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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 78, no. 2023: December 22, 1906

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December 22, 1906 RECORD AND GUIDE 1033 ESTABLISHED^ m^liSl^ 1358- De^t^ 10 RfA,L Estate . Bui LoiKo A,R,&Kitectjf;e .HouseHou) DEGGf^AHoiJ. Bi/sit/Ess AfloThemes of GeiJer&I Ii/terjsi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET Downtown Oflice: 14-16 Vesey Street. New York Telephoue, Cortlandt 31.'57 Uptown Office: 11-13 East 24th Street, New York Telephono, 4430 Madison Square ''Entered at the Tost Office at New York, N. Y.,as sfcond-clans matter." Vol. LXXVHI. DECEMBER 22, 1906. No. 2023 INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertismg Section. Page Page Ceinent .....................xvii Lumber .......................xx Consulting Engineers .........xv Machinery .....................v Clay Products ...............viii Metal Work ...,...............xvi Contractors and Builders......iii Quick Job Directory........xxiii Electrical Interests Real Estate ....................x Fireproofing ..................ii Roofers & Roofing Mater'Is. .xxU' Granite ....................xviii Stone.....................xviii Iron and Steel.................ix Wood Products ..............xx Law...........................X THERE has been little actual change in the Wall Street situation this week, notwithstanding some spectacular action, the result of which was not important. The money situation is not only complex but serious. Speculation in stoclis on the Stock Exchange is carried on, as everyone knows, on borrowed money. Not oue operation in a hun¬ dred is made by the operator paying outright for his pur¬ chase. It will readily be seen therefore, when the means for carrying on the operation can only be obtained at 25 or 30 per cent., that business must practically cease. Such trans¬ actions as have taken place this week have been largely made up of those of speculators forced to sel! either through the fearful grind of the interest charge or the exhaustion of margins caused by the decline which, in turn, was pro¬ duced by the very liquidation described above. To put it more forcibly, the operators trampled each other to financial death in an effort to escape from the trap in which they found themselves. Tlie money situation is so unusual, caused, undoubtedly, by the masses having plethoric pocket- boohs, that it is hard, if not impossible, to predict when and how it will end. To many keen observers it seems that it may grow worse and culminate in the cessation of the con¬ struction and huiiding of great, important and necessary public works by reason of the inability to finance them. A striking illustration of this is shown in the fact that the projected Hotel Woodruff in Montague street, Brooklyn, is not to be built. The company formed for the purpose of construction has been dissolved. It numbered among Its directors Brooklyn capitalists of prominence and the hotel was to he of the highest class. It will be recalled that the flrst full particulars of this enterprise were given iu the col¬ umns of the Record and Guide a few months ago. THE middle West Side has loomed very important in the real estate transactions of the past few weeks. Not only is there a great deal of activity in the whole area af¬ fected by the Pennsylvania termtual, but there have been many sales of property which must have been quite indepen¬ dent of any changes effected by that great improvement. Thus the purchase of sites for loft buildings on the side streets south of 23d street and west of Sixth avenue has heen very noticeable. Such buildings have been frequently erected during the past few years in this district; but now they are being undertaken on a larger scale. Four and five lots are being bought for the purpose of erecting ten-story buildings thereon instead of the old six-story buildings on two or three lots. It looks now as if tbe whole district as far west as Ninth avenue would be gradually improved with business buildings. Ninth avenue itself, after many years of quies¬ cence, has been aroused from its sleep and is showing signs of a more prosperous future. It looks as if eventually it might become an active and prosperous business thorough¬ fare. The new docks that are being built south of 23d street will doubtless tend to increase the availability of these streets for warehouses and other similar improvements. What this district needs, however, more than anything else, is bet¬ ter connection with the thriving business area to the south¬ east. Both Sixth and Seventh avenues terminate in a wilder¬ ness of little streets which afford no southerly outlet, and tiiis fact has diminished enormously the business availability of these important thoroughfares. They could be extended south at.a comparatively small expense and to the immense advantage of the real estate of that part of the city and of the business prosperity of the whole of the West Side, But although such extensions have frequently been laid out, they have never really been seriously considered. It is a palpable illustration of the way in which property-owners sometimes neglect their interests tiiat no united effort has ever been made to bring about the southerly extensions of Sixth and Seventh avenues. IT is good news for Lexington avenue and for the East Side generally that a four-tracked double-decked tunnel is proposed for that avenue. Hitherto it has been supposed that the width of Lexington avenue forbade a subway con¬ taining more than three tracks, and so it practically would; provided all tiie tracks were run on tbe same level. But a three-tracked subway would constitute a very poor substitute for one which contains four tracks. The popular success of the existing subway has been due to its express service; and three tracks do not afford an opportunity for the operation of a really efficient express service. The adoption of a struc¬ ture with two decks will enhance the value of the Lexington avenue subway to its patrons by a very large percentage, and it will permit the digging of the ditch with much less disturb¬ ance of traffic than would otherwise take place. The people of New York will, however, not be content with any of the new subways unless arrangements are made for the quicker operation of the express trains. These, trains have, as we have said, been the great success of the existing subway, but they have not been as complete a success as they should have been. They do not make as fast time between the City Hall and Harlem as was promised; and the actual sched¬ ule is, during the r'ush hours, almost always broken. It takes longer to load and unload the crowds at the stations than was anticipated, and one train which is held back de¬ lays a whole string of trains behind it by forcing them to slow up. The use of entrances in the middle of the cars wil! do something to relieve the congestion at the express stations, by enabling the trains to load and unload more quickly. But that in itself will not be enough. The express stations themselves must be more spacious and better ar¬ ranged. The ideal arrangement would be a four-track road¬ bed, with nothing but express stations, access to which could be obtained by transfers from the surface cars. Each pair of tracks could have stations about a mile apart, which would mean tbat a passenger could take an express train within at least five blocks from the point at which he reached the line of the subway, and could reach his destination without be-- ing obliged to stop more than once iu every mile. While an arrangement of this kind would mean certain inconveniences, it would probably afford a better service to more people than any other one type of subway. But it also means free and general transfers between the longitudinal surface cars and the subway system, which is something that the Interborough Company has not yet proposed to give us. THE plan advocated by Senator McCarren of relieving the pressure on the Brooklyn Bridge by building another bridge parallel to that structure can hardly commend itself to the city authorities. Very many more reasons can be urged against it than can possibly be urged in Its favor. It would, iu the flfst place, require ten years for the construc¬ tion, which does not make it a very desirable expedient to meet a critical condition. In the second place, the cost of its approaches, particularly on the Manhattan side, would make it enormously expensive. In all probability it would require an outlay of not less than ?20,000,000, and we be¬ lieve that If as much money as this needs to be spent in order to improve transit from Manhattan and Brooklyn, It can be used to better purpose in huiiding tunnels than in building another bridge. The only advantage which a bridge has over a tunnel Is that It affords means of transit for pe¬ destrians and wagons as well as for cars; but the four bridges already completed or well under way, will afford every facil¬ ity necessary for wagon and carriage traffic. For the same money several tunnels could be built, which could be con¬ nected with subways on both sides of the river, and which would thereby become much more serviceable than any bridge would be. There would be precisely the same diffi¬ culty in arranging connections for a new bridge as there is