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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 99, no. 2560: Articles]: April 7, 1917

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REAL ESTATE AND (Copyright, 1917, by The Record and Guide Co.) NEW YORK, APRIL 7, 1917 DELEGATION FROM BROOKLYN GOES TO ALBANY TO FAVOR THREE-FAMILY HOUSE BILL A VOTHER step, and a biR one, vi'as ■** taken last Wednesday when a dele¬ gation of more than one hundred men interested in Brooklyn real estate went to Albany to urge the passage of the Lawson bill, which makes practical the erection of three-story dwellirrgs, for oc¬ cupancy by three families, and the con¬ version of existing buildings of this type, without conflict with the Tenement House Department. The hearing was before the Joint Sen¬ ate Committees of Affairs of Cities and .'Kffairs of New York City and many or¬ ganizations were represented, including the Brooklyn Board of Brokers, the Brooklyn Builders' Association, the Brooklyn Civic Club, the Manufacturers' Association, the Brooklyn Building Ma¬ terial Men's Association, the Prospect Heights Citizens' Association, the New York State Real Estate Association and other interests. These organizations ap¬ peared in favor of the bill. William P. Rae, president of the Brooklyn Board of Real Estate Brokers, led the delegation, and the chief lieu¬ tenants were Joseph M. May and George H. Gray. Arthur J. Waldron, chairman of the Tenement House Committee of the Board, was another of the leaders. Mr. Rae stated, in part: "The real es¬ tate interests of Brooklyn have been try¬ ing for some years to .get an amendment lo the Tenement House Law whereby it would be possible to erect new three- story tenements, and alter existing three- story dwellings, for the use of three fam¬ ilies. The bill in question is a simple one and does not provide, as outlined in a letter sent out by the secretary of the Tenement House Committee, that 'the bill proposed wil! cause airshafts of such a size that it will produce dark rooms and be unsanitary' also 'it is expected to have a strong political backing when the matter of its" introduction leads to the impression that efforts are being made to jam it through without proper discus¬ sion and consideration.' 'The introduction of the bill at this time was caused by trying to sit in and agree with the members of the Tenement House Committee. The Committee is re¬ sponsible for the lateness of the hour. As far as this political introduction for jamming through or its backin.g, I would say that we have come here as a body all repres.-nting owners interested only in (he welfare of the city and Borough. We are here only to speak of the merits of this bill, and we ask your support for its passage." Borough President Lewis H. Pounds was the first speaker introduced by Mr. Rae. Mr. Pounds said: "I am familiar with some of the bur¬ dens of the owners of three-family houses in Brooklyn. I have regard for sanitary and proper living conditions. Mv examination of the bill leads me to believe that it will in no wise bring in an elem.ent tiiat is undesirable from the aspect of correct living conditions. A building properly constructed with only one family on each floor is apt to give better conditions than tenement houses with a larger number of families on each floor. In the older parts of Brooklyn, houses needing this relief are in the hands of good owners and would be re¬ modeled under proper conditions, super¬ vision and control. Of course, the new buildings would be erected under the su¬ pervision of the Building Department. These are some of the reasons why I wish to join with these men in asking your committees to recommend the passage of this amendment." William B. Greenman, representing the ISrooklyn Builders' Association, said: "The real estate and building interests in Brooklyn have felt for some time that something must be done to prevent the erection of so many si.x-story tenements. In 1914 the building of three-family houses was reduced to twelve, as com¬ pared with 591 five and six-story tene¬ ment houses." Mr. Greenman told in detail how a plan for the model three-family house, 50x100 feet, had been worked out. The princi¬ pal difficulty arose in the size of the air- shaft and in the Tenement House Law provisions for an extensive bulkhead to the roof. The plan finally provided for a shaft 7yi7 feet, increasing the depth of the building to 52 feet. A scuttle to the roof was deterinined upon as being sufficient without a solid bulkhead." Assemblyman O'Hara, of the Third Assembly District, Queens, said: "In my district we have a large num¬ ber of solidly-built brick houses, which, under the present law, can be used only for two families. If the ainendment is passed it will mean that many thousand houses in my district will be really pro¬ ductive, where now they bring in only two-thirds of the revenue they would, and should, produce. I earnestly urge the committee to report this bill." S. Harbv Plough, treasurer of the Builders' Protective Association of the Bronx, read resolutions in favor of the amendment, which the executive com¬ mittee had adopted. Frank Bailey, vice-president of the Title Guarantee & Trust Company, said: "The business of our company is to lend money on bond and mortgages atui examining titles. It does not make any difference to us whether we have larger or smaller houses, as far as any interest that I represent is concerned. I want you to understand that the people who have been connected with this bill have just as high ideals as any member of the Tenement House Commission in New York City. I believe this to be one of the most important movements for the betterment of the Borough—in fact, of the citv—that has ever been started." Mr. Rae announced that United States Senator Calder would have been present if he had not been attending to a more patriotic duty, and then introduced the Senator's father, Alexander G. Calder, who said in part: "I have had some experience in the buildin.g business in Brooklyn. My sons and myself have erected more than 1.000 buildings in that Borough. Out of this number we have erected about 100 thre-:- family houses, which are occupied by a class of thrifty men who have worked hard and accumulated a few thousand dollars and invested it in just uch homes. These people should be ei.,.(. aged. The first house that I built when I was twenty-five years '~*^.age was a three-family house, and I put a mortgage on it of $2,500, and I moved up to the top floor of that house, so the income of the lower part would pav ofif the I consider myself just as good and loyal a citizen as the man who lives in a mansion. I have not been in the building business for some years, but mv sympathy is for the class of men which save their money and invest it in real estate, according to their means, and they should be encouraged." Arthur D. Constant, of the Brooklyn Builders' Association, told how that or¬ ganization had gone unanimously on rec¬ ord for the bill. Jacob C. Klinck, presi¬ dent of the Brooklyn Civic Club, stated that resolutions endorsing the proposed ainendment had been passed by that club. Audley Clarke, of the Building Material Men's Association, made the final plea, pointing out that the amend¬ ment would allow the development of sections which otherwise held no prom¬ ise whatever. Senator Lawson told the delegation that the committees would give earnest consideration to the bill. The following is the personnel of the Three-family House Committee: A. J. Waldron, chairman; William P. Rae, Wil¬ liam B. Greenman, Edward J. Maguire, Robert A. Wright, George H. Gray, John R. Ryon, Joseph M. May, William Ray¬ mond Burling, James B. Fisher, Harry A. Crosby, Walter Dewsnap, George H. Ohnewald and Arnold D. Ajello. The following active members of the Brooklyn Board of Brokers support the bill: Henry W. Ackerson, Arnold D. Ajello, J. Howard Ashfield, Bailey & Barrera (Stephen F. Barrera), Louis Beers' Sons (Louis Beer, Jr.), J. D. H. Bergen & Son (DeHart Bergen), Z. D. Berry, James Blake, James L. Brumley, Bulkley & Horton Co. (Isaac O. Hor¬ ton), Burling Realty Co. (Wm. Raymond Burling), Wm. M. Bennett Sons (Wm. H. Bennett), Isaac Cortelyou, Wm. H. Cary, Sig. Cederstrom, The Chauncey Real Estate Co. (C. E. Donnellon, Thomas Hovenden (John R. Ryon), John F. Churlo, Noah Clark, Inc. (Charles L. Gilbert), Harry A. Crosby, Rufus K. Corneille, Robert H. Dunnet, Desmond Dunne Co., Samuel Dombek, H. Elliott Esterbrook, Thomas R. Farrell, James B. Fisher, Henry Flegenheimer, Gustave Girard, Louis Gold, W. H. Goldey, E. J. & S. Grant (E. J. Grant), Arthur B. Grit- man, John E. Henry, Jr., E. F. Hem- berger, John F. James & Sons (Clinton R. James, John F. James), Jere John¬ son, Jr., Co. (Remsen Johnson, F. B. Snow), Kelsey, Suydam & Mollenhauer (C. C. Mollenhauer), B. F. Knowles Co. (B. F. Knowles), Everett Kuhn, W. A. Krafft, Geo. E. Lovett & Co. (Geo. E. Lovett), W. J. T. Lynch, Edward Lyons, O. B. Lafreniere, Joseph T. McMahon, Toseph M. May, Mitchell & Coverdale (Nathan J. Mitchell), William G. Mor¬ risey, A. J. Murphy, S. Noonon, Michael C. O'Brien, Charles A. O'Malley, Geo. W. Palmer & Co. (Robert F. Mullins), Charles Partridge, David Porter, John Pullman Real Estate Co., Howard C. Pyle & Co. ( H. (jray, Howard C. Pyle), William P. Rae Co. (William P. Rae), Redmond Bros. (Thomas Red¬ mond), William Redmond, John Reis Co. (Geo. H. Ohnewald), Thomas E. Rogers, Rustin & Robbins (F. C. Robbins, E. J. Rustin), John H. Rowland, Frank A. Seaver & Co., Benjamin J. Sforza, Fen- wick B. Small, Clarence B. Smith, Ben¬ jamin T. Snyder, Charles C. Stelle, Nathan Stern, Maurice G. Straus, Timm & Behrens (Charles D. Behrens), Frank H. Tyler, Tutino & Cerny (E. Tutino), Van Iderstine Bros. (John I. Van Ider- stine), George O. Walbridge, A. J. Wal¬ dron, Frank A. Walker, Arthur H. Wa¬ terman, Louis Weber, Samuel Welsch, Westwood Realtv Co. (C. B. Gwathmey), Winham Bros. (B. E. A. Winham), Rob¬ ert A. Wright and W. J- Wheeler,