Friday, March 07, 2008

So, the claim that Gehry's Brooklyn-born comes from the AY web site

I shouldn't have been so hard on Forest City Ratner attorney Jeffrey Braun, claiming in a 1/25/08 legal filing that architect Frank Gehry was born in Brooklyn. After all, the claim comes directly from the official Atlantic Yards web site.

I was reminded of that in Australian writer D.J. Huppatz's very tough critique of Gehry on his Critical Cities blog, concluding:
A mega-development such as the Atlantic Yards is clearly not about the public good or community needs but about the creation of mega-profits. And America’s “greatest artist” is complicit in all of this, providing an aesthetic alibi for profit maximization.


Honest mistake?

Huppatz observes:
The born-in-Brooklyn connection seems less an honest mistake than a fabrication designed to further make the Gehry design palatable to the local community. However, judging from the strong local opposition to the project (which even includes local anti-Gehry graffiti at the site), the ploy seems to have failed, and may yet damage the reputation of the rumpled genius, at least in Brooklyn.


Well, it can't be an honest mistake, can it? After all, the Atlantic Yards bio of Gehry links directly to the architect's Pritzker Prize bio, which states that he was born in Canada.

For more than two years, since Gehry stated his willingness to meet with Brooklynites but deferred to his client, and since he cracked that protesters "should've been picketing Henry Ford," Gehry's certainly lost some of his aura in Brooklyn.

Update

From the architect himself, during a 7/27/04 interview (at about 11:10) with Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air":

TG: My guest is architect Frank Gehry. He designed the Disney Concert Hall in LA, the Experience Music Project in Seattle, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Music Pavilion at the Millennium Park in Chicago, which opened last weekend.

You were born in Toronto
.

FG: Yeah.

TG: And for four years you move with your family to a small mining town in Canada called Timmins.

FG: Timmins, Ontario.

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