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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 77, no. 1997: June 23, 1906

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June 23, 1906 RECORD AND GUIDE 1183 BiTsh/ess juto Themes of GEjtoy^l tHtER.E5t^ PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Pabtlsfted every Page. Page. Cement ....................xxiii Law.....................'....xl Consulting Englneera ..........x Lumber..................xxviii Clay Products ................xxll Machinery...................iv Contractors and Builders ......v Metal Work ................xvll Electrical Interests ..........vlil Quick Job Directory ........xxvii Fireproofing Real Estate .................xiv Granite ....................xxiv Rooters & Rooflng Materials.xxv! Heating ....................xx Stone .....................xxiv Iron and Steel ..............xviii Wood Products ...........xxviii THIS week the stock market had a had spell, and it must lie said that prices went down easily, and that Wall street had an unusual attact of nerves. Reports from the large commission houses disclose a comparatively small hull ac¬ count, while if only a tithe of those talking lowev prices are acting on their predictions, there must he a fair short interest in the market. The rank and file bull operators, including the class designated as the public, are greatly discouraged and complain that Wall street is a new game, as played at present, and that the system permits nobody to make any money. Stocks go np on facts that should cause them to de¬ cline, and vice versa. Baltimore & Ohio, which has heen ad¬ vancing for two weeks, increased its rate of dividend from 5 to 6 per cent., while Pennsylvania Railroad, which controls Baltimore & Ohio, has been all the time declining. Many Baltimore & Ohio holders sold out when the stock reached 112, and shifted to Pennsylvania at 135 only to see the former go to 118, while the latter fell to 129^^. These contrary actions are characteristic of the whole market. Advance information or intelligent forecasts of events are to be shunned in these days.. They seem to be too expensive, even for the very rich. The only operators who are making any money are those who consistently sell the market on every jump and buy it on every sliimp, irrespective of the current news at the time. All recent crop news from the West has been favorable, and the advance in grain this week has been caused by a less favorable crop outlook in Germany and France. SHOULD .there he a partial crop failure on the Con¬ tinent of Europe it might, taken together with the advent of France in financing American railroad loans, have an im¬ portant bearing on our money market this autumn and give us the long-looked-for hoom in railroad securities. There has been a slight improvement in the Russian situation during the week, in spite of disquieting events in that country. Time makes for its betterment, because people get tired of turmoil. It comes too high. The general market outlook cannot he re¬ garded as unfavorable with the constant accession to the dividend ranks of certain stocks. American Locomotive an¬ nounced this week its initial dividend on the common stock, and Corn Products Refining Company also declared a first dividend. A statistical authority recently collated the earn¬ ings of sixteen American railways and ascertained that ten are earning more than fifty million dollars a year and six more than between forty and flfty million dollars. These sixteen roads earned in 1900 $670,561,000 and in 1905 $1,046,394,000. It is but fair to predict that in 1906 they will earn ten per cent additional. Notwithstanding all this, it is probable that a comparison would show that the average market price of the shares of the sixteen companies in question ts less to-day than in the winter of 1900-01, It is not, therefore, surprising that operators in railway stocks are discouraged and that things have reached a pass where good news or a dividend increase is actually dreaded by those who are long of the market. THE CORPORATION COUNSEL, acting under Mayor Mc¬ Clellan's direction, has done well to bring once more before the public the whole question of the stoop line on Fifth avenue. The Record and Guide has frequently stated the reasons which make it desirable that the city should rescind the permits under which the owners of private property on Fifth avenue have been allowed to extend their stoops beyond the building line; hut It may be well to state these reasons once again. When these permits "were issued, the encroachments on public property did not interfere with any public interest. Fifth avenue at that time was a thoroughfare devoted exclusively to resi¬ dences, and its existing carriage-way was abundantly wide enough to accommodate all the traflic which would naturally seek its use. Of late, however, these conditions have entirely changed. The avenue from Fourteenth street to Forty-eighth street has become a business thoroughfare, and the character of its busi¬ ness Is such as to appeal particularly to people who use car¬ riages to do their shopping. It so happened that Fifth avenue is also the only longitudinal thoroughfare north of Astor place that is entirely free from trolley cars, so ' that It is the favorite route for people who are driving up and downtown. The consequence is that on winter afternoons it is thronged with carriages. It does not provide enough room for all the vehicles whose drivers are tempted to use it, and wherever this dense stream of traffic meets a volume stream of cross- town traffic, as at Forty-second and Thirty-fourth streets,, the congestion is acute. The only sufficient remedy for this con¬ gestion is the widening of the carriage-way; and the only way to effect this widening is to revoke the permits for stoops and Insist that the owners of private property cease to occupy public property to the disadvantage of the public. When once the stoops are abolished, the sidewalks will be much wider than is necessary for pedestrian traffic, and the 'arralge-way can be increased by at least ten feet on either side. Moreover, these permits can be revoked with comparatively little hard¬ ship. The great majority of the stoops have already disap¬ peared, owing to the conversion of private residences into busi¬ ness buildngs; and the owners of the few encroachments that remain can easily afford to withdraw frora the occupation of part of the sidewalks. These owners have benefited enormously during the past five years because of the growing business importance of Fifth avenue. Their property has more than doubled in value, and they should be willing, if necessary, to spend a small fraction of this increase for the purpose of making the avenue more useful for the kind of bvsiness which has such a great source of proflt to them. Moreover, they would be reimbursed for any money which they might be ob¬ liged to expend by the increased value of their property. The prosperity of Fifth avenue depends upon the adequacy of the facilities which it offers to rich people who travel to and from its shops in carriages; and any widening of the carriage-way which relieved the existing vehicular congestion would Im¬ prove business on the avenue and enable property-owners in the course of time to charge higher rents. ORDINARILY building mechanics should be putting forth their largest measure of product at this stage of the season. The busiest part of the year when there are no hindrances or dis¬ couragements begins about this time. Other months may be more favorable to certain branches, but for the fundamental trades the hour for the highest application should be striking now. And this present season should prove to be the busiest in the history of New York. In projects it is quite as pro¬ lific and rich thus far as was the season of 1905 in the corre¬ sponding months, but in actual work done, and in money put out, it is not yet equaling the previous season. Thus, the estimated cost of new buildings and alterations projected in Manhattan and the Bronx, from the flrst of this year up to and including June 15, exceeded $95,000,000, compared with $79,000,000 for the corresponding period of 1905. In number of new buildings planned, this season's record in Manhattan falls only about one hundred short, but iu the Bronx it is nine greater, according to the-statistics at hand. Projected buildings in Brooklyn borough number thus far 3,497, and are valued at $24,194,000, against 3,623, of the value of $25,784,000, for the similar period In 1905. These flgures may be interpreted as meaning in the case of Manhattan that the buildings planned for, while fewer in numher, are of a higher quality than was the case last year; that in tbe Bronx they mean more dwell¬ ings and fewer tenement houses, and in Brooklyn only a slight diminution in number and general quality. With all these plans for construction there should be an immense outflow of money, at least equalling the current of last year; but it is noticed from the statistics regularly published in the Record and Guide that two thousand fewer mortgages have been filed this