'My buildings don't leak'

That was Frank Gehry responding - sort of - to a lawsuit filed against him by MIT, which says that the design of the $300 million Stata Center in Cambridge, Mass. caused mold to grow, leaks to spring up, and drainage problems to occur. Appearing the Guggenheim International Gala in NY last night, he blamed the hubbub on - what else? - the media. "Why do the press want to tear down success?" NY magazine quoted him as saying (guess those pesky reporters were plugging up the drains). Gehry also had a few things to say about his being credited for the Bilbao Effect (that's when museums expand their facilities willy-nilly). "I didnít make the word the 'Bilbao Effect,' the reporters did that, as they created the word 'starchitect' ó reporters did that," he said. "Reporters now try to tear people down for being part of the 'Bilbao Effect' or being 'starchitects.' Iím not a starchitect."

"Iím not interested in the 'Bilbao Effect,'" Gehry continued. "I just did a building. Ten years later, the building doesnít leak, it didnít rust, itís holding up, people are still coming, and itís turning out to be a very positive financial gain to the community." Ann Philbin, the director of the Hammer Museum, appeared at Gehry's side. "Are you having an interview now?" she asked. "Weíre talking about leaks!" Gehry said. "What?" Philbin asked. "Leaks!" the architect said. "It doesnít leak!" Philbin shrugged. "If he says it doesnít leak, it doesnít leak!"

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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