Holdouts are often thought of as David versus Goliath battles, but is David the little homeowner who doesn’t want to abandon his hearth to the big heartless developer? Or is David the harried builder who has invested huge sums of money in buying up ninety percent of the land needed for development – whose benefits would be enjoyed by thousands of citizens – but whose plans are thwarted by the one landowner who controls the critical land parcel without which the project is doomed?
Holdouts! depicts with vivid clarity the colorful personalities and outrageous actions that emerge in these stark confrontations. It describes epic battles that have been fought to erect buildings in New York. More than 200 illustrations and photographs show the holdouts before, during, and after the construction they delayed. This unique pictorial history will delight architecture buffs, New Yorkers, urban historians, indeed anyone interested in the sometimes hectic, sometimes pathetic, and sometimes hilarious struggles of individuals against real estate developers whose projects are so essential to the continuing economic viability of our large cities.
This is the third appearance of a unique view of New York’s real estate and architecture by Andrew Alpern and Seymour Durst with an additional foreword and revisions.
Andrew Alpern is an architectural historian, architect, and attorney. An expert on historic apartment houses, he has authored nine books on the subject, including The Dakota: A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015) and Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan: An Illustrated History (Dover, 1993). Valuing the history of real estate development, he is the co-author with the late Seymour Durst of Holdouts!: The Buildings That Got in the Way (2011).