‘Two control freaks’: More on Broad and Gehry

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The battles between Frank Gehry and Eli Broad, some of which I describe in a piece today on Broad’s track record as an architectural patron, are legendary in Los Angeles design circles. But so is the way the men reached at least a partial reconciliation.

After butting heads on the final design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall -- a project Broad was instrumental in helping revive after years in which it appeared dead in the water -- the pair began to make amends as the hall neared completion.

In a passage in Barbara Isenberg’s 2009 book ‘Conversations with Frank Gehry,’ the architect recalls organizing a dinner, held onstage at Disney Hall a month or so before the building opened, to thank Broad and his wife, Edythe, for their help in rescuing the project.

‘At the appropriate time,’ Gehry told Isenberg, ‘I clink-clinked my glass and stood up. I said, ‘You all know that Eli and I have been battling for a long time, and it’s been all over the press. My assessment of it is we’re two control freaks and our control mechanisms got tangled up with each other.’'


-- Christopher Hawthorne


An interactive map of Broad buildings

Above: Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times