By Our Contributors (2003) Now a mecca for tourists, New York City's Rockefeller Center began rather humbly. In GREAT FORTUNE , EW contributor Daniel Okrent traces the 11-acre tract's… 2003-09-25 Nonfiction Viking
Review

By Our Contributors (2003)

Details Release Date: Sep 25, 2003; Writer: Daniel Okrent; Genre: Nonfiction; Publisher: Viking

Now a mecca for tourists, New York City's Rockefeller Center began rather humbly. In GREAT FORTUNE, EW contributor Daniel Okrent traces the 11-acre tract's development from the Elgin Botanical Garden in the early 19th century to today's media megaplex. After John D. Rockefeller Jr. took over the land from Columbia College in 1929, he intended to build a new home for the Metropolitan Opera -- but his plans evolved into one of the Depression era's most ambitious building projects. Designed by a team of ideologically incongruous architects, the landmark endured vitriolic attacks from the press, the usurpation of family power by favored son Nelson, and even a brief flirtation with cash-rich Nazi Germany as a tenant before emerging as an aesthetic and commercial success.

Originally posted Oct 10, 2003 Published in issue #732 Oct 10, 2003 Order article reprints