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News Highlights of the Week: May 19 – May 25, 2007

May 25, 2007

by James Murdock

Editor’s note: You may read the news digest below or listen to it, plus other news headlines from ArchiecturalRecord.com, as a podcast by clicking this link.

Click the play button to begin | Click here to download

Daniel Libeskind can’t seem to get enough of Colorado—or is it the other way round? Although the architect of the Denver Art Museum and the Museum Residences has his local critics, he’s working on a third project there: an as-yet-unnamed, 56-unit condominium development in Eagle County, roughly two hours west of Denver. Rick Mueller, the developer of this $125-million scheme, is banking on Libeskind’s “ultramodern” style to transform the area. “I’m over the ‘mountain elegant’ look, with all the log and stone homes. I wanted to put a different twist on it, do more of a contemporary look,” Mueller told the Denver Post on May 24.

Paul Rudolph’s Cerritto House, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, will be spared the wrecking ball. A pair of New Yorkers have offered to move this diminutive yet elegant 1956 residence to the Catskills, The New York Times reported on May 23. Until they intervened, it had been fated to join a string of other recently destroyed Rudolph buildings, detailed in a related story on ArchitecturalRecord.com today. Commenting on this rash of demolitions, Robert A.M. Stern, dean of Yale University’s School of Architecture, told the Times: “It’s a nightmare; it’s become like a disease.”

Another 1950s-vintage structure may not be so lucky. In Hong Kong, preservationists have been battling for months to save Queen’s Pier, a ceremonial dock where the British royal family disembarked during visits to this former colony. Although the pier is a Grade I heritage site, municipal leaders want it dismantled to make way for a road and shopping mall. They moved close to that goal this week by approving funds for its removal, according to a May 24 article in The Standard, China’s business journal. The project still has a few hurdles to clear, but the pier’s enthusiasts are increasingly dispirited. “I have never felt so dejected since I have been in politics,” Choy So-yuk, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said after a vote on Wednesday.

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How does Carnegie Hall stay in tune with its needs? Expansion, expansion, expansion. The esteemed performance venue is readying its Manhattan building for a $150 million - $200 million overhaul. Although specific plans have yet to be formulated, Carnegie’s directors are already reclaiming 33,000 square feet of apartments and studios currently rented by musicians, artists, and other “creative types,” The New York Times wrote on May 22. Over the years, notables including Isadora Duncan, Leonard Bernstein, and others have taken advantage of this unusual live-work set-up—but unfortunately, even good things must come to and end. As one of the current tenants observed, “Nothing lasts forever.”

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