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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 79, no. 2025: January 5, 1907

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January 5, 1907 RECORD AND GUIDE ESTABUSHED^ iAW3PH 21- '868, De\6tiB to FtE^L ESTMI-BuiLDIf/G AR.CrfrrECTUR.E .Ko^SEHOlI) DEeoRAriotJ. Bl;sl^/Ess Alto Themes of GE^IERAl. Ii/ter^est. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Communications should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET Downtown Office: 14-16 Vesey Street, New York Tolephono, Cortl.iudt 3157 Uptown Office: 11-13 East 24th Street, New York Telephone, 44.30 Madison Sijuiiro "Entered at Ihe Po.-it Office, al It'eir York, A"", l'„ as second-class maUvr." Vol. LXXIX. JANUARY 5, 1907. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page Page Cement .....................xvll Lumber ......................xxii Consulting Engineers .........viii Machinery .....................v Clay Products ..................x Metal Work..................xvi Contractors and Builders......Iti Quick Job Directory........xxill Electrical Interests ...■ Real Estate ..................xi Fireproofing ..................11 Roofers & Roofing Materials..-xx Granite ....................xviU Stone.....................xviil Iron and Steel.................ix Wood Products ...............xxii AN inverted stock market is what the Wall Street situation may be called at the New Year's opening compared with the beginning of 190C. The first business day of 1907 the rates for call money were one-quarter of the rates of the correspond¬ ing day the year before, and the business on the Stock Ex¬ change was also just one-fourth in volume, Wednesday's total sales being less than 450,000, of which Reading contributed nearly one-third—truly a striking contrast to the transactions of January 2, 1906, which were 1,600,000 shares. On the s-econd business section to the south of it, Hudson street and Eighth call money rates at 6 per cent, and business coming almost to a standstill. Is it any wonder that the Street is mystified and that people are refraining from speculation until tttey should have what they deem a rational and logical market? The stock market s-hould advance, instead of which it declines. The conditions are the most bullish ever known, yet only bears make money. The National City Banlc comes to the conclusion in its circular for January that money rates will be maintained, owing to repayments of temporary deposits to the Treasury and accumulation of surplus revenues. "Much depends," the hank states, "upon the financial plans of the Treasury regard¬ ing the retirement of the fours of 1907." This view cannot be said to be wholly encouraging. It may be pointed out, however, that general conditions now do not differ much from what they were a year ago. Constructive work is still being carried on enormously, and indtistrial and business affairs are at full tide, and in these respects there has been no change, except per¬ haps in the way of enlargement- Call money rates, while ab¬ normally high for a considerable period, have not approached at any time the altitudes that were reached in December, 1905. On the other hand, not for many years have rates for time money been so high as recently. The question may be perti¬ nently asked, are we or are we, not suffering from prosperity? The answer is delphic. and may be given in the words of the .National City Bank, which says: "How far the infiuence of government reqtiirements during the next six months, all Having the immediate effect of reduciLg the supply of money outside of the United States Treasury, may be modified by the inflow of funds froip the country to reserve centers is a thing that can only be measured from day to day as the season advances." As to special stocks, there is but little to say. There are still true believers in Interborough, and New York Central looks as if it were goin^ very much higher. .special causes lies the general fact that the district is gradually becoming the part of the city which can be most conveniently used to satisfy miscellaneous bus'iness needs. The future of this region will be governed by much the same conditions as those which have given character to the section west of Broad¬ way farther south. Various kinds of business which cannot afford more central locations will occupy buildings on the middle West Side, and this will be all the more necessary because it will not be so easy in the future for business men to find relatively cheap sites in central situations farther north. Business will have to spread further east and west than it ha, done south of Fourteenth street, and it will spread west rather than east, because locations on the West Side tend to be cheaper. Very few modern tenements have been erected in this region, and their cost has not been added to the price of property on the side streets. It must be added that the spread of business east and west will be facilitated by the fact that there are so many more direct cross-town streets north of Fourteenth street than there are south of Fourteenth street. The movement will, of course, be slow, and will probably come to a standstill for a while after the present current of business pros-perity has run its course; but the fact remains that this whole region, by the mere force of its location, is constantly becoming more and more available for business improvement. The one thing that it lacks Is a sufficient connection with the business day of this year the curious parallel continued, with aventte being the only thoroughfares between Broadway and the river. The property owners of the West Side should imme¬ diately organize for the purpos-e of securing wide extensions of both Sixth and Seventh avenues south of Fourteenth street. These extensions would not be expensive, because they would oe run through comparatively cheap property, aud they would be an immense benefit to the whole of the middle West Side. No, 2025 THE most important single movement now taking place in the real estate market continues to be the speculative buying in the district west of Sixth avenue between Fourteenth and Forty-second streets. During the past week important Bales have taken place on Seventh, Eighth and Ninth avenues and in many of the side streets of this region, and It is evi¬ dent that the preliminary steps are being taken which wil' result in the trans'formation of this area into a district devoted to different kinds of business. The current buying on the middle West Side is usually attributed to such special causes as the Pennsylvania Terminal and the proposed new subways, and these improvements will undoubtedly serve to make this region more available tor business purposes; but behind these Governor Hughes and Local Transit. THE portion of the message of Governor Hughes in which the people of New York are most directly interested is that which deals with local transit conditions. The Governor points out that the whole business of the construction, the operation and the supervision of transit lines in this city is sub¬ ject to conflicting jurisdiction on the part of the local authori¬ ties, and that consequently its regulation in the public interest is inefficiently managed. He proposes, consequently, to do away with the existing Rapid Transit Commission and substi¬ tute in its place a new body with larger powers and completer responsibilities. The new Board would possess entire control over the existing and the future means of communication throughotit the whole of Greater New York. Its duties would include not merely the planning of new transit routes and the supervision of their construction, but it would also possess the function of watching over the operation of ail existing lines, and the power of regulating them in the public interest. There can be no doubt that this plan looks in the direction of a more efficient and authoritative public control of the transit machin¬ ery of New York than any which can be exerted by the existing authorities, and our readers may remember that a scheme of this kind was proposed in the Record and Guide as long as four years ago. It is convenient and proper that one Commission should possess complete jurisdiction over every aspect of the transit situation, and it should also possess sufficient authority to compel obedience to its orders on the part of the transit companies. Such a body would become responsible to the people for the gradual improvement of the local means of com¬ munication by every available means, and its jurisdiction should be extended to the laying out of routes across all existing and future bridges, so that the present independence of the Bridge Department could no longer be used to keep the transit lines across the bridges disconnected from the transit system of the whole city. The plan is one which should and will com¬ mend itself to conservative public opinion, and it is very much to be hoped that during the current session of the Legislature it win be embodied In an acceptable statute. There is, however, one important point in relation to the proposed legislation which the Governor's message leaves in a questionable condition. He asserts that the new body should ba a State Commission, and he fails to make any recommenda¬ tion as to its method of appointment. If he means by a State Commission a body which is to be either named by the Legis¬ lature and made self-perpetuating, or a body which is to be appointed by the Governor, the Record and Guide dissents absolutely from this conclusion. The commission will, of course, have important powers and responsibilities, which, like all municipal powers and responsibilities, can be obtained only by an act of the State Legislature; but these powers and re-