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- November 7, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadw^av, IST. "^T.
Onr Telephone Call Is.....JOHN 370.
GIVE TEAR, in adTance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
NOVEMBER 7, 1885.
The business improvement continues, but it ia more manifest in
the Northwest than in any other part of the country. The Granger
roads were never so prosperous and they naturally lead the bull
speculation in stocks. Nearer home the most prosperous interest
just now seems to be New York and Brooklyn real estate. Never
have so many new buildings been erected as at present, and the
number of transfers of real estate are also unusually large. This
week has been a busy one on the Exchange, and next week, it is
expected, will surpass any of the year in the number of ** knockÂ¬
downs." The general trade of the country is not only good but
promises to be better. The rising rate of interest for the use of
money tells its own story.
The very large vote polled in New York at the recent election
shows how the city is growing in population. Ifc wiU be noticed
that the Republican vote shows an average of greater increase
than the Democratic vote. It has always been a misfortune that
oue party should have so large a majority over the other. Those
municipalities are the best governed where the party machines are
on their good behavior. They can afford to be reckless and corÂ¬
rupt with a large majority to back them, but such is not the case
when the change of a few thousand votes would lose them the
One result of the election is the rehabilitation of Tammany Hall.
John Kelly has retired, but the discipline of Tammany is so good
that it can marshal its forces on election day without the aid of
that famous *'boss." Tammany offered to divide the city spoils
and have a united ticket, but the County Democracy thought they
were strongest and refused. They have been badly beatenâ€”due to
a belief that William R. Grace was running that organizaÂ¬
tion for his own personal profit. There is an impression, which
may be false, that all Mr. Grace's appointments have in view not
only the advance of his political fortunes but of his private purse;
in other words, that in his oflScial actions his main aim is his private
gain. Tammany having been first in the field for Governor HiU
will naturally profit most by his election.
The voters showed discrimination in the choice of county oflBcers.
Mr. Hugh J. Grant, sheriff elect, is a man of character, and will
undoubtedly conduct his department in a way to satisfy the bar and
the public. He is a large properfcy owner, and has been a dealer in
real estate. We hear exceUent reports of the new county clerk,
Mr. Flack. He has made a competency as an employing bookÂ¬
binder, and he wiU manage the county clerk's office after business
Now that the election is over it is to be hoped that the Real
Estate Exchange, through its proper organs, wiU see to it that the
necessary laws are drafted to reform our land transfer proceedings
in this State. There are quite a number of laws to be got in readiÂ¬
ness and no time should be lost. The Legislature wUl meet in
seven weeks time, and such laws as can and ought to be passed
should be introduced when the session opens. The Exchange ought
to take the lead in this matter.
It is a pity that our legislators elect cannot as a class be comÂ¬
mended. With a few honorable exceptions the Aldermen, AssemÂ¬
blymen and State Senators chosen last Tuesday are a very bad lot.
They are a discredit to the city and our Republican form of govern*
ment. Our political machinery is aU wrong, when the result of
elections year after year is to return fellows for city and State legÂ¬
islators whose proper place would be in the penitentiary. The soluÂ¬
tion of the problem of local government is, in aU likehood, the
abolition of legislative chambers and the conferring of governing
authority upon responsible heads of departments.
transferred some 10,000 votes to Tammany HaU to help its
local ticket. How strange it is that such a vast mass of
intelligent voters as comprises the rank and file of the RepubÂ¬
lican party in this city should aUow its representative organization
to be controUed by one of the worst cliques of corrupt poUticians in
Some surprise has been expressed at the Uttle influence the press
of New York exerts over the voters of this State. Arrayed on the
side of HiU were the Worlds Sun and Star; aU the other leading
journals supported Davenport. The same antagonism to the popuÂ¬
lar candidate on the part of the press has frequently been noticed
before in the history of this city. Fremont was supported for the
Presidency by all the influential newspapers of New York City, but
this did not prevent Buchanan from getting more than fche average
Democratic majority on election day. When the late C. Godfrey
Gunther was chosen Mayor, the Journal of Commerce was the only
paper which helped to support him. Frank Boole, his unsuccessÂ¬
ful rival, had the open or secret aid of aU the other journals, but he
was badly defeated notwithstanding. The Herald seems to be the
most unfortunate paper of all in its forecasts. The policy of its
founder was to be on the winning side without any respect to party
or principle. The elder Bennett and Frederick Hudson, his longÂ¬
headed managing editor, were men of great political sagacity and
rarely made mistakes. The younger Bennett, however, is scarcely
ever right and manages nearly always to support the candidate
who is beaten.
As the Republicans poUed some 75,400 votes for Davenport
in this city, it is clear they cc'ild easily have elected their
whole county tickets had nofc tbe RepubUcan machine deliberately
West of the Park.
One must look through a new quarter to see how rapidly and
completely the type of the New York dweUing is changing. We
have not yet arrived at a new type of dweUing. Everything seems
still to be in a state of architectural flux. But the old brown stone
front, repeated through so many dreary mUes below Central Park,
has fallen at last into hopeless discredit. It is scarcely reproduced
at all except in tenement houses, and even here it is varied. The
variations do it more harm than good. The old brown stone front
had only two or three kinds of ornament. The cornice and the
mouldings throughout were big and bloated. The front door had
either a projecting lintel carried on consoles, or a pair of columns
supporting a pediment, or some equaUy obvious and trite device.
This device, through being repeated so often, came to be very well
executed mechanically, and there was a reasonably good adjustÂ¬
ment of parts. In such brown stone fronts as are stiU erected the
desire for variety leads the speciUative builder to let loose his fancy
and there is nothing commendable in its results.
To see how far we have departed from the brown stone front
it is only necessary to visit the streets on the west side of the
lower half of Central Park. This region is jusfc now fche soene of
an extraordinary building activity, perhaps greater than that of
any other quarter of the city. YorkviUe, the corresponding district
on the east side of the park, is now pretty soUdly builfc up east of
Fourth avenue, with apartment houses and tenement houses for the
most part. The improvements effected by the heirs of the Clark
estate in building the Dakota and the row of dwolUngs behind it
from Eighth to Ninth avenue are now seen to have been as judiÂ¬
cious as they were liberal. They fijxed the status of the neighborÂ¬
hood, and prevented it from degenerating as it might easily
have done, under the pressure of owners in haste to realize on
their investments, into a quarter of cheap flats. As a matter of
fact, the most noticeable of the new buUdings lately finished or
still building on the west side are first-class dweUings, and it is in
these that the present tendency of domestic architecture in New
York can be best observed.
Upon the whole, the result is such as to encourage those who preÂ¬
dict that the slice of territory between the Park and the Riverside
Drive is to become *'the tenderloin of New York." A favorite
scheme witli investors seems to be a row of five twenty-foot houses,
varied and individualized, bufc so far connected in design as to
show that they are fronts of one project. One of these rows may
be seen on fche south side of Seventy-second sfcreet, between Eighth
and Ninth avenues. These are of brick, with basements and first
stories of brown stone, whUe bays of fchis latter material run
through the second stories. The central three are gabled against a
steep mansard roof, while the two on the flanks are flat roofed.
The detail is not worthy of higher praise than that of inoffensive-
ness, but it is worfch fchat.
On the south side of Seventy-first street, between Broadway and
Ninth avenue, is a row of five houses in brown stone and tin, in
which the speculative builder has apparently taxed his own intelÂ¬
lectual resources to produce variety, instead of hiring an architect
to perform that office. If he had contented himself with reproÂ¬
ducing the regulation brown stone front he woiUd have done
something much less offensive than this tortured skyline, which is
as crude and bad as possible.
Near by is another quintette in brick, brown stone and terra
cotta, which shines by contrast with this atrocity, and shows that