Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The ($$$) Gehry archive and Atlantic Yards

Starchitect Frank Gehry, we learn from a front-page New York Times article yesterday headlined For Architects, Personal Archives as Gold Mines, is considering selling his archives for "multimillion dollars." His explanation:
"I don’t want to give it away — it’s an asset,” Mr. Gehry said. “It’s the one thing in your life you build up, and you own it. And I’ve been spending a lot of rent to preserve it."


Not every architect or archivist shares that ethos--after all, even a donated archive costs money to maintain and the preservation into posterity is of value to the donor. As the Times reported:
The architect Charles Gwathmey said about selling archives: “I think it’s wrong. Archives are part of the record. How do you put a value on it even?”

Then again, that record can be eclectic:
Robert A. M. Stern, the dean of the Yale School of Architecture, said that architects even preserve telephone logs of calls to and from contractors and clients because they can offer an enlightening window into the creative process.

So, let's assume a Gehry archive would include records of interaction with client Forest City Ratner. Would it include his infamous crack about Atlantic Yards protesters, "They should've been picketing Henry Ford"? His stated willingness to meet with community members "as soon as the guys let me"? His statement that "[n]ormally I would’ve brought in five other architects," but his client wouldn't let him?

And would the public ever get a look at the renderings and models behind the door at Oz, the Atlantic Yards Information Center?

No comments:

Post a Comment