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tion in the economy of domestic dwellings; the whole city is laid out in lots of twentyfive feet front and a hundred feet in depth, on the supposition of a perfect equality in the social condition of every family. But, it has been found convenient for some families to live in houses of smaller dimensions, while some others require larger; and two houses are now sometimes constructed on one lot, while the majority of the new buildings are not more than twenty feet in front; and it has been found that quite as spacious rooms may be had in a house of twenty feet front, as in the old style of houses built on a full sized lot. The new style, instead of cutting off a hall or entry of five feet from the parlors, divides the
basement story, or first floor, into two apartments of equal width, one serving as a hall and the other as an office, and putting the parlors on the second floor, the whole width of the house, with a vestibule between the two, making a suite of three handsome rooms when the sliding doors are thrown open. The houses in Sixteenth-street, of which we have given an engraving, are constructed in this manner, on lots but nineteen feet in width, and are much more spacious, elegant, and convenient than any of the old style of twenty-five feet houses we have ever seen. Many of the new blocks on the Fifth Avenue constructed in this manner, though of even a smaller frontage, have a very
imposing and elegant appearance, while the interiors are finished with a degree of splendor which could not have been indulged in by their owners in houses of greater extent. The improved methods of lighting and warming houses, and the use of Croton water, together with the general system of drainage now almost universally adopted have led to great economy of space the construction of city dwellings, and it seems hardly possible that any thing more compact, cosy, comfortable and elegant in the shape of a dwelling house will ever be invented, than the first class houses now built in the upper part of the city. Painted ceil
ings, gilded cornices, and floors of colored marbles, or inlaid with vari-colored woods were once very rare, even in the houses of the wealthiest merchants ; but now these elegancies are so common that their absence would be much more likely to excite remark than their presence.
Too many of the better class of houses in New-York are of a monumental character, solid in structure, massive in appearance, and calculated only for the occupancy of families with almost princely incomes. They are too costly to be occupied by the descendants of those who construct them, and can be turned to no profitable account by any one who may
purchase them; the
West Twenty-first-street from Fifth Avenue. ace to-day which will be inhabited by the son of his porter boarding-house by the widow of his clerk. to-morrow; or at the best be used as a There are now remaining in New York
but two of the fine old mansions which were built before the Revolution, and one of them is occupied as an emigrant boarding-house, and the other as a restaurant. If their builders could have foreseen the base uses to which they have come, they would probably have taken less pains and pride in their erection. Where the laws of primogeniture prevail, a man may well take pride in building and ornamenting
mansion which he feels assured will be inhabited through all time by his descendants ; but where it is quite certain that his house must pass into the possession of strangers as soon as he leaves it, it can hardly be expected that one should build as though he were founding a dynasty. Yetour merchants and land speculators do build themselves houses of sufficient solidity and grandeur to satisfy the architectural sentiment of even the exacting anthor of the “Seven Lamps,” who maintains that dwelling houses ought to be built as
Bowery Savings Bank. durably as the pyramids. For our
own part, we ought to feel struction of stores and warehouses, and it grateful to these men who are willing will not be long, we imagine, before these to lavish their wealth in the erection of materials will enter more largely than costly houses which so beautify our streets they have done into the construction of and thoroughfares, and render a walk private dwellings; and the time is probthrough our avenues as agreeable as a visit ably not very far distant when we shall to a gallery of art; yet we cannot help have to live in those brittle mansions thinking that so much wealth, such stores which make people proverbially cautious of valuable materials, and so much intelli about throwing missiles at their neighbors. gent labor as they have cost, might better In the meanwhile, the new city that is serve the cause of human happiness by springing up beyond the sound of the being employed in other ways. But we busy wheels of trade, consists of solid and will not quarrel with those who contribute substantial structures, which will outlast in any manner to the public welfare, even many generations of our posterity, if no though in doing so they have no higher disturbing causes interfere to prevent object than self-glorification. The exces their gradual decay. A law has been ensive ornamentation of the street fronts of acted authorizing the formation of a park some of the new houses "up town,” re beyond the present lines of city improvemind one of the anecdote of a noble archi inent, which will convert the central part tect in London, who built himself a very of the island on which New-York is built showy house after his own designs, and into a pleasure ground, around which will was advised by Lord Chesterfield to hire spring up terraces, villas, and blocks of the house opposite, that he might enjoy dwelling houses excelling in beauty and the view of his own mansion.
magnificence any we can now boast of The use of iron and glass are effecting in the New World, and giving new an architectural revolution in the con ideas of the beneficent principle of de
mocracy, which permits the mind to find a model for his town house or country expand to its utmost possibilities. The villa, would have laughed at the folly of great obstacle to architectural improve- building his packet ship after the manner ment and embellishment in this country, of a Greek galley, or in the shape of the has heretofore been the existing structures gallant vessels that were to encounter the of the Old World, in initation of which Spanish Armada. Yet, in the esthetic nearly all our public and private edifices sense, there would be no greater folly in have been built. llence our streets have one case than in the other. The difference been filled with costly and meaningless in the two cases is that the ship would be copies of Grecian porticoes, of Gothicized unprofitable, but the house might be indwellings, of ambitious imitations of ba habited. When we shall have outgrown ronial castles, Egyptian tombs, turreted our childish dependence upon the Old churches, useless campanile towers, and World, then we shall be able to boast of every thing else in the shape of a house our own architects as we do now of our of which a drawing could be found in a ship-builders. As yet, there is no such book. Our architecture can hardly be person as an American architect whose called eclectic, though it is composed of name is known beyond the circle of his parts of every known style that has been own employers ; nobody asks who dein vogue since the days of Noah, because signed this building or that, our Wrens, it is rather a jumble, than a selection Joneses, and Palladios have yet to be deof peculiarities. The great hope of our veloped ; but the names of our shipnational success in art rests upon our builders are among our national boasts, achievements in ship-building, the greatest and George Steers, the yacht builder, has of the arts, for, in that department of in become renowned wherever the art of dustry, we have been thrown directly navigation is practised. upon the resources of our own genius. As private dwellings form the subject Europe and the past had nothing to offer of the present article, we have not felt at us worthy of imitation ; we were placed liberty to give any statistics of the cost in circumstances wholly new, and we re of the buildings noticed, or to make any quired new instruments to enable us to part of them the subject of illustration or achieve our purposes. The merchant who remark, excepting such as are exposed to saw no absurdity in going back to the the public eye and which may be regarded time of Pericles or Queen Elizabeth to as legitimate objects of public comment.
THE GREAT CEMETERY.
Palæontology of New York: containing descrip unceasing action of the billows. In the
tions of the Organic Remains of the Lower and still depths of ocean they settle down, preMiddle Divisions of the Nero-York System ; cipitated in an impalpable sediment, but equivalent to the Silurian and Lower Devonian
so slowly, that months elapse while it atRocks of Europe. By JAMES HALL Volumes I. and II. Albany: Published on Behalf of the Stato
tains the thickness of the pulp which on of New-York.
the paper-cylinder formed this white sheet.
Though in many local instances, near the THERE is a place of burial
, older and mouths of rapid rivers, or coasts worn by grander than the uninstructed mind impetuous currents, coarse and heavy of man ever imagined, ordained when the sands are deposited much more rapidly, foundations of the earth were laid, destined the general process must be exceedingly to receive, and to perpetuate to the end, slow. For the sea-deposits can be formed the mortal frames of all living forms which no faster than the waste of the dry land our planet has sustained. And in their supplies material, and the filling up of the preserving epitaphs which cannot be dis ocean's bed must be as imperceptible in trusted, monumental statues and relievos its progress as is the wearing down of the above the suspicion of incorrectness, nature continents. Slow as the change is, yet herself has provided for those who, dur year after year, century after century: ing all time, shall desire to trace back the cycle after cycle it continues, and new long order and sequence of the past; layers are added to the increasing pile in series of inscriptions, from which the every age. The deposits formed during patience of the student and the earnest this century overlie and conceal those of zeal of the historian may form a record the last; beneath these lie those of preof most certain authenticity.
ceding ages; and, at the base of all, are By a singular paradox, the conservative buried those of the first period of creation. agent by which all the past is made per But it is not only the inanimate dust of manent, the repository of alphabets which earth which is thus carried into this great can never become obsolete, and of inscrip
storehouse. There the remains of innutions which can never be effaced, is merable forms of fishes and all aquatic the element which has been proverbially things lie, and settle into the oozy bottom. the type of wasting restlessness and in Thither float reeds, and leaves, and treestability.
trunks, drifted from every shore. Thither The rain which dashes on the hills, tend the skeletons of drowned quadrupeds slowly, but surely, wears away their sub of a thousand species, swept down the stance. The originally pure element de swollen rivers and across the surf far out scends every slope, loaded with solid earth, to sea. There, too, sink the bones of seaeither dissolved in a limpid stream, or
fowl and exhausted land birds. And suspended in a turbid torrent. The mould there, in this latter age of man's dominion, of every field, the banks of every ravine, lie scattered over the bottom the lonely the surface of every rock are wasting and remains of thousands who die on the wearing. Slowly indeed, for in few in ocean; and thither, year after year, destances can the brief experience of man's scend hundreds of ships, to leave their observation perceive the change. But it oaken ribs for ever in that region of nether is not the less real and certain. Since the gloom. day when the first clouds shed their bur Over all spreads the sediment. Softly den on the earth, and the eldest of rivers and slowly through the green middle began to feel its slow way to the deepest depths it settles downward, and enshrouds basin, the work of abrasion has gone every relic in its folds.
Film on film, steadily on until now, and it must go on inch on inch, fathom 'on fathom, from the while earth and ocean remain. Every beginning of the world it has accumulated, exposed inch of the earth's surface is send while the relics of all living forms of earth, ing its tribute through the ever-flowing or air, or ocean, have been committed to rivers to the sea. Out from myriads of its keeping. And just as the earth now estuaries pour the fresh floods laden with borne to the Atlantic from the rivers of the waste of the land. Far away from Europe and America, is beginning to bury shore, swept out by tides and currents, the huge timbers of the lost steamer Prefloat the particles brought from the pla
sident and the skeletons of her crew,-SO teaus of Central Asia, or the prairies of does the deepest and oldest layer hidden Nebraska; mingled with others, worn below contain the remains of those races. from myriads of leagues of coast by the which populated land and sea, when that