News
05.20.2009
Eavesdrop: Sara Hart

FAILURE TO LAUNCH?
We held a cyber-wake for Edificial a month ago, so we were a bit startled to see that it continues to lie in state on its cold, dead website. We’re not complaining, but it does bring back memories of The Gutter, which joined the choir invisible and then lingered on Curbed for another two years wearing nothing but David Childs’ image. (After the first year, Childs began to look like an ad for cryogenics.) In contrast, when a print publication goes under, it sinks out of sight after a few half-hearted eulogies. The inverse of that is when a publication launches, it’s cause for modest hoopla, Evites, and snarky skepticism. Right? So Eavesdrop is baffled about the nervously promoted launch of eVolo—”a biannual architecture and design journal focused on technology advances, sustainability, and innovative design for the 21st century.” The first issue features the winners of eVolo’s annual Skyscraper Competition and can be viewed right now at Lilliputian scale on its website. It drops in July, or so we heard fourth-hand.

YOU CAN'T FIRE ME, I QUIT!

Back in the present, another Eavesdrop source has been following behind
Frank Gehry as he becomes the Joe Biden of architecture with his compulsive disclosures. First, there was his little slip that Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn is dead. While not exactly breaking news, developers do not want their architects delivering bad news, so Ratner’s capos came down on the newly minted octogenarian like a ton of twisting, blue, metallic
panels, then spun it by saying the architect was “just venting.”

Apparently, that was just the beginning. Farther south, Gehry is publicly complaining about Miami Beach’s handling of his design for a New World Symphony outpost with adjacent park and parking garage. When the city saw that the park and garage were going way over budget, it did the unthinkable: It asked the Symphony to ask the architect to reduce his fee, and if he refused, to fire him. But wait! The plot thickens. Gehry said his fee is a modest $1.9 million. The city claims it’s $4.6 million, a number that includes all the fees for the consultants needed to make the grass grow and the fountains spew. Execution is not Frank’s problem, however, and he isn’t budging. In a telephone interview with The Miami Herald, Gehry is quoted as saying, “I really find it insulting. I’m offended. If they keep messing with me, if I get insulted enough, I will withdraw completely.” Eavesdrop is hoping instead for pistols at dawn, poolside at the Fontainebleau, with full media coverage!

Send vintage flintlocks and daggers to eavesdrop@archpaper.com

Sara Hart