Frank Gehry’s controversial L.A. River plan gets cautious, low-key rollout

Frank gehry's controversial l. A. River plan gets cautious, low-key rollout
Landscape architect Laurie Olin, left, and architect Frank Gehry, in Long Beach, contemplating their new master plan for the Los Angeles River / © Omar Brownson

The design team working with architect Frank Gehry on a controversial new master plan for the Los Angeles River has begun to introduce its work to the public — but in a noticeably cautious and low-key way.

River LA, the nonprofit group that began collaborating with Gehry’s office more than a year ago, isn’t ready to unveil any design proposals by the architect. Or any rough sketches, for that matter.

Instead it has been holding upbeat, informal “listening sessions” in neighborhoods near the river, in an apparent effort to build goodwill. The new website it developed with two of Gehry’s partners, expected to go live Tuesday morning at lariverindex.org, is stuffed with maps and charts but similarly short on architectural detail.

The quiet rollout suggests that River LA is less interested in giving a clear picture of what Gehry’s plan eventually may include than in tamping down charges that it has been born of secrecy — and worries that it may operate as a Trojan horse, a kind of high-design architectural cover, for rampant real-estate speculation in communities along the river.

At the same time, as the river takes on new shades of economic and political meaning — becoming a magnet for attention and investment after decades of near invisibility — the race to reimagine it is growing more crowded. River plans are moving forward at the federal level and in Sacramento, with little clarity about how they ultimately might relate to the Gehry effort. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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