Developing My Life

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William Zeckendorf Jr. with Joan Duncan Oliver

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Andrea Monfried Editions
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 7.25 in x 9.75 in
Pages: 296
Illustrations: 100 color, 70 b&w

RRP $35.00

  • Wide-ranging, captivating, and deeply introspective, the memoir of William Zeckendorf Jr. (1929-2014) documents the celebrated real estate developer's impact on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Santa Fe
  • A glimpse inside the high-stakes world of real estate development, from finding a property to securing financing to hiring an architect to constructing the building to seeing it profitably occupied
  • A history of New York in the 1970s and 1980s, from one of the people most responsible for its changing cityscape
  • A candid and sincere assessment of the author's successes and failures, his public triumphs and equally public setbacks

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.

Contents: Foreword: William Lie Zeckendorf; Introduction. Educating the Master: 1: Growing Up Zeckendorf; 2: Learning the Business. On My Own: 3: Moving Up: The Mayfair House; 4: Saved by a Dog: Hotel Delmonico; 5: A Nightmare: The McAlpin; 6: Easy Money: The Statler Hilton; 7: Win Some, Lose Some: The Navarro, the Barbizon, and the Shoreham. The Visionary: 8: Opening the Broadway Corridor: The Columbia, Princeton House; 9: Looking Up: The Park Belvedere; 10: Win-win with the A&P: The Copley; 11: Location, Location: Central Park Place; 12: At a Crossroads: The Alexandria. The Innovator: 13: A Noble Experiment: Delmonico Plaza; 14: Selling Convenience: The Cosmopolitan and the Vanderbilt; 15: Breaking New Ground: The Belaire, Park Avenue Court, and the Gotham; 16: Downtown: The Hudson Residences. The Transformer: 17: Revitalizing Union Square: Zeckendorf Towers; 18: Opening Up Eighth Avenue: Worldwide Plaza; 19: A Capitol First: The Ronald Reagan Office Building and International Trade Center; 20: Turnaround in Queens: Citylights. The Hotel Maven: 21: Lighting Up Times Square: The Crowne Plaza Hotel; 22: A Royal Mess: The Rihga Royal; 23:A Crowning Achievement: The Four Seasons. Moving One: 24: 515 Park: Legacy to My Sons; 25: Leaving New York. Santa Fe : New Beginnings: 26: The Zeckendorfs in the Southwest: Return to My Roots; 27: Nancy Zeckendorf: A Living Treasure; 28: Scenic Views: Los Miradores; 29: Successful Site Planning: Sierra del Norte; 30: Introducing Luxury: The Eldorado Hotel and the Hotel Santa Fe; 31: Restoring a Landmark: The Lensic Theater. My Passions: 32: An Inherited Taste; 33: Giving Back; 34: Three Generations. Summing Up. Afterword by Arthur William Zeckendorf. Epilogue by Nancy Zeckendorf.

Real estate developer William Zeckendorf Jr. was known for challenging projects - enormous mixed-use developments but also hotels, office buildings, apartment towers, and cultural facilities - that improved the lives and streetscapes of their communities. Born in 1929, Zeckendorf founded Zeckendorf Company in 1972 and went on to build a string of successful projects in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Santa Fe. He died in Santa Fe in 2014. Joan Duncan Oliver is an award-winning journalist, author, and editor. She lives in New York.