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Bilbao and the Gift of Gehry


Speaking of museums and architecture, but heading in a much, much different direction, comes this story from the weekend edition of the Financial Times: “The Museum That Saved a City.” It’s about Frank Gehry‘s waterfront batch of twisted metal, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain and how it has saved a dying town. And not just saved, but with the additional building that went on after Gehry’s went up, has completely revived a city that was about five feet from stepping off the cliff. It’s sort of like if something like this went up in Flint, Michigan. It’s a pretty touching/impressive story. Here’s some:

Mr. Vidarte says the economic impact of the museum, known as “the Guggenheim effect,” is little short of a miracle. It turned a scrap-heap town into a destination for one million visitors a year. Over the past decade, people coming to see the museum have spent $1.6bn in the city and brought $260m of additional tax revenues for the council, according to the Bilbao Guggenheim’s latest economic report. The museum estimates that it helps sustain 4,232 jobs.

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