Loth's profile of Manhattan's only organized skyscraper complex is filled with fascinating characters, lots of money, and is reasonably urbane. The property on which the Center rests has long been owned by Columbia University. When the Metropolitan Opera decided it needed a new house, Columbia offered to lease its land to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who had offered to build the new opera house on the property. ""Mister Junior'--as he was known--envisioned a huge cultural and business setting for the Met. But down crashed Wall Street and Mister Junior was left holding a very long, expensive lease. Rockefeller decided then to erect the most beautiful buildings possible commensurate with their income. Unexpectedly, his luckiest moment was in the Depression. At first he was somewhat less lucky with his Music Hall which took three years to show a profit. Then there is the story of the elderly lawyer who refused to give up his brownstone until he died, thus delaying construction. Nelson Rockefeller comes off personably. This book is not the whole story, but then a romance never pretends to be. A New York market primarily.