1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/New York (City)
NEW YORK (CITY) (see 19.610). The pop. of New York City in 1920 was 5,620,048, as against 4,766,883 in 1910, an increase of 853,165, or 17.9%. The pop. of the separate boroughs was: Manhattan, 2,284,103 (in 1910, 2,331,542); Bronx, 732,016 (in 1910, 430,980); Brooklyn, 2,018,356 (in 1910, 1,634,351); Queens, 469,042 (in 1910, 284,041); Richmond, 116,531 (in 1910, 85,969). There were 5,459,004 whites, 153,088 negroes, and 7,956 others (Chinese, Japanese and Indians). The figures for 1910 were 4,669,162 whites, 91,709 negroes and 6,012 others. The white pop. constituted 97.1% in 1920 and 98% in 1910, while the negro pop. constituted 2.7% in 1920 and 1.9% in 1910. The increase in the white pop. since 1910 was 789,842, or 16.9%, while the corresponding increase in the negro pop. was 61,379, or 66.9%. The total foreign-born white pop. in 1920 was 1,989,216, as compared with 1,927,603 in 1910, an increase of 61,603, or 3.2%. The numerical increase was less than 10% of that of the preceding decade. Foreign countries furnishing the greatest number were Russia, 479,481; Italy, 388,427; Ireland, 202,833; Germany, 193,558; Poland (for the first time listed separately), 145,257; and Austria, 126,447. Of the total pop. in 1920 the males numbered 2,804,884, or 49.9%, and the females 2,815,164, or 50.1%. For the entire borough of Manhattan the average density was 162.5 inhabitants per ac., but in the Fourth Assembly District on the lower E. side (245 ac.) in which a great proportion was foreign born, the density was 420.3 per acre. In 775 tenement blocks in 1920 the density was over 1,000, the maximum being 3,869. In spite of overcrowding the city was healthy; for 1919 the average death-rate was 12.39 per 1,000.
The most important enlargements of public services provided since 1909 are the addition of the Catskill water to the city system, and the additions to the rapid transit system.
The Catskill system, secured by developing the Esopus watershed, was put in service in May 1917. It furnished a supply estimated to yield a minimum of 300 million gal. per day and with normal rainfall 325 million. Even before this the increased consumption of water had necessitated the undertaking of the development of the Schoharie watershed in 1916. This source, which is expected to be available in 1926, will provide an additional 300 million gal. per day, making a total normal supply at that time of 1,170 million gal. per day. The consumption of water is increasing so fast that, in view of the inevitable growth, the city already faces the problem of securing additional sources of supply. In April 1921, Blackwell's Island—the seat of the City hospital and of the Metropolitan hospital, as well as of the N.Y. County Peni- tentiary and of the Corrections hospital—was renamed Welfare Island, by the Board of Aldermen.
Rapid Transit Development.—As a means of meeting the demand for additional rapid transit facilities, the city by the Public Service Commission for the First District in March 1913 entered into separate contracts with the Interborough Transit Co. and the N.Y. Municipal Railway Corp. for the construction, equipment, and operation of a system of rapid transit lines known as the dual system. At this time the Interborough Rapid Transit Co. operated the subway lines in Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn, and under lease the elevated lines owned by the Manhattan Railway Co., i.e. the Second Ave., the Third Ave., and the Ninth Ave. lines, the last including the Sixth Ave. The N.Y. Municipal Railway Corp. was formed in the interest of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co. for the operation of various lines constructed or to be constructed as outlined in the dual plan. The N.Y. Railway Co., which operates most of the surface lines in Manhattan and the Bronx, is the only large traction system not included in the dual system. The operating contracts made with each company run for a period of 49 years from Jan. 1 1917, at the end of which time all leases and agreements will terminate and the city will have complete ownership and control over the constructions included in the dual plan. Provision is made in the contract for the sharing of profits with the city after the operating company has paid all necessary expenses and taken out an amount designated as a preferential, which represents an average of past earnings on old lines over a period of years. The contracts also specify that in the territory allotted to each company the rate of fare for a continuous ride shall be five cents. The dual plan provided for the construction of 322 m. of new track, making
the total mileage of the completed system 618.7. While the plan as outlined approximately doubled the existing mileage it tripled the facilities then available, as the third tracking and extension of existing elevated railways materially increased the carrying capacity. For the Interborough these extensions comprised subway construction N. and S. of 42nd St., Manhattan. North of 42nd St. the new subway extended up Lexington Ave. and connected with the existing Fourth Ave. subway. New subway construction S. of Times Square extended the W. side subway down Seventh Ave. to lower Manhattan and by tunnel under the East river to Brooklyn. This construction provided independent through N. and S. rapid transit lines for the E. and W. sides of Manhattan Island. The addition of a third track and extension of existing elevated lines brought the added mileage to 167.7, a total for the Interborough system of 358.7. The main feature of the extension of the lines of the N.Y. Municipal Railway Corp. was the subway beginning at the Queensboro' Bridge and extending W. by 59th and 60th Sts. to Seventh Ave., thence S. by Seventh Ave., Broadway, Vesey St., Church St. and Trinity Place to a connexion with a tunnel under the East river at Whitehall St. This construction and other extensions make a total for New York of 105 m. and a total for the N.Y. Municipal Railway system of 260 miles.
At the end of 1920 all but 2.2 m. of the Interborough system and 15.3 of the N.Y. Municipal Railway system was completed. A continuous ride of 26.63 m for five cents then became available on the Interborough system and one of 18.5 m. for the same fare on the Brooklyn lines. The anticipated cost of constructing the new lines provided under the Dual plan amounted to $337,000,000, which was to be distributed as follows: City of New York, $171,000,000; Interborough Rapid Transit Co., $105,000,000; N.Y. Municipal Railway Corp., $61,000,000; in addition to the above the city had already invested about $56,000,000 in the construction of the Fourth Ave. subway, and the Interborough Rapid Transit Co. had expended about $48,000,000 for the equipment of the line. Up to Jan. 1 1921 expenditures by the city and the operating companies amounted to approximately $435,000,000, including sums to be paid for work completed or nearing completion. Of this amount the city's part was about $214,000,000, the operating companies' $221,000,000. It was anticipated that the system when completed would be able to carry more than three billion passengers per annum. During the year ending June 30 1920 there were carried 2,364,775,067 passengers. The main rapid transit lines were operating in 1921 to the point of saturation and the situation demanded immediate provision for additional facilities.
Manufactures.—The N.Y. City Metropolitan District (a district of 616,928 ac. including in addition to New York City the neighbouring cities and towns both in New York State and New Jersey) is by far the largest industrial district in the United States, more than one-seventh of the entire industrial productions of the United States being credited to it. In 1914 it had 36,410 manufacturing establishments; these gave employment to an average of 1,031,815 persons during the year, 842,103 being wage-earners, and paid out $711,085,669 in salaries and wages. The value of the manufactured products was $3,428,223,150, the materials utilized $1,984,842,079, the value added by manufacture $1,443,381,071. The district represented 12.5% of the persons employed, 11.5% of the capital and 14.1% of the value of products for the whole country. Clothing ranked first with a value (1914) of $546,682,000. Printing and publishing, with products valued at $230,961,000, ranked second. Smelting and refining of copper, with a value of $207,752,000, ranked third, yet it listed but five establishments while clothing listed 6,229 and printing and publishing 3,647. The boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx produced in 1914 goods valued at $1,577,852,000, or more than two-thirds of the total.
Port of New York—Commerce.—The port of New York was in 1921 in many respects the most important in the world. The value of the imports received increased from $891,614,678 in 1909 to a total of over $2,064,654,000 in 1919, or 131.6%. The value of exports in 1919 exceeded $3,456,329,000 as compared with $627,782,767 in 1909, an increase of $2,728,546,233, or 435%. The vessel tonnage entering and clearing during 1919 aggregated 15,049,000 and 14,275,000 tons, respectively. These totals far exceeded the commerce handled through any other port in the world. The increase in port facilities has by no means kept pace with the growth of business. Such improvements as have been completed during the years 1909-19 inclusive have been limited to more or less haphazard development work carried out under the supervision of the U.S. Government, the completion of the N.Y. State Barge Canal, and the execution of a limited number of enterprises by the city, providing additional docking and wharfage facilities. Among the more important of the projects carried out by the Federal Government are the East river improvement work and the completion of the Ambrose Channel. The East river improvement includes extensive dredging to provide a channel 40 ft. in depth between the Upper Bay and Brooklyn Navy Yard, and also through Hell Gate. Work done before 1921 comprised not alone dredging, but also the removal of reefs and ledge rocks, notably Coenties Reef and Shell Reef which had been a menace to shipping and restricted the development of an important part of the port. Expenditures on these improvements have aggregated $8,172,734, and it is
anticipated that $6,350,000 additional will be required to complete the work. The most marked effect of this improvement will be to enable ships with a draught of 40 ft. to unload and take on cargoes at the piers instead of from lighters, and ultimately to follow the shorter and safer inside route through Long Island Sound in approaching or leaving N.Y. harbour. In 1914 the dredging and construction work incidental to the widening of the Ambrose Channel was completed. This waterway extends in a general N.W. direction from deep-water through the Lower Bay. It provides a channel about 7 m. in length, 2,000 ft. in width, with a depth of 40 ft. at mean low-water, and is the ordinary route taken by large vessels whose destination is N.Y. harbour. The Erie Canal has been improved and reconstructed at a cost to 1921 of over $154,500,000. It is popularly known together with various extensions and improvements as the N.Y. State Barge Canal. A greatly increased traffic is expected from it and elaborate terminal plans for N.Y. harbour were under way in 1921.
Notable port development projects carried out by the City of New York since 1909 include the following: North river—Improvement of water-front between 42nd St. and 59th St., involving the construction of four passenger steamship piers each 1,000 ft. long and with a dock area of 797,904 sq. ft. Only one of the piers had been built by 1921. East river—Three new city piers located at the foot of 29th, 30th and 35th Sts. respectively, South Brooklyn, were completed during 1916. These piers add 9,380 ft. of wharfage space and 568,500 sq. ft. of dock space to the city's dock properties. They form part of a logical plan of port organization which assigns to the Brooklyn water-front the heavier cargo business. Upper Bay—In 1918 the city initiated a project involving the development of the water-front of Staten Is., near Stapleton, by the construction of 12 large piers. This location afforded opportunity for the construction of piers over 1,000 ft. in length if desired with a natural depth of more than 40 ft. at the pier-head line. Also for the first time the city had the chance to effect track railhead connexions between its piers and all but two of the railways entering the port of New York, and to construct terminal warehouse and industrial plants in connexion therewith. The question at first arose as to whether the steamship companies would lease piers so far from the centre of commercial activity on Manhattan Island. Then the city laid down the policy that the moneys necessary to carry out the proposed improvement would only be appropriated when the dock commissioner secured leases from responsible lessees for the proposed piers at a rental equal to 7½% of the total cost of acquiring the land and lands under water and of making the improvement. In July 1919 11 duly executed leases, each accompanied by a bond, for a term of 10 years with two renewals of 10 years each were presented to and approved by the commissioners of the sinking fund, it being determined at the same time to build a twelfth pier and maintain the same for public wharfage.
These piers will be built in accordance with the particular requirements of the respective lessees. They will range in length from 1,000 to 1,160ft.; eight are to be 125 ft. in width and covered by single-story steel freight-sheds with railway tracks down the middle of the pier; two will be 130 ft. in width and covered by two-story steel freight-sheds with railway tracks; two will be 209 ft. in width including side platforms equipped with railway tracks and a complete mechanical installation such as cranes, monorail cars, etc., together with elevators for transfer of motor-trucks to the second deck. On the upland in rear of the piers will be laid out comprehensive terminal facilities with ample tracks for storing an adequate number of freight-cars. It is estimated that this Staten I. improvement will cost upward of $25,000,000, of which $18,000,000 will be for pier and shed construction; it will provide more steamship wharfage than any other one improvement undertaken by the city. When this is finished, Richmond will have more wharfage facilities for overseas steamships than are in use at present for similar purposes on the entire island of Manhattan.
One of the main causes that have militated against a comprehensive development of the port of New York is the division that exists with respect to the water-front included within the limit of New York State and that within the adjoining state of New Jersey. The situation is further complicated by the fact that of all the railways entering the port only three have direct rail connexion with New York City; the New York Central in Manhattan, the New York, New Haven and Hartford in Manhattan and Queens, and the Baltimore and Ohio in the borough of Richmond. All other railways have their freight terminals on the New Jersey shore. The need for remedying this condition has long been recognized and in 1917, pursuant to concurrent legislation by the two states, the governor of each appointed a commission of three members to recommend jointly a policy to be pursued by the state of New York, the state of New Jersey and the United States, in the development of the port. The legal problem was unique on account of the dual state sovereignty involved. This necessitated the adoption by both states of a treaty as a prerequisite to undertaking any comprehensive plan of development. The recommendation of the joint commission was embodied in a statute introduced in the Legislatures of the two states. The statute was passed by the N.J. Legislature in 1920 and by the N.Y. Legislature in April 1921.
Communications.—Two important enterprises in providing
additional direct lines of communication with New York City are the N.Y. connecting railroad across the East river and the proposed vehicular tunnel under the North river. The N.Y. connecting railroad provides direct rail connexion with the New York, New Haven and Hartford line for the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. The main features include a reinforced concrete arch viaduct extending from the connexion with the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad in the Bronx to a point on Wards I., in the East river, a steel arch spanning that section of the East river known as Hell Gate, and connecting with a similar reinforced concrete viaduct in the Astoria section of Queensboro'. Surface construction provides direct passenger rail connexion with the Sunnyside Yard of the Long I. railroad and thence access to the Pennsylvania railroad terminal in Manhattan, while another branch for freight only extends to the Bay Ridge section on the water-front of South Brooklyn. The entire length of the connecting railway is 12 miles. The total amount expended was approximately $30,000,000. The bridge itself, the largest steel arch in the world, cost $18,000,000. Its massive granite piers rise to a height of 240 ft. and are 2,000 ft. apart. The steel arches which support the deck of the bridge rise 300 ft. above the water and the clearance for vessels at mean high-water is 140 feet. The bridge carries four tracks, two of which are used for passenger service as well as for freight.
The vehicular tunnel under the North river which when completed will connect Manhattan I. with Jersey City, is designed to provide a means of handling the traffic now forced to use ferries. Its construction was undertaken under the joint jurisdiction of the N.Y. Interstate Bridge and Terminal Commission and the N.J. Interstate Bridge Commission in accordance with the terms of a contract entered into by the two states Dec. 30 1919. The tunnel section includes twin tubes of cast iron 29 ft. in external diameter. The mean length of the cast-iron ring is 7,345 ft. while the distance between grade points is 9,300 ft. Each tube will have a 20 ft. roadway with an overhead clearance of 13 ft. 6 in. The N. tube is to be used for west-bound traffic, the S. tube for east-bound. The estimated yearly traffic in 1924, the date when it is anticipated the tunnel will be put in service, is approximately 5,610,000 vehicles. This is about equal to the traffic over the Williamsburg bridge across the East river during 1920. In 1934 it is estimated that the traffic demand will reach 12,900,000 vehicles annually. The anticipated total cost of the improvement is $28,669,000. It is estimated that the average charge for motor vehicles using the tunnel for the first 20 years will be 45 cents and for horse-drawn vehicles 20 cents. The revenues from the use of the tunnel on the above basis during that period would amortize the cost in 11 years and accumulate a surplus of $67,330,000, half to go to each state.
Streets and Buildings.—The construction of the new traction system involved some changes in the streets, the extension of Seventh Ave. being an example. The principal shopping district has shifted rapidly northwards, deserting in succession the 14th St. and 23rd St. sections. Its boundaries, broadly speaking, in 1921 were 31st St., Broadway, 59th St. and Madison Ave., and it was steadily continuing northward. The principal shopping streets were Broadway, 34th St., 42nd St. and 5th Avenue. Park Ave., N. from the Grand Central Station, was rapidly superseding Riverside Drive as the well-to-do apartment district, and there was a distinct movement of the finer residential section to the eastward, reaching in one instance as far as Ave. A.
Between 1909 and 1921 there was considerable addition to the number of the tall buildings, which made the sky-line of the city an impressive spectacle. The Woolworth Building (792 ft.) is the highest structure in the world excepting the Eiffel Tower. It is a remarkable example of the adaptation of the Gothic style to the “sky-scraper,” is faced with cream-coloured, glazed terra-cotta and is crowned by a huge lantern, brilliant at night, under which is an observation gallery, from which on a clear day a 50-m. view may be obtained. Other notable new buildings are: The Bankers' Trust (539 ft.); Equitable (485 ft.); Adams Express (424 ft.); Whitehall (424 ft.); American Express (415 ft.); American Telephone and Telegraph (403 ft.); 112 Park Ave. (390 ft.); Liberty Tower or Hanover National Bank (385 ft.); American Bank Note (374 ft.); 201 Broadway (362 ft.); 60 Wall Street (346 ft.); Candler (341 ft.); AUied Printing Trades (340 ft.); 37 Wall Street (346 ft.); 80 Maiden Lane (315 ft.); Columbia Trust Co. (306 ft); Sun (306 ft.); and Cunard (335 ft.). The newer hotels include the Pennsylvania, with its 2,200 rooms, the largest hotel in the world; the Commodore, with 2,000 rooms; the McAlpin, Biltmore, Chatham, Vanderbilt, Ritz-Carlton and Claridge. The Knickerbocker, Holland House and Manhattan, formerly three of the best-known hotels, have been converted into office buildings, as has Sherry's restaurant.
Finance.—The city's budget grew from $163,130,270.37 in 1910 to $345,530,039.77 in 1921. The assessed value of its taxable property, real and personal, grew from $7,416,837,499 in 1910 to $8,922,628,742 in 1920, when the real estate was valued at $8,626,122,557. The net funded debt in 1920 was $1,033,878,359, the gross bonded debt being $1,238,260,597. The floating debt was $42,350,400 and the sinking fund $204,382,238. Among the large items of the 1921 budget were $50,720,880 for education; $105,528,527 for redemption and interest of the city's debt; $10,029,222 for county purposes; $28,349,407 for police; $17,409,649 for borough governments; $17,033,082 for fire protection; $16,790,036 for street cleaning; $8,706,947 for water supply and public lighting; $8,146,850 for charitable institutions; $4,074,637 for parks; $14,592,413 for public welfare; $5,655,868 health; and $5,419,850 plant and structures.
History. During the administration of Mayor Gaynor, which began in 1910, there arose an increased interest in administration on the part of the citizens. The mayor, known locally for certain whimsical characteristics, had gained a hold on popular sympathy as a result of his attempted assassination. Later he became ill, and while on a steamer to Europe, travelling to regain his health, died Sept. 10 1913. Adolph L. Kline (b. 1858), president of the Board of Aldermen, succeeded to the office for the remaining few months of the term. A fusion ticket led by John Purroy Mitchel (1879-1918), who had made an enviable record in public office as Commissioner of Accounts, Collector of the Port and president of the Board of Aldermen, easily defeated the Tammany ticket. Mitchel, but 35 years of age, undertook a complete reorganization of administration, and obtained remarkable results, making his mayoralty a period of unprecedented efficiency in the city's government. Of especial note were the improvements in police, street cleaning, charities and corrections, and the establishment of high standards and expert service in taxation, purchasing and the selection of personnel. Though admittedly efficient, economical and honest, this administration saw itself at the end of four years buried under the greatest majority for Tammany on record. The causes were many. Mayor Mitchel antagonized one powerful group after another; certain real estate interests by the “pay-as-you-go” plan of financing; the German group by his pro-Ally sympathies; a large manufacturing group by refusal to remove trade refuse free of charge; the upper W. side by the unfortunate W. side plan for removal of the New York Central surface tracks; the Catholic vote by his procedure regarding certain charities; the borough of Richmond by locating a garbage incinerator plant in that section; and Brooklyn by his rigid policy of centralization. The result was that John F. Hylan (b. 1868), a candidate from Brooklyn, led a complete Tammany ticket into office, with a platform of outspoken opposition to almost everything the Mitchel administration had done. Subsequently, however, upon the election of the president of the Board of Aldermen, Alfred E. Smith, to the governorship of the state, and the death in office of the president of the borough of Manhattan, Republicans were elected to the vacancies so created. Mayor Hylan's regime was marked by continual wrangling among the members of the Board of Estimate, resulting in many cases in distinct disturbance of administrative machinery. The outstanding features were the fight of the city against increased fares for the traction lines, the declaration of receiverships for practically all of the traction companies of the city except the Manhattan elevated and subways, the dissolution of the companies into a number of independent lines, the operation by the city of the Staten I. traction lines and the introduction of motor-bus lines by the city in competition with the traction systems.
Among the notable bequests to the Metropolitan Museum during recent years have been those of Francis L. Leland, $1,000,000; Joseph Pulitzer, $900,000; Benjamin Altman, collection of paintings, sculpture, Chinese porcelains, etc., with a fund for their care; William Henry Riggs, collection of arms and armour; Harris B. Dick, collections and funds over $1,000,000; Isaac D. Fletcher, collection of paintings and objects of art and fund over $3,400,000; and John Hoge, over $1,000,000. (R. B. F.)