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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 80, no. 2071: November 23, 1907

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November 23, 1907 RECOKD ANÎ> GTJĨK B"33 ESTABUSHED^ftftRPHav^iaea. DOÔTED ĨD f^E^L EsTAJĨ.ÊUlLDI^'b íĩ[ipírrEeTi;R.E ,HcitJSníOU) DEGOĨtATlOtf. BlíSllJfeSS AftoTHEHES OFGejJeR^L lf/TEB?Sl.; PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Communlcatlons shculd be addresseâ to C. W. SWEET PabíisAed EVery Saturdag By THB RECORD AND GUIDE CO. President, CLINTON W. SWEBT Treasurer, P. W. DQDGB Vice-Pres, & Genl. Mgr., H. W. DBSMOND Secretary, F. T. MILLER Nos. 11 to 15 East 24tli Street, New York Cîty (Telephone, Madison Square, 4430 to 4433.) "Entered at tlie Post Offiee at Wcui York N. V; as scc'inil-cltiss ma ícc'- Copyrighted, 1S07, by The Reeord & Guide Co. Vol. LXXX. NÔVÉMBER 23, 1907. No. 2071, New Forms of. Building INDBX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page. Paga. Cement .......................xvi Lumber .....................xvii Clay Products ................xiii Machinery ..................xiv Consulting Engineers .........xv Metal Work ...................xii ContrfLCtors and Builders.....iv Quick Job Directory..........x\ Electrical Interests ...........xv Real Estate ..................vii Fireprooflug ..................xi Roofers & Rooflng Materials.xviii Granite ....................xix Stone .....................xviii IroB and Wood Products ...........:,.xvii IT IS STATED that the committee oí the Building Code Commissioti which is for- miilating tlie regulations limiting the Jieights of buiĩdiugs has somewhat modi- fled jts recently reported provision, and that it now contemplates "a progressive reductĩon" in the area of each story of a hotel or office build- ing for all stories above a two hundred-foot height. The other portions of the section, providing that other buildings shall not be erected over one hundred and flfty'feet ín height, etc, remain about as first drafted. Why "other" buildings should not enjoy the same privilege as hotels and ofRce build- îngs is not altogetber apparent, for the latter are rather more in need of restriction than the former, and it really seems useless to provide against dweĩlings, theaters, waré- houses auá factorĩes being built over twelve stories high. A regulation, however, not setting a deflnite height lîmit, but actually limiting by the-worlting out of its provisions, seema a happy expedĩent, íor such a restriction is much less likely to meet with serious opposition. The pyramidal form will, moreover, cnrtail but littie the light and air whieh are so valuable in lower Manhattan, and will undoubtedly result in pleasiug architectural effects in the way of towers and steep mansard roofs, such as contribute so largely to the beauty of structures like the West Street building and the Washington Life. But it seems as if this new regulation loses sight en- tirely of a fundamental upon which it should be based, name- ly, that the proper height for a building shou'ld be some portion of the wîdth of the street upon which it faees, if the considerations of light and air and tbe capacity of the streets be observed. A twenty-story buiiding on Broadway may not he improper, while it would be highly so on Nassau street. Again, this regulation should make the ateppĩng-back particu- larly apply to the street front, else much of its value will be lost. The Building Codé Commission has very wisely granted the public the privilege of expressing their views at public hearings reĩative to needed changes iu the old code, and it is to be hoped that the public may again have a like opportunity to be heard when the commissioners have drafted su<;h new provisions as they will suggest to the Board of Aldermen. REALTY AND BUILDING interests, both iu Manhattan and the Bronx, are taking new courage from an assurance that the Public Service Commissioners are seriously preparing "to give their attention" to these sections of the tri-borough transit system, and for our own part we attach more importance to the announcement than to any previous promise of subway extension in several years, believing the eommissioners are fully resoĩved to preserve the baĩance between the boroughs. At the time when the deeision was made to -build on the Fourth avenire route in Brooklyn it seemed that the door had been closed against the possibility of financing any simi- lar undertaking in Manhattan and the Bronx £or a period oE years, but recently there have been intimations tiiat when the tax vaVues are again computed they will diselose that the borrowing capacily has beeu enlarged suíflciently to warrant the eity incurring obligations for the construction of addi- tional lines immediately, This assurance being strong, it has tended to allay mueh opposition in Manhattan and the Bronx to the authorization of the Brooklyn work. Whiîe it is assumed that it is the particular duty and busîness of the Commission to build on all the subway routes that have been legally adopted as speedily as it is possible to make flnancial arrangements for them, an oíReial utterance more definite in respect to time and plaee would be appropriate at this junc- ture, seeing that there have been so many disappointments in the past, aud thal: so much is at stake. The opening of a subway extension through South Brooklyn and Bay Ridge to Fort Hamiltoh and Coney Island, making the cheaper houaes and lands of at least some of these seetions more accessible in point of time from the City Hall than are parts of the Bronx and even o£ Manhattan, would be a blow so severe to property interests here, if it were not counter- balanced by the opening of a similar line in the opposite direction, that we cannot conceive of the Commission work- ing such an injustice, and it would be no more than fair to have the Manhattan and Bronx sections of the tri-borough system seleeted and advaneed to the same stage as the Fourth avenue route in Brooklyn before any construction contract is signed. An even-handed poliey like this on the part of the Publie Service Commissĩonecs would be suflicĩent of itseĩf aĩmost to restore good times in New York. None would note it witii more appreciation than the countleas number of de- serving people who have attested their faith in the city by investing in real estate which depends for its developraent upon fair treatment £rom the transit commissioners. Street and Park Openings IN A RECBNT PROCEEDING for opening a small park the expense o£ acquiring the land, which was assessed at $4,300, reached the sum of ?336,bO0. It is the practĩce to plaee upon the city all the cost of opening parks, half the cost of publie ■places and a portion of the expense of opening streets ex- ceeding sixty feet in width. From tables exhibited this week before the Board of Estimate it appears that during the last five years relief has been extended, in the cases of streets. over sixty feet wide, in lííl proceedings, and that in 19 pro- ceedinga the whole eost of street openings has been plaeed upon the city. The number of park openings (all the cost assumed by the oity) has been 35, and the number of public- place openings (one-haK the cost placed on the city) has been nine. The resulting addition to the bonded debt is esti- mated by the Board's engineera at forty million dollars, more than half of which is chargeable to park openings. The cer- tain consoquencos of continuing a policy so liberal com- pose a problera that gives the Board of Estimate much con- cern. Formerly all public improvements were assumed to earry a local benefit. Thus, about thirty-two per cent. of the cost of aequiring title to Central Park waa levied upon the property beneflted; and ît was all collected in one înstall- ment. The Chief Bngineer for the Board of Estimate, Mr. Neison P. Lewis, holding the view that the whole question of assessment for benefit cau be redueed to a scientiflc basis, has raised the question as to the wisdom of continuing the policy of the past flve years, and whether it would not be better to assess the whole cost of proceedíngs for the acquisi- tion of title to streets, parks aad boulevards uĩjon the prop- erty beneflted, in so far as benefit ean be established. Vir- tually this wouĩd be a return to the basis of assessment in vogue previous to July 25, 1902, with this exception, tbat it was customary to grant relief, after laying the assessment, whereas now the Board probably would flx a maximum bene- fit to be allowed, and formulate a rule for determining the proportion of general benefit in park proceedings, An ob- vious consequence of the change, with a strict adherence to the new principles, would be fewer petitions for large im- provements, also, a more careful scrutiny on the part of tax- payers of the bil! of costa in condenination proceedings, and, in brief, a saving to the city at large. Tbe general prop- osition seems to commend itself at this time of flnancial stress, especially as it could be discontinued or modified at any time should it be found to work a real hardship in any particular. I