Sunday, September 24, 2006

Times's AY Op-Art more questionable than funny

So, was Bruce McCall's Op-Art piece (Six-to-Eight percent Solutions) in yesterday's New York Times a backhanded defense of Frank Gehry's Atlantic Yards design as presented or a suggestion that a six to eight percent cut would be meaningless and even self-defeating?

I've heard both arguments and, actually, am not sure what he was after other than a springboard for some whimsical treatments of imaginary past downsizings.

I still find his premise questionable. First, it assumes the project is a done deal--and Atlantic Yards still must get state approval at two levels, and survive a court challenge.

Second, the piece doesn't make sense; there's no real comparison between a finished project (like the Eiffel Tower), and a design, and McCall doesn't acknowledge that a six to eight percent cut would bring Atlantic Yards essentially back to its original proposed size. (Oops, maybe he only read one of the two Times stories.)

Perhaps most importantly, the Times devoted two-thirds of the op-ed page to fanciful drawings but it still hasn't shown the public any images of what the Atlantic Yards project would look like in the context of the neighborhood.

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