Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rockefeller Fighting for Family's Legacy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rockefeller Fighting for Family's Legacy

Article excerpt

Larry Rockefeller was willing to fly to Seoul if that's what it took to convince LG's founders of the harm they would do by building above the Palisades, the scenic cliffs along the Hudson River that his grandfather preserved a century ago, and which served as the backdrop for his wedding.

"I wanted to try, firsthand, to appeal to their better instincts," he said. "They said, 'No thanks.' "

Instead of meeting face to face with LG Chief Executive Officer Koo Bon-Joon and his brother, LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-Moo, the 69- year-old scion stood in the cold Thursday with dozens of protesters on Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs, determined to somehow halt the South Korean company's $300 million headquarters expansion.

For many of the sign-waving, chanting protesters at the entrance to LG's property, it's about saving the irreplaceable, a landmark that will be lost forever if LG is allowed to carry through on its plans to build a 143-foot-high headquarters that will be visible above the tree line.

For Rockefeller, it's more than that: It's about his family's legacy, the early days of which he witnessed as a young child alongside his father, Laurance S. Rockefeller.

He has a picture of himself as a 2-year-old, helping his father cut the ribbon to launch construction of the Palisades Interstate Parkway. His father would talk about the Palisades and their family's role in saving it, and the two of them would visit the scenic park together.

When he met the love of his life, a woman from Englewood, they were married at the foot of the Palisades.

"I appreciate the Palisades on a personal level," he said. "The Palisades mean a lot to my family, but they also mean a lot to New Yorkers and New Jersey citizens. It's the people who enjoy it daily who lose something very important if this goes forward."

Late last year, Rockefeller tried to persuade LG officials in Englewood Cliffs to lower the height of the planned building. …

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