As Frank Gehry predicted to Christopher Hawthorn in a popular recent interview on the eve of the starchitect’s 81st year of life, he wasn’t much seeing any positives in his industry anytime soon, particularly with his projects, and so his visions have become realities. In addition to having to lay off his Atlantic Yards staff after the project was essentially cancelled and learning that his Art Gallery of Ontario is leaking, now comes the news that Gehry’s Beekman Tower, another project by developer Forest City Ratner and Gehry’s first big time residential project in New York, has been cut in half and will now only rise to 38 stories, not the 76 that were planned. Though unlike the very similar cut-in-half job that Norman Foster recently suffered in Las Vegas, Gehry’s building’s slimming only has to do with a lack of financial resources and playing it safe, not a major screw up. So at least he has that to get him through the night over what’s sure to be a big disappointment. Here’s a bit:
The tower will have a 100,000 square-foot public school for pre-K and eighth graders, ground floor retail space, and an ambulatory care center for its next door neighbor — the New York Downtown Hospital. The building was to have roughly 900 apartments with stunning views of lower Manhattan and the nearby Brooklyn Bridge and was expected to open next year.
“Given the current economy, we are conducting a study to assess costs, risks and overall timing,” said a spokesperson for the company, in a statement. “Work is continuing on the building including on the school and we should have some conclusive answers shortly.”