Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 18G8.
Published Weekly by .
C. W. SWEET & CO.,
Euou 15, AVoeld Building, No, 87 Park Roav,
Six months, payable In advance................. SOO
, PRICE OF ADVERTISING,
1 square, ten lines, three months.................$10 00
1 square, single insertion.......................... 1 00
Special Notices, per line.......................... 20
AVERY GREAT IMPaO"VEMENT.
Mr, S. N. Pike, the builder and oAvner of tlie
famous Opera House iu Nbav York, has done a
work Avhich, although it Avill result in considerÂ¬
able advantage to himself, shoidd nevertheless
earn for him the gratitude of all Avho Avish well
to their kind. He has taken the first step toÂ¬
Avards reclaiming that vast area of marshy-
land which Kes between Jersey City and
NcAvarkâ€”the Avell knoAvn Newark or New JerÂ¬
sey Flats. About a year since, Mr. Pike bought
four thousand acres, or thereabouts, of this land,
at a price rangmg from $75 to Â§100 per acre.
The land lies betAveen the Hackensack and
Passaic rivers, having a water front of five
miles on tho former and of three miles on the
latter. Through this tract of country runs the
Morris and Essex R, R, and a section of the
Morris Canal; and immediately adjacent to it
tAVO new railroads will shortly be bmlt. One
of these enterprises is the Newark and Ncav
Jersey road, and the other, the road Avhich is
to run from Jersey up to BellviUe and Mont-
clair, and so, through the Notch, to Pompton.
In addition to these four railroads, a fine plank-
road and one of the best turnpikes in the counÂ¬
try run through the ground. Within the
past year Mr. Pike has succeeded in effectually
reclaiming this land by drainage. He has used
Drigg's Patent Iron Plates for this purpose;
they have been sunk on the boundaries of the
purchase; and the four thousand acres are now
thoroughly dyked, and aU Avater excluded. So
near is the Avork to completion, that within
the coming two Aveeks it is expected that
every part of this large section of ground will
be suitable for tillage or building purposes.
Portions of the grovmd thus reclaimed Avill be
set aside for different purposes; much of it
will be naturally set aside for market gardens,
in Avhich immense quantities of vegetables can
be raised, as the ground is of imsurpassed ferÂ¬
tility. Along the Avater fronta,are to be built
warehouses for the storage of petroleum and
cotton. A ncAv feattu-e proposed by Mr. Pike,
is the building of an immense race-track, for
trotting and running races. It Avill be the first
really democratic track in the United States.
All the other race-courses,â€”the Jerome, PatÂ¬
erson, Long Island, and Fashion Courses,â€”are
extremely difficult of access; and conveyances
have to be hired to reach them, making it a
costly business to attend them. But the tract
of ground of which Ave now speak, is already
reached by tAvo swift railways, which pass right
through it, and it wiU, moreover, soon be travÂ¬
ersed by four railroads, in addition to the turnÂ¬
pike and plank roads. These facilities avUI
make it possible for the multitude of Ncav York
to reach the ground on excursion tickets of
twenty-five cents each; so, for the first time in
the history of the country, facilities for witÂ¬
nessing the scenes of the race-course Avill be afÂ¬
forded for one hundred thousand persons.
This race-course Avill have all the appointÂ¬
ments necessary for such publip amusements ;
and Avill be laid out and supplied Avith Mr.
Pike's customary liberality and thoroughness.
But a time will come, of course, Avhen this
tract Avill be a city, if the drainage has renderÂ¬
ed it habitable; as it is Avithin fifteen minutes'
time of New York city, buildings aaoU rapidly
spring up for the accommodation of city men;
and land forAvhich ]VIr. Pike gave not more
than $85 per acre, on an average, will in five
years' time be worth $5,000 an acre. It is
somewhat to the discredit of our business men
of NeAV York, that this vast plain has not been
utilized before. There are yet thousands and
thousands of acres to be made serviceable.
The reclamation of these marshes will add wonÂ¬
derfully to the health of Eastern New Jersey;
and AviU undoubtedly rid the country of the
SAvarms of musquitos, Avhich noAV plague the
residents. In fine, the scheme AviU add untold
millions to the taxable property of the State.
Although IVIr. Pike has made his money in the
Avhiskey business, the vast and important work
that he has here carried out gives him an adÂ¬
vantage over many a Christian merchant and
banker A\'ho has had neither Avit nor godliness
enough to make so Avise and beneficent a use
of his money.
In aU the large cities, for the first time in
six years, Ave hear complaints that there are
many vacant houses. This is certainly true of
Ncav York and Brooklyn; but the scarcity of tenÂ¬
ants compared with houses is even more marked
in Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago,
and St. Louis. The popular newspaper theory to
account for this phenomenon ia, that high
rents have driven people into the suburbs of
the large cities, Avhere tenements are supposed
to be cheaper; but this hyphothesis AviU not
do, for in the first place, rents are not relatively
cheaper in the suburbs than in the city; and
in the second, there is as large a proportion of
vacant houses in the small tOAvns as in the
large cities. Real estate agents and property
holders will bear us out in the assertion, that
there are proportionately more vacant houses
in Newark, Elizabeth, Orange, Youlcers, and
the other outlying toAvns, than there are in
NeAV York city. The same fact is observable
in the suburban districts all over the countiy.
Now, how is this to be accounted for? It is
but a year since Avhen tenants were begging for
houses; and, the Avay things are now going on,
in another year landlords Avill be begging tenÂ¬
ants to occupy their houses. This is not a
cheerful prospect, but landlords would do well
to look the future full in the face. The truth
is that paper money and consequent high priÂ¬
ces so stimulated speculation, that the cenÂ¬
tres of population became gorged with unnecesÂ¬
sary traders. Agriculturists forsook their fields,
and flocked to ihe towns to engage in trade.
But the shrinkage of prices which has taken
place within the last two years has killed all
manner of unnecessary and unproductive enÂ¬
terprise, and has forced, and is forcing, the
whilom fanners back to their plows. The
high prices Avhich obtain for all kinds of
farm produce, is helping on this wholesome
"WhUe this process of gradual depletion was
going on, an excessive number of houses were
built everywhere; and the rush to put them
np BtiU continues.
Although we have not seen the worst of thia
dearth of tenants, as compared .with houses,
after aU, there is no danger that there wiU be
too many of the latter. This dullness wiU
be but temporary. The history of the last
tAventy-five years shoAVS a tremendous addition
to the population of great centres of trade.
The buUding of houses AviU always be profitaÂ¬
ble in and near a great metropolis like New
York; but landlords must not expect an active'
house market until after the Presidential elecÂ¬
tion, perhaps not until we get back to specie
It is proposed by one of our city fathers to
increase the rate of wages of the dock-buUders
in the employ of the corporation to three dolÂ¬
lars per day. As Avages now rate, this is not
much of an increase ; but Avould it not be betÂ¬
ter for our municipal legislators, if they hare
the power, to devise some means whereby our
docks and piers Avould not require to be buUt
every few years, Avith repairs constantly going
on ? As they are noAV, they are a disgrace to.
the Great Commercial Emporium of the West-,
em World, If the wisdom of our "municipal
parents " could be concentrated on some pracÂ¬
ticable and feasible plan of a dock that could
be durable, perpetual even, many of the shortÂ¬
comings Avith which they are charged might be
overlooked and excused. Come, urbisprwtores
et patrea consoripti, propose something for the
benefit of our commerce that wUl hand your
names down to posterity as genuine public