Thursday, April 17, 2008

McDonalds Presents the Louis Kahn Memorial - Naming Rights Fees Now Being Sought By Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute

McDonalds logo image from revesbylac and Kahn/FDR memorial from Architectural Record

After 35 years of failing to raise the necessary financing to build the Louis Kahn/FDR memorial, either through private or public taxpayer sources, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI) is now seeking funds in exchange for memorial "naming rights". According to FERI:
Now, it is time to build. Gift naming opportunities range from $100,000 to $10 million, but contributions at any level are gratefully welcomed.
How FERI proposes to incorporate naming opportunities into the so called FDR Memorial Four Freedoms Park is not specified on their web site. Perhaps the inscriptions for each of FDR's Four Freedoms could be sponsored by a single corporation. The NY Times could sponsor Freedom of Speech and Expression, McDonalds could sponsor Freedom from Want, Disney could sponsor Freedom from Fear and Wal-Mart could sponsor Freedom of Religion.

What a joke. Naming rights for a memorial that is supposed to honor Franklin D. Roosevelt. One would think FDR's name would be all that matters but we all know the real name that matters is Louis Kahn, the project's late architect.

Just add the naming rights embarrassment to this long list of obstacles that, hopefully, FERI will not be able to overcome before the time left to build this thing expires later this year:
  1. opposition of Roosevelt Island residents who do not want the existing beautiful, jaw dropping, one-of -a-kind panoramic views of East River Waterfront/NYC Skyline forever ruined by the Kahn design,
  2. desire of community for a true waterfront park at Southpoint,
  3. 35 year failure to raise the $40 million estimated to build the Kahn/FDR memorial through private funds,
  4. New York State and City budget crisis which makes it obscene for elected officials in favor of Kahn design to provide the $20 million in taxpayer funds now sought by Kahn supporters when there are much more pressing needs.
  5. resignation of Governor Spitzer, a key supporter who revived project from its deathbed,
  6. alleged binding 1974 committment by State of New York to the Kahn/FDR memorial may not be valid due to State and City failure to fulfill prior condition by each making $2 million payment,
  7. security concerns that the Kahn/FDR memorial box enclosed on two sides with high walls may be a danger and threat to the United Nations and
  8. shadows cast by the Kahn memorial on the East River which may be a danger to Marine Life in violation of NY State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.
Roosevelt Island blogger Press HD has a video interview with RIOC President Steve Shane explaining:
the Kahn design for the FDR Memorial to Dick Lutz, managing editor of The Main Street WIRE. Shane weighs in on the recent controversy surrounding the trees and obstruction of the now 360-degree views

Shane explains Kahn design during walk-thru Southpoint from PressHD on Vimeo.

This video is one more example showing the intent of the Kahn design is to block the current East River waterfront and New York City skyline views from the sloping lawn of the southern section of Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park, the only place left where these views exist. As stated by: Robert McCarter, a Kahn admirer and author of Louis I. Kahn which has been described as the authoritative text and definitive monograph on the architect Kahn's work writes:
It is in this forecourt that we are given our first- and last- view of the midtown New York Skyline to the west, previously blocked by the trees of the garden, and to be blocked again by the walls of the Memorial room.
Here's Roosevelt Island 360's humorous though illustrative version of Kahn's design blocking views from Southpoint Park.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Will the owner of those pretty feet with the great pedicure, please stand up! What trees?