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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1787: June 14, 1902

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RECOBD AKD GUIDE. 1091' De/othD to Rp^lEstate.Building ARsriifrTZCTUiff JiousErioioDEOOtflHlTfi BusiiJess Alio Themes op GEifeR^.,HfiH|g3T. iPRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published every Saturday Oommimlcatloiis should be addressed ta C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. New York S, V. LINDSET, Businesa Manager TelepKono, Cortlandt 81S7 'Ihitered al lhe Post Office at JVew Tork, JT". ¥., as second-clasg matter." Vol. LXIX. JUNE 14, 1902. No. 1787 EARLY in the week Wall Street thought it saw a prospect of a quick ending of the coal strike, and prices pruned up a little. The most possible was also made of a Govern¬ ment crop report, more encouraging than its predecessors of the year. But buyers failed to respond and a dull drooping market ensued, with a spiriting up at the close of the week. The chief trouble is that most people have stocks to sell and are waiting for the market to advance in order that they may realize the proiits they think they are entitled to. This is a familiar situation, the outcome of which has hitherto generally been gradual liquidation through weariness or poverty and finally a lowered scale of prices which attracted new buy¬ ers. For the time being, however, holders of stocks are confi¬ dent that the advance they want will be provided for them, but the time has been extended until after the holiday and when the July disbursements will have gone the rounds that end in the stock market—sometime^, not always. Meanwhile, how¬ ever, the strike goes on and we are having a foretaste of sum¬ mer dullness. THERE is little new ia the foreign situation, and of what is new the most significant is the high rate of reserve at the Bank of England, fifty-two per cent, at a time when money was in unusually sharp demand for the periodical settle¬ ment. This looks as if the bank was strengthening itself against some expected contingency of heavy demand, and may be in connection with the liquidation which must inevitably result from the cutting off of govermental purchases for the army in Africa. The gold production of the Rand continues to increase. The report for May was of 138,6-02 ozs., which compares with the monthly returns since mining was resumed as follows: April, 119,588 ozs.; March, 104,127 ozs.; February, 81,405 ozs.; January, 70,240 ozs., and December, 1901, 52,897 ozs.; also with a maximum production made in May, 1899, of 444,933 ozs. It is pointed out that the present production benefits the world at large only indirectly, because the requirements for new mining capital in South Africa will more than offset the production for some time to come. But as, commercially speaking, we live so far ahead of the times, this argument is of limited application. The topic of most earnest discussion in financial circles is what has become to be called the Ship Combine, and it is apparent that now John Bull's teeth, to use Lord Salisbury's inelegant phrase, are no longer in South Africa, or, as we should put it, the Boers' teeth are no longer in John Bull's fiesh, there is ap¬ parent an intention to fight the American competition, though in what way is not so clear. Germany, however, is congratu¬ lating herself upon being both in and out of the Morgan com¬ bination, but her satisfaction is not quite unaccompanied by fear of her shipping future. It is said that the negotiantions were closely followed and scrutinized by the Kaiser and that he gave his approval to the final terms. At the same time, the Hamburg-American Company have amended their statutes or by¬ laws to forestall attempts to put their line under foreign con¬ trol. The amendments require that all directors and members of the Board of Overseers shall be German citizens living in Germany, and that this new provision can only be expunged from the statutes by a four-fifths vote of the stock, repeated at a second meeting. Of all the German industries the electrical and the cement seem to to be in the worst condition. The iron trade has picked up somewhat on foreign orders. Regarding cement it is stated that the tendency toward the dissolution of the various price combinations in the industry is quite marked. The associations in Northern and Western Germany have be¬ come practically ineffective; and it is doubted whether the South German association can preserve its existence. One of the worst annual reports of all the German companies is that of the Adler factory, which is one of the best-known concerns in Germany. It has just declared a dividend of two per cent.. against seventeen last year, and twenty-five per cent, two years ago. In 1900 the company issued new capital at 231; the quo¬ tation to-day is 107. The Art Commission. "^^ HE Ar^ Commission occupies at present a somewhat anom- ■^ alous and experimental position in the administrative machinery of New York City. It was constituted in the begin¬ ning in order to exercise a general supervision over all questions of municipal art—chiefly for the purpose of preventing the ac¬ ceptance by the city of ugly and perverted "works of art." But "works of art" as defined in the first charter of the Greater New York did not include any public buildings, aud while as a matter of history there was some justification in this peculiar definition, it did not make allowance for the fact that the conditions, under, which public buildings were designed might be improved. The revised charter included within the definition of a "work of art" all structures erected by the municipal government, which cost as much as $1,000,000, a provision which seemed to imply that it was only big buildings which could obtain any artistic character. In addition to this supervisory function over '"works of art," however defined, the Commission is empowered to offer "pious opinions" on artistic matters, whenever a head of a de¬ partment needs it, which, apparently heads of departments never do. As a kind of corporation counsel in aesthetic matters, the. Commission has not been over-much troubled with work. It i& only recently that it has obtained any appropriation staff or^ official habitation. During the past week, however, its re-', jection of the Horgan and Slattery plans for an extension to the Court House shows of what use it raay be to the city even under present conditions. An Art Commission is so much of an innovation, and the aesthetic problems involved in a matter of municipal policy are still such an easily negligible aspect thereof, that at present any; attempt to enlarge the functions of the Commission so it shall have some powers of initiative would be hopeless. The Commis-' sion must win its way to public approval and recognition by means of public services. It is so hampered by its constitution that it cannot undertake such services except when called on for that purpose; and it is to be hoped that the present adminis¬ tration will give, as it can very well give, to the Art Commis¬ sion, a chance to be of actual use to the city. The Mayor has shown in the ease of the Rapid Transit Commission, a disposi¬ tion to call to his assistance the knowledge and good judgment of expert commissions. Why not give the Art Commission an opportunity to justify its existence and the extension of its powers by making use in some important matter of its knowl¬ edge and good judgment? Such an opportunity is offered by the very important ques¬ tion of the Brooklyn Bridge terminus. The Art Commission al¬ ready has authority on the premises, in that under the revised charter, it must give its consent to the plans for any "public structure" costing over $1,000,000, Why should not the advice of this Commission be asked as to the whole treatment of the space between the City Hall, the new Hall of Records and the Brooklyn Bridge terminus? This is one of the most frequented and im¬ portant squares in the city. At the present time the enormous trafiic going to and from the Brooklyn Bridge traverses it; and in a few years the equally large traffic of the new Subway will flood its spaces with double the number of people now passing through. Yet in spite ot its very public character, it is now largely occupied by an ugly and incongruous collection of build¬ ings, and in all the discussions of the terminal problem not' a person has suggested that this space should be made into a ' large and handsome public square. If there is any improve¬ ment now pending in this city, in the planning of which aesthetic considerations should not be ignored, it is the improvement of the Brooklyn Bridge terminus. The old buildings, which now encumber the space should all be torn down, and in case a ' new building is erected, it should be situated so as not to in¬ terfere with the freedom of movement thereabouts, and so aa to compose architectually with the City Hall and the new Hall of Records. The only one of these old buildings, which some people want to preserve, is the old Hall of Records, but there is not in our opinion any sufficient reason for its preservation. True it is the oldest municipal building in the city; but its past associations are unpleasant, and afford no excuse for its per¬ petuation. Its present appearance is due to a reconstruction, which took place in 1832, and which while it gave it a more pre¬ tentious design from an architectural point of view, only pro¬ vided an additional reason for its destruction. It was again altered during Tweed times at an expense of $140,000 without add¬ ing anything to it, except an unwholesome third story, in which the folio writers in the Register's office have ever since passed 1 1