Hell no! - Frank Gehry to "help" revitalize the LA River


Oh my god, please tell me this is not true. We have some very good plans already for the river. Bringing the Old FOG(ie) will ruin it and, of course increase land costs.

Aug 7, 15 2:17 pm

$2000/sf landscape development budget?

Aug 7, 15 4:48 pm

^^for a place with no water....

Aug 7, 15 4:57 pm

Off topic, but if they ever make a biopic about Gehry, I think that Matthew Rhys should get the part.

Aug 7, 15 5:18 pm

Too late.  There are miles of chain link along the river already...

Aug 7, 15 6:04 pm

Wonder what the Landscape Architecture community will think of this?

Aug 7, 15 6:43 pm

The numbers work out to $28 / l.f. for the 11 mile length of the river. If the LA river basin averages 100' wide that's $2.80 sq.ft. I'm guessing the $1.4b is just Frank's fee and that actual construction costs will be in line with chigurh's estimate.

Whatever they do they will no doubt fuck it up for movie fans. Great setting for The Adventures of Buckaroo BanzaiChinatownThem!, Terminator 2, Repo Man, etc.

Aug 7, 15 6:48 pm
boy in a well

the people referenced in the article arent against gehry because hes gehry. their argument is 'bottom up" vs "top down". An army corps project which doles out a selection of mediocre options for some committee to choose from will produce something passably mediocre and we'll have the joy of spotting all the missed opportunities. having someone with some guts and some vision willing to be a fucking author and leader is probably the best thing to happen to this project, gehry or not.

Aug 7, 15 7:03 pm

Boy, it seems that you do not know the history of the river. There has been a solid design effort already done years ago. Morever, frankly (no pun intended), Gehry is no regional masterplanner. Some of the dogshit that he did as the "masterplanning" of grand avenue in DTLA comes to mind.

Aug 7, 15 8:09 pm
boy in a well

nope, dont know that river. comment based on some norcal army corps projects which are headshakingly frustrating 'coulda beens' where the 'bottom up' demands seemed to have been carefully channeled and exercised with regular offerings from a not so hot chinese menu.

Aug 7, 15 8:22 pm

As a landscape architect--

I think the title is a little misleading, probably intentionally. Gehry's involvement will draw all kinds of publicity and funding. I think it's unfortunate that the years spent by very, very capable, creative landscape architects, biologists, ecologists, planners, and engineers is not enough to secure sufficient funding or public consensus to move the project forward in a substantial way. 

That said, I suspect Gehry's involvement will be mostly limited to vertical construction, pavillions, icons, bridges, perhaps wayfinding elements which were indicated in the master plan(s) but not fleshed out, as the article states. I'm sure Gehry's scope will not infringe much upon the landscape architects.

I am, however, disappointed that ASLA hasn't seized the opportunity to tout the value of the LA profession. It would be good for the profession at lareg for the public, and other consultants to wholly understand how important our role is in shaping sustainable cities, from the garden to the regional.

Aug 7, 15 9:28 pm

Well the LAs have done a face plant (pun intended) so far on this project. Maybe you can recover.

Aug 7, 15 9:44 pm

Can someone explain exactly what Frank Gehry is doing with the L.A. river/aquaduct?

He isn't a civil engineer. I can understand being involved in masterplan and development plans in connection with architectural (residential and commercial development) along the river. If he exceeds that scope then I would be concern. 

Aug 7, 15 10:18 pm

It's a master revitalization plan for 14 cities along the river.  It's a committee project, with city officials, urban planners, engineers, etc.  

Aug 7, 15 10:46 pm

 FG says...He thinks the river should be curvy and should  be flanked with curvy aluminum forms...fuck water...

Aug 7, 15 11:11 pm



Aug 7, 15 11:43 pm

there are already very capable 'leaders' and visionaries in the current design team--civitas, wenk, hntb, and mia lehrer are all very capable firms. gehrys involvement will almost certainly be a very small part of a much larger plan. undoubtedly, however, project credit and subsequent publicity will go to gehry and aia will spin it into a new trendy promotion for the architecture profession. just the nature of the la professions...since someone above asked. 

Aug 8, 15 12:20 am

Mia Lehrer's office is certainly "capable" but it isn't the sort of work that is able garner widespread excitement and support. This is a massive and important undertaking for Los Angeles that needs to inspire widespread excitement and support otherwise it will never get off the ground.

Please excuse the dated sexism, but I'm reminded of the Daniel Burnham quote:

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.

With all due respect to my landscape architect friends and colleagues the landscape architecture field isn't doing much of anything to "stir men's blood" and that is a real problem. 

Mia Lehrer has been working on this for years and there isn't a single iconic image of the project for people to grasp hold of, not even for an interested allied professional such as myself.

Say what you will about Frank Gehry (I personally think he is the real deal and one of the true greats) but without doubt he will come up with something big and exciting that people will notice.  It will work its way into the brains of the citizens and with that this river revitalization just might happen. 

Aug 8, 15 2:29 pm

haruki, your post tells us that you know NOTHING about the LA river. It is a very complex issue, with many stake holders, and many LOW-INCOME families that live around it. A bullshit Frank Gehry proposal will raise land values and eventually kick people out, stirring more gang violence and problems in an area that is gradually rising out of it. 

If you are looking to stir your blood, go to DTLA and watch the tall tower going up. The LA river is really another animal and does NOT need a starchitect intervention. Frankly it is not even necessary. 

Speaking of which, excuse me while I take my kids on a bike ride down the river bike path.

Aug 8, 15 3:48 pm
boy in a well

hey, doc

why not ratchet your panties down a notch, eh?

i think it was here, archinect, linking to somewhere else with an article about 'greening' and land values. dont blame gehry for people liking to live in a pleasant environment or what the market turns around and does with it. perhaps you'd LIKE TO READ THAT IN CAPS, HMMMMMM? 

im glad you managed to breed and that you own the river. there is nothing about dtla that tells you what gehry might do. maybe he'll just get bob irwin and plant some fucking trees. or swap the fences with kansas landscapes?

but hey, i dont ride my bike there so i cant possible have an opinion.

ps, you forgot to call haruki Jon Snow.

Aug 8, 15 4:57 pm

"To have the Olmsted of our time focusing on this, I think, is extraordinary", (L.A. Mayor) Garcetti said at an unrelated news conference. So sayeth the LA Times.

Aug 8, 15 5:52 pm

Gehry might be the antithesis of olmsted, but whatever. haruki, I think you missed my point. gehry will almost certainly be contributing on a relatively small scale--bridges, pavillions, icons, etc. Landscape, by its very nature is not a medium for the egocentric.

Aug 8, 15 8:33 pm

I took a look through the quite thorough masterplan document, it seems to be more of a detailed analysis with some generic suggestions for the landscape. But mostly an intial effort to develop a program and scope for future work. Not a complete design in any way.

I imagine having Gehry involved is to bring the design forward to something that can excite people and with a real design concept to the scheme, and maybe pick out specific key areas to focus on with real designs (not necessarily his own). It's probably not a repudiation of the existing masterplan, which involved a lot of research he can build off of - but what's been done so far is not at all complete.

Is Gehry a good choice for this? I'm not aware of any similar large-scale planning his office has done. But from a planning perspective, his works have always been quite effective and thoughtful about their urban presence. Not many prominent architects have his combination of experience on complex public projects, design appeal, and personal knowledge / love of LA.

It might be nice if a younger firm could do this, but there's a catch-22 in that. No city is going to risk this on a firm that hasn't done prominent work with a complex political background.

Aug 8, 15 9:11 pm

Gehry "can excite people with a real design concept". Well, he was almost able to ignite people with a real design concept when the curved surfaces of his Disney Hall focused the sun's rays on its neighbors. "his works have always been effective and thoughtful about their urban presence". Effective, yes - the bomb on Hiroshima was effective - but thoughtful?

Aug 9, 15 8:21 am

I think inflame would be more accurate than ignite.

Aug 9, 15 9:03 am
boy in a well

wow, thats dumb.

thanks justin shitbow school of rhetoric.

Aug 9, 15 12:20 pm

I would think that Gehry's involvement will be strictly urban design and the integration of architectural services within a larger restoration, planning, landscape design, and river engineering effort. 

Aug 9, 15 3:42 pm

I also question how effective Gehry's approach will be. There are significant designers/thinkers who will be a lot more innovative in terms of their understanding of regional physical systems and ecological design. 

Aug 9, 15 3:44 pm


Aug 9, 15 5:59 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

diagram your way out of this shit...

Aug 9, 15 6:18 pm

I'm a fan of the notorious F.O.G, but I can't wrap my head around his selection. My reasoning is that I cannot recall a single building that he has completed that has evolved over time. Yes, there was his house, but that was more of an experiment meant to be changed and tinkerEd with over time. And then he abandoned the experiment.

We all know rivers behave quite differently, and all that concrecwas a best attempt by civil engineers at forcing it to behave in a civil fashion in the city. Now that best practices are about variegated ecological edges and not smooth channels- not to mention stewarding change over time- it's way more of a landscape project. 

I would have much rather seen James Corner/Field Operations driving this bus.

Aug 9, 15 10:23 pm

Hey boy in the well, sorry you had to work the weekend getting reamed at FOGA's office. 80 hours over for this week? Hope you get your overtime.

"dont blame gehry for people liking to live in a pleasant environment or what the market turns around and does with it" - No one is blaming gehry, you stupid turd, but the "powers that be" to choose Gehry, over, say someone like Field Operations (great thought Marc Miller)

Aug 9, 15 11:34 pm
boy in a well

hey dr turd

how about YOU start an appropriate thread instead of idiotic gehry bashing which your thread does? fucking idiot. 

sorry, JACKASS,  but i dont work for gehry. DO YOU LIKE THE ALL CAPS ACTION?


did i miss you attacking heroically the 'powers that be" up there somewhere? care to tell me where? 

for real, get your panties under control. im sure marc miller has better things to do than save you from your own idiocy. seriously, choke on a dick. thanks for contributing!

Aug 10, 15 5:11 am

Boy, you've made a bigger fool of yourself with my help than you could ever afford to do yourself. I dont need to say any more.

Aug 10, 15 1:35 pm

guts and vision is what some of the oldest african dictators have...

Aug 10, 15 2:18 pm
boy in a well

whatever, doc. i dont see your expose above about the powers that be. the point still stands and you're still a jackass.

would you like that in caps for clarity?

Aug 10, 15 3:41 pm

You despise the very thing you strive for.

You all complain clients or the public are't willing to pay for our services... a race to the bottom,

but are quick to judge and spit the same rhetoric as the "public" when one is getting paid.


Aug 10, 15 4:09 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: