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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 90, no. 2333]: November 30, 1912

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mm s NOVEMBER 30, 1912 THE WILLIAM STREET SUBWAY CONTROVERSY Arguments For and Against the Proposed Route by the Public Service Commission and Representatives of the Property Owners' Associations Involved in the Dispute. WLLIAM STREET from one end to the other is in a turmoil over the question of subway construction. The situation has become acute. The divi¬ sion of sentiment is not even. A large number of property owners along the route are bent on having a subway un¬ der William street. But the opposition is equally determined to prevent the use of the street for subway construc¬ tion. And the opposition has proved it¬ self strong enough to create a deadlock. The Public Service Commission, rather than prolong discussion, appealed not long ago to the Supreme Court for a commission to sit on the question. On the 19th of this month a commission was appointed, consisting of ex-Supreme It is the purpose of this article to pre¬ sent the case for each side, as obtained from themselves, and to leave the read¬ er to draw such conclusions as may be forced by consideration of all the facts. On obe side of the controversy arc arrayed the Public Service Commission and three influential property owners' associations. These include the Down¬ town Interboro Association, the Own¬ ers' Protective Association and the Abutting Property Owners' Association. On the other side are a considerable number of large property owners, whose refusal of consent has been of sufficient importance to cause the removal of the subject from the field of mere local controversy and carry it into the courts. most importance to the whole dual sys¬ tem of rapid transit as planned by th; commission. "As soon as the route had been adopted by the commission and ap¬ proved by the Board of Estimate the commission, as required by the Rapid Transit act, began soliciting the con¬ sents of property owners along the route. As a prerequisite to the building of a subway the commission must ob¬ tain the consent of property owners to the extent of a majority in value of the property along the route, or apply to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and get from that tribunal a de¬ termination that public convenience re¬ quires the construction of the road. This WILLIAM STREET, NORTH FROM FULTON. AVILLIAM STREET, SOUTH FROM WALL. Court Justice David Leventritt, Austen G. Fox and Robert C. Morris. The first hearing of the commission is set for Dec. 4 at 4 p. m., in the office of Judge Leventritt, 111 Broadway. Fragmentary statements of this strife have appeared from time to time. As a mere local diflference of opinion inter¬ est in it would not penetrate far beyond William street. If, however, the inter¬ necine strife among property owners on William street threatens to upset the plans agreed upon by the State and city oflScials and the transit companies, or it it threatents to delay the carrying out of these plans, the squabble over this William street link becomes a matter of concern to all the taxpayers of the city. The William street subway as laid out by the Rapid Transit Commission in the dual subway plan accepted by the Inter¬ boro Rapid Transit Company and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company is an important and, under existing condi¬ tions, a necessary link in the five-bor¬ ough system of rapid transit. The Public Service Commission, by request, states its case this way: Statement By the Public Service Com¬ mission. "The so-called William street sub¬ way was planned by the Public Service Commission to connect the proposed Seventh avenue subway extension, to be operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, with the downtow'n business district of Manhattan and with Brooklyn. The route, as laid out, leaves the proposed Seventh avenue line at West Broadway and Park place and runs through Park place under the U. S. Post Oflfice property and through Beekman street to William street, thence down William street to Old Slip, thence under the East River by tunnel to Clark street, Brooklyn, through Clark street to Fulton street and through Ful¬ ton street to a junction with the exist¬ ing subway. It is to be a two-track line. As the connecting link between the new Interborough subway in Manhattan and the existing subway, operated by that company, in Brooklyn, it is of the iit- determination serves in lieu of the con¬ sent of property owners. "Opposition to the route was mani¬ fested soon after the commission began seeking property owners' consents. This opposition was led by the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, which owns property on William street, and resulted in the organization of a committee to oppose the building of the line on the ground that its construction would im¬ peril some of the expensive buildings in William street. It was alle.jed that the locality was full of quicksand and that the subway construction work might undermine the foundation of buildings. "Alfred Craven, Chief Engineer of the Public Service Commission, whose staflt has made a careful survey of the pro¬ posed route, assured the commission that the fears of the opposing property owners were groundless and that the proposed subway can be built without in any way endangering buildings along the route. All buildings will be under¬ pinned, Mr. Craven stated/and' sho«ld