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Frank Gehry Wishes Disney Hall Had Been Built in Westwood

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Our city's biggest starchitect thinks Los Angeles is doing it all wrong, development-and-architecture-wise: Frank Gehry tells Los Angeles magazine "Los Angeles doesn't take architecture seriously." Right now he's working on projects in Menlo Park (Facebook), Abu Dhabi (Guggenheim), DC (Eisenhower Memorial), and Berlin (a concert hall), plus a sailboat "for a real estate magnate," but not a thing in his adopted hometown. While he was inspired by the 1960s art scene in Los Angeles, and by the traffic ("It led me aesthetically to look for a sense of movement in the work"), FG seems pretty down on Los Angeles these days. He's right that the city doesn't value iconic architecture the way a world city should (see: the giant but pretty bleh towers set to dominate Hollywood), but his other complaints are, at the very least, terrifically outdated:

-- He thinks the efforts to revitalize Downtown, which have been wildly successful over the past decade, are "both anachronistic and premature": "We can will it into being eventually ... Maybe in 10 to 20 years. Who knows? I would guess it's more like 30 or 40."

-- Oh dear god, he would've put his Disney Hall in Westwood: "Gehry says that if he'd had his way, he would have put Disney Hall where the Geffen Playhouse is in Westwood and lobbied to have the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels positioned by MacArthur Park, near where so many of its parishioners live. The idea is to make a city that is user friendly and accessible rather than insisting that people assemble at one sanctified locale." (The idea being that only Westsiders like classical music?)

-- Other Gehry alternate histories? Well he thinks nothing should ever be built Downtown, apparently: "He also contends that MOCA should have been built across the street from LACMA."

-- In case you didn't get the "fuck Downtown" message, Gehry thinks Wilshire Boulevard is the real heart of Los Angeles: "I have always thought that L.A. is a motor city that developed linear downtowns. If you drive from Figueroa to the ocean on Wilshire, and you go up and down a few blocks along the way and then go back to Wilshire, you will see that it's a very ethnically and economically diverse population and that people relate to the iconicity of Wilshire."
· Perfectly Frank [Los Angeles]

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