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May 31, 2008

A Gehry Monument to Himself for NYC

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Gil Roth at Virtual Memories called my attention to this article in today's New York Times about a Frank Gehry skyscraper under construction in Lower Manhattan.

It includes a school on the first few floors. And is located in the Brooklyn Bridge approaches / City Hall area, according to the article by Times architectural writer Nicolai Ouroussoff. Even better, it will be a modest 76 stories tall and have a wavy, Expressionist exterior.

But best of all,

Just as important, the design suggests that the city is slowly if hesitantly recovering from the trauma of 9/11. Only a few years ago, as plans were readied for a bunkerlike Freedom Tower downtown, it seemed as if the Manhattan skyline would be marred by jingoism and fear. ...

Mr. Gehry’s tower, by contrast, harks back to the euphoric aspirations of an earlier age without succumbing to nostalgia ... it signals that the city is finally emerging from a long period of creative exhaustion. ...

A lesser architect might have spoiled one of the most fabled views in the Manhattan skyline. Instead Mr. Gehry has designed a landmark that will hold its own against the greatest skyscrapers of New York. It may even surpass them.

Once again "creativity" trumps quality.

Well, hmm. In fairness, I suppose we should wait until the thing is completed before we concur with Ouroussoff's implied contention that Gehry is The Second Coming of Raymond Hood. And as Michael Blowhard likes to remind us, we'll have the next 80 years or so to do that evaluation.



posted by Donald at May 31, 2008


I saw this too, and could not believe what an ugly , trite -looking building it is. Granted, it's surrounded by ugly buildings, but none of them got a breathless write-up in the Times decades ago.

It's just Gehry kitsch, his "brand", I guess. Calling it the "Beekman" annoys me too, Beekman Place is a nice little street more than 50 blocks north, seems random. Ugh.

Posted by: Arun on May 31, 2008 5:27 PM

One of these days, these big-time architects will do it right, they will develop a skyscraper where the walls are water, as in a waterfall, and flowers sprout out of the corners and grass grows up and down, waving in all different directions, on the roof, the sides, overhanging windows! A truly green skyscraper, built as if from gardens, flowers, grass, tree-trunks!

Okay, just having fun, but, wouldn't that be something? A chia-skyscraper!

It's me (MD), but I'm using a new blog name from now on.....)

Posted by: onparkstreet on June 1, 2008 5:13 PM

Frank Gehry or the NY Times...couldn't tell you which is the creepier cultural influence. But together!

Posted by: Robert Townshend on June 2, 2008 8:05 AM

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