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Rodents Beware at New Disney Hall

September 13, 2003|Eric Malnic | Times Staff Writer

Mickey wouldn't feel very welcome at the Walt Disney Concert Hall right now.

The place is full of mousetraps. Well, technically, rat traps.

Greg Nelson, general manager of the city's Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, saw them when he and other city officials were given a tour of the hall this week.

"They're on the floors in front of the seats," Nelson said. "We laughed when we saw them."

No one was available Friday evening to comment on the traps, but a secretary at Walt Disney Concert Hall Inc., the firm that oversaw construction of the $274-million, steel-swathed palace of culture, thinks she knows why they're there.

"There were a lot of mice around while they were building it," said the secretary, who asked not to be identified.

"It's common to place mousetraps around a building as the completion of construction approaches," said Keith Mendenhall, a spokesman for Frank O. Gehry, who designed the building at 1st Street and Grand Avenue. "They're doing pest control."

The strange thing about the traps that Nelson and his cohorts saw was that they were neither baited nor set.

Maybe it's just an attempt at intimidation.

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