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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 79, no. 2030: February 9, 1907

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February 9, 1907 RECORD AND GUIDE 305 ESTABUSHED ^ ft\RRf;H21'-i^ 1868. Dev&tiD p RfA,L Estate,BuiLDif.'G AR,ci(iTEeToi^E,Ho-usEHoiD Degof!/.tic>!. Bi/sif^ESS Aifo Themes of GejJei\aI Wter,esi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published eVerp Satardag Communications should bo addregso.d to C. W. SWEET Downtown Office; 14-16 Vesey Street. New York Tcloplioiio. Cortlandt 3157 Uptown Ollice: 11-13 East 24th Street, New York Tolophono, 4430 Madison Sf|uare ''Entered at the Post Office at New York, iV'. 3',, ns second-class mattiT." Vol. LXXIX. FEBRUARY 9, 1907. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertisine Section. Pago Pago Cement ..............'.......xvli Lumber ......................xxii Consulting Engineers .........viii Machinery....................iii Clay Products ..................y Metal Work..................xvl Contractors and Builders......iv Quick Job Directory........xxlil Electrical Intereste Real Estate ..................xl Fireprooflng ..................11 Roofers & Rooflng Materials.. .xx Granite ....................xviil Stone.....................xvlll Iron and Steel..................ix Wood Products ...............xxii THERE has been nothing either new or remarkable in the action ol the stock market this week. Boar doctors and bull doctors disagree. On the one hand we are told that the market must go up occasionally that hears may have something to sell on, aud on the other that oue flue morning the extensive short interests will realize their posi¬ tion and win he tumbling over oue another in their efforts to cover. The market cannot always go down, just as it can¬ not always go up, a fact which some people disregard entirely and thereby manage to lose more or less money. Would-be prophets on both sides of the accounts profess to see indica¬ tions of a better state of things in the near future. One of these straws Is that on Wednesday last the market became dull on tlte recession iu prices, while ordinarily dullness has followed rallies. This fact may be a crumb of comfort to some operators, hut as all experiences and precedents appar¬ ently go for nought in Wall Street iu this twentieth century, it is safer to follow the late Josh Billings' advice and not to prophesy unless you know. There is undoubtedly a large short interest in the market which should result in an ad¬ vance ia prices, though how long such a recovery would last would depend on the amount of new buying. Certain stocks Lave been features during the week, but it can scarcely be said that their movements up or down have had much signifi¬ cance. Missouri Pacific broke on a report that the company was to borrow fifty millions ou short-time notes. The rumor, while not confirmed, had its effect on the list and Great Northern made a new low record, but recovered. Thus Wall Street would seem to be for the time being a pretty good place for the average operator to keep out of until the mar¬ ket begins to act in a logical manner aud more consistent with fundamental conditions. It is encouraging to real estate and building interests to know that time money is daily becoming easier, and that the demand for it is consequently more ac¬ tive. Iu connection with this burning money question it may be said that Wall Street and banking sentiment is still hope¬ ful about immediate Congressional legislation regarding the currency. Everett House, following soon after the report of the Court House site commission, might be hailed as the begin¬ ning of a revival for Union Square, if it were yet assured that the recommendation of the commission is to be ac¬ cepted. Sales'of small apartment houses oa the west side oE Manhattan and of huilding lots and private dwellings iu the Bronx have this week been more numerous than usual, and can mostly be ascribed to public interest. Fulton street near the McAdoo terminal announces an important sale to add to a number of others that have taken place recently, and to give evidence of the quiet campaign which is going on in that quarter. Statistics for Jauuary printed iu this paper last week disclosed that the number of conveyances in Manhat¬ tan during that month were about fifty per cent, less than in the first month of 1906, and the building projects announced were only one-third as many. In the Brons plans for 13 more buildiugs were filed in Jauuary this year than were filed in January last year aud in Brooklyn about two hun¬ dred more than last year. With mortgage money accessible on fair terms, Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as Queens, win carry on au enormous amount of building this year. No. 2030 FEBRUARY'S flrst week has given the i-eal estate market a foretaste of spring activity. From time out of mind February has always been the starting point for the season's real business throughout the whole country. Though there have heen in New York City some local modiflcations of the custom, iu general it is true of February that it is the month when landlord aud tenant are expected to arrange with each other for another year or term of years; and out of this fact grows a widespread activity in all the departments of real estate and buildiug. It is therefore significant that the very first week of February, 1907, has brought to Manhattan and the Bronx an exceptional amount of business and public in¬ terest in real estate, as it can be taken as a prophecy of a normal and satisfactory spring market. Several features of the week's transactions stand out prominently. The sud¬ den activity iu Thirty-third street east of Fifth avenue points plainly to a continued enlargement of commercial interests iu the region around the Waldorf-Astoria. The sale of the IT is very much to be hoped that the Board of Estimate will not alter the site of the new Court House chosen by the Commission. Public opinion in the county, particu¬ larly the opinion of those people most immediately and spe¬ cially interested, is unanimous in its favor. The judges, the lawyers, and tbe press have all approved; and unless better reasons can be given tban any which have yet been alleged, their approval is justified. The site will be expensive, of course, but no cheaper site of similar area and similar ex¬ cellence of location could be found in Manhattan. The only alternative plan proposed is wholly undesirable. This plan is, as we understand it, to buy the remainder of the block between the Hall of Records aud Broadway and erect there¬ on a structure large enough both for a court house and a municipal ofiice building. Such a course would be a mis¬ take, both as a matter of architecture and as a matter of economy. A municipal office buildiug is all very well; and we know of no good reason why a municipal office building should not be a skyscraper. But there has always been a tradition that court bouses should he buildings of some architectural propriety and dignity; and this tradition is a good one, because an appropriately stately habitation for a court of justice assuredly increases the respect for the law in the public mind. To herd the supreme and county courts in a big skyscraper, together witb the tax and water de¬ partments, would be a grave impropriety, and vfhen to this consideration is added the importance of giving the court rooms quiet surroundings, the Chambers Street plan looks ill-advised. If the city needs an office building, in addition to a court-house, why not erect such a building on land which the city is already acquiring? There is no engineer¬ ing reason to prevent the construction of a 30-story sky¬ scraper on the tliree triangular blocks, which wiil contain the new Brooklyn Bridge terminal, aud it would he a real economy to put this expensive land to such good use. The city could get more room, and room better adapted for its purposes, at about the same expense hy using the Union Square site for the Court House, and the terminal property for a skyscraper than by purchasing tbe enormously expen¬ sive Chambers Street site and building upon it exclusively. THE controversy as to whether an express station on the new East Side subway shall be situated at Fourteenth or Twenty-third Street ought to lead to a declaration on the part of the Rapid Transit Commission as to the proper principle governing the selection of streets for express sta¬ tions. The question at bottom is whether express stations ou the different longitudinal routes should be located at the same or at different important streets, and the advocates of the Fourteenth Street, would do well to argue in favor of the general principle of one street for all ex¬ press stations rather than to argue in favor of the peculiar availability of Fourteenth Street. Of course Fourteenth Street is convenient for a great many people; but a station at Twenty-third Street would be convenient for even more at the present time, and by the end of ten years it would serve fully double the husiness population. The convenience of Twenty-third Street to a comparatively larger number of people is so manifest to any but prejudiced people that the only reason which can be alleged in favor of the Fourteenth Street station is the desirability of enabling people to trans¬ fer from an express or local train ou one route to an expresr