Mr. Knickerbocker's Face Lifting

Since the Indians sold Manhattan Island to Peter Minuit for $24 worth of trinkets in 1626, its face has been changed out of all knowledge. Most of the man-made excrescences have made that face more blotchy, pockmarked, chafed, scarred and haggard. But last week the battered island was scheduled to get a major face lifting.

After four months of furious effort, the fast-moving real-estate firm of Webb & Knapp Inc. had control of a rundown, 30-acre, eight-block area on the East Side (41st to 49th Streets, First Avenue to the East River)....

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