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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 74, no. 1908: October 8, 1904

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October S, 1904 KECORD AND GUIDE 717 De/oteD to RpA^L ELsTATE . BuILOIJ/G ApCH'lTElCTURE ,^01150(0111 DE6(Slf.TIDl), Business Alio Themes OF GEtiER^l Interest. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published eVerg Saturdag ComrauniCHtlons abouia be addreaaed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK J. T. LINDSEY, Bnalnnaa M,^n^,sB^ TelsphonB, Cortlamlt .1137 "EniereA at the Pjst Office at New York, N. Y.. as second-class maltej-." Vol. LXXIV. October 8, 1904. rp HE stock niaiket begins to remind one of the great year -^ 1901. There are the same heavy transactions, the sarae violent fluctuations, the same daring and successful speculation, and the same wild rumors of deals. It should be added that there is the same underlying strength. No matter how little one may like the violent manipulation and the unusual hazards which characterize the market at the present time, it must be admitted that bullish speculative interests could not have it so much their own way were it not that Lhe owners of stock be¬ lieved that these stocks are worth as much, if not more, than they are selling for tc-day. The consequence is, that when the price of a security such as Steel Preferred is forced up several points the speculators who engineer the rise are not' swamped with selling orders. They can hold the rise and get out with a profit. This fact is sufficient proof that people do not want to sell; and, indeed, there is no reason why they should. The ex¬ treme stringency which, together with certain evidences of busi¬ ness reaction, was sending stocks down a year ago is over. Doubts about the crops are at an end, and it is known that tbe yield, multiplied by the prevailing prices, will keep farmers pros- pei^ous. Absolutely safe investments, yielding as much as four per cent, are hard to flnd. There are, consequently, few reasons to sell. The market, if left to itself, would probably become dull witb a strong undertone. But it will not be left to itself. It will continue to be manipulated; and the only danger is, that it will be manipulated too much. AFTER long deliberation and much hesitation the Board of Bducatiui! has decided to begin to build puhlic school houses in the crowded portions of Lhe lower East Side as high as ten stories. Public School No. 62, wbich is now under construc¬ tion on a site bounded by Hester, Essex aud Norfolk Streets, was originally intended to be a "skyscraper," but the authorities feared that a building of that height would not be considered safe, and finally decided not to go above six stories. In case, however, with a building soon to be erected on a plot, 80x175, on Grand Street, they liave reversed their former decision and propose tc make as mucli use as possible of the area. This deci¬ sion is to be recommended, as, on the whole, a proper decision; anci if it is consistently carried cot in the future, it will in the long run save the city a good deal of money. New York differs from the ether cities in the country, because the population even of old and crowded districts still continues to increase. The auth¬ orities consequently are obliged to supply more school room on streets the real estate values whereof aro very high, and the ques¬ tion cf keeping down the expense of sueh £chool houses becomes a very serious one. By building Lhem ten instead of six stories high, it means that the Board of Education can make the same amount of land go half again as far as it does now; and the saving consequently should consist of about one-third of the sum which would have to be s-pent for the sites of six-story buildings. Architecturally, of course, it would be better to keep tbe build¬ ings down to six stories; but arcbitectui'al considerations are not of importance in such an environment as that made by East Side tenement houses. As to tbe safety of a ten-story building, a structure of that height and accommodating 7,000 or more pupils can be made as safe as a six-story building. The standard of fireproofing should, however, be the same as that which the law requires for a building over twelve stories high; and there should be as many elevators, esculators and stairways as are provided in a department store. -J- HE EVENING POST and tbe City Club have been calling ■^ the Mayor's atte^ition during the past week to certain abuses which have crept into the distribution of tbe city's adver¬ tising. They point out that a very large share of that advertising is being given to a weekly journal, which is published appar¬ ently solely for the purpose of printing ofTicial notices to prop¬ erty owners and contractors. It is a journal which is circulated in very small numbers; which can be purchased on none of the public newsstands, and with difficulty even at the office cf pub¬ lication; and which prints advertisements of private firms and corporations without either compensation or authorization. Yet out of almost $68,000 which the city has paid out for adver¬ tising since May 1st, this journal bas obtained twenty per cent.; and what the city has received in return for this expend¬ iture, it would be difficult to calculate. On the other hand, the journal in question, on the strength of the official notices it publishes, has been trying to give tbe impression that it would be a good thing for city contractors to take space in its pages; the idea being apparently that its pages are read in some of the city departments, if nowhere else. The whole arrangement, con-- sequently, has the air of being a very dubious business, and the Mayor should take the matter at once in hand. This adr vertising is not given out under a definite contract. The Board of City Record, whose members are the iViayor, the Controller, and the Corporation Counsel, merely designate certain news¬ papers, in which the official notices shall appear, and the desig¬ nation of a particular publication can at any time be withdrawn. Moreover, while the Mayor has the matter under consideration, he might well deal with it in a thorough-going way. It cannot be denied that the city spends the mcney which it pays out in advertising in a very unbusiness-Iike way. Except in a few cases it makes little attempt to get any proper returns for the money it spends. The only city notices which are displayed so as really to attract attention are those with which lhe office of Lhe Con- Lroller announces Lhe sale of municipal bonds. Other official noLices should be published in the same conspicuous way, and the responsible officials should see that five dollars is not spent in this or any other way without exacting five dollars' worth of return—just as a private firm would under similar circumstances. PERHAPS one of the most interesting stations along the line cf the new subway is that at Twenty-third Street and Fourth Avenue. It is interesting not only because of the peculiar propriety and effectiveness of the decorative tiling at that pcint, hut because the only underground store of which the subway can boast is situated at the corner. Tbe loft building erected by the Geo. A. Fuller Company on the site of the former Young Men's Christian Association Building, contains two stores, one on the street level and one on tbe subway level, and in this way tbe building has the advantage of two show eases. In other instances, of course, such as those of Wanamaker's, the Belmont and the Knickerbocker Hotels and the Times Building, access to the subway can be had through private property; but'.- the foregoing is the only instance of the location of an actual store at the subway level, and the question is: To what extent is this example likely to be followed? Probably in the end it win be very largely followed; but it is also probable that we shall be some time in reaching that end. The difficulty is that the line of the subway does not include avenues that are very im¬ portant for retail trade. A subway just below the street level on Eroadway, or on the busy part of Sixth Avenue, would ofl:er an opportunity for an underground arcade and a second row of stores which few property owners could resist; and fully twenty years ago the idea of an arcade railway under Broadway was vigorously advanced by a private company and supported by the Record and Guide. It came to nothing, however, because of the fears of property owners; and as the gentlemen who own prop¬ erty on Broadway stii! object to a subway under that thorough¬ fare, it is improbable that one wiil he built for many years to come. The streets on which the subway does run, however, such as Elm Street. Fourth Avenue and upper Broadway, do not. except at important corners, carry enough business to justify an underground arcade; and the other avenues, sueh as Seventh and Lexington Avenues, on which it is proposed to run subways, are in the same situation. It would look as if Forty-second Street had the best chance of an underground arcade; but the difficulty is that tbe subway runs too deep along that street. Altogether it is probable that while individual show-rooms will frequently be opened at the subway level in the vicinity of stations, under¬ ground arcades will come very slowly. THE speed tests which the Interborough Company is making in the presence of the representatives of newspapers and railroads, show that the new subway wil) do as much as was ex¬ pected in the way of providing veritable rapid transit. Its trains have been traveling from the City Hall to Ninety-sixth Street in a little less than eleven minutes, and to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street in about sixteen minutes. Of course, no allow¬ ance was made for stops at the several express stations; but it takes less time to stop than people imagine; and the running