Bill Gottlieb was said to be a unique New York character, tough yet well caring for his tenants. The preservation of historic buildings was one of the results of Gottlieb’s unique business style.
Bill Gottlieb began growing his business by acquiring a collection of buildings in the 1950’s, some of which are “architecturally notable, like a few carriage houses along the cobblestone lanes of the West Village and the Northern Dispensary on Waverly Place, a wedge-shaped landmark where Edgar Allan Poe reputedly once received treatment for a cold”, writes Andrew Rice from the New York Times.
Many of the buildings original character remained, preserving its historic charm with high ceilings, staircases and original moldings staying intact. With Gottlieb’s death, his sister Mollie Bender was named the sole heir of his estate spreading across Manhattan from Henry Street to the Lower East Side to the meatpacking district.
Without her support, the creation of the High Line Park would not be realized in its present form. She stood up against property owners who were set on tearing down the old railway. In 2008, Mollie's husband Irving, and their son Neil, were appointed administrators of the Gottlieb Estate.