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March 26, 2009

New Jersey Nets: The Gehry Question

The Star-Ledger
by Dave D'Alessandro

Here's one we missed yesterday.

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 that description.

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 is often true with most great architects. There's a 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.

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 is kaput.

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.


Posted by eric at March 26, 2009 8:47 AM