Sunday, December 05, 2010

Frank Gehry and a West Coast patron make up. Sound familiar?

Connie Bruck's New Yorker profile this week, The Art of the Billionaire: How Eli Broad took over Los Angeles, contains several mentions of architect Frank Gehry and his "bitter history" with the headstrong Broad, including over the Disney Hall plan Broad wanted to dilute.

Bruck writes:
Some weeks before the opening, Broad invited about seventy people to a private celebration on the stage at Disney Hall. Gehry told me that his wife, Berta, had persuaded him to make peace with Broad. "Frank knew there was hardly a commission in L.A. he might want in which Eli wouldn't have some role," a close friend of Gehry's told me. Gehry gave Broad a rendering of Disney Hall, signed, "For Eli Broad, our visionary genius, with love, Frank Gehry '97." Gehry recalls rising to toast him. "All of you have heard about the problems Eli and I had, but look at what we made. We're both control freaks of different types and we collided."

Broad got up. "All I want to say is Frank was right."
Such unsurprising pragmatism from Gehry recalls somewhat his consistently positive statements about his friend and client Bruce Ratner, who bounced him from the Atlantic Yards but kept on the Beekman Tower.

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