This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
NEW YORK CITY 1338 NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Broadway, transferred in 1906. The average rental of office room is $2 a square foot per annum or $25 a month for an office 10x15 feet. This, however, includes elevator and janitor service, heat, hot and cold water, toilet rooms and lighting. The cost of maintenance of the larger buildings, including superintendence, taxes, insurance and repairs, runs up to $100,000 a year.
To detail the enormous volume and varied character of New York's public and private business, which exceeds that of the Netherlands, Spain or Mexico, would require volumes. We can give only an idea of their magnitude by the statistics for 1909. The city spends $200,000,000 a year in public expenses, of which $35,000,000 go into permanent improvements, J as much as the Federal government spends. Its public debt of $698,000,000 is three times that of Mexico. Eighty per cent of this sum is raised in taxation on the real estate, which is valued at $7,044,192,674 and is increasing at the rate of $150,000,000 a year. The schools absorb $30,000,000 a year. There are 528 buildings of all kinds with an enrollment of 702,897 and a teaching force of 18,923. The fire-department has 131 engine-houses and 4,333 employes. The police number 9,920. The city maintains 70 parks with an acreage of 6,692, streets, sewers, waterworks, bridges, public docks, a normal and city college, a city library in New York and Brooklyn with numerous branches, public hospitals and corrective institutions and municipal courts. It keeps up two zoological gardens, a botanical garden and an aquarium in Battery Park.
The amount of private business is indicated by the bank clearings, exports and imports. In 1910 the total banking transactions aggregated over $100,000,000,000 carried on through nearly 300 national, state and savings banks and trust companies. The imports for 1909 were $909,606,851, an increase of 60 per cent, in 20 years, and the exports $767,968,283, an increase of 100 per cent, in twenty years. One hundred and twenty oceangoing steamers make regular trips from New York to ports all over the world. Of the 1,041,570 emigrants who arrived in the United States in 1910, 786,094 entered through Ellis Island. They came from 40 different countries, and are represented by 47 foreign consuls resident in the city. Fully three fourths of the population is of foreign birth or parentage, many of the Jews, Germans and Irish having become wealthy, while the hordes now coming from southern and eastern Europe keep the ranks of skilled and unskilled labor filled.
New York's financial and commercial interests are on so enormous a scale that they overshadow its great manufacturing industries. It makes vast quantities of clothing, boots and shoes, cigars, furniture, foundry and plumbers' castings, jewelry, machinery
and musical instruments. It has sugar-refineries, packing-houses, flour, coffee and spice mills, marble and stonecutting yards; and makes milliner's supplies.
The visitor will save time, money and patience by getting a good guide-book and map with transportation routes shown upon it. To read Washington Irving's Knickerbocker and Thomas A. Janvier's Old New York will greatly increase one's pleasure in visiting old colonial and revolutionary points of interest. It is the strangest thing to find beautiful old Trinity Church and its graveyard full of ancient tombs, at Broadway and Wall Street. Here lies the body of Peter Stuyvesant, last of the Dutch governors. A catalogue is necessary to an enjoyment and understanding of the treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You will want to see Columbia University, established as King's College in 1756; the Hall of Fame on University Heights; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, built at a cost of $6,000,000, covering three city-blocks; Grant's tomb on Riverside Drive; the Museum of Natural History and the Egyptian obelisk in Central Park; the statue of Nathan Hale by Macmonnies and that of Farragut by St. Gaudens. You will want to go to the top of a few of the great skyscrapers; see the famous palaces on Fifth Avenue; visit a few of the 66 opera-houses and theaters; and lunch or dine at some of the hotels and restaurants that figure in stories and news of New York. You will want, no less, to go down the Bowery and into the queer, crowded foreign quarter of the East Side. New York is the oldest and newest and greatest thing in America; an epitome of our history and the essence of our achievement.
New York Public Library was established in 1895 by the consolidation of Astor Library (q. v.) Lenox Library and the Til-den Trust, with which were later included New York Library and its 42 city libraries, endowed by the munificence of Andrew Carnegie. The new home of the consolidated institutions is the palatial building in Bryant Park, facing Fifth Avenue on the west and close to 42nd Street. The library, besides its other equipments, has shelf room for not far from two million volumes. This monumental institution, provided by the city and in part to be maintained by it, consists of a union, by agreement, with the several trustees of the specific libraries named, with their corporate endowments, together with other free libraries which have elected to be consolidated with it. The chief associated and affiliated institutions, in addition to Astor Library, embrace Lenox Library, founded in 1870 as a gift to the city by the late James Lenox, with many valuable paintings and objects of art which he had collected and inherited, and the Tilden Trust.