The Real Deal New York

From the archives: Revisiting the legacy of a master builder

Looking back at the life of developer William Zeckendorf Sr.

February 28, 2015 01:00PM
By Alison Gregor

William Zeckendorf in his signature hat

William Zeckendorf in his signature hat

As New York City ushers in an era of vast development projects — whether the Freedom Tower, Hudson Yards or massive plans for Manhattan’s East Side — a glance back at the life of developer William Zeckendorf Sr. is proof that there are no new ideas under the sun.

Zeckendorf, who was born in 1905 in Paris, Ill., to a hardware store manager, dominated the nation’s real estate industry from the 1940s through the early 1960s, along with his company, Webb & Knapp Inc. His legacy is felt coast to coast, from Century City in Los Angeles to Roosevelt Field on Long Island. Read the full article from the November 2007 issue after the jump.

MENU