Skyscraper Dreams: The Great Real Estate Dynasties of New York

Tom Shachtman, Author Little Brown and Company $22.95 (354p) ISBN 978-0-316-78213-5
Shachtman, coauthor of The Gilded Leaf , contends that skyscraper mania--the compulsion to alter and claim part of the New York City skyline and increasingly costly square feet of property--animates successors to the Astors and Rockefellers, represented by descendants of immigrant builders (Urises, Tishmans, Zeckendorfs et al.). While such people may assuage their oversize ambitions with well-publicized contributions to civic causes, many demonstrate a near-total disregard for the city's structural and social health--and, charges the author, for its real housing needs especially. Though a plethora of character sketches and anecdotes swells the narrative, history buffs and concerned citizens--and scandal- and gossip-lovers--should relish the stories of these dynasties. Despite the present financial crisis, the author predicts, they and New York City will survive. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Paperback - 380 pages - 978-0-595-16360-1
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