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PRINT January 2001

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the “Wall Street Guggenheim”

LOS ANGELES ARCHITECT Frank O. Gehry’s voluptuous designs for the new downtown Manhattan headquarters of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum have often been described as “cloudlike.” With its sweeping, expressive forms, the massive building that will rise on stilts from the East River certainly merits the adjective. But the term applies just as aptly to the tensions that hover over the project. A nimbus, after all, describes not only an aura of splendor, but also the harbinger of storms.

Supporters say the ambitious new museum Gehry’s first major building project in New York City, will create thousands of permanent jobs, generate millions of dollars for the city, and put Manhattan back on the architectural map. New York city mayor Rudolph Giuliani has pledged four city piers and $67.8 million in city assistance; Robert Rauschenberg, one of the project’s most high-profile fans, has promised to

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