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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1781: May 3, 1902

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May 3,-1902," RECORD AND GUIDE. 7kr KTfiEUSHED^ WWPUSI"^ 1868. D.-Vc-rrP ro Real El.sTj.rE.BuiLon^'o A,iJcifiTECTURE,t{iDUsn!omDEGCiRfiiDil. ifRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLAR& Published every Saturdag Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK *. T. UNDSET, Buslneaa Manager Telepbone, Cortlandt 3167 " Enlered a.t the Post OSire at Neio Tork, N. Y., as second-class mailer." Vol. LXIX MAY 3, 1902. No. 1781 TIte AprU.Nimibe.r of ilie Areliitectural Heeord, devoted to illus¬ trations of ihe works of Mr Ernest Flagg, is-now ready for. delivery- It contains a Imndred reprodiictio)is of htdUlinys designed by Mr' Flagg, with ati explanation of their eharai-ie*. and a critical intra ■ duction. This niimber is the final issue of the Arehitecttiral Record as d quarterly ma/jaffine. Hereafter it will be pnblished every month, and its character broadened, so as to cover noi only archi teeture and the interests immediuiely attached to it, but the remoter df^artments of Fine Art Design. 'Ihe s«fcso'yj(io)^ price of the monthly piiblioaiion will be $:t.00 a year—'^t> cents for each copy. THE Stock Market incidents of the week are such as may ■be expected in a time of speculation extended oii high values, and when comiiiercial activity makes money in much de¬ mand. If we could imagine stocl:: manipulation being in one hand it would suggest the flgiire of a man attempting to catch fish with a float that exploded at regular intervals. However, the manipulators are many and without community of action though any amount of sympathy of purpose. Notwithstanding this the little International Power and General Carriage ex¬ plosions have, apparently, frightened away most of those for whom there has been so much angling in the past six months and, most probably, alao ended the spring advance, thereby de¬ stroying the chances of the boom for which insiders were look¬ ing in order to unload. For final considerations this is not to be deplored. A boom ou such values as have and still prevail could only be mischievous in its effects in the long run and a little shaking down instead will be very much better. The general commercial situation continues to be good, demand ia active for most kinds of manufactured goods and this season the aspect of lahor is not nearly as threatening as it was a year ago. Money is naturally, in request, so that the high rateg asked in speculative circles are a logical outcome of the cir¬ cumstances. Moreover, there is not merely a possibility, but a probability that more goid will go out soon. Gold exports are not usually accompanied by high rates for money at home, and it is understood that the shipments, if made, will be due to American borrowing abroad in connection with the financing of new undertakings. NE of the main objections to the provision made in the House Public Buildings bill for a new post office site in New York City, is that it restricts choice to blocks suitable in size for the new building and to the sections of the city where such blocks may be found. If instead of saying, that the site selected shall be bounded on all four sides by streets, it said the building to be erected upon it should be open to streets on all four sides, this objection would be removed. In that case, the commission to whom the task of choosing the site is eventually given, could take either a small block, or part of a larger oue sufficient to accommodate the building and provide a street, or streets on the side or sides that may not be open at the time of purchase. Therule of having the building open on all four sides was adopted in the case of the Hall of Records in this city, and to meet it provision was made for a street on the west side. A similar course could be followed in the case of any other public building. It is intended to put the new post office build¬ ing uptown, where, of course, it should be put, the form of the provision in the House bill, wiil make selection well-nigh im¬ possible: It is very important that choice should be as free as possible, because, since the matter was flrst agitated a new factor has appeared in the problem in the form of the proposed Pennsylvania depot. First ideas were that the new post office should be on the line of the New York Central Railroad, as that was then the only trunk line entering Manhattan Island. Id a few years there will be another and a rival line centrally located in the borough, and the question now arises, which, by proximity, will offer the best facilities for the dispatch and distribution of the mail? It is also a question, whether it will not be best to place the Postal Department in a position to en¬ able it to avail itself of either. It would also be desirable to have the Postmaster of Wew York on the commission of selection, unless tbe presence of the Postmaster-General is taken to mean that, his subordinate in this city will be his practical adviser in the matter. The worst feature of the provision of the bill referred to is that ic confers no definite powers, making the commission simply an agent between the owners of land and Congress, than which any clumsier or slower method of acquir¬ ing a site it is utterly impossible to conceive. This feature of the bill arouses suspicions of the sincerity of the framers of the bill, and illustrates the difficulty the capital of the country experiences in obtaining anything from Congress, as compared with the ease with which the wants of the Dodovilles of the land are supplied. A Business Proposition. "O Y reference to the letter published in our last issue, it will ^•^ be found that Comptroller Grout has suggested a new plan for putting the city funds, so that it will in time cease its hand to mouth experience, and be put above the necessity of living on borrowed money for nine or ten months of each year. The plan is announced thus far in advance of any possible legislative action, in order that the tax-pa,yers may consider it and give expression to their approval or dissent, and in the latter case to state the practical reasons that stand in the way of its adoption, before the assistance of the Legislature is asked in perfecting the reform contemplated. It should be understood that what is presented is purely and simply a business proposition to cure a defect that has existed in the city's financial system for many years, but one that would not be permitted to exist in the financial system of any private corporation or firm in good credit, for a single year: It is this, that the city collects its income at the end of the year'instead of at the beginning or during the course of the year and, consequently has from time to time to pledge its com¬ ing income in order to borrow money to meet its obligations,' for which money it has to pay interest. In short it conducts its business on the easy theory and with resultant penalties of that, improvidence, against which all moralists and philosophers from Solomon to Pranklin have been railing through the ages. The effect of this is that from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 are annually collected from the tax-payers, which would not be necessary un-*' der a provident and business like system. The first to call at-* tention to this absurdity was a real estate man, Cyrille Carreau, who for the past twelve or flfteen years has been bringing it be¬ fore the attention of legislators, charter revisers and the per¬ sonnel of city governments for the time being. The singular thing is, that while every one has all this time admitted that the thing is wrong, until Mr. Grout came into office aud recognized the facts, no official of high position would take the matter up in a practical way and declare for reform. -^ Much may be hoped from the determination, force and busi¬ ness sense of the present financial officer of the city, who has pledged himself to introduce another bill into the next Legis¬ lature in order to carry out and modernize the finances in this particular. He should have the hearty assistance of the other ae- partments of city government affected, and of those who are much more interested, namely, the tax-payers. We have authority for saying that Mr, Grout does not want to force his personal ideas on the public; he has the economy in view and is ready to adopt any proper means to reach it. With the evil admitted, a remedy ought to be found. To do so may not be easy, because the payment of taxes, while apparently a simple thing in itself, may have serious indirect influences. The system of pay¬ ment in this city has been so long established that it has be-* come practically a rule of property, and to disturb it without the greatest care, and precaution against what may be called ac-*' cidents, might do more harm than good. It should be also un¬ derstood that the tax-payers cannot obtain the benefit of the" saving sought to be effected, unless they find the capital with- which to make it. In some way they have to advance the money, which otherwise will have to be borrowed. So far the best suggestion made is that contained in the Comptroller's latest plan, and which was first made years ago by Mr. Carreau. This, in effect, is to leave what may be called the technical- provisions unchanged and to encourage advance payments dating from early in the year by means of rebates. By this taxes would remain legally due and a lien on the property at the date named by the existing charter, while the tax-payers who could not employ their money would have the opportunity"