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A Little Less Gehry, A Little More Wood

The source for bad news for Los Angeles, the New York Times, reports that cost overruns are threatening to shrink down our City's new heart, the Grand Avenue redevelopment. Oh, woe is we! The cost of materials, specifically steel and concrete is driving prices to maddening new heights. Increased costs may translate to scaled back development. We can't wait to see how Frank Gehry gets himself out of this mess.

[Bill Witte, president of related Companies] said Mr. Gehry was cooperating with the cost containment. “One of the reasons we hired him is we believe this project warrant this type of scale,” Mr. Witte said. “Whatever one might think of his reputation as special designer, he has been remarkably resilient, and we both want to do this, and we want to do it right. He understands that it is a commercial project.“ In a telephone interview on Monday Mr. Gehry said: “The program is the same as it’s always been. It’s not that I added money.”

May we suggest the use of wood in the new development. It appears the cost of lumber and plywood is going down thanks to the slowing housing market. We challenge you, Mr. Gehry, to build the world's first plywood skyscraper.
· Rising Building Costs Send Gehry Project in Downtown Los Angeles Over Budget [new York Times]