crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 79, no. 2033: March 2, 1907

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_039_00000487

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
March 2, 1907 RECORD AND GUIDE 437 DDfrrtB TO f^L Estate,BuiLDIffc AR,GKlTEeTU!^E .l^OUSEliOLD DEGOf!ATlC^I. Btfsif/Ess Affo Themes of GeiJeraI Ij^tehest . PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS PahUsbed eiiery Saturday CommiinloatioTis should be addreasod to C. W. SWEET Downtown Office: 14-16 Vesey Street, New York Tolephono, Cortljiudt 3157 Uptown Office: U-13 East 24th Street, New York Telephone, 4430 Madleoa Siiuate ''Entered at the Post Office al Neu) York. N. Y., as second-class matter." Vol. LXXIX. MARCH 2, 1007. No. 2033. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertisiug ScctiOD. Page Page Cement ....................xvii Lumber ....................xxii Consulting Eugiueers ........viii Machinery ....................v Clay Products ...............xvi Metal Work ..................xv Contractora and Builders......iii Quick Job Directory.........xxiii Electrical Interests Real Estate ...................xl Fireprooflng ...................ii Roofers & Rooflng Materials,. .xx Granite ...................xviii Stoue....................xviil Iron and Steel ................x Wood Products .............xxii Lime .......................ix GREAT things were expected tliis week in Wall Street from the passage by the United States Senate of the Aldrich financial bill, but so far from the market going up, it went down, so that at one time it seemed dangerously near to de¬ moralization. A baker's dozen of leading issues touched new low records for the year. Louisville and Nashville reached the lowest point since September, 1904, and Brooklyn Rapid Transit sold below what it has been at any time since the same month in 1905. Of course there was aggressive professional selling all along the line, and stop loss orders forced liquidation, especially in Reading. Mere news, whether favorable or unfavorable, did not seem to have any influence, though assuredly the revelations of Mr. Harriman and others before the Interstate Commerce Commission can scarcely be said to have inspired confidence. Incidentally, on the Curb Nevada-Utah mining stock was dealt in largely, and scored an advance. While, df course, it is im¬ possible to predict what the immediate future of the action of Wall Street prices may be,-yet we must not be blind to facts that in themselves are distinctly favorable. The leading aullior- ity on the Iron trade points out that, so far as the finished branches of the steel and iron are concerned, business is de¬ veloping in a very satisfactory manner, the mills being full of work aud specifications coming in steadily. No recessions have been made in prices that ruled at the opening of the week, and the markets in Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Boston and Philadelphia have heen quite active. There has not been much change in money rates, call loans going through at or under 4"^ per cent. Time money was firm at 5y2 to 5% per cent., concessions being withheld by lenders in view of the ending of negotiations for funds for the March disbursements. Apropos of money matters in connection with the Aldrich bill, the consensus of opinion of that measure is that, while it does not provide those changes in our monetary system which are so necessary and desirable, it is most certainly a forward step to general currency reform. THE report of the New York City Improvement Commission has recently been issued in a handsome and fully illus¬ trated volume; but it looks as if this volume would be the one substantial result of the labors of that body. It worked for a number of years; it took all the counsel it could get upon the problem of rearranging the plan of New York city, so as to make the city both more convenient and more beautiful; and the result is nothing more or less than a book—a book which will cost the taxpayers about $10,000. There is no use seeking to ignore or disguise the fact that the work of the Commission is, from every practical point of view, a failure. Its report pro¬ voked little popular interest. Not one of the various improve¬ ments it recommended has received any serious considera¬ tion on the part of the municipal authorities. If, in tlie future, similar improvements receive more serious consideration, there is no reason to believe that the work of the Commission will have any effect upon the plans which may be actually realized. The report, that is, did not carry with it anything like the authority which the report of the Washington Commission ob¬ tained, or the similar report which Mr. D. Burnham made for San Francisco. What is the reason of this failure? We do not believe that it is to be traced to the nature of the recom¬ mendations made by the Commission, because, as a matter of fact, the improvements suggested in the report were all of them sensible and desirable. The great trouble was that, from the start,, an insufiicient body of public opinion had been formed to support a plan which would have cost so much money. Furthermore, the Commission itself, while composed of well- informed and public-spirited gentlemen, did not carry with it sufficient prestige. The number of people who are, vitally interested in the "Better New York" are not very large, nor are they very inlluential; and the practical difficulties which any plan of improvement must overcome are so enormous that no such scheme, however well considered, will have any effect until a much larger proportion of prominent New York citizens are willing to work actively on its behalf. THE existing real estate situation in the business section of Fifth av., Manhattan, is extraordinary. As was pointed out in the Record and Guide some months ago, the success which has attended the removal of Altman & Co. to that thorough¬ fare showed what an advantage it was for the better class of dry goods stores to obtain a location on Fifth avenue; but with this discovery came the further one that it was difficult, if not imiiossible, to obtain sites large enough for general business purposes. A big dry goods store needs a plot containing at least 10,000 square feet, and, so far as we know, there is only one plot of this kind to be secured in the best part of the avenue. It is equally difficult to obtain a small frontage on the avenue connected with a larger area on ^he side streets, be¬ cause the property on the side streets is strongly held, and has been much improved. What the outcome will be, it is not easy to see. The firms still located south of Twenty-third street will, in the course of time, be obliged to move, but where can they go? The demand already existing is forcing many of the decorators and picture dealers who first occupied Fifth avenue to remove to Madison avenue or the side streets, but their removal does not cause any very considerable vacancies. At the same time, the need of space on the avenue for minor business purposes is so considerable that every available corner is being improved with tall buildings. One result will be that business wiir push further up the avenue than has seemed probable hitherto; but even these additional blocks will do little to fill up the gap. It certainly appears as if in the end some other avenue or district north of Thirty-fourth street would have to be pressed into service, and large fortunes are assured to those real estate speculators who can anticipate the direction of this necessary expansion. Governor Hughes and the Legislature. AMONG the reforms which Governor Hughes has proposed to introduce in the traditional inethods of government at Albany was oue concerning the procedure, whereby legis- latiou, supposed to be in the public interest, was enacted. In the past, aud particularly during the regime of ex-Gov¬ ernor Odell, it Ifad become customary for the Governor to interfere actively in legislative business. He would propose the passage of certain bills in his Annual Message and then subsequently use all of his influence with the Republican leaders to secure the enactment of this legislation. His in¬ fluence, official and unofficial, was so considerable that he was usually successful iu persuading the Legislature to adopt his views. Governor Hughes proposed to change all this, be¬ cause he did not like the idea of interference by the Executive with what was properly the business of another division of the State government. He also recommended a large amount of extremely important legislation in his message;'and bills embodying his program will, of course, be introduced into the Legislature. But he has declared that he will do noth- iijg actively to promote the enactment of these bills after their introduction. The Legislature must deal with them undisturbed and must alone take the responsibility for its action or its refusal to act. The Governor's constitutional duty in respect to legislation was confined to recommenda¬ tion, and subsequently either to the approval or to the dis¬ approval of any bills passed by the Senate aud the Assembly. The Record and Guide is inclined to think that in this re¬ spect the Governor is allowing a scruple about the letter of the constitution to interfere with his ability effectually to promote the public iuterest. It is true that his express con¬ stitutional duties in the matter of legislation are confined merely to recommendation, and then after passage either to approval or disapproval. But the practice which has come into existence of a more active participation of the Governor in the work of legislation met a real need, aud a real defi-