“We spent an enormous amount of time studying Brooklyn… trying to get a sense of what it is.”
Architect Frank Gehry, quoted in the New York Daily News, unveiling a so-called “smaller” design for Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, on Thursday May 11.
The Daily News states that “The new designs are about 5% smaller than before”; Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein claims they are in fact 600,000 square feet larger than those first unveiled in December 2003.
But quibbling about the size of reduction in an overblown project – while extremely important – misses the point of Gehry’s pathetically patronizing quote. There are millions of people who live in Brooklyn, who love the Borough dearly and deeply, and have an intrinsic understanding of what works visually and structurally for its future benefit. Frank Gehry is not among them. That’s why he’s flailing around “trying to get a sense of what it is.” Anyone who has to deliver such a labored quote as that does not deserve to design the tallest skyscraper the Borough has ever seen. Nor should anyone who confesses to naming that building “my ego trip” be allowed to name it Miss Brooklyn. Unless he plans on putting a question mark after it? In which case the building name will prove all too prophetic.
You can read the whole interview with Frank Gehry here. Be prepared to vomit; there’s not a single quote that isn’t either ignorant or insulting. People like Ratner and Gehry are the reason I don’t own a gun (but sometimes wish that I did).