Friday, May 06, 2011
Some Shots of Case Western's Frank Gehry Designed, Peter B Lewis Building
Sort of by the grace of god, Pittsburgh's major college and art museum complex ended up within the city, while Cleveland's ended up right on the city's edge and just across the city line. For the most part, I think the motivation to build a clean, new place away from the dirty industrial core was similar to Pittsburgh's except, in our case, the bulk of really heavy industry was never in the city itself--but outside in the huge complexes along the Mon and Ohio Valleys.
A high percent of visitors to Cleveland spend some time in the area called University Circle, home to or bordering on such major institutions as The Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Botanical Garden, The Children's Museum Of Cleveland, The Cleveland Institute Of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Severance Hall, The Cleveland Institute Of Music and Case Western Reserve University--many of them housed in beautiful and often uniquely designed buildings, some of which are icons of modernist design.
The good aspect of lots of good modernism is it's sensitivity to the landscape--the bad part is often it's total ignorance and insensitivity to human needs and human scale. Architecture must be judged on both the aesthetic value of how it looks, but on the social level of how it works, as a place for people to live and interact.
I can't fully judge, University Circle having spent too little time in and around it in the surrounding neighborhoods. We did walk around Little Italy which is close by.
The area around the museums is windy which obviously works well for cars. However, at least in nice weather, there are wonderfully landscaped wide walkways and lots of maps making it a great place to walk from place to place.
Here are images of the new Peter B Lewis Building, home to Case Western's Weatherhead School of Management. From the exterior, I have a very good impression of this building, although the huge Peter B Lewis name sloping over the front entrance is pretty overwhelming. Would love to have been a fly in some of those design meetings with Gehry.