With the new film “Sketches of Frank Gehry” out, which we haven’t seen yet, but have heard that it isn’t the most “hard hitting” of documentaries, we continue to be in the throws of an all-out Gehry love-a-thon. But then there’s also all of this debate that involves him in Brooklyn. Remember that? We were reminded in this post “Bridezilla Hits Brooklyn” which takes a very negative opinion about this larger-than-life architect. The writer, Amanda Park Taylor, lives in Brooklyn and has started to find his continued plans in building the big new Forest City Ratner development, as well as a basketball arena, a little too much to bear. Basically, it boils down to “You say you love us and are inspired by us, so why in the hell are you wrecking our town?” It’s an interesting read and it’s always nice to hear the other side of things, particularly during said love-fest. Here’s a bit:
Well, it is a great way to avoid the real issues, like what 16 towers are doing in a low-rise neighborhood, and why, 30 years after the idea of planned developments has been completely discredited, are Gehry and his puppet-head landscape architect Laurie Olin building a mall-o-condo-plex surrounded by closed-off park-cades. Olin, in an interview with the Times, spat out this: “Yeah, Brooklyn has a structure of streets, and buildings and people, and a history and culture, but underneath that there’s a geology and a topography and a history of the land that I’ve found inspirational.”
In other words, “We know they’re there, but we really don’t care about the streets (which we are going to close off and cover over), or the buildings (which we’re going to seize, destroy and cast into permanent shade) or the culture (which we’ll just push out or build over) or the people (ditto). We’re just gonna do what we want, candy-coat it with idiotic imagery (did I mention that in addition to the “Bride” there is, natch, a “Groom,” and also a “Dude the Bride is Going to Cheat on the Groom With” amongst the towers?) and pretend we’ve actually paid attention to something beyond our own agendas.
There’s also Develop-Don’t Destroy Brooklyn if this gets you all riled up.