Nets: The Gehry Question
Star Ledger. By Dave D'Alessandro
We're not in the habit of criticizing octogenarians, because we have an
earnest desire to be one someday, and besides, some of our best friends fit
It's a pretty sure bet that Bruce Ratner feels the same way, so he can't
exactly call Frank Gehry dotty or addled, because he needs the architect to
sell his project -- not only to make the sponsors stay on board, but just
for his gravitas.
He can call him impatient and egocentric and just laugh it off, because that
part is true with most architects. There's a great old line from Frank Lloyd
Wright, who said, "Early in life, I realized I had to choose between hypocritical
modesty or honest arrogance, and I chose the latter."
That, by the accounts we've read, is what you also get with Gehry. We wouldn't
know, we never met the man. We only know him by his work, and frankly, that
expressionist postmodern stuff makes us avert our eyes.
You should take a look sometime: The Guggenheim in Spain is positively hideous;
the Weisman in Minneapolis looks like a cartoonish acid trip. The only thing
we ever liked, really, was the Dancing House in Prague, even if it probably
gave the poor Czechs second thoughts about the benefits of the Iron Curtain
But overall, we always agreed with The Perfessor's splendid description of
those eccentric spaces Gehry uses: "It looks like a place where cats go to
die," he said of one design.
Still, for what it's worth, Gehry is at the heart of the Brooklyn project,
and Ratner is tethered to him. And now the Master Builder is saying the project
We'd say Ratner has some explaining to do. As Dan Goldstein put it yesterday,
there really is no project without Gehry, who isn't getting any younger; and
it certainly seems there is no Gehry commitment anymore, no matter how much
back-tracking he does through a publicist.
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Speaking of morose subjects. . . .