Friday, March 21, 2008

Atlantic Yards as "A Betrayal of the Public Trust"?

Times architecture critic Nicolai Ourousoff calls the possible slowing or cancellation of parts of the huge Atlantic Yards project noted in today's Times "a painful setback for urban planning in New York." He also calls it "a betrayal of the public trust" and the possible arena that will result "a piece of urban blight." We would use similar phrases, and have, but for vastly different reasons. In any case, here are some of the words of damnation from Mr. Ourousoff:
So if the decision to proceed with an 18,000-seat basketball arena but to defer or eliminate the four surrounding towers is defensible from a business perspective, it also feels like a betrayal of the public trust.

Mr. Gehry conceived of this bold ensemble of buildings as a self-contained composition — an urban Gesamtkunstwerk — not as a collection of independent structures. Postpone the towers and expose the stadium, and it becomes a piece of urban blight — a black hole at a crucial crossroads of the city’s physical history. If this is what we’re ultimately left with, it will only confirm our darkest suspicions about the cynical calculations underlying New York real estate deals.
Also, Mr. Ouroussoff says that "no development at all would be preferable to building the design that is now on the table" and that Mr. Gehry might want to walk away. It is early. There are many Brooklyn reactions sure to follow today, but here is one of the ones that counts the most, from the preeminent Atlantic Yards authority, Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report. Mr. Oder, for instance, writes that " it’s not a painful setback for urban planning because there was no real urban planning."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, dear, assouroff. urban planning. that's hilarious. when did the urban planning take place? perhaps it happened in a forest city boardroom or when gehry crumpled up one of his famous pieces of papers and say, "Tah Dah!" if you like the starchitecture, fine. that's your subjective opinion. but don't talk to us about urban planning. there was none and that's just how ratner likes it.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and there was no ULURP either

what is assouroff like a good buddy of the "RAT" or something? naaahhhhh

Ratner could not possibley have any real friends......only people he pays off

1:21 AM  

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