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News Highlights of the Week: June 9 – June 15, 2007

June 15, 2007

by James Murdock

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

Click the play button to begin | Click here to download

A plan to save Paul Rudolph’s Cerrito House, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, has fallen apart and, in an exclusive, Paul Rudolph Foundation coordinator Nepal Asatthawasi tells RECORD that the 1956 residence was demolished yesterday. ArchitecturalRecord.com reported last month that a pair of New Yorkers was offering to move the house to the Catskills—a complicated deal, it turns out, that would have given the property’s deed to the Rudolph Foundation—but The New York Times wrote on June 13 that they rescinded their offer after discovering that workers had removed many of the house’s period details in preparation for the move. “It’s not in original condition anymore,” explained Daniel Sachs, a New York designer.

Another historic structure, Daniel Burnham’s Union Station in Chicago, is faring much better. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on June 9 that the city is expected to give Jones Lang LaSalle a $58 million tax subsidy towards a planned $460 million renovation and expansion of the 1925-vintage, Beaux Arts railway building near the Sears Tower. Hilton is thought to be on board for a hotel at the complex, which will also include offices and residences and an 18-story addition to the station’s existing eight stories—true to Burnham’s original idea, the Sun-Times wrote.

Regular readers of this news digest might be suffering from a touch of Daniel Libeskind fatigue, but you’ve got to give the starchitect his due. His latest project could be an ultra-green skyscraper in lower Manhattan. Where? All that Libeskind told New York magazine on June 12 is that it’s “one of the iconic sites of New York City. I guarantee you’ll see the Statue of Liberty from there.” Just a guess, but perhaps it’s the World Trade Center site. The answer could come as soon as today, Libeskind said. Stay tuned.

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Not yet starchitect-fatigued by Libeskind? Well, here’s an item about Frank Gehry—whose patience is apparently wearing thin with Forest City Ratner, developer of the massive Grand Avenue project across the street from his Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Although the project is shaping up to be “a dramatic architectural presence in its own right,” the L.A. Times reported on June 12 that Gehry has “clashed repeatedly and sometimes bitterly” with Forest City and might not return for Grand Avenue’s later phases. Already, his firm relinquished some control over the project to HKS, which will prepare the construction documents for phase I.

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