Gaga for Gehry?
The new models for Frank Gehry's massive $900 million Grand Avenue project downtown have been unveiled. We're not sure that we dig them completely, but we're not sure that we don't. What do you think? Certainly more interesting than the bland FBI-ish towers he presented in the first round of design.
While the project is progressing rather quickly since that announcement made two years ago by city officials, Gehry, and architect wanna-be Brad Pitt, there have been problems. Many problems. So many problems, in fact, that it seems Gehry has lessened his involvement in the project, allowing an outside firm to handle the final drawings - something the "old" Gehry would never stand for (we've seen the tantrums in Sketches of Frank Gehry.) It also seems that some key Gehry people are now "off the project" - not sure if that means they left, were fired, or what. We expect the plans will change and change and change again before the year is out and it's anyone's guess how long it will all take.
The question on our minds is: is this really what downtown needs? An artsy space, designed by a prima-donna architect, filled with expensive shops? You'd think we could start smaller, smarter. As in: where's our Trader Joe's?
Photo of rendering by Gehry Partners, LLP