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Real Estate Record
AND BUILDERS' GUIDE.
NEV7 YOBK, SATUEDAY, MAY 8. 1880.
Published Weekly by
%]^t %ml Muh %(taxh %BBai:miiau,
OJVE YEAR, in advance.. ..$10.00. ~
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SMTBET.
No. 137 Broaoway
" DOWN WITH THE BARRICADES."
This cry has been raised at last in reply to
the brazen defiance of the people's rights by
Messrs. Decker & Quintard, the Riverside drive
contractors. During the winter, very few persons
not Riverside property owners cared whether tbe
new drive was barricaded by these contractors or
not, but now that spring and summer are upon us,
complaints loud and deep are heard from all sides
at the continued unwarranted assumption of these
men, without the least shadow of interference on
the parfc of the constituted authorities. The conÂ¬
tractors claim that not being paid for work perÂ¬
formed, they assume the position of ordinary
lienors, who have constructed an ordinary buildÂ¬
ing, and that their lien upon Riverside drive is as
good, in law, as that put by any builder upon a
private dwelling. This is emphatically against the
law, a statute which must be well known to these
gentlemen's counsel, providing tho very contrary
for public works. No man wto has a claim against
the city can put a lien upon the work done by him,
or keep possession of it at his pleasure. If this
were so, the contractor who paves Broadway, and
with whose work iault is found, might interrupt
for ever the traffic of this great city. There is not
even a clause in the contract made between the
Departments of Parks and Messrs. Decker &
Quintard, giving the latter tbe least show of authorÂ¬
ity to place obstaeles in the way of travel along
this beautiful drive. It is not our purpose to disÂ¬
cuss here the merits of the contractors' claim
against the city. It is evident that the warrants
signed by the Comptroller, and as yet unsigned by
Mayor Cooper, show that there is a division of
opinion as to the justice of the claim, among
the authorities themselves. But if, by this delay,
the contractors feel themselves aggrieved, there
ia but one and only one remedy for them, and
that is an application to the courts. These are
open to Messrs. Decker & Quintard; thither
they can go, and sooner or later they will
have to go there. They must, however, not be
permitted to defy property owners and the public
any longer with their barricades. These must
come down, and that at once, whether Decker &
Quintard are paid or not. In this emergency the
public do not look simply to the Department of
Public Parks to do its duty, but also call upon
Mr. Campbell, the Commissioner of Public Works,
to take a hand in the removal of the barricades.
His Bureau of Encumbrances is compelled to take
cognizance of the obstructions that have been
erected by the contractors, not only on the line of
the drive, but on the side streets which are under
tbe jurisdiction of the Department of Public
Works. As to the barricades on the public drive,
If the Department of Parka will not remove them,
moment the road is declared open as a public
any citizen unable to proceed on his
journey may remove them as a nuisance. There
must be an end to this defiance on the part of men,
who, owing to these high-handed proceedings,
control more property than either the Astors or
the Rhinelanders, their quasi jurisdiction actually
extending over three miles of ground. Instead of
continuing performances like theae, Messrs.
Decker & Quintard had better consider whether,
they themselves may not, one of these days, be.
brought into Court by property owners who conÂ¬
sider themselves injured by such doings. WhatÂ¬
ever course, however, the contractors may deem
necessary to pursue ,to protect their pnvate
rights, there can be no question as to the public's
rights in the premises, and hence we say again
to those in authority, "Down with the barricades."
THE NON-ACTION OF THE PAEK COMMISSIONEKS.
Since the above was written we bave received
the following communication, showing at least a
temporary triumph tor the property owners.
New York, May 7, 1880.
To the Editor of Thb Real Estate Record.
In your paper of last week appeared a report of
an interview between one of your staff and the newly
appointed Park Commissioner, Mr. Green, in which
the latter is represented as saying that he was unÂ¬
aware of any netition from the owners of Riverside
property, for the opening of that Drive, having been
sent to the Department of Parks. Such a petition
signed by the owners of more than three-fourths of
the front on Riverside Drive was banded to Mr. Wen-
man, the President of the Board, three week since,
and was discussed by them at the next meeting on
the 5th inst. Of course, in vain! Two CommissionÂ¬
ers, a Tainmany Democrat and a Republican, voting
one way, and a Republican and Anti-Tammany, in
true Barnacle fashion, the other, or rather an irreÂ¬
parable breach is said to have occured early in the
meeting on some political question. Consequently
the "slate" for that day was broken, and with it the
hopes of the long suffering property owners, who
have waited in vain for six months past to be allowed
even to approach their lots much less to build on, or
improve them. At last the gordian knot has been
severed in another way, and the public can now
judge for itself if the beauty of this long talked of
and much wanted drive is founded in fact.
C R. Robert,
The following is the'petition :
To the Commissioners of the Department of Public
The petitioners, who are the owners of the property
on the Riverside Drive to the number.of feet set
opposite to tbeir respective names, respectfully repreÂ¬
sent that the present inability which they and the
public labor under to enjoy the use of the Drive is a
very great, detriment to their interests and to the
pleasure which was anticipated from its building.
Your petitioners represent that the serious obstacles
to its present use arise from the shanties and other
buildings left on the grounds dedicated to public use.
and known as Riverside Drive, and articles now left
lying on the surface of the Drive by the contractors,
and that their removal is what your petitioners
desire. Your petitioners, therefore, request your
Honorable Body to exercise your power to remove
these obstacles, or to authorize your petitioners to
have tbem removed.
Signed: C. R. Robert, 378 feet; C. P. Huntington,
204^ feet; P. Callaghan, 998 feet; WiUiam B. Lynch,
101.4?^ feet; AbbyB. Blodgett (by I. M. Fiske, att'y),
75.91^ feet; Estate Wm. P. Blodgett.(I. M. Fiske, exr.),
27.6)4 feet; E. S. Bailey, 25 feet; Levi A. Lockwood,
109.1% feet: Fredk. K. Keller, 102 and 164 feet; Henry
W. S. Mali (per Charles Mali, att'y) 153 feet; Jas. Rufus
Smith, 50 feet; Saml. M. Schafer, 100 feet; Charles S.
Weyman. 56 feet; Jno. A. Post, Edwd. C. Post, and
Fredk. A. Post, 1,200 feet on Riverside avenue; S. R.
C. Furniss, M. E. Zimmerman, and C. Furniss, 1,003
feet on Riverside av; M. A. Griswold, 20 feet; Sarah
S. Whiting (extrx.), 20 feet; James Scobie, 48 feet;
Fleming Smith. 241 feet; S. B. Clark (per Cyrus
Clark), 210 feet; John A. Monsell, 106 feet; Charles E.
Tripler, 89 feet; James A. Downing, 25 feet.
A temporary injunction obtained.
As the above petition was not acted upon, the propÂ¬
erty owners have since succeeded in obtaining the
New York Supreme Court, City and County of
New York, Christopher R. Robert against the Mayor.
Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York.
Nicholas H. Decker and George W. Quintard. On tho
complaint in this action, sworn to May 4th, 1880, and
on the affidavits of Christopher R. Robert, John A.
Post, Charles E. Tripler, Edward H. Ludlow, Homer
Morgan, Adrian H. Muller, Hugh N. Camp, Louis
Mesier, Vernon K. Stevenson, Jr., George H. Scott,
Leopold Friedman, John A. Monsell.- all sworn to
May 4, 1880, a motion being made by James A. DeerÂ¬
ing, of counsel for the plaintiff, for a preliminary
injunction against the defendants, and it appearing
to the Court that the plaintiff has property fronting
on Riverside avenue, and has right of free passajie
and access to said property over and along said
avenue, and that in the exercise of such rights, he is
obstructed and impeded by the ads of defendants.
It is hereby ordered, that until the further order of
this Court, the defendants, the Mavor, Aldermen and
Commonalty of the City of New York and Nicholas
H. Decker and George W. Quintard, be and they are
and each of them and their agents, servants and emÂ¬
ployees, are hereby enjoined and restrained from
placing, erecting, continuing or maintaining timber,
planks, barriers or any other obstructions upon or
along the Riverside avenue or drive, or at any of the
streets intersecting and entering upon the same, or
from permitting the same to remain as an obstrucÂ¬
tion or interference to the plaintiff, his agents, serÂ¬
vants and employees, or any other person passing
into, upon or along the said avenne or any part thereÂ¬
of. And on the complaint in this action and said
affidavits! let the defendants or their attorneys, show
cause before this Court at chambers thereof, on the
12th day of May, 1880, at 11 o'clock, a.m. of that day, or
as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard, at the
Court House in the City of New Y'ork, why the foreÂ¬
going order or some order to be made of like purport
and effect, sbould not be continued in full force, and
until the flnal judgment and decree in this suit. New
York, May 5,1880. Abm. R. Lawrence, Justice of the
Supreme Court. James A. Deering, Plaintiff's AtÂ¬
In obedience to the above Injunction, the
barriers were removed yesterday, and Riverside
Drive is now pi-actically open.
THE IMPROVEMENTS AT SIXTY-FIRST STREET
AND PARK AVENUE.
The southeast corner of Fourth avenue and Sixty-
flrst street, comprising four full lots, purchased some
four years ago by Mr. Francis Ehrmann, druggist of
Sixth avenue, have just been improved by him in a
manner befitting that locality, and creating a corner
that will be universally considered ornamental to
what is now generally known as Park avenue. The
corner proper is occupied by a large, well-appointed
drug-store, fronting eighty-three feet on the avenue
and twenty-one feet on the street, occupying the first
floor, while the upper stories have been arranged for
the occupancy of Mr. Ehrmann's family. The â€¢ exÂ¬
terior of this corner building, however, which gives
to Sixty-flrst street, as well as to the avenue, an ornaÂ¬
mental relief from the architectural monotony that
prevails all around, at once arrests the attention of
the passer by. It is a four-story and Mansard roof
building with basement and sub-cellar, but with
bow windows extending along the various stories on
the corner proper and surmounted by a cupola, nuÂ¬
merous ornamental railings adding a cheerful finish
to the entire front, which is of Philadelphia brick,
trimmed with brown stone .and encaustic tiles. The
entire design shows artistic skill on the part of Mr.
Hugo Kafka, the architect, who, in fact, has superinÂ¬
tended not only every detail of construction but also
of ornamentation. The bow windows in the drug-store,
for instance, are so constructed that the colored
bottles, which, also in accordance with his design, are