Business: The Hotel that Never Was

When William Zeckendorf, premier impresario of the real estate world, announced last year his plans to build the first hotel in Manhattan since 1931, the fanfare was deafening. The announcement itself was made from the mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion. A prospectus was bound in red-and-gilt vellum, bore the simple, modest title: "The Greatest Hotel Ever Built." It was to be called, inevitably, The Zeckendorf; it would be 48 stories high, with 2,000 luxury rooms, ten banquet halls, 15 private dining rooms. It would cost $66 million and open in 1961. Ground was broken...

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