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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 79, no. 2050: June 29, 1907

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Jiuie 29, 1907 RECORD AND GUIDE K7II-' f- - ,- 1239 ESTABUSHEIJ^W Bi;sn/Ess ai^Themes bf Ce^eiV^ Itfls^T^ PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Oommunicatlons Bhould be addressed to C. W. SWEET Madison Square: 11-15 East S4th Street Telephone, 4480 Madleon Square "Entered at the Poat Office at New Yor'k, N. T., as second-class matter." Copyrighted, 1907. hy The Record & Guide Co. Vol. LXXIX. JUNE 29, 1907. No. 2050. INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Avertising Section. Page. Pago. Cement.................., ..xiv Lumber .......................xx Consulting Engineers ..........v Machinery Clay Products ...............xviii Metal Work ..................xv Contractors and Builders.......iii Quick Job Directory ..........xx Electrical Interests Real Estate ...................ix Fireproofing Roofers & Rooflng Materials..xix Granite ....................xvi Stone .......................xvl Iron and Steel ..............viii Wood Products...............xx A BROADER, stronger and a somewhat more active stock market this week has had a decidedly encour¬ aging effect on Wall Street sentiment. While undoubtedly there was mucli professional operation it was not wholly of that character, though there is no evidence that the elu¬ sive factor called the public is in the market. All kinds o£ reasons were given for the improvement. It was said that the well-known Boston oiierator had begun a bull campaign and that a pool had been formed in Uuited States Steel. But iu the light of events an advance in prices is strictly logical. Even when there were advances in the morning session suc¬ ceeded by declines in the afternoon there was decidedly a better tone at the close. The principal features were Union Pacific, Amalgamated and Reading. Europe, too, seems to be iu the market for our stocks again. Foreigners are surprised at the equanimity with which the American mar¬ kets have viewed the loss of about $25,000,000 gold in the course of four weeks and the unconcern with which the prospect of further losses next month is regarded in WaU Street, As the Record aud Guide pointed out in this col¬ umn last week, the serenity of the market, if it happens to be quiet at the time, is no longer disturbed by the ship¬ ment of a few or even many millions of the yellow metal from these shores to Europe. The outlook financially abroad is much brighter than it was at the beginning of June, Paris, Berlin and London being much more cheerful, partially the reflection of favorable condition on this side. Certainly the splendid earnings report of Atchison, which showed an increase of more than $1,350,000 in gross and of more than $330,000 in net, and the belief that this year's crops wil! at least be average, may have something to do with the more confident tone both at home and abroad. The report that Mr. E. H. Harriman was shortly to resign all his oflices in the Union Pacific Railroad Com¬ pany and to go abroad for his healtli is said to have caused considerable buying by some operators who recently have been entirely out of ihe market. Call money rates continued to stiffen, touching six per cent, on Thursday. Time funds are also higher. These higher rates, while not encourag¬ ing to real estate and building interests, are neither un¬ usual nor unexpected at this time of year in view of the enormous July disbursements that Avill be made hy indus¬ trial, railroad and other companies, which makes a demand for money and causes holders to ask higher rates. that the city has paid too much for the property, but that in all such cases, the tax assessor is confronted by an almost impos¬ sible problem. The Staats-Zeitung property was assessed at $1,000,000 and briugs $1,650,000. If the Tax Department had as¬ sessed the property at $1,500,000 last year, its owners would have been furiously indignant, and would doubtless have carried the ■case to the courts, and they would have done this in spite of the fact that they valued the property in their own minds at over $1,500,000. Everybody must admit that in the present instance the Tax Department is not to blame, in case the property is under-assessed. It is almost impossible to determine the value of such a special piece of property; and if expert appraisers had been called in their appraisals might well have ranged be¬ tween $1,300,000 and $1,800,000. Moreover all rea! estate in ad¬ vancing speculative neighborhoods is in very much the same condition, and the margin to be allowed for possible error should be equally as great. It is just because their task is so diflicult that the deputy assessors should have access to every available means of information bearing upon real estate values. They should know the price at which every parcel of property in their district has been sold, and private purchasers should be com¬ pelled to furnish this information under oath. In any one in¬ stance the price at which a parcel sells does not determine the value, but taking a number of such instances together, these prices are the most useful information the tax assessor can possess. THE price which the city has agreed to pay for the building of the Staats-Zeitung and its site affords another illus¬ tration of the difficulty of appraising special parcels of New York real estate. Probably this is the highest price per square foot whieh has ever been paid in New York City for a plot of this size. The lots on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, and on Herald Square, which brought over $300 a square foot, con¬ tained less than 1,000 square feet. Nevertheless it cannot be said that the city is paying more than the property Is worth. Mr. Ridder could probably have obtained as much from a private purchaser, provided he could afford to wait for the man or the company who needed the plot to come along. The point is, not Governor Hughes and His Work. THE Legislature, which lias just adjourned, accomplished raore useful work and did less harm than any similar body tbat has sat at Albany in a great many years, aud this result was due almost exclusively to the personal influence of one man, Governor Hughes. Almost everything wbich the Legislature ac¬ complished of public beneflt was not merely instigated by the Governor, but was forced on the legislative body by the public opinion which Mr. Hughes rallied to his support. The most im- IX)rtant measures which were passed without the Governor's in¬ stigation, such as the teachers' salary bill, and the two-cent fare bill, were of no public benefit, and were very properly vetoed by Governor Hughes. The latter did not secure from the Legislature the whole of the program laid down in his first annual message; but his most important recommendations were enacted into laws. The net result of the session has undoubtedly been a gi-eat personal triumph for the Governor. His will and his conception of public policy have prevailed, and it has pre¬ vailed in spite of the active opposition of the regular Republican political machine. A better illustration could not be desired of the way, which under our American political organization, the necessary reforms will have to be accomplished. Reforms will rarely originate in American legislative bodies and w,ill not willingly be accepted by them. Congressmen and Assemblymen always represent small districts, and a body of these district, delegates represent not the whole state or the whole nation, but merely a collection of districts, The official who is elected by the whole body of voters is tha man who represents the interests of tbe state or the nation as a whole. This is the condition of things at Washington, and in all the States that have been sufficiently aroused to elect an exec¬ utive pledged to a reforming platform. Our Legislatures do not represent the people as a whole. In all matters pertain¬ ing to the general popular interest they are the creatures of the political machine which made and can unmake them. Governor Hughes' success in forcing his program through the Legislature carries with it a corresponding responsibility. If pos¬ sible the Governor should remain at his post until bis reform measures have been fairly tested and their good or bad effects have been fully revealed. The Governor is not merely respon¬ sible for the Public Utility bills, but under the terms of this legislation he is also responsible for the successful operation of the new laws. The commissioners are to be appointed by him, and are removable by him, and he should remain in office a long enough time to make sure that the commissioners are carrying out the law in a just and efficient manner. One term is not suf¬ flcient for this purpose. He should remain in office for at least one additional term, and he himself should refuse to allow his name to be used in any other connection. If he should actively seek, for instance, a presidential nomination, he would in effect be betraying the confldence which the people of New York state have reposed in him. Under his advice they have insisted on the passage of the most thorough-going and drastic body of legisla¬ tion regulating franchise corporations, which has yet been en¬ acted by any state. The wisdom of this legislation is at least an Qpen question. The Record aud Guide does not wholly like it, because it divides resiwDnsibility between the public commissions