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February 11, 2009

Gaps in the Times: "Frank Gehry’s Software Keeps [Some] Buildings on Budget"

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder critiques today's Times piece on Frank Gehry and his work on Bruce Ratner's Beekman Tower.

The legendarily press-shy architect Frank Gehry breaks his silence today for a piece of positive explanatory journalism on the real estate page of today's New York Times, headlined Frank Gehry’s Software Keeps Buildings on Budget.

The article, which focuses on the Beekman Tower the architect is designing for developer Forest City Ratner, seems perfectly reasonable on its face. But it serves as another argument that the Times must disclose the parent company's business relationship with the developer.

No such disclosure appears, but a disclosure--one hopes--would've prompted the writer and editors to ask Gehry a challenging question or two, rather than just softballs. The article aims to explain how Gehry's new software helps control costs at the tower; the article ignores the enormous cost increases at the Atlantic Yards project and fails to ask whether Gehry, in fact, continues to actively participate in the design.

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NoLandGrab: The Times's half-assed journalism must be wearing Oder down — he let them slide on siting the Atlantic Yards project in "downtown Brooklyn," something we thought the paper had finally (begrudgingly) gotten straight more than two-and-a-half years ago.

Posted by eric at February 11, 2009 10:44 AM