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October 4, 2008

Frank Gehry: Columbo, Dirty Harry, or Frank Abagnale?

abagnale.jpg

Atlantic Yards Report tries to match Gehry with his celebrity twin:

Gehry, whose reputation is taking a bit of a turn south, as the Canadian magazine MacLean's recently reported, is neither Columbo nor Dirty Harry when it comes to Atlantic Yards.

While he surely is laboring to create an innovative basketball arena, his willingness to produce renderings that do not merely obscure but actively deceive suggests aspects of Frank Abagnale, the legendary con man in the film Catch Me If You Can.

Remember, Building 1, when known as Miss Brooklyn, was to be three times the size, in square footage, as the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank. However, a Gehry rendering, bizarrely tilting the bank as if to crash on the hapless maiden, portrayed it as a behemoth. (Now Building 1 would be about twice the bulk of the bank building.)

"If I think it got out of whack with my own principles, I’d walk away," Gehry said of Atlantic Yards, during a January 2006 appearance in New York. Given that he hasn't walked away, Gehry should be pressed on how exactly deceptive renderings comport with his principles. After all, Abagnale eventually went straight.

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Posted by amy at October 4, 2008 10:15 AM