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Frank Gehry, polarizing as ever

May 19, 2010 |  3:56 pm


There's no doubt about it: Frank Gehry remains the most polarizing architect in the world. Every time I write about his career or one of his buildings, the e-mails come pouring in, and they always cover a wide range of critical reaction, from readers who find Gehry's architecture deeply moving to those who think he is architecture's naked emperor.

Today is no different. In response to my review of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Gehry's first building in Las Vegas, the e-mailers were again out in force, and again showing evidence of dramatically split opinion. (The comments are also piling up beneath the story on The Times' website.) I've excerpted -- anonymously -- some of the most entertaining, negative and thoughtful correspondence after the jump.

"Mr. Gehry is one of the most humble, sensitive and sincere architects that I have ever come in contact with.... Thank you for presenting him in his true light, for it was refreshing."

"Why don't you tell it like it is? Frank Gehry is a charlatan and a con artist..."

"Interesting look at another bizarre building from Gehry. I admire his imagination, pursuit of his dreams and freedom from reality -- but am always filled with horror when architecture as art gets so much more attention than architecture for people and the planet."

"Your article about the Ruvo Center ... brought tears to my eyes. The architecture perfectly expresses the slow disintegration of my husband's mind from Frontal Temporal Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease."

And finally: "Glad it's not in my backyard."

--Christopher Hawthorne

Photo Credit: Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health by Isaac Brekken/For The Times

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As they used to say about jail escape artist Willie Sutton, "If he had only used his great intelligence in the service of mankind, who knows what he could have achieved".


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