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September lo, 1904 RECORD AlfD QUIDS 525 ^ ESTABUSHED <^ H.ARpH2l- 1^68. De/oted to REA.L E>TAiE.BuiLDir/o AfSiifFTECTURE,HcnjsniIciU)DraB^moil*., BusiiJess juto Themes of GeiJer^ IKterpsi , PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS published eVery Satardap Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New TorS J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Entered al the-Fosl Office al New Yorlc. N. T., as second-class matter." Vol. LXXIV. September 10. 1904. No. 1904 -1 HE advance in prices on the stock market has been niain- i tained so a long time, has made fiuch considerable and general changes in the prices of securities, and has been siu]- ported by such a volume of business that it is fairly entitled to be considered a genuine recovery from the imdue depression of prices which took place in 1903 and early in 1904. Such a recovery was certain to come, but very few people expected that it wonld take place during the canvass preceding the presiden¬ tial election. That it did take place so soon is striking testi¬ mony to the recuperative power of the business and finance of this coimtry. Just as soon as money became easy and it was discovered that agricultural prosperity would continue, prices rebounded from the low levels of last winter and spring. More¬ over, there is no reason to suppose that the gain which has been made will not be maintained. Prices have so far simply been returning to their normal investment level; and there is probably room for even a further advance without super-adding ■ any considerable speculative margin to the value of securities. At the same time conservative banlten are likely to discourage any very considerable further increase during the coming fail. Financial conditions have favored a return to the normal level, but they would not favor too lavish a use of credit for an ex¬ clusively speculative movement. At the same time it should be added that the year 1905 should be a good year, both for the business and financial interests of the country, and many of the projects which were cut short by the slump of 1903 will be resumed and will make the year one of active and profitable trade. THE volume of the current real estate business is very small: but it preserves a wholesome and promising char¬ acter. Our news columns register the occurrence of about 50 transactions in Manhattan property against 43 for the corre¬ sponding week last year. The increase is unimportant, but the character of the business is on the whole better. An in¬ creasing demand for private houses is developing, and the news of the week includes some 14 buildings of this class against only G during the corresponding week in 1903. Lots-for improvemenf with tenements and flats continue to be purchased; but the movement in this direction is the tail-end of the building opera¬ tions of the current year, and offers no anticipations of what we are to expect in 1905. Of course there is no doubt that the Bronx will be even mo;-e active than it is at present, and its present activity is in the number of transactions consummated almost equal to the whole of IVTanhattan. ' More than 35 Bronx sales are reported in this issue of the Record and Guide against only 9 one year ago. There can be no doubt that during the coming year many important operators and builders, who have hitherto confined their attention exclusively to Manbattan, will transfer their interests chiefly to the Bronx, and will help to carry tne activity in that Borough to unprecedented totals. X CCORDING to all indications the streets of New York •*^ v;iU bo more than ever congested during the coming winter by the enormous quantity of slowi moving v.ehicles, which will be obliged to use them. Already people who try to go up or down town in automobiles and cal)s are complaining of the Inevitable and exasperating delays of transit. Broadway dur¬ ing the busy hours is practically impassable. The Bowery which, because of its width was once comparatively available. Is becoming more and more crowded—partly because of tlie traffic, whicli seeks the new bridge by that route. Hudson St.. except along its lower end, still has a little room left upon it; but Sth av. is very much crowded because of its use by the carts carrying dirt from the excavation for the Pennsylvania station. The delays aud money loss which this condition in¬ curs upon everybody who uses the streets, but particularly upon business men, who do much trucking and carting is enor- moiis; and it is absurd tbat it is not receiving more serious and insistent'attention. Whenever Elm st. is restored to use one more fairly capacious thoroughfare will be provided; but another one to the west of Broadway is even more necessary, and it should be laid out at an early date by widening Varick st, cutting it through to Broadway on the south, and to extensions of Cth and Tth avs. on the north. The present administration has so far been inclined to limit the improvements which i! carries along, to projects started by its predecessors; but In this matier of dealing with the congestion of street traffic, it has an opportunity of initiating improvements of its own of the utmost importance. There could not be a more flagrant piece of short-sighted improvidence than that which the City of New York is displaying. It is increasing and improving enormously its equipment for the transaction of business. It is building larger and better loft buildings and factories tban ever before, and it is improving the means of communication with all the outlying boroughs. But the end of all these improvements is to facilitate the transaction of business on Manhattan Island, and this object will not be obtained unless certain improvementa and enlargements of the street system are carried out at the same time. IN the beginning the presidential campaign promised to be very exciting and interesting, but instead of that it has be¬ come increasingly dull. Of course the really lively part of the canvass is still ahead of us, but it has already become appar¬ ent that if any enthusiasm is provided, ic will be a forced rather than a spontaneous enthusiasm. There is nothing in the issues of the campaign to arouse any particular interest The whole logic of the Democratic positioa forced the leaders of that party to draw up a negative platform, and to nominate a candidate who would be safe rather than positive and assertive in any one particular direction. Judge Parker filled the bill, but he and his canvass are now suffering from the defects of his quali- ters. He is an eminently safe and estimable man, w.ho can proclaim in turgid sentences a sufiicieney of safe and common¬ place ideas. But the negative program of economy, and legal aud constitutional righteousness which he proclaims, wilt not give him much strength outside a few law^yers' ofBces. He carefully refrains from all references to the various reforms, in which independent voters are interested, and he apparently relies chiefly upon the opposition £.nd dislike which the aggressive and positive po..cy of President Roosevelt has aroused. We fear that he will be disappointed, in case he expects the dislike and distrust of Roosevelt to win him many votes, which he would not otherwise get. The American people like a vigorous,, positive and aggressive man, even if he does make mistakes, and such a man, provided he keeps a level head, will always be. preferred to the cautious lawyer, who makes a platform out of the Constitution and the Declaration of .Independence. In the meantime the apathetic campaign has an exeelient effect on business. For the first time since 1S84 both the tariff and the money questions are not dangerous issues, and "Wall Street is not afraid to can-y on a bull campaign in the midst of tbe can¬ vass. DURING the period of 1901 to 1903, the number of expensive buildings erected was so considerable that several large construction companies were organized to obtain a share in the business. These companies, together with the construction companies and building firms which date from before 1900, are now complaining of a scarcity of work. They, all of them, still have some good contracts on baud, which W'ill take a year or more to finish; but they declare that there are very few big new building contracts on the horizon of trade, and they do not like the outlook. Well, while we have every confidence that the out¬ look for new building contracts calling for large expenditures will be better £ome months from now than it is now, still it is im¬ probable that at any time during the next few years will be as much business of this class offered as there was during 1901 and 1902. If the construction companies want to keep fully em¬ ployed, they should adapt themselves to the times, and use their capital in erecting the kind of buildings, for which there is an immediate demand. For the next few years there will un¬ doubtedly be a pressing demand for fiats and residences, both on Washington Heights and in the Bronx, and there is no rea¬ son why this class of improvement should be left to builders with small capital. The large capital and the efficient organiza¬ tion of the construction companies should enable them to erect a- great many cheap buildings with as much profit as a very few large and expensive buildings. The appearance as operat¬ ing builders both on tHe Heights and in the Bronx would be welcomed and should not be delayed.