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July 13, 1901.
RECORD ANP GUIDE.
BUsn^Ess Afto Themes of Gnti^l Iimfl^l,
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Baturdav-
TELEPHONE, CORTLANDT I37O.
Communications should he addressed to
C. W. aW^BBT, 14-16 Vesey Street.
7. T. UNDSEY, Business Manager.
-Entered at the Post-Office at Neto York, N. 7.. as second-cJoss matter.'
JULY 13, 1901.
The Index to Volume LXVII of the Record and Guide, covering the
period between January ist and June 301k, igoi, -will be ready for
delivery July 20th. Price, $1. This Index in its enlarged form
is now recognized as indispensable lo every one engaged or interested
in real estate and building operations. It covers all transactions-
deeds, mortgages, leases, auction sales, building plans Hied, etc. Orders
for the Index should be sent at once to the oflice of publication, 14
and i& Vesey Street.
FORCED liquidation caused the break In Stock Market prices
of this week, and this was the inevitable result of the wild
speculation of the Spring, witb its accompanying inflation of quoÂ¬
tations. The question is, has liquidation run its course? The anÂ¬
swer must be, apparently not. So long as quoted securities stand
at prices which are unwarranted by intrinsic conditions, liquidaÂ¬
tion must continue and prices in our market still represent more
than those conditions. This situa;tion is aggra^vated by the fact
that there is practically no speculative commission business, or
very little, and the seller when he offers his goods finds they
are subjected to a close scrutiny which was not the case when
Wall Street was full of rampant bulls. In endeavoring to fix a
term for the downward movememt the range of advance has to
be taken into account and a mean fixed accordingly. It must be
remembered that the bull movement began in '96 when, for exÂ¬
ample, St. 'Paul was 60, and Atchison 8, since when these two
stocks have sold at 188 and 91 severally. Ranges of comparativeÂ¬
ly equal extravagance can be found for almost everything on the
list, and it follows that the reaction must be proportioned to the
extravagance, whatever it may have been in each case. We are
not saying tliat St. Paul will sell at 60 again, or Atchison at 8,
because when those quotations were made the commercial and inÂ¬
dustrial forces of the coTintry were paralyzed by the currency
discussion and the fiscal position of the Nation itself was endanÂ¬
gered. Such a terrifying factor is not likely to be encountered
again in the situation,'which counts for considerable in theway of
value. Reactions against overtrading on the bear side will count,
too, for something, in the way of delay princip'ally; and so will
the interested buying that comes in at Intervals, when the
breaking goes too' fast and endangers credit in particular direcÂ¬
tions, but the easy jubilant over-estimating of the recent past
must be discounted. Speaking generally, it may be said that
every fraction added to quotations since the close of January was
undeserved or produced by special circumstances that no longer
WHIIjE dreading the effects of the weather on tiis growing
crops, tile farmer may find some consolation in the fact
that everyone is now compelled to acknowledge tbat the prosÂ¬
perity of the country still depends upon his efforts. iWÂ© are still
an agricultural people in spite of the foolish who were only the
other day trying to prove that a crop failure lost its significance
as the hammer had taken precedence ol the plough in the symbolÂ¬
ism of national callings. Now, we see how dependent commerce and
industry are upon agriculture, when the prospect of crop disasÂ¬
ter in some western states is giving everyone such a scare as that
from which we are now suffering. An article on another page,
wtiicli shows how manufacturers and others await the returns
from the harvest field before making their plans for the coming
year, will prove enlightening and interesting to thoSe who deny
this. The American farmer is helped, as it happens, by the EuroÂ¬
pean crop reports, and, while he cannot rejoice In a community
of calamity, at the same time, he cannot shut his eyes to the fact
that the economic results in a measure will save him, or at least
mitigate his loss. Doubtless, first reports of damage are exagÂ¬
gerated, as they always are and that at the moment good newa
has no influence anywhere; but, It has to be confessed that the
crop outlook gives a more serious view tO' the situation abroad
as it does to that at home. By reason of having experienced both
boom and reaction before we did and capital becoming released
from enterprise as a consequence, money is cheaper in Europe
than here, but there is no present prospect of an improvement
in business and the keen competition for any that offers makes
the outsider's chances for participating therein less than ever.
This is a point that ought not to be overlooked when considering
the future of our highly-watered, labor-betroubled industrials.
Napoleon Le Brun.
â– ^p- HAT must have been, on the whole, a very satisfa'ctory pro-
â– ^ fessional life that was closed, this last week, by the death of
Napoleon Le Brun, at the age of eighty. The life was in fact imÂ¬
portant enough to he called, without too much stretching of lanÂ¬
guage, a "career." He had all his life been "in the movement."
Thanks, perhaps, to his descendants and associates of a younger
generation, he was never "out of it," even until the last, never a
"back number," according to the disrespectful slang of the day.
In fact, his distinction was that he was always very much "in it."
That description does not seem to designate, seems even to exÂ¬
clude a man of strong convictions, and much more a man of posiÂ¬
tive genius, but it does connote a man who, by sympathy and intelÂ¬
ligence, must enjoy himself very much in his own lifetime, and
may do very good work. The late James Renwick was such a
man. He set no examples; he did not trouble anybody; he
worked in the fashion of the day that was passing over him,
without troubling himself to analyze it, much less reform it.
"Well," as Carlyle says, "his lot was the peaceabler," and so was
that of Mr. Le Brun.
We do not know that he ever took part in the Gothic revival.
Probably not, since his main work, when the Gothic revival waÂ»
at its height, forty years ago, was the Italian Renaissance of the
Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia, a building which gave all the
Goth'icists a pain, being, as it was and is, in what there is ot the
most Italian Renaissance. But, with this exception, he took a
hand in whatever was going. And he did it always with a cerÂ¬
tain distinction, a certain selection, which makes one believe that
he was not of French descent for nothing. He was a pupil of
Thomas U, Walter, a fact which also does not go for nothing,
seeing that Walter, the architect of the Girard College and of the
extension of the United States Capitol, was in his turn a pupil of
Strickland, who was a pupil of Latrobe. It is a pretty long and
well-derived tradition, as our architecture goes, the best w6 have.
It is a kind of guarantee that, whatever an architect does, he will
not "kick oVer the traces." And, as we were saying, Mr. Le Brun
took part in every architectural movement that was going in his
time. Even in the Richardsonian Romanesque, for there stands,
at the corner of 23d street and Lexington avenue, a little, cheap
brick chapel, which is of the most Romanesque, has that careful
detail which Richardson, rest his big, easy soul, never cared
enough about, lacks that strong, single impulse which was all
that Richardson did care about. It is not very interesting, except
for the pains the designer evidently took in the execution of his
terra cotta work, which accordingly came near tO' being a "recÂ¬
ord" for that time (about twenty years ago). But of the RoÂ¬
manesque spirit this huilding so carefully attentive to historical
Romanesque detail, showed not the slightest trace.
There is another product of Mr. Le Brun's professional labors
in New York which is worthy of a higher praise. And we do not
mean the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in Madison
square either, though that is a very conspicuous building and
much better studied than is common with skyscrapers. The relaÂ¬
tion of voids and solids in the basement is particularly taking
and effective, to say nothing of the central court, by which. In
photography, the building is best known, and which is in truth,
an impressive example of sumptuousness. We mean the Home
Life Insurance Building in Broadway, oppo'site City Hall Park.
That design was only a summary, a compilation, but how intelÂ¬
ligently it was done. It really showed the men from' whose work
it was derived what they were really driving 'at, how the tall
building must have its base shaft and capital, 'and how it was
better for the total elÂ¥ect that these main divisions should not be
weakened by subdivision. It was, and we may 'almost say it is,
long 'ago as it was built, the typical skyscraper, of the arbitrary
and architectonic type, so much better did the architect know
what the O'ther architects had been doing than they knew themÂ¬
We cannot praise so highly the work that Wr. Le Brun did as
architect to the PIre Department. By the way the principal
building, the "Headquarters," 'Nos. 157-159 Eiast 67th street, near
Third avenue, is again Romanesque, and In a much freer Ro-
m'anesque, an^ more suceessful than tb'e little brick chapel. ButthÂ©