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Snne 11, 188?
The Record, and. Guide.
THE RECORD AND
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad^way, I^T
Our Telephone Call is
â€¢ JOHN 370.
ONE TEiR, ia advance, SIX DOLLARS.
communications should fee addressed to
â‚¬. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
JUNE 11. 1887.
Mayor Hewitt is a model letter writer. His pen has point, and
the substance of what he writes is generally indorsed by the mass
of our citizens. The delinquent officials naturally feel sore at his
criticism of their conduct, and they have reason for saying that
the city charter gives him no authority to call them to account.
But the Mayor is backed up by public opinion, for there is a general
agreement that he should have authority over every department in
the city government. The Mayor was originally a schoolmaster,
and his pen is as effective as was formerly his rod.
tury recLuire a different expression from what tjiey had in the
tenth or twelfth centuries. We have, it seems, in feis country
120,000 churches and chapels occupied by the various Protestant
denominations, but the only distinctive church edifices so far proÂ¬
duced is the ordinary meeting-house, such as Plymouth Church
and Dr. Talmage's Tabernacle. Surely Protestantism ought toÂ¬
have something better to show. Its chance will be in this new
The bulls in Wall street are puzzled. They have been expecting
a strong speculative market all the spring, but while prices have
been firm nothing has yet occurred to bring about the high prices
and large dealings which were expected. Yet everything has been
favorable. The business of the country has been prosperous and
money easy, while the railway earnings were never so large. WesÂ¬
tern Union Telegraph Company has commenced declaring diviÂ¬
dends; so has several other companies for the first time in their
history, while heavy additions are being made to the surpluses of
the old dividend payers. Yet the market will not get out of its
rut, and every now and then the bears have their innings. There
is talk of tight money ahead, due to the absorption of currency by
the Treasury, and then the Interstate Railroad Commissioners may
permit the long and short haul clause of the national raUroad law
to go into effect on July 1st. But Secretary Fairchild declares that
there are several ways of getting money out of the Treasury and
into the channels of trade, while the long and short haul business
will only affect a portion of the railway lines of the country. The
fact is the unemployed money of the country seems to be going into
real estate rather than into stock speculation.
The question of site for the proposed great cathedral is being
discussed very warmly. The high region west of Morningside
Park has been mentioned, and the proposition has been received
with much favor ; for a great temple of worship, situated on that
eminence, would overlook the whole upper end of the island. The
projected structure ought to occupy at least two blocks, which
could be had in this region without interrupting communication
between avenue and avenue. Property-holders in that choice
location might object, as it would probably take twenty years to
build such a cathedral, and the immediate neighborhood would be
kept back for at least that period of time. Far-sighted architects
and builders think the fashionable quarter of the future wiU be on
the high ground west of and above Morningside Park. But this is
something that cannot be foretold with any degree of certainty.
But all are agreed that the site for the proposed cathedral should
be a very commanding one.
The owners of sites suitable for small city parks are offering
them to the authorities with a view of turning an honest penny
for themselves. It is to be hoped that Mayor Hewitt and those
associated with him in this matter will decline to accept any of the
open spaces now in existence, but will use the provisions of the
law to get rid of foul tenement houses. There are scores of such
places in New Yorkâ€”centres of infection and disease which ought
to be got out of the way as soon as possible. The owners of the
open space on 84th street, between 4th and Lexington avenues,
are very eager that the city should take that ground. But it is too
near Madison square. There the neighborhood is not crowded, nor
is it ever likely to be. The law was designed to rid the city of
pestiferous tenement houses and to open small parks in densely-
populated regions. A map of such localities could easily be proÂ¬
vided by the Health Department as a guide to the city authorities
in expending the million dollars annually authorized by the law.
The Manhattan Elevated Road has nullified a ten-hour law passed
by the Legislature by forcing their employes to sign an agreement
to work by the hour instead of by the day. The brakemen, conÂ¬
ductors and gate-keepers will have to work twelve hours for less
pay than they formerly received. Employers will generally sympaÂ¬
thize with this evasion of what they consider an unjust law, but is
it wise for a corporation like the Manhattan to make this record ?
One-half of the stock of this company represents water, while the
original ccst was probably not one-fourth of the sum total repreÂ¬
sented by the stock and bonds issued by the corporation. Yet the
bonds sell very high, while the stock is quoted at 160. As this
enormous profit has been made out of the general public, does it
look well for the managers of this corporation to practically set
aside a law of the State? The 10 and 12 cents an hour which ia
now paid to the employes is not enough to support life decently,
and stockholders who have profited so largely by a municipal
charter could well afford the few dollars extra which an acceptance
of the ten-hour law would impose upon them. It is not wise for
great corporations to give a new argument to the labor agitators.
Several interesting interviews with leading city architects will
be found in this issue, apropos of the proposition to build a great
Protestant Cathedral in the metropolis. Of course we will never
really know what our best architects have in mind until competing
plans are called for ; then we may expect the presentation of origÂ¬
inal and magnificent conceptions. A cathedral, from an etymological
point of view, is a " bishop's seat" or headquarters ; but, as preÂ¬
sented by Bishop Potter, the proposed edifice is to be something
besides a temple of worship, and will include a larger aggregation
of interests than those which represent the sects that have a hierarÂ¬
chical organization. There are plenty of good citizens who
think themselves excellent Christians, yet who do not believe it is
any more needful to have bishops in a church than nobles or kings
in a nation, and they should not be excluded if this is to be an
American Westminster Abbey, a final resting place for the disÂ¬
tinguished dead of all demoninations. Let the plan be catholic in
the widest sense of that term. The architects whose views we give
seem to incline towards the Gothic or the Romanesque style of
architecture. But would not either be a mistake? Does not the
age require something different from what has come down to us
from the past ? The religious conceptions of the nineteenth cen_
Mr. Wniiam Blaikie objects to a tunnel under the Hudson River
and proposes, instead, a bridge from Stevens Point in Hoboken to
the foot of 13th street, whore the river is a little over a half mile
wide, the narrowest point for thirty mUes. This bridge should be
100 feet wide to a-^commodate eight tracks; 160 feet high in the
middle to clear all shipping, the grade to be only 100 feet to the
mile.; the piers to be 300 feet apart and in the middle 500 feet.
This would admit of. 3,000 trains each way. This bridge to be
housed like the one over the Mississippi at St. Louis. This
structure should not cost more than twelve to fifteen million
dollars, and would easily pay 15 per cent, on the investment.
The objection to a tunnel is that it could never transact the busiÂ¬
ness that would be offered for it, and would accommodate only
a single track each way. The proposed bridge would connect with
two underground roads, one on each side of the city, and this
would obviate the necessity for making other provisions for new-
means of-rapid transit for fifty years to come. There would be a
bitter opposition developed to bridging the Hudson so near its
outlet, but if it was done it would be a great thing for New York
city. The project is a stupendous ona, and will doubtless be eagerly
canvassed by the press and the business public.
A committee representing the laboring people attended the
closing session of Congress to look after the bills in their infcerest.
The report they publish is interesting and instructive, as showing
the. methods which obtain in transacting the business of the
country. It seems that practically the whole work of fche Lower
House of Congress was intrusted to three menâ€”the Committee on
Rules of the House: John G. Carlisle the Speaker, Samuel J.
Randall and William B. Morrison. There were two Republicans
on this committee, Messrs. Reed and Hiscock, but they did not
count. Nothing could be considered in the last weeks of the
session that these three leading Democrats ignored. The report
There has been no legislation enacted during the last fire weeks of the
present session bufc such as has been subject to the scrutiny of the three
members of the Committee on Rules from the dominant party (termed by
the members of the House the " Steering Commifctee"), and so far as the
members of the House were concerned they might as well have gone home
I four weeks before adjournment, for they have had virtually nothing to say