Art nou- veau," had revolutionized domestic architecture—that of apart¬ ment houses as well as of private villas. He had stamped him¬ self as a man of daring and independence, one whose youthful ardor broke through the bonds of convention, and whose con¬ ceptions, while observing the fundamental rules of art, rose above the clogging influences of grammars and manuals. He had shown himself withal to be a man who kept in view the needs of the times, thus making art the handmaiden of utility and comfort; wbo went back beyond the ancient precepts to the living spring of nature, sseking for inspiration in the forms of the Tree and the Plant, and yet remaining at all times rigidly logical. M. Hector Guimard made a sketch, which was at once ac¬ cepted, and thereupon the erection of these little structures was intrusted to his care. Henceforth, the existence of the under¬ ground road is proclaimed and the way thereto pointed out by M. Guimard's stations. Let us now explain and comment upon what he has designed. Taking into account the feeling of alarm which everyone ex¬ periences when he finds himself close to a dark, yawning gulf, and desiring to cause an attraction to be exercised at a spot which, in its unadorned nakedness, produces an instinctive re¬ pulsion. M. Guimard has enlivened the entrances to these sombre stairways by covering them over with an edifice made of light-colored enameled tiles, ironwork entwined like tropical climbing plants, and a sort of penthouse in glass for a roof, which seems to draw up the air, as It were. The framework is extremely light, there being no thick beams or massive pil¬ lars. It is a kind of efflorescence emanating from the bowels of the earth—the tender springing forth of a graminaceous plant above the terrestrial surface. Thus, he has produced something gracile and modest, which, while occupying little room, and ^