Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shock to Morgan and Hyde; They Get News in Paris of the Equitable Building's Destruction

January 10, 1912, New York Times, "Shock to Morgan and Hyde; They Get News in Paris of the Equitable Building's Destruction,"

Special Cable to the New York Times

Paris Jan. 9

The greatest sensation was caused here by the news of the Equitable disaster. The first rumor of the fire was heard about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. It caused a rush to the offices of the Equitable Society in the Avenue de l'Opera, where the latest information could be obtained. Until late in the evening the offices were kept open to answer the numerous inquiries.

J.P. Morgan, the principle owner of the Equitable Companies stock, was one of the first to hear of the fire, through a short cable telling the facts. He received this shortly before 5 o'clock. Mr Morgan, who was with Ambassador Bacon at the time, was much affected by news of the disaster and deaths. When the correspondent of the New York Times called at the embassy Mr. Morgan had already left for dinner with some friends in town and could not be reached during the evening.

James Hazen Hyde, son of the founder of the Equitable Society, was also informed by cable at 6 o'clock this evening of the fire, but as late as midnight, when the New York Times correspondent saw him, he had received no details whatever.
"I am more sorry than I can tell to hear that the building erected by my father is now nothing but a heap of ruins," he said. "It is one of the more remarkable landmarks in New York that has disappeared, and the thought that I shall never see it, or the statue of my father, is particularly painful to me. From an economic point of view, I should say, however, that probably the erection there of a modern building might prove a great improvement."

Mr. Hyde, and many other prominent Americans here were particularly anxious about the fate of the safe deposit corner of the building and its contents of securities, but no news of its fate was obtainable in Paris this evening. None of the evening papers received the news in time for publication.

Published January 10, 1912

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