Disney and Gehry
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse”.
“You’ve got to bumble forward into the unknown”.
I conducted a survey among music lovers on the street. Only half of them had ever been to this famous music hall. Only one out of five had even heard of it. And then every tenth person ran away, because they thought they were being asked for money.
Clearly, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is not a legendary place like Pink’s Hot Dogs, but shouldn’t you visit it at least once? After all, it is the homebase of our own Philharmonic Orchestra (here is where everyone firmly nods, as if life could not be imagined without the Philharmonic).
This strange, but amazing building (or, from the point-of-view of the Gehr-o-phobes, a monstrosity) was constructed in 2003. In 1987, an initial donation of $50 million was made by Lillian Disney, Walt Disney’s widow. After construction ground to a halt, though, further donations were required to bring the project to completion.
It was finished, not counting the parking garage, in four years’ time. It had to be remodeled fairly quickly, though, because the neighbors were being tortured by the sun’s reflection from the matte-finish, stainless steel panels of the Founders Room and Children’s Amphitheater. It was causing their vision to suffer! Nevertheless, my friends, the building is beautiful in its own way – even if it reminds some of a pile of tin cans.
It’s not only musical sounds that come out of the Disney Hall, either; they also host film premiers. For example, The Matrix Revolutions began its triumphal failure here.
You could take there your aunt who is visiting from Yoknapatawpha. Or, you could go there immediately after seeing the ophthalmologist. It would cost next to nothing to go by car from BEI, or you could get on the #60 metrobus, if you’re looking for something more exotic.
Margaret Thatcher admiring Soviet architecture; local architects constructed things out of jars and cans well before Frank Gehry.
Text: Sebastian Varo
Translation: Richard Crenwelge
Photo: Tatiana Minchenko
Detail: Abraham van Beijeren (1620–1690)
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