Downward Mobility

Frank Gehry's Pink Slips

“I promised a lot of people I'd slow down when I turned 80," architect Frank Gehry said at his birthday over the weekend. "I wasn't really planning to do it, but because of the economy, I wound up keeping that promise by accident." Gehry has recently seen two major projects—a mixed-use project near Disney Hall in Los Angeles and Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn—delayed indefinitely and his company Gehry Partners, which keeps offices in Paris, Hong Kong, New York, and L.A., has reduced its staff by 50 percent. Gehry complained too about his expensive reputation. "I don't know how to overcome this perception that I'm extravagant," Gehry said. "The cost of Disney Hall was only $215 million. I'm a leftie and I've always believed in doing things on a modest scale."