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...and to think that the concert hall almost didn't get built. (NOTE: i don't remember the exact figures, but these are ballpark to give you an idea of the architectural drama that unfolded. I also haven't thought about what happened for a LONG time, so some of the facts might be mixed up, but most of it is correct, to my knowledge.) Here's the story: Mrs. Disney donates $50M to build the concert hall designed by frank Gehry, with other parties matching the funds for a total of $100M. They start construction by digging down about 10-12 stories to do building foundation work and create a multi-level underground parking garage. This is harder than anticipated, skyrocketing costs. They proceed to construct the underground garage, when it is done, evaluate the project. Cost of the project to date: $100M. % of building above ground: 0%. Mrs. Disney is flabbergasted - the have spent all the money, and all they have to show for it is an UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE. She threatens to withdraw the money. In the LA architectural community, a "Save the Gehry's Disney Hall" campaign gets underway, raising money, etc. Meanwhile, Frank Gehry plays politics, and changes the original design of curved masonry panels to the lighter, and hopefully cheaper titanium skin already proven in Bilbao (Gehry's other major curved masonry skin building is the American Center in Paris which, surprise, turned out to be a financial disaster, bankrupting the American Center, forcing them to sell the building almost new.) A lot of manouvering, design changes, panel discussions, and campaigning later, Gehry gets the go-ahead to proceed work. In the meantime, the underground garage had been operational and making money. After a couple of years in construction doldrums, the concert hall is finished, and an incredible music hall is born in the city of LA (albeit via a difficult delivery and an architectural C-Section.)

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