In 1986, the New York Times called William Zeckendorf Jr. "Manhattan's most active real-estate developer," a judgment borne out by Zeckendorf's fascinating memoir. The second generation of a legendary family of developers, "Bill" Zeckendorf was a developer with a social conscience, not only putting up buildings but opening neglected parts of the city and transforming whole communities. Among the projects Zeckendorf chronicles in detail-and with rich documentary illustrations-are the Columbia, which set off a building boom on the Upper West Side; the four-acre Worldwide Plaza, a landmark in West Midtown; Queens West, the first residential project on the waterfront in Queens; the enormous Ronald Reagan Office Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.; and numerous projects in Santa Fe, his beloved second home.
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