REAL ESTATE: Children of Depression

Everybody had heard of Manhattan's Empire State Building by the time Builders Pierre S. du Pont and John J. Raskob opened it in 1931. Nobody had heard of an obscure young University of Michigan student named Roger L. Stevens. But the Empire State and Stevens had one thing in common: depression dogged them both. It forced Stevens out of college in his first year, to take a filling-station job in Detroit. It left Empire State's 2,158,000 sq. ft. of offices only partly filled for nine years, and the 102-story building stayed long in the red.

Both Empire State and Stevens...

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