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Debating Disney

June 20, 2004

After touring the highly touted Disney Hall recently, I certainly concur with the criticisms voiced in Mark Swed's "Take It to the Next Level" (June 13). Actually, while I was turned on by the wild exterior, I was disappointed by the interior except for the auditorium itself. The lobby and public spaces are ugly with the blond wood and beige tile; the Founders Room resembles an industrial cafeteria; the carpeting is a turnoff; and the cramped passageways are unbelievable.

When the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion opened 40 years ago this year, it was a glorious place, and continues to be. I fear that sainted architect Gehry has given Los Angeles the usual designer-architect trick -- an award-winning exterior enclosing a building that doesn't work well and with an interior that looks like a government institution.

Martin A. Brower

Corona del Mar


I congratulate Mark Swed on a brilliantly written, concise and honest article on Disney Hall and its shortcomings.

He could have added that the food "ain't" too great in The Founders either. Be proud!

Mark Hagen

Beverly Hills


Mark Swed hit it on the head, but he didn't hit hard enough! I'm not thinking of the prices of food in Frank Gehry's auditorium. I don't go there to eat. But I do go there to hear magnificent music played by one of the finest symphony orchestras in the world and conducted by one of the finest musical directors. I also go there to bask in probably the most gorgeous architectural surroundings of any concert hall known to man. What am I supposed to think when I see, marring the splendid, virginal interior of this most imaginative architectural wonder, a monstrously hideous black contraption hanging dead center from the ceiling in the name of "amplification"? The city has been bragging to the world for a year now of its revolutionary and imaginative new concert hall, "acoustically the most perfect concert hall in the world." So now we need amplification?

Richard F. Cassady

Los Angeles


We were disturbed by the negative, harsh tone and unfairness of Mark Swed's article. This was a visceral attack on one of our most magnificent architectural wonders and the quintessential, exquisite dining experience at Patina.

Patina is expensive, but that is why it is nothing but the best for the discerning gourmet. The ex-L.A. Times food critic Ruth Reichl once wrote "eating [Joachim] Splichal's food is like going on a little treasure hunt, for this is a cuisine of constant discovery." The menu is unsurpassed and consistently demonstrates the highest level of standards. Splichal is a culinary genius and extraordinary entrepreneur who has created numerous jobs in the downtown area.

The author complained about the lack of other restaurants and choices. There are numerous dining establishments in the immediate area including Kendall's, Cafe Pinot, etc.and it is a constant struggle to remain on top.

Lisette Ackerberg


Monica Klarwein

Rancho Palos Verdes

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