Tigers at Verizon Center; Say No to Frank Gehry

…The Georgetown Hoyas’ overtime win over the Memphis Tigers on December 14, 2008, stands as one of the most gratifying experiences of my little life.

Yesterday’s game had different “trajectories.” Three years ago, the Hoyas upset a team that had been in the Final Four the preceding spring. Yesterday, the Hoyas stepped onto the court as 4-point favorites, having beat the Tigers once already this season.

But, dear reader, it was a sweet 11-point win nonetheless!

…Click HERE for yet another example of the emperors with no clothes running the contemporary architecture business.

We southwest Virginians have our piece to say about the proposed Dwight Eisenhower Memorial, as designed by Frank Gehry. Gehry’s protege Randall Stout designed the crashed metal eagle whose carcass litters downtown Roanoke.

Should the pleasant L’Enfant-plan park formed by the intersection of Independence and Maryland Avenues, Southwest, Washington, be boxed in by 80-foot pylons and stainless-steel curtains, as Gehry’s design proposes? Should puppies be jailed in wire-mesh cages for life?

Should the exploits of the great general and two-term president be “feminized,” as Kennicott suggests Gehry’s design succeeds in doing? Should we have a “masculinized” Jackie O. Memorial?

How about a good old, fashioned statue of Ike, and call it a day?

Southwest Washington lost most of its charm two generations ago. But that’s no excuse for turning it into a showplace for architectural preposterousness.

One thought on “Tigers at Verizon Center; Say No to Frank Gehry

  1. Father Mark,

    Then, again, compare this monstrosity to its companions in the race to “BLAH”. It fits. But, that’s no reason to build it, any more than there was a reason to build the FDR or MLK Memorials.

    Simply put, monstrosities to men are not in order until about 100 years have transpired after their deaths, to put them into historical perspective. Men: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson & Abraham Lincoln: YES! Groups of Men: The World War II Memorial, The Vietnam War Veterans Memorial & The Korean War Veterans Memorial: YES! FDR & MLK: NO! JFK: borderline (the Kennedy Center). Build a building in the middle of town (Reagan) if you will; but don’t plunk DDE (no matter how much I respect the man’s capabilities) down next to the Museum of The American Indian (now there’s an interesting comparison, a building whose color faded rapidly to bland, and whose architecture demands either nearby mountains or a cityscape of similar scope, and which has neither).

    But, then again, architecture is like art; it is a matter of taste. Maybe Mr. Gehry is trying for a Stalinist Moscow restoration period in architecture: do you think?



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