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. 2043: May 11, 1907

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_039_00000959

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
May II, 1907 RECORD AND GUIDE 909 ESTABLISHED ^ f^RRCH Bl^ 18S8, Dev&teD TO fHI-Estate.BuiLoiKg ^aflTEeruHE.KousEKoiDDEOffilJTlorf, B^/s[^/Ess AftoThemes of GetJer&I If/iERpi.^ PRICE DOLLARS PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT Published eVert/ Saturdap OomtQiiniciitiona sliould liB aiklro.^aed: to C. W. SWEET Madison Square: II-I5 East 24th Street Telepliono, 44.30 Madison Sciu.aro "Entered al the Fost Office at 2i'ew YorJi, ^. Y., as second-class matter." Copyriglited, 1C07,'by C. W. Sweet. Vol. LXXIX. MAY 11, 1907. No. 2043. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page Page Cement ...................xvii Lumber .....................xx CousuUiiig Engineers............v Machinery ...................vl Clay Products...................ix Metal Worlt...................viii Contractors and Builders......iii Quick Job Directory.........xxiii Electrical Interests ...........vii Real Estate.....................xi Fireproofing.!.................ii Roofers & Rooflng Materials.xxii Granite ...................xviii Stone.....................xviii Iron and Steel...................x Wood Products ..............xx MONEY rates, the crops and labor troubles were tlie factors whicii have influenced the dull and irregular slock market this week. Wheat has been feverish aud the outlook for au avemge yield is by no means encouraging. 'J'here are those who are of opinion that the higher price of wheat is hot owing to the prospect of a bad harvest, but that farmers are determined to get better figures for tlie new crop, and also for what they may have on hand from last season. "While Wall Street is said to discount every¬ thing, it is doubtful if it is doing so on the crop situation. A sluggish market is anticipated during the whole of May and then should crop prospects be better there may he greater activity. In connection with reports of widespread crop damage, which, of course, affects the prices of railroad slocks, some of the officials of the transportation lines say that they would not regard "the curtailment of the output of grain as a calamity," as many of the railroads have all they can do now and with a bumper crop they could not haul it, therefore they might be compelled "to let it rot or store it." Such a statement may be plausible, but should be accepted only with several large grains of salt. Never¬ theless, the business of the country cannot be iu a very had way when the steel, iron equipment aud electric companies of the United States now have on their books estimated or¬ ders for $1,200,000,000 worth of work, the profits on which will be about $250,000,000. Nothing in the manufacturing history of the country equals this record and yet the fact remains that more raoney is wanted to finance this pros¬ perity and to improve the railroads. New York Central must go into the market again for new capital. Europe has shown confidence in American railroads, but the full amount required cannot be obtained tliere. The bulk of the sum must be contributed by our own moneyed men who, in sub¬ scribing to new issues of securities in some of theae roads, run but a minimum of risk. The enormous amount of operating expenses of the New York Central is the result of paying damages on account of the recent accident in the Bronx. More than a million of dollars is said to have been disbursed already in connection with this disaster. The bears are making the most of the conditions which they believe justify their position, and many Western houses are making themselves conspicuous on that side of the market. Misgivings as to the course of prices do uot seem to be shared in to the same extent in London, where American stocks have generally shown encouraging strength though with limited transactions. It is by no means certain that there will be easy money rates throughout the summer though they will depend largely on the rates for sterling ex¬ change. The announcement during the week of the author- i/.ation of an additional sevenly-five million Union Pacific bonds, and thirty-six million Southern Pacific preferred stock was a surprise to the street, and the Hst sold off in conse¬ quence. Hunt. Exclusive of the laud, the building cost $200,000. Thus it has required but twenty-five years for a business building of the highest class when erected to become anti¬ quated. Did anyone dream of this then? Surely not, or an edifice less substantial and ornamental would have been erected. This one was put together under the prevailing theory of "Iron construction," as then practiced, with no other thought than that it would stand for centuries, aa physically it might, but as an income earner it has fallen from the first rank, and the place it occupies can be used to better advantage. Under a continuance of present influ¬ ences in husiness, and with no restrictions being imposed as to buildiug height, it is only a question of another quar¬ ter century when the lower part of New York will be liter¬ ally choked with skyscrapers. But the probabilities are that legal restrictions will be imposed without much oppo¬ sition when the certain consequences hegin to appear in un¬ tenanted offices and shrinking rent rolls. The year ISSl was an exceptionally favorable time for building, as the city and country were just recovering from one of tjie peri¬ odical depressions that formerly afflicted us, and which the people know better now- than to submit to, understanding that the bacilus of fear was more responsible than the germ of financial disease. After one of the periods of fright, ex¬ tending from 1873 to 1S79, and which ended with the re¬ sumption of specie payraents, building began to strengthen. Recovery was slow at first, the year 1878 showing only fif¬ teen raillion dollars' worth of work laid out in New York, but in the year in which the plans for the Guernsey Build¬ ing were filed (1881) the operations of builders amounted to as much as in the previous record year of 1871. Values were no longer speculative, wages and materials were low, while the demand for housing was strong. Bricklayers and masons received eighteen dollars a week, carpenters twelve, marble cutters fifteen, painters fifteen, and tinsmiths aud plumbers eighteen. Pine lumber sold for sixty dollars a thousand feet, and natural cement for $1.25 a barrel. The Tribune and the Western Union had the tallest buildings in town, and we note that one of these is at this present time being added to in height. In the same year that the Guern¬ sey edifice was rising other notable works were undertaken: The United Bank, the Mills and Potter buildings, the Produce Exchange, the Welles and the Vanderbilt buildings. Contrast their type with the giants of this year, one costing millions and the other only hundreds of thousands of dollars. What shall we be building in the next quarter century? Look from the Guernsey across the way to where the new City Investing Building and the Singer tower are going up and make a guess. THE PLANS for the Guernsey Building at 162-4 Broad¬ way, which is now being displaced by a superior struc¬ ture for the Lawyers' Title Insurance and Trust Company, were filed in the year 1S81 hy the architect, Richard M. A BILL has lieen introduced into the Senate by Senator Allds, providing that -whenever a. deed is recorded the grantor must deliver to the Recording officer an affidavit declaring the price paid for the property. This affidavit will not, however, be a matter of public record. It shall be given to the Tax Commissioners for the purpose of help¬ ing them to determine the assessed value of the property for taxable purposes. The bill is opposed by Mr. Allan Rob¬ inson, president of the "Allied Real Estate Interests" on the ground that "there is no reason why dealers iu real property should be required to disclose the details of their business and the price of their land than that dealers in any other kind of property should be required to permit their customers to find out at what price they buy aud at what price they sell to other customers." Surely this statement on the part of Mr. Robinson Is not entirely candid. Tbe purpose of the bill is uot to im¬ part information to the public or to the trade respecting the prices at which real estate is sold. Its purpose is to enable the Tax Assessors the better to perform their duty; and in¬ asmuch as under State laws reai property is supposed to be assessed at its full value, the State has surely every right to compel a property-owner to supply the necessary informa¬ tion. The practice has become general iu New York of coucealing the prices at which real estate is purchased, part¬ ly in order to cover the tracks of speculators, and partly in order to raake it difficult for the deputy assessors to do their work; and if real estate operators use such methods partly for the purpose of evading taxation, the State should be allowed to protect itself. As a matter of fact the State has many reasons for needing a complete record of the prices at which real estate is sold. It has reserved the power of condemning land for public purposes; and when this power is exercised, it should possess records which would diminish the chance of any over-charge. As a matter of fact it is