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While Toronto Debates, LA Gives Gehry the Go-Ahead

Here in Toronto, the fate of David Mivish and Frank Gehry's controversial King Street project will be debated by a 14-member "working group" consisting of representatives from Mirvish + Gehry and city council, as well as various community members, architects, urban planners, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers (maybe not the last three). If they can't reach consensus on how high to build and what existing buildings to preserve by March 20, 2014, it'll be up to the Ontario Municipal Board to decide.

Meanwhile, after a dozen delays, The City of Los Angeles has finally approved Gehry's Grand Avenue Project, which was first okayed in 2007 but was stalled over and over again--mostly due to the economic crisis, which kept slapping down prospective financiers. The Grand Avenue plan will drop a 300-room hotel and a residential tower directly across the street from Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, completed in 2003. The original design featured some of the now-standard wavy external walls that scream "I'm a Gehry, dammit!", but the now-approved renderings chuck those in favour of a more subdued "stack'o'blocks" concept. Multi-level patios and landscaped terraces wrap around the central public plaza, and pedestrian walkways will connect to Disney Hall and Grand Park. Should Toronto take a tip from Los Angeles (site of nearly a dozen Gehry buildings), and embrace striking, challenging architecture? With so many preserved heritage warehouses in the city, would knocking down a couple be a tragedy?
· Grand Avenue Project [Curbed LA]
· Grand Re-Entry [Architect's Newspaper]
· Giant Mirvish + Gehry Condos Could be Cut Down to Size [BlogTO]
· Back to the Drawing Board for Mirvish+Gehry? [Curbed Toronto]
· Mirvish+Gehry Development Negotiations To Continue [UrbanToronto]
· Disney Hall, Frank Gehry's Gift to Wedding Photographers [LA Weekly]