Why all the hoopla? Is this designer of metallic museums and curvy concert halls, luxury houses, and flashy corporate headquarters, truly our Greatest living Artist?
-Hal Foster, “Why all the hoopla?” (2001)
A shining light strikes everyone who is near City Hall Plaza. It pulls people into a hypnotic stance — light that reflects from the undulating waves of the stainless steel façade of the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. As you walk closer, the shining beacon looks as if it’s going to melt everything near by, revealing an 870-foot tower sitting on a five-story brick schoolhouse that serves as an austere and banal podium. Aptly or adversely, reviewed by some as counterproductive to social responsibility and sustainability, but honored by New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff as the “finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building,” the critique highlights the contradiction that is New York by Gehry.