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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 77, no. 1987: April 14, 1906

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April 14, igo6 RECORD AND GUTOE 66s ESTABUSHED W W.fiR,CHgl'4^ 1868. Dd^TED P ReA,L EsTAJI .BU]LDI^fc ^RCKlTECTJI^E .HollSElJOlD DEQORfTlOlJ. BlIsIt^EssA^toTnE:^.■.zsc^GEfJEn^l Iriicr^Esi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Pabllshed eVery Saturday Communlcatlona should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street, New York I Tolepliono, Cortkvjdt 3157 "Entered al the Post O.ffice al j\>w! York. IT. T., as second-class mailer." Vol. LXXVII. APRIL 14, 1906. No. 1987 INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Adyertlslng Section. Page. Pag«. Cement ....................xxv Law..........................xl Consulting Engineers ........xvii Lumher .................ixTlli Clay Products ...............xxiv Machinery ...................It Contractors and Builders ......v Metal Electrical Interest ..........vlil Quick Joh Directory........xxill FireprooSng ..................Ill Real Estate.................xxHl Granite ....................xxvl Roofers & Rooflng Materials.. .x Heating ...................xxi Stone .....................xsvl Iron and Steel..............xviii Wood Products ............xxix THE rate for money, or rather money, has heen king this week in Wall Street, and the unnatural autocratic power it has exercised is agaiust all reason. The Honorahle Leslie M. Shaw, of Iowa, is Secretary of the "greatest country in the world." As such, he sits in the President's cabinet as the repre¬ sentative of matters financial in the United states. Fancy a gentleman in his position repeatedly stating during last No- vemher and December, when a money stringency without par¬ allel had everything throttled in this, the financial center of the country, that "the legitimate business interests were not suffering so far as he could observe." We call attention to it now because he is credited with like utterances this week, showing he has learned nothing, and is still an undesirable if not a dangerous man to be financial adviser to the President and the lawyers who for the most part make up his cabinet. Shades of Daniel Manning and Hugh McCulloch, what do ye think of it? Had we had a Shaw instead of these two great financiers at the crises in this country which they rode through successfully, what would have become of us? A weaker Presi¬ dent than Cleveland, with a Secretary of the Treasury like Shaw, and this government would have failed to redeem in gold in 1893, and the country would have been overwhelmed in finan¬ cial disaster. DURING November and December, 1905, the banks of this, the reserve city of the country, were daily losing money to the Treasury, thus depletins their reserves. These sums in tne aggregate reached an amount of nearly sixty millions of dollars, which couid have heen turned back into the banks and restored to circulation had Mr. Shaw seen fit, and the implica¬ tion in the interviews with him was that he would restore the amount to circulation when he saw fit. If money rates of flfty to one hundred per cent, per day did not indicate the need and were not signs of distress, it would be interesting to know what rate would have rung the bell in the bull's-eye of his mind. If these rates carried no meaning to him, by their daily "damnable iteration," was there no one to tell Mr. Shaw that such stringency was unparalleled, and therefore must he unusual and consequently noticeable? Did he not know that the rate of interest for money is the charge made for its use, and that merchandise is moved and trade done by the use of money, and when such charge becomes excessive and pro¬ hibitive, that business must suffer, halt entirely, or be done at a loss? It will be years before the country recovers from the effect of last November and December conditions. Borrowers have lost courage—an invaluable asset—and the country has lost prestige. EVERY man who had a mortgage maturing at the end of last year knows whether he suffered in his effort at re¬ newal during the stringency. No financial speculation, he it never so unimportant, but had to suffer, and yet all could have been prevented by a brave Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Shaw regards himself as Presidential timber, and the fear that what he might do for the country could be twisted into helping "Wall Street" was evidently potent enough with him to prevent him from doing anything. He did not heed the cries of distress, for fear he might suffer personal injury ,to his reputation In extending the necessary aid. What an efficient flre department there would be if composed of men like Mr. Shaw! David R. Francis, former Governor of Missouri, and Secretary of the In¬ terior under President Cleveland, in an Interview at St. Louis this week says of the New York money stringency: "If these conditions continue, they wil! permeate other sections, and the result will be general uneasiness, unsettling of values, stop¬ page of new enterprises, and an end to prosperity throughout the country." Surely this gentleman at the head of a banking house in St. Louis is far enough from Wall Street to judge the situation fairly, even were there any doubt in anybody's mind that it is as he describes it. The sale of commercial paper has stopped. The City of New York was compelled last week to borrow $5,000,000 to pay maturing obligations because it was unable to sel! revenue bonds even on a basis as high as 4^^ per cent, interest. What must smaller communities throughout this great country be suffering with respect to obligations maturing in the past six monthsr UNDOUBTEDLY much may he said on both sides in regard to the wisdom of licensing architects. The proposition has been debated and thrashed out many times in the past. It is perhaps fair to say that hitherto the sentiment of the pro¬ fession itself has been opposed to state regulation, or possibly it would be better to state the situation in this wise; Profes¬ sional opinion in favor of the licensing of architects has been too unsettled, contradictory, and indifferent to be effective. Whenever the matter has been brought before the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Chapter has decided that it is better for the profession to stand on its own feet, and not seek from the hands of the legislature a re¬ strictive dignity already accorded to plumbers and steam engi¬ neers, as well as doctors. Last Wednesday, however, the New York Chapter reversed itself, and appointed a committee, consist¬ ing of Messrs. Yost, Parrish, aud Waid, to appear in Albany on the 18th inst. to approve "in principle" the Wells bill. This action is undoubtedly representative, for certainly the feeling in the profession in favor of the principle of regulation has been steadily gaining of recent years, and needs now only that it should become concentrated and definite in order to produce legislative results. THE triumphant passage of the mortgage recording tax bill through the Legislature is much the best piece of real estate news of the week. The majority in its favor in both the Senate and the Assembly was larger than expected, and was composed both of Republicans and Democrats. In view of the disposition of the Legislature at its last session, this result could not have been accomplished without the exercise of a very powerful pressure by public opinion all over the state; and it is to be hoped that the Governor also will yield to the effects of this pressure. Tlie mortgage tax law is one of the most un¬ popular statutes ever enacted by the New York Legislature, and there is reason to believe that the Governor can be con¬ vinced both that public opinion is opposed to it and that it is proving to be a burden upon the users of real estate all over the state. The possible substitution of a recording tax on mort¬ gages for the present annual tax is, of course, having a decided effect upon the real estate market just now. Permanent loans cannot be very well negotiated as long as the repeal of the annual tax continues to be a possible thing, and because of this aud other reasons many builders are getting along with tem¬ porary loans at present, and are hoping to place permanent mortgages on their property on better terms at a later date. Should they fail to do this, as may very well prove to be the case, in the event of the failure of mortgage-tax repeal, a cer¬ tain amount of liquidation will surely take place. On the other hand, should the repeal take place, it is probable that the builders will pull through the current season without being severely hurt. But liquidation will certainly follow at a later date, unless tenement houses are built at a more moderate rate fcr the rest of the current year, and during the whole season of 1907. It is the number of new and not very well rented or mortgaged tenements on the market which constitutes the danger of the situation, and in no other respect is the stability of current values and conditions threatened. The liveliest de¬ mand just at present is concentrated upon private residences, both expensive and inexpensive, and there are the best of reasons why such should be the case. The supply of private residences in Manhattan is diminishing at the present time, and has been doing so for about ten years. Consequently, when a period of good times accelerates the demand for this more expensive class of living accommodation, a rise in prices is in¬ evitable. Such a rise will continue until the occupation of a private residence in Manhattan will be the stamp of opulence.