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Eavesdrop Issue 10_06.08.2004
The latest dirt from our very own gossip columnist, Aric Chen.

Bless Oscar Niemeyer's heart. In a May 26 report from the Latin American news agency Prensa Latina, the 96-year-old Brazilian architect was harshly critical of the Bush administration. But then he got a tad blurry. Describing Fidel Castro as one of the greatest leaders of humanity,, the avowed communist reportedly suggested that Bush envies the Cuban Revolution.. Niemeyer went on to affirm that he's still a believer, since besides the [revolution's] permanence, there is a workerr?socialist President Luiz Inncio Lula da Silvaa?heading the government of Brazil.. (Shhh! Don't tell him that Brasilia didn't work out the way everyone hoped, either.) Meanwhile, closer to home, a coterie of New York architects has also united against Bush. We hear that designers Calvin Tsao, Zack McKown, Richard Gluckman, and Deborah Berke are among those who will be opening their own residences this summer to host intimate $500 and $1,000-a-plate dinners, prepared by celebrity chefs. Proceeds will go to Downtown for Democracy, a group of creative types who believe that regime change begins at home. Its recent design auction at the Maritime Hotel raised $50,000 and featured an Oval Office installation by John Erik Karkula and Steven Sclaroff, along with works donated by Vladimir Kagan, Ali Tayar, David Weeks, Joseph Holtzman, and others.

Since reporting major staff changes at Architecture, we've learned that the magazine's former editor-in-chief, Reed Kroloff, is making a move of his own. Kroloff, who has served as an architecture consultant since resigning in 2002, will take a new post as dean of Tulane University's School of Architecture on October 1. I hope they asked me to join them because they saw an opportunity to propel the program forward, much as we did with Architecture,> Kroloff says.

New York City Landmarks Commissioner Bob Tierney has gotten lots of opinions about Edward Durell Stone's 1964 Two Columbus Circle, which may be significantly altered by its possible future owner, the Museum of Arts and Design. But we doubt he expected to hear from Huntington Hartford, the notorious supermarket heir and onetime playboy who first built the structure to house his art collection. After a judge recently cleared the way for the building's sale, the enfeebled 92-year-old mustered enough feistiness to call from the Bahamas. I heard he lambasted the decision and demanded to know why the building wasn't landmarked,, says one source. He really gave Tierney a piece of his mind.. Tierney only confirmed that Hartford called. Meanwhile, we've learned that a very prominent and wealthy cultural doyenneewho we've been scared into not naminggis still working to buy the building from under the museum.


Aric Chen