The Real Deal New York

Frank Gehry out as designer of WTC arts center

A decade after hiring him, board to select replacement from three finalists

September 04, 2014 12:50PM

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From left: John Zuccotti, Frank Gehry’s proposed design of World Trade Center arts center and Gehry

The board of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center has scrapped plans for noted architect Frank Gehry to handle the structure’s design.

Gehry’s design for the $400 million center included the planting of trees and a stacking of rectangle boxes. He told the New York Times that he felt Maggie Boepple, the president of the proposed structure, did not appreciate his work.

“She says I build models,” Gehry told the newspaper. “She doesn’t have a clue as to what I do or how I do it. It’s fine. It’s a new group. They should do what they want. I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted.”

Gehry was hired to helm the design in 2004. Developer John Zuccotti, chair of the board, said the board is in the process of selecting an architecture firm from three contenders. The board includes Zuccotti and Larry Silverstein, as well as Vidicom’s Christy Ferer, Walt Disney Company exec Zenia Mucha and filmmaker Stephen Daldry.

The arts center is awaiting $99 million in federal funding allotted by the Lower Mannhattan Development Corporation. It received $1 million for staffing last year, as previously reported. [NYT]Mark Maurer

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