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October 15, 2008

Laurie Olin is(n't) working on Atlantic Yards

It depends on whom you ask

Yesterday, Norman Oder noted on his blog, Atlantic Yards Report, that Laurie Olin's web site indicated that the celebrated landscape designer is no longer working on Atlantic Yards.

OlinAY-FCR.jpg

The Real Estate Observer, Forest City: Landscape Architect Olin Still Involved at Atlantic Yards
Reporter Eliot Brown from The NY Observer called developer Forest City Ratner for comment, which provided a statement to the contrary:

...via spokesman Joe DePlasco:

"Laurie Olin has been involved from the beginning of the design process and he will be involved in the end. The eight acres of open space will be built as part of Phase 2 of the project, which has always been the case. Mr. Olin has completed preliminary work on that and will be involved going forward."

Atlantic Yards Report, FCR's fudge: Laurie Olin is (maybe) on sabbatical
Oder finally received a statement from Olin's firm and posted this on the blog:

Sure, it's possible that his role has been suspended rather than ended. If so, however, why did his office provide me with a statement that used the past tense regarding the relationship with the developer?

The statement: "OLIN completed a master plan for Atlantic Yards that we believe was a serious response to the many issues raised regarding this portion of the City of New York, and the great need for large amounts of affordable housing with adjacent well-designed, environmentally-responsive public landscape. We enjoyed a supportive and appreciative relationship with the owner/developer, the architects and the City of New York public officials. The current economic turmoil points to the truth that plans of such scope almost inevitably are realized over several economic cycles and must both be able to endure as well as be flexible to change."

NoLandGrab: No matter what the Forest City Ratner spinmeister would have us believe, it sounds like Laurie Olin considers his work on Atlantic Yards to be done [read, Ratner is no longer a paying client] and that the landscape architect does not expect that the project will be completed any time soon, nor will it actually adhere to the original project proposal.

Posted by lumi at October 15, 2008 6:09 AM