Archigram 2005

The High Line (Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

30 years in the making. Apparently the money and design (by New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro) have been found to create a new vision for reusing the elevated tracks on New York’s lower west side: The High Line.

Every city in America with an industrial past could use a little help like this.


Time Warner Center, New York, April 2005

New York, 3 weeks ago. When corporate greed meets Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, look out. This building (the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle) is from some angles a futurist dream, from others just a hulking mass overshadowing the kitschily lovable 1960’s ex-Huntington Hartford Museum of Art by Edward Durrell Stone (right foreground).

Apparently, David Childs’s rehack of the Daniel Liebeskind’s World Trade Center skyscraper has been sent packing by the NYPD. Is this a good or a bad thing? Maybe the good citizens, unenlightened as they are because of the draconian powers of the Port Authority, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Larry Silverstein, will get another chance at a redesign, maybe even one that will let them see this huge development in drawings, before it is cast in terrorist-proof cladding. Hopefully Childs will consider the Freedom Tower from all angles and not aim for one dramatic shot from the Statue of Liberty.

Recent news does not bode well for the preservation of the Ed Stone building, either.

p.s. i love you

I spent two nights in ps at the Caliente tropics, lair of the tiki gods and half-price mai tais. The second night, I walked the boulevards under starlight past huge adventist churches and the high school, the mega Ralphs and the frog-filled Tahquitz wash, fresh from Southern California’s wettest winter in recent history, to see Bruno Ganz play out Hitler’s last days.

After my required attendance at two days of lectures given by futurists and kindergarten teachers, I was able to hire a cab driver who had his life apparently ruined by the U.S. government and its mercenary contractors, to drive me around some of the north end of Palm Springs. With Palm Springs Weekend and the Palm Springs Modern Committee’s tour map in hand, we made our way around Donald Wexler’s steel houses, Frey’s collaboration for Raymond Loewy’s house, Craig Ellwood’s Palevsky house, Elvis’ honeymoon hideout (otherwise known as the House of Tomorrow) and the too-impeccably restored Kaufmann house by Neutra. (For those who don’t know, Kaufmann’s other house was a small one built a few years earlier back east out of concrete and stone in a wooded place in western Pennsylvania called Fallingwater). All as the sun went behind Mt. San Jacinto, the dust storms started to kick up and it was time to make stops for ATM cash and a date shake and head to the airport.