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October 7, 1905
RECORD AND GUTDE
,^ ___________ (^ftBPHSi'i^tsee.
Dd&IED to RfA,L ^ATE. einLDI>'G %cKrTECTURE .KoUSOlOUl DieOFiATBMt)
Bi/sn/Ess AtJoTheses of GEjJEiy.1 lUto^Esi,;
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS
Published eVerg Saturdag
Communications should no ailiJrasasd to
C. W- SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. New York
Telephona. Cortlandt 3157
^"Entered at tha Post Cffice at New York. N. Y., aa second-class mailer."
Copyrisbt by tha Real Estate Record and Bnilflers' Guide Company.
OCTOBER 7, 1905.
INDBX TO DEPARTMENTS.
Clay Products .............xxiv
Contractors and Builders,.. .vil
Iron and Stee!................xx
Melal Work .................xxl
Quick ,Tob Directory.......xxvii
Real Esiate ...................x
Wood Produ'cts ............xxvi
THE bulk of the week's trading in realty was again in flats
and tnesments. witli a few deals in mercantile protjert?
find private dwellings. A considerable number of flats in. the
easterly part of Harlem were sold to builders for improvement.
In the Washington Heights district there were a few sales of
lots, and one sale reported from the Dyckman section. While
there has not been a single building operation, in this latter
section, and there have been very few recent sales, tbe propÂ¬
erty is firmly held, with the expectation that the opening of
the suhway wil be the beginning of a very active movement.
In the auction marltet the event of the week was the sale of
one hundred and eighty-one lots by R, E. Simon, of L. J. PhilÂ¬
lips & Co. The buyers were nearly all Bronx residents, and
the prices they paid were far beyond what most judges of propÂ¬
erty in the section thought they were worth. Bryan L. Ken-
nelly's offering of Washington Heights and Dyeltman lots, which
were offered to settle a partnership, were all bought by parties
TWENTY years from now it looks as if many western cities
would be housing almost as large a proportion of their
population in tenements and flats as New York does at present.
During the past five years the growth of cities such as CleveÂ¬
land, Buffalo, St. Louis and Baltimore has been outstripping
their means of communication. A business man can no longer
find a site in the newer districts which is easily accessible by
trolley cars; and the consequence is that residential property
in the older districts is increasing so much in value tbat the
newer houses are more often flats than private residences.
These flats differ, of course, entirely from those which are
erected in New York. Tbey are generally suburban in characÂ¬
terâ€”that is, they are surrounded by open spaces and are only
at the most four stories high. But in the course of time they
are bound to become higher as well as more numerous; and durÂ¬
ing the life of the existing generation the urban population of
the United States will have largely ceased to occupy individual
dwellings. Of course, well-to-do people will continue to occupy
houses of their own, because tbey are able in their automobiles
to travel ten or fifteen miles to their places of business, and
this fact has encouraged the use of motor-cars in the larger
western cities to an extent which is unparalleled in the east.
But it may be doubted whether motor-cars will ever be so cheap
(hat people who pay less than $500 a year in rent can afford
them, and until they do, there seems no escape from the mulÂ¬
tiple dwelling in the larger American cities.
SOME months ago the Record and Guide pointed out that the
municipal election in Noverpber would be complicated by
a.number ot wholly un-municipal considerations. The voters
of New York City will be asked to keep Mayor McCIellan iu
his present position for four years; but it is very doubtful
whether the Mayor himself will take advantage of bis re-elecÂ¬
tion to serve out his term. "Ifhe"sbould be re-elected by a large
majority, he will be a prominent, almost an inevitable;-Demo-
dratic candidate" for "Governor.'" He could "not-beexpected; of-his
own initiative to decline t^s honor, in case it were offered to
him, because, if nominated, he would have a fair chance of elecÂ¬
tion; and if elected he would he on the high-road for the DemÂ¬
ocratic Presidential nomination. All this would be very pleasÂ¬
ant for the Mayor; but it would not be so' pleasant for some oÂ£
his local supporters. Tbe usual opposition to Tammany has been
very much attenuated this fall, because of the personal popularÂ¬
ity of the Mayor; and it looks as if this popularity would be
used to carry a Tammany administration into power, which
might not be either as well-intentioned or as independent as Mr.
McCIellan has proved to be. Should Mr, McCIellan resign, tbe
city would be governed by the Tammany nominees for ConÂ¬
troller and President of the Board of Aldermen, and by a subÂ¬
stitute for the latter elected by ths Aldermen themselves. These
officials would control the Board of Estimate, and consequently
the whole financial and business policy of the city. No harm
may come ot this; but it is not precisely the result for which
a gopd many supporters of Mayor McCIellan wili vote. InasÂ¬
much as such is the case, and inasmuch as it is openly stated
that Tammany will not renominate Mr. Jerome, because he
might be an effective candidate for the Governorship against
Mr, McCIellan, we believe that tbe independent supporters of the
Mayor ought to seek some pledge from him that if elected he will
serve out his term.
An Obnoxious Imposition.
TN another column of this issue will be found interviews with
^ architects and others in regard to "flreproof wood." It la
hardly necessary to tell readers of the "Record and Guide" that
fireproof wood does not, at the present moment, enjoy in this
city any very high degree of popularity among those who are
concerned with building. Indeed, that materia! seems to have
lost in the last few years whatever reputation it once possessed,
and certainly the manner in which the promoters of the product
have sought to advance its interests illustrates very well how
bent some people are in seeking success by necessarily unsuc-
The fireproofing of wood is not a new thing. It has been atÂ¬
tempted over and over again by methods that are, in general,
analogous to those that prevail among fireproof wood manuÂ¬
facturers to-day. If any change or progress has been effected,
the improvement lies, essentially, in the choice of some different
chemical. Like perpetual motion, the fireproofing of wood has
been the dreanj of many enthusiasts. Perhaps to them there
has been something of an allurement in the endeavor to realize
a sort of contradictiou, for, on the face of it, it is as illogical
to speak of "fireproof wood" as it is to speak of a heatless
fire, or an imponderable substance. There is no such thing
as "flreproof" wood so long as wood remains wood. Tbe conÂ¬
version of wood into something else might do the trick, and;
as a matter of fact, onr fireproof wood, so called, is a flre re-
tardant only in proportion to the degree in which its cubical
contents have been converted into something else.
In the course of the present attack upon fireproof wood, we
have heard and we shall no doubt in the near future hear a great
deal of controversy as to tbe degree of flre resistance possessed
by tbe material, but the readers of the "Record and Guide" will
do well if they keep entirely out of that technical and cloudy
side of the discussion and devote their attention and energies
entirely to the one subject about which there can be, in our
judgment, no Question whatsoever. Fireproof wood is imposed
upon our architects, builders and owners by the Building Code,
Wb will not inquire how this imposition crept into the Code,
Certainly it did not get there for any purely humanitarian reaÂ¬
son, nor at the dictate of experts, nor because of the demands
of public opinion. Nobodyâ€”architect, builder, owner or citi-
.:enâ€”wanted tho materialâ€”in the law. Nobody has objected to
the treated wood merely as a building material, be it good or be
it bad, and noTie to-day should object to it except for the reason
that it is foisted upon the public by legal enactment. The value
of flre-proof X?) wood as an "elective" in building construction
may be considered in a very different temper of mind than is at
all possible when considered as a "legal imperative" foisted upon
the public at so much per thousand feet by legislation. An.
article that deserves such special treatment should clearly be
of supreme merit, and not even the manufacturers of flreproof
wood make that claim, for their xn'oduct. Just as it has been
said that no man who needs a monument ought ever to get one.
so it may be said that any building material that needs legisÂ¬
lation to sell it ought not toi be soldâ€”by legislation. If
fireproof wood were a material of supreme or even of high imÂ¬
portance.,, Xhfi architects and builders of this city would have
adopted it without legislation; for, mind you, the law does not
I'equire its use in tho iower grade of tenement bouses, where the
danger of fire is-greatest, or in our most'flimsy and inflammable"
structures, but in our great ofiice buildings and edifices of a