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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Disney Makes Waves

October 25, 2003

Frank Gehry's doodle of the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Commentary, Oct. 22) reminded me of a Rorschach test. First I saw a man reading a newspaper with his hat on the left and cup of coffee on the right. Then I saw an inebriated Santa Claus lying on his back with Christmas gifts scattered about him. Further examination revealed two hands shaking on the right side. Or was it one hand lighting a banana with a match? Then I realized what this really is. It's not Gehry's design for WDCH. It's a pile of animation cells from old Disney cartoons!

Jeffrey Scott

Oak Park

*

Re Nicolai Ouroussoff's "A Reflection of the City Around It," Oct. 19: As a fan of Gehry's work, I share the city's enthusiasm over being the home of his magnificent creation; I no longer have to contemplate a trip to Spain to experience the exciting irreverence of this master's architectural daring. I must take exception, however, to a claim I've come across in more than one review of the building.

My husband and I are subscribers to this year's Philharmonic season and were invited to visit Disney Hall. The interior, while gorgeous, sumptuous, sensuous, is not a "model of egalitarian values." Legroom and the chairs themselves are far more cramped in the terrace sections, where we'll be sitting, than they are down in the center orchestra seating area. True, the visibility is equally delightful wherever one's seats happen to be, but try crossing your legs without kicking the head of the person sitting in front of you from anywhere but the most pricey location. This otherwise stunning public room does indeed reflect the values of the city around it -- where egalitarianism hardly rules the day.

Elyce Wakerman

Sherman Oaks

*

All hail Disney Hall, from behind the Orange Wall -- the one building in Southern California with such an avant-garde deconstructionist design that it will look as good after the earthquake as before. Never mind the 1970s "orchestra in the round" interior.

Tony Esporma

Irvine

*

"The hall's flamboyant undulating exterior -- whose stainless steel forms unfold along downtown's Grand Avenue with exquisite lightness -- is a sublime expression of contemporary cultural values." I hope whoever hired Ouroussoff will remember his words in a few years when stuff starts falling off that monstrosity.

David M. Sherr

Santa Monica

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