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July 6, 2011

Frank Gehry: Dizzy heights

The Guardian
by Jonathan Glancey

This sappy lovefest with the ill-fated Atlantic Yards starchitect, whose Forest City-built 8 Spruce Street was apparently inspired by "Michelangelo and Bernini," includes the best rationalization for construction-budget cost-cutting ever.

I'm getting tearful," says Frank Gehry when I ask him how he feels about finally making his mark on the Manhattan skyline. "My father grew up in Hell's Kitchen, 10th Avenue, on the city's West Side." Irving Goldberg was one of nine children in a very poor immigrant family; his son changed his name in the early 1950s. "He started work at 11," says Gehry. "He had a hard life. I'd like to share 8 Spruce Street with him. Hey, Pa! I got to build a skyscraper right by the Woolworth Building. That's me, Dad. Up there!"

Gehry's previous tribute to his dad was disavowing his surname.

"Originally, I wanted to have the folds going all the way around," Gehry explains. "But the marketing folk said that 15% of people didn't want apartments with wrinkles. So that's why there's a straight side. But, then, they started to rent out the wrinkly apartments, and asked for more of them. By then I'd begun to like the straight side. The models we made showing the tower completely wrinkly just didn't look tough enough for New York."

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Posted by eric at July 6, 2011 11:15 AM