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Getty Center

October 23, 1994

The Getty Center will no doubt be a magnificent addition to Los Angeles' array of cultural institutions (Oct. 10), but the location is unfortunate in many ways. The Getty Center is being built at a relatively isolated hilltop site, accessible only by automobiles (internal tram system notwithstanding). This approach perpetuates suburban sprawl at a time when other cities--like San Francisco and Seattle--are gathering their museums and cultural institutions back into their downtowns. Imagine the stimulus to the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles or Hollywood that the Getty Center could have brought to either area--both through its initial investment and the ongoing stream of visitors.

Planning in Los Angeles has adopted a rhetoric of being friendly to pedestrians, but the fact that this splendid project is being built in splendid isolation shows that the words have yet to become reality.

NATHAN LANDAU

Albany, Calif.

* While the view from the Getty may be beautiful, the view from below this eyesore makes me cringe. In the middle of beautiful mountains is this ugly mess of grading and asphalt. The Times trivializes the irreversible ruin of a mountain by saying most of the criticism is just from jealous Eastern critics. If they ever saw the carved up mountainside that is supposedly "connecting" the center to the city their jealousy might be checked a bit. I know the people who live and drive by this site sure don't suffer from this jealousy problem. What comes to mind is one word: rape.

CHRIS CRAMER

Santa Monica

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