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Claim With Regard to Some
Realty Improvements. IN THE DOWNTOWN SECTION Build for the Present and Not the Future. QUESTION OF THE VALUES Way Is Always Blazed by Few En terprising Owners and Others Follow of Necessity. T> ? t fast w k i f good weather, vi.ik on tt ? improvements of downtown lm.-:n. -s properties has progressed rapidly, and w * "in or tAu exceptions those struc t.j: i ow fli proc? s-s of reconstruction will be r< 11y for th- late fall trade. "In noting the evolution from a residen tial quartt r into on*- of business of that sec t <ti of tii-? 'J1- lying north of il street went ?it' 7: .ind s ? ith of New York avenue nor: w? -t. remarked a large operator to u Star r? ? t>r. si ntatlve. "I am not only re niinded of the rapid expansion of our active 1.:- i- i nt-r. but of the eharac'er of some of the :niirovenieiiIn going on in this Section. "\\ many of t: e owners have accepted ;u> appre 1..: . conception of the situation aii>l are . itlier tearing down entirely the o'.d residences or re obstructing the lirst and st . ond stories of their holdings into full width stoles, there ar.- mani who seem to be looking only to the present, and who arc making, as it were, only half-sized im provements. "Most of.these res'denees have hasem 'tits. This latter class of owners, instead of tearing out the flooring between the liaSe ni. nt and the first story and reconstructing a full-width, high-, eiling modern store, re tain the flooring and convert ttie building, with the insertion of store windows. Into a low-ceiling. double-store structure, which, as a matter of fact, is simplj a half-way improvement and does not tend to give either to their own property or to the street that business thoroughfare appearance nec- I essary to modern and up-to-date Improve ments. "This style of improvement was begun on F street many years ago, when that thoroughfare was transformed from a resi dence street into one of business, but it was found that such class of stores did not pay in the end and nearly all of such structures upon the street in question have been remodeled for the second time and the store entrances brought down flush and out to the sidewalk line. "Owners contemplating store improve ments in the section I have outlined should bear this fact in mind and begin now to build not only for present needs but for the future as well It has been demon strated time and again in the business sections of New York that it does not pay to erect stores unless the entrances thereto can be flush with the sidewalk line, and that even such apparently small trifles as two or three steps up or down to effet t an entrance into the store served as a rental detriment; in other words, that the shopping public would not enter these stores where there was another one farther on or adjacent where the doorsill was llush with the sidewalk line. Question of Values. "And when it comes to a matter of prop erty \alues there Is no question as to which style of improvement pays, both Im mediately and ultimately. A full recon structed block of what may be termed for the sake of a name 'the half-sized store' has only a slight increase in property value over residences and does not make an inviting store line, b^ing irregular ac cording to the former size and arrangement of the residence, and are occupied by busi nesses which of necessity pay but small rentals. "On the other hand, a full reconstructed block of high-ceiling stores, with show win dows and entrances brought flush to the sidewalk line, presents a modern and up-to date business appearance which Is not only attractive to the shopper and the public In general, but Is highly augmentative of property values and of enhanced rental re turns. "While there are many of this latter class of improvements being made in the section referred to. destined in a few years to be a very active business one. there are not as many as the observing operator would like to see This is largely due to the timidity of some owners who do not feel that their properties warrant such improvements, whereas this is where they make their mis take If other properties in their immediate vicinity warrant this class of improvements, as Is the case, so do. their own Enterprising Owners. There is another class of improving own ers in this section whose enterprise is to be commended and to whom specific attention should be drawn as indicative of a true knowledge of the situation and a proper meeting thereof, and this is the class of owner who is demolishing entirely the older residen es and ere. ting in their stead, from foundation up, entirely new and modern buildings for store and oftice purposes. "These new store properties, of course, fand out prominently over tiieir neighbors and at once attract attention not only of the public, but of the prospective renter, and It should !>? noted that it is this de sirable class of improved property that rents, as a ru'.e. as soon as the plaster is dry upon the walls. "While, of course, any owner wIki will improve his property may be said to belong to t iles rable class, for many will not "maintain their holdings in ordinary repair. It is the enterprising owners who blaze the trail of Improvements in all sections under K lng the evolution to be seen In the one In question. While they receive correspond ing returns tinon their financial investments. It is ti.. ir Improvements which go so far to n ird tl.e proper r? -oustruction of a resl- j d. nee section into one of business, and they are entitled to all the financial revenue and Irt-dit tl t-y are meritoriously deserving of." j Schooner Giles Sold. Th- thrv. niasl.-I bay schoont r Hattle K. Giles, a frequent visitor to tills city with lumber and other cargoes aboard, has been sold by i'apt. Whitley Saunders and others of Baltimore to R. 11. White and others, and the new owners have taken possession of the vessel and after giving her a g n eral overhauling will continue her in the trade on Chesapeake bay and its tributaries, ("apt Gordon Hanks will be placed In com mand of the vessel when she goes Into serv ice. The schooner was built at LiWlsvllle. Del.. In IX74. and it Is stated was used for the coasting trade in the early years of her marine career. SOME IMPROVEMENTS RECENTLY COMPLETED AND UNDER WAY IN THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE FIELD THAT ARE ATTRACTING ATTENTION Northwest Corner North Capitol ant Bryant Streets. TRACT ON NEW ELECTRIC LINE The Hayes-Sharp Realty Company has re cently acquired possession of about 350 acres of land from the Meloy estate, located on the new Washington, Baltimore and An napolis electric line, which is now nearing completion The tra?t has been subdivided and is known as "Dixiedale." It will be of fered for sale to the public as soon as the car l:ne begins operations. The r< sidence property be'onging to Dr. Henderson, located at Otterbourne. oppo site the Chevy Chase Inn, has just been sold through the Hayes-Sharp Company to Mr. Francis C. Plumrner of California, who will make It bis future home. The same firm also reports the sale of the following properties: lt> Rhode Island ave nue northwest to J. N. Paine for H. L. Etherberger for 2t>17 1!>th street northwest to W. it. Benham for Walter Biggs, Js.ootl; Fairvlew. Somerset Heights, Aid., to Walter Bi^gs for W. B. Benham, residence on Cola avenue in Hyatts ville. Md., to Mrs. Ell ?n Northedge for Mrs. Stephens, for $2,200; 51.'$ 'Jth street north east to Mrs. Stephens for Mrs. Northedge, $2,2<>0: house on Railroad avenue, Hyatts vi-le, Md., to T. J. K-rap for Mrs. Stephens, $2,2>h>: lots IS and l.t, Wash ngton High lands. L>. C., to Lee Fiazter, for Charles G. Taylor, $500. APARTMENTS SOLD. $50,000 Paid for House on Columbia Road. The new apartment house at 1733 Colum bia road, near the corner of Ontario ave nue, has been sold by Lewis E. Brueninger for about $50,000. It was sold to a Wash ington party, whose name is withheld, the deal being consummated by the A. F. Fox Company. The building stands 44 by 1<M? feet on a lot 50 by 160 feet, with an alley on one side. It is constructed of white brick and stone, three stories and basement, with three suites of apartments on each floor. The A. F. Fox Company has sold the residence at 1311 11th street northwest for $S,5<)0. The property is a three-story, ten room house, with rear and side alleys. The purchaser is a Washington investor, who will hold the premises for rental. The same company has sold the lot on 12th street northwest between M and N streets, for W. G. Bedden. at $2 a square foot. The lot Is CO by U4 feet. The buyer Is a Washington man. who Is said to have bought the property for an investment. From the New York Tribune. One day this week a group of hooligans maliciously jeered at, insulted and verbally outraged a sentry at the navy yard until his patience gave way and he fired his rifle at them, wounding two. He did wrong, of course, although his provocation was gross; and although sympathy with his victims is conspicuously absent, and he was properly placed under arrest and held for punish ment. On the same day a street car con ductor was convicted of jostling and insult ing a passenger and was properly sent to the workiiouse for a few days for the of fense. The two incidents attract attention to the relations between the uniformed and the non-uniformed public, and especially to the wrongs suffered by and the wrongs done by the former. We have hitherto re marked upon the contemptible practice of discriminating at> places of public resort against men wearing the uniform of the 1'nited States Navy, a practice which should be discouraged by the imposition of a sharp legal penalty. There are those who consider it smart to make offensive re marks to or at soldiers and sailors on duty,, in a cowardly confidence that their victims ACQUIRES 350 TO BE OPENED. In Uniform. New Residences at \ will be restrained by a ?ense of obligation from resenting the outrage, and there are those who seem to take an evil delight in browbeating and insulting ear conductors and other uniformed servitors, presumably f>n tiie ground that fear of losing their places will deter them from making ef fective reply. On the other hand, there are too pften wearers of uniforms w*ho seem to consider themselves thus "dressed in a little brief authority" and entitled to lord it insolently over all mortals in ordinary civilian garb. We need not enter into metaphysical specu lations and calculations as to which is the more offensive, the uniformed ruffian or the non-uniformed cad or hooligan. Either is sufficiently detestable to call for prQmpt suppression. INTERTJHBAN LINE. First Car to Start in About Ninety' Days. The opening of the trolley line between this city. Annapolis and Baltimore will likely prove one of the gala days of the year. Preparations for the opening are already being made. This week In Baltimore Mr. George W. Bishop, president of the Wash ington. Baltimore and Annapolis Electric railway, called on Mayor Mahool and in troduced Mr. J. N. Shanahan, who will be the local manager of the line. Mr. Bishop said the first car will likely start over trie road ninety days hence. Pardonable. From Hitrpor'n Weekly. A prominent novelist spoke recently at a Boston club about the wonders of modern invention. He said: "There was an old fisherman rowing in his boat, one day, when an. automobile canoe sprung a leak near him and Imme diately sank. "To the indignation of the canoe's occu pants, the old man paid no heed to them, but^ rowed calmly on his way, puffing an old clay pipe. "However, the wrecked canoeists man aged to swim to him, and as they clam bered into his boat one sputtered, angrily: " 'Confound you. why didn't you lend us a hand? Didn't you see we were sinking?" "The old man took his pipe out of his mouth, and stared at them in astonish ment. " 'Blessed if T didn't think ye wuz one o' them new-fangled submarines,' he said. Vestern End of Connecticut Avenue B WOULD LIMIT SKYSCRAPERS FIRE MAY DEVASTATE FINAN CIAL DISTRICT OF NEW YORK. President of Fire Underwriters Pre dicts Disaster?Height of Build- ? ings Must Be Restricted. NEW YORK, September 7?George W. Babb, president of the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, prophesied yesterday that some day the roof of,the financial dis trict would be swept off by a devastating fire that would leap from skyscraper to skyscyaper, hundreds of feet above the heads of the firemen. Such a disaster was Inevitable, said Mr. Babb, and it was only a matter of time and circumstance before the unique conflagration high In the air would occur. Tfie commission on the limitation of the areas and heights of building appointed by the building codes revision committee of the board of aldermen to secure the advice of architects, Insurance writers and builders upon the question of limiting the height of skyscrapers heard Mr. Babb assert that the board of fire underwriters feared and fully expected such a result of the massing of tall buildings on narrow streets. There was no way to prevent such a catastrophe at the present time, and with the increase In the number of skyscrapers erected the possibility of lofcs was being magnified each year to tremendous proportions. Courting Catastrophy. "With our present unlimited height of buildings in the financial center, where the streets are being converted Into narrow canons by the walls of thirty and forty storied buildings, we are courting a disaster that would outdistance that of any other great Are In the country," said Mr. Babb. "Thfe San Francisco fire has taught that so called fireproof buildings cannot withstand the attack of an uncontrolled wave of flame. How much more dangerous would a fire be when It w5s sweeping through ridge Over Bock Creek. the top levels of our lines to lofty buMd ings. "Fire experience lias taught that a high building of great area nurses the hottest fires. It is not only not beyond the range of possibility, but the fire underwriters fear that there is a very strong probability of a fire starting in the nest of skyscrapers and beating across streets from the windows on the top floors to other bulldinga. All systems of sprinklers and all attempts at lireprooflng would not avail in the least In an instance of this kind. The firemen away down below could do nothing. The fire would gain such headway that when the edge of the skyscraper zone was reached there would be a blaze of Such proportions as to imperil the whole city. Reliance can not be placed in any fire department even under thornost favorable conditions when once a fire is sweeping uncontrolled." Loss Would Be Billions. The president of the underwriters sad that in the event of such a conflagrat'on, even though it were confined to the doz^n blocks where the nkys< rapers are thickest, the underwriting companies would be so hard pushed that 20 or 25 cents on the dol lar would be all they could pay. A los3 of from one to two billion dollars would be the aggregate, he said, and it would te felt by tit c guaranty companies, mortgage concerns, savings banks and all the chief interests of the financial district. Taxable property of such value would be destroyed that the city would ftel the loss of revenues immediately. In order to prevent a fire of this character Mr. Babb urged upon the commission ihe necessity of recommending legislation lim iting the height and area of buildings all over the city. There were many stores and buildings housing mat ufacturing Interests uptown along Broadway and on the side streets which, because of their great areas and their heavy stocks of inflammable goods, made the fire underwriters exceed ingly nervous even urder present conditions. An Increase In unregulated building but increased the cause for fear. Mr. Babb's recommendations were these: For non-fireproof buildings to be used for commercial and manufacturing purposes, a height ol' 55 feet and an area of 5,(XK> square feet, to be Increased a little when the building extended through the block or was situated on a corner; In tireproofed buildings provided with automatic sprin klers and designed for office use on'y the area could be extended to between 1M.000 and 30,(XM> square feet and a height of 125 feet could be permitted. Any area or height above these figures increased the fire risks to excessively dangerous polms, said Mr. Babb. Sight Street Northwest, Just Cut Through to the Center Market. NO PERFECT PAVING "ENGINEER TILLSON DISCUSSES THE STREET PROBLEM. Special Correspondence ' of The S'tar. NEi'VV YORK, September 1, 1907. George W. Tilson, engineer of the high way department of New York city, in open ing an informal discussion on pavements at the annual tonvention of the American So ciety of Civil Engineers, said: "The perfect pavement has never been constructed. The speaker has no hesitation in stating that municipal engineers In charge of pave ments have failed to solve satislactorily the problem presented to them. * * * In this statement durability is not considered, but only 4he public requirements. "A pavement is laid primarily to sustain traffic, but, no matter how well It does this, it Is not a complete success unless It can be cleaned easily and is neither slippery nor noisy. Pavements are laid for the convenience of the public, and should an engineer be fortunate enough u> con struct a pavement that would fill these conditions, if it were of such a character that It would wear out quickly and re quire constant repairs it would be a fail ure. "Any interruption of the traffic of a street interferes seriously with business and often causes material financial loss, so that it can be said that the perfect ! pavement must not only have the proper ties named above, but must be so durable that its -necessary repairs will not ob struct traffic seriously. Mr. Tillson, in continuing his remarks, stated th^t engineers were partly at fault In not appreciating the peculiar condi tions of each case and adapting th-J pave ment thereto; that too often an asphalt pavement is considered simply as an asphalt pavement, a wood pavement as only a wood pavement, without any seri ous consideration as to Just how it should be laid to meet the requirements of any ! particular location: that specifications I are too general and that often sufficient i money could be saved on one street, where | the conditions were not exacting, to pro | vide an equally durable pavement on an | other street where traffic was much heavier. Bought for Institute. John D. Cornmiller, trustee for Mary M. Raborg, has sold, through the office of Leo Kalb, the property known as the Meade farm, at Ammendale, Md., to the Ammen dale Normal Institute, a school presided over by the Christian Brothers. The addi tional land was purchased to add to the farm of the institute. Do Animals Reason? Alexander J. Mitchell, in Ilarrer's Weekly. Do animal3 reason? The interrogatory seems to be a fruitful source of discussion. During my boyhood days on the plantation In the good state of Alabama, I remember that the family horse?"Old Cream"?ex hibited an instinct of a high order, if not establishing a substantial claim to being able to reason. "Old Cream's" dai'y routine, being the saddle horse, was to carry my father throughout the plantation. The service usually began in March and continued until the "cotton-picking" season ended, during November. Leaving the "white house." our residence, about S a.m., father would not return for dinner before noon; thereupon he would dismount and command the ani mal to "go to the barn!" Forthwith he proceeded to the gate through which entry was made to his stall. When closed the gate was held in that position by a "peg." possibly six inches long, that rested in a hole bored in a post that abutted the face of the gate. "OH Cream," with much skill, pulled the peg from tlie hole, "nosed" the gate open and proceeded t his stall with the dignity of the lord of the manor. In stinct. did vou sav? HOW WASHINGTON FIREMEN EMPLOY IDLE MOMENTS DURING SUMMER. Lawns of Truck Company No. 4 (on the Left), on New York Avenue Near New Jersey Avenue, and Engine Company Nd. 12, Corner North Capitol and Quincy Streets. A Friendly Rivalry Exists Between the Gardeners of These Two Companies. FOR BETTER STREETS Local Merchant Calls Attention to Several Needs. COBBLESTONES OUT OF DATI-) Poor Surroundings of Center Market Commented On. QUESTION OF CLEANLINESS New Municipal Building Is Sur rounded on Three Sides by Streets That Are "Execrably Paved." In commenting: on the nrarre^s <r t'e completion of the Improvement >f P i ? vanln avenue and th ? radical change f.f the better between the old flat surface aid ths new. a downtown merohant mail ? t!n s<? sugg?stlons regarding the condition of th* streets In pome i>ortlons of the dow utow:i business section to a Star repoiter: "Sine? one Improvenv nt In a locn1 i t \ >fi i loads to others." he said, "I desire to ? the attention of the city authorl'.ii ?. bavins to do with such matters, to the general ion dltlon, ani particularly to (he surfar ? of 11 street northwest, extending from 7th to street. "This street within the limits nam"d In reality practically a "space," being per haps clos? to "JOO feet wide and Riven nve* substantially to t.li * occupation of tni.lc and market gardeners, who occupy the south curb with their wagons and the side walk with their boxes and the display of their products. "The north side of the street's surface in paved with vitrified brick, but on the soutli side the old cobblestone pavement still re mains. It is In an unsightly, rough ami wornout condition, and is indeed perhaps the worst street surface In the downtown section ut the city. What'- prompted the spirit of economy in taking two bites of a cherry in this Instance and repaying only one-half of the surface of this much-used thoroughfare has always awakened my curiosity whenever I have had occasion tu drive over it. New Surface Needed. "In addition to the very heavy traffic over the section of the street In question, which in ltse!f Is enough to demand an entire re surfacing. there are Important sanitary con ditions which make the matter even mora vital than the mere repaying of the sur face. "The surfacs is so uneven that it is prac tically an impossibility to sweep it with the thoroughness that is demanded by rea* son of the use to which the street is put substantially that of a produce and vegetas ble market. In the handling of the country; products and fruits, much of it, including decayed vegetables and fruit skins ami stems, must of necessity be thrown or fall upon the street surface, where it lies and still further decomposes. "But one of the most objectiinable fea? tures is that hundreds of horses belong*, lng to the truckmen are unhitched from th? shafts and permitted to stand for hours, beside the wagons and in.close proximity to the produce displayed for sale upon the south curb. "The result of this condition of affairs' must be obvious to even the casual ob* server. On the three regular market day9 of the week hundreds of tons of produca are disposed of. and on the remaining days, the line of wagons Is of varying length, but the sale goes on every day. "If there is one section of a street's sur face in this city which should be s.-ruWteft and scoured, as it were, daily, It is that t<>. which my remarks are directed. Cleanliness Demanded. "This important sanitary work is an in?* possibility, however, by reason of tl>4 hummocky and worn-out condition of thflj south portion of the 'space' In question, an?| its mere daily sweeping is insufficient t<\ amount to more than a superficial brushing; The entire south portion should be resurs faced without unnecessary delay with vitrhj fied brick, and when so resurfaced shoulit be kept thoroughly clean, and that part op*' poslte the market house and extended fo a block west should be flushed daily witl the hose from the fire plugs, after the fash Ion of the New York markets, and their ad joining streets. Until these simple and tn expensive measures are taken it cannot bi expected that the present unsightly and irU sanitary conditions may be corrected. Cobblestones Obsolete. "Indeed, It is high time that the cobbles stone pavements In the downtown business section of the capital were made conspic* uous by their absence rather than by theltf presence, as Is now the case In several Instances. "In addition to the Instance I have juse mentioned, that section of Ohio avenue extending from I2th to lftth street should next receive the attention of the street* pavers. There is considerable traffic upo^ the avenue between the points named. It is a wide thoroughfare and its surface is very rough and uneven. It It is not de~ sired to repave It with asphalt it should certainly be resurfaced with Belgian blocks In keeping with the streets in the immediate vicinity. "And then i:<% street from Pennsylvania avenue south to the park presents a cobble* stone surface which matches the uneveti ness and roughness of the other thorough fares described. There are in fact several other sections of streets and squares in the downtown business section thus paved and some provision should toflT at once taken looking to their ultimate and not far distant resurfacing. Municipal Building Vicinity. "This Is especially true in view of tho fact that the municipal building is rapidly nearing completion. This fine new struc ture which, when completed, will he one of the show places of the capital, is sur rounded on three sides by execrably paved and resurfaced streets and marks the cen ter of a section of the city in which tic* street pavements are the very worst and at present in the poorest condition of re pair. "Steps should l>e taken to see to i' that these streets in the Immediate vicinity of our new white marble city hall ate taken up and resurfaced so that when the stiuc ture itself is completed Its thoroughfare approaches will be in keeping with tao public building to which they lead. "And as was the case with the lor* needed resurfacing of Pennsylvania ave nue, since it is essential that the initial start be made, let it begin on the space' named and continue Its path of improve ment gradually but continually until tin entire section named is properly and ade quately resurfaced. "If there are not immediate funds avail able for this purpose then an item should be Inserted in the estimates for tin- ensuing fiscal year?an item which should not l?? permitted to be eliminated when the ap propriation bill itself comes up for consid eration and passage." Personal to River Men. Samuel Bateman, formerly on? of tho deck force of the steamer Lackawanna, has been appointed steward of the Smoot tug Eugenia. Capt. Roy T. Kowkes is in command of the Tay'.or tug M. Mitchell Davis during the abs nee of t'apt. Frank Taylor, who Is in command of the tug William H. Ye i kes, jr., for Capt. OUle Crowder.