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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 79, no. 2035: March 16, 1907

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March i6, 1907 RECOKD AND GUIDE 531 — .^^ -. ESTABDSHED^ M.ftRCH£!^^ 1B68. DEviriEBpRfA.LESTAn-BuiLDlf(G ^ROdTECTUHE.HoUSEllOLDDEGOFiATlOlJ, Bl/Sl^/Ess a(1dThemes OF GeKeraV If/TER^Esi, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published every Saturday Communications should lie addreasod to C. W. SWEET Downtown Oflice; 14-16 Vesey Street, New York Tolephono, Cortlaudt 3157 Uptown Office: I 1-13 East 24th Street, New York Teleplione, 4430 M.iciiaon Squuro ''Entered at the Post Office at S'ev.' York. A'. Y., as second-class mallei:" Copyright by C. W. Sweet. _______ Vol. LXXIX. MARCH 16, 1907. No. 2035. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page Page Cement ....................xvii Lumber.....................xx Consulting Engineers........viii Clay Products .................ix Meta! Work.................xvi Contractors and Builders......iii Quick Job Directory.........xxiii Electrical Interests ...........vii Real Estate ...................xl Fireprooflng ...................ii Roofers & Roofing Materials.xxii Granite ...................xviii Stone ....................xviii Iron and Steel ................x Wood Products...............xx WHAT may be called a series of severe earthquake shoclcs have taken place this week in Wall Street, which at this writing is still in the throes of seismic dis- turhances. Wednesday there was a general brealt in prices and enormous selling brought such widespread liquidation that scarcely any security escaped serious loss. Then came a slight rally, hut the floodgates of distrust and want of con¬ fidence were open, and Thursday's and yesterday's market be¬ gan to assume quite a panicky aspect, verging on collapse. Union Pacific, Steel and Reading were tlie principal sufferers. Speculation as to the cause of this state of things is useless in view of the actual facts. In the Northern Pacific corner May 9, 1901, the average drop of a score of railroad stocks was over $S a share. .This week's slump was considerably more than that. Rumors, no doubt, helped to bring about the decline, but these rumors, as it was subsequently proved, had little or no foundation. It was said that London was talk¬ ing of the probability of an increase in the discount rate of the Banli of England, but even had this been the case, that would fail to explain the precipitate drop in prices. Then it was stated that the Banl; of France was going to raise rates, aud from Germany tliere was talk of the impending failure of a large banking firm in close relation with a prom¬ inent house in New York. Both concerns, it was alleged, held enormous amounts of American securities, especially those tliat had had their paper values seriously impaired. It subsequently transpired that there was no element of truth in these rumors, but the mere publication had evi¬ dently done its destructive work, or at least had helped to do so. The decline certainly began abroad, London sold Americans for its own account almost simultaneously with the receipt of the Kew York orders, and thousands of shares were sold for the account of European centres of flnance. The actual amount of shrinkage.or depreciation iu the stock market this week cannot be far from $400,000,000, if it does not exceed that sum. Money, as a matter of course, fluctuated considerably. It opened on Wednesday at 6 per cent., then advanced to 7%, and as liquidation progressed, it reached a maximum of 15 per cent.,- only to decline later to 5 per cent. Until Wall Street, therefore, has settled down to normal conditions, it is futile to discuss the question or what rates for money may be. It is claimed by some Wall Street authorities that the "panic" was made to order by railroad magnates in order to frighten everybody and make President Roosevelt declare what his intentions were re¬ garding railroad legislation. SENATOR PAGE has introduced a bill into the Legisla- ture, providing for the appointment of a charter-re¬ vision commission, and in as much as Governor Hughes and Mayor McClellan have both approved the idea, it is to be expected that the bill will pass. Its passage, moreover, would be an excellent thing. The charter of this city is a very much revised instrnment; but much as it has been re¬ vised, it is still very far from being perfect. Moreover it is imperfect chiefly because its revisers have in the past failed to apply certain fundamental and fruitful principles in a thorough-going manner. A city needs, above all, a strong, centralized, responsible and efficient government—a gov¬ ernment which possesses full powers and can be held to strict accountability. Experience has proved that a City Council cannot, under American conditions, be made the basis of such a government, and that the necessary powers and responsibilities are too considerable to bestow on any one mau. They can, however, be bestowed upon a com¬ mission, and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment should be granted just as much authority over the affairs of the municipality as have the Board of Directors over the affairs of a private corporation. The Mayor and the other executive officials should be the servants of the Board, The Aldermen should be abolished entirely, because they at pres¬ ent are a costly and even a baleful excrescence. The Bor¬ ough Presidents should be deprived of seats on the Board and should be appointed rather than elected officials. Their powers should, moreover, be considerably reduced, and their present independence substantially curtailed. Their inde¬ pendence has not worked advantageously, because tliey have no interest except in their own boroughs, and their sole purpose is to get as much money as possible out of the city to spend in their special localities. The Board of Directors of a railroad might just as well make a division superin¬ tendent au independent official. Finally the revised charter should be framed so that in the powers it grants to the Governing Board, the paramount importance of general street improvements should be recognized. The present local boards of improvement have worked inefficiently and always will do so. Alterations in the lines of streets are of much more general than they are --of local importance, and local interests should not be allowed to block improvements which are of the utmost importance to the whole city. The Situation in Respect to Rapid Transit. Now that the Seventh and Eighth Avenue subway routes are coming up for final decision, many voices are again being raised against the opportunity which is offered by the character of the route to the Interborough Company. It is being violently asserted that the city should not make it so easy for the Interborough Company to bid, and that the interest of the people of New York demands new subways which complete rather than connect with the existing sub¬ way. The Record aud Guide entirely and emphatically dis¬ sents from such an opinion. The interest of the people of New York City will be promoted by the gradual extension of the existing subway system, provided the Interborough Company will lease these extensions on terms which are fair to the city. New York should not submit for a moment to any proposal on the part of the company which looked in the direction of a longer lease than that provided by the present rapid transit law. If the' Interborough Company refuses to bid for an operating privilege running twenty years with an extension running the same period, the city must simply stand pat and'seek another bidder. If such another bidder cannot be found the city should itself butid and equip an independent belt line and lease it for as many years as may be necessary to an independent operating com¬ pany. Not on any account should New York alienate the new subways for a longer period than forty years, because the experience of other large cities convincingly proves that a longer lease is simply giving money away to the operating company. But if the Interborough Company will accept a lease for twenty plus twenty years, there is every reason in the world why the city should permit the new subways to be connected with the existing subway. Other things being equal, it is far better for New York to be served by a single rapid transit company, whose lines connect one with another and whose system can be operated as a unit. New York would be cutting off its nose to spite its face in case it dis¬ criminated against the Interborough Company in planning its subway extensions. That company is in a position, by means of transfers and connections, to give the travelling public a far better service than could any other corporation, and every proof should be given that the city is not only ready but willing to do business ou fair terms with Bel¬ mont & Co. Such is the real meaning of the chance for al¬ ternative bids which is offered by the peculiar character of the proposed new Seventh Avenne and Lexington Avenue routes. The Interborough Company is offered thereby an opportunity to enter into relations with the city, which may be very profitable both to New York and to the company, while at the same time competition is stimulated by afford¬ ing an independent company the chance of building and operating a wholly independent system. If the Interborough