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November 18, 2010

Cheery Gehry not weary of theory

The Brooklyn Paper
by Stephen Brown

The world’s most-renowned living architect, Frank Gehry, stopped by Pratt University last week to impart some sage-like wisdom to students and never mentioned that his greatest failure, the Atlantic Yards development, was only blocks away.

Gehry came to the university to address students from the School of Architecture, though it seemed the entire student body was begging ushers for a seat inside the auditorium.

And like any celebrity, Gehry kept the crowd waiting, showing up about 30 minutes late to his own talk — though the throngs of buzzing students did not seem to mind in the least.

Gehry’s modesty, casual dress, and colloquial style did nothing to diminish his presence. Nor did his Atlantic Yards designs projected onto the stage before he arrived, though the developer, Bruce Ratner, fired Gehry last year to go in a different (and cheaper) direction.



The New York Times, Frank Gehry (a Part Owner) Helps Develop a Landmark

This Times story actually has nothing to do with Gehry's Brooklyn appearance, or Atlantic Yards, but it's noteworthy for a number of reasons: the starchitect's interest in preserving a worthy modernist building rather than creating "a neighborhood practically from scratch"; that people will throw money at you just for being famous; and, best of all, the most absurd nautical commission ever:

Mr. Gehry was happy when the Camins group subsequently put the building in the market. And, he said, he was even happier when he learned that the Manhattan developer Richard Cohen (who was once married to the TV newscaster Paula Zahn) had decided to buy it. Mr. Gehry was at the Cohen-Zahn wedding in 1987, and he is now designing a sailboat for Mr. Cohen.

We recommend that Mr. Cohen keep the life-vests handy.

Posted by eric at November 18, 2010 11:50 AM