"Grueling ... terribly complicated ... demanding ... a burn-out kind of project." Michael Adlerstein, leader of the $2.1-billion renovation of the 17-acre United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, minces no words when describing the 2.5-million-sq-ft multi-building overhaul, headed for completion this summer after six years of reconstruction within an active U.N. campus.
Adlerstein, 68, also calls the fishbowl project "the top of the pile" of his career. That's a big endorsement from Adlerstein, who also led the Statue of Liberty's centennial restoration. "The U.N. is a functioning government, and you can't beat its mission [of world peace]," says the assistant secretary-general.