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Notable New     Yorkers
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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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It's really hard to believe now, because now you look at Sixth Avenue, and indeed now the same thing is happening on Seventh Avenue, where Equitable has had the nerve to put up a great big building on Seventh Avenue. And now Seventh Avenue will develop probably the way Sixth Avenue did. But we did, we did that. And then we really went on a building jag--


What about those negotiations: anything memorable, with the Rockefellers?


Not with the Rockfellers. The horror--Hank Luce --Harry's son, was put in charge of the project. And the real horror was to discover what happens in the construction business in New York City. He said, “I can never prove it, but I'm sure that at least 10% of what it cost to put up this building--namely 80 million dollars, 10% of it--has gone into graft, crookedness of one kind or the other, jobs that are paid and there's nobody there.” And that's the story of New York City.

It turned out to be a very good building; worked very well for us. Then we built a building in Chicago--we had rented a building before, on the main strip. We put up the first building in Chicago with that sort of copper-tinted glass, that reflective the glass. A very modern building, very good building; with elevators that had two boxes attached to each other so that you stop on even and odd floors at the same time; in an area that was underdeveloped--it's now worth a lot more than it was. It was a miracle building because it was completed on time and under budget.

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