Some critics are concerned Frank Gehry will turn the LA River into a vanity project.
The LA Times broke the news Friday that Gehry’s been working for about a year on a pro bono “master plan” to revitalize the river. Plans to restore the natural areas of the river have been in the works for years but a successful master plan for the 21st century hasn’t yet panned out.
Gehry is perhaps best known in LA for his design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and for stand-alone landmark buildings throughout the world, which makes a master plan for a 51-mile river that runs through 14 cities and that will inevitably require some serious conservation considerations, a bit of a career outlier.
Friends of the LA River (FOLAR) worries Gehry's efforts could jeopardize a $1.3 billion plan approved by the Army Corps of Engineers last month to restore an 11-mile stretch of the river near Elysian Park. A spokesman for the city told the LA Times that Gehry’s plans, which are largely unknown at this point, would build on, not interfere, with existing plans.
Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the L.A. Times, and his new piece broke the news about Gehry's work on the LA River
Lewis McAdams, co-founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River