“What Does A Lehi Project And The Guggenheim Museum Have In Common?”

Uh, they both announced giant Frank Gehry showpieces that never made it past the drawing board because there was never any actual money behind them?
Here’s a FOXnews Utah [redundant, I know] report on the 85-acre multi-use development announced by Provo entrepreneur Brandt Anderson last month. Frank Gehry is supposedly onboard to design the complex, though he did not attend the unveiling of the project’s master plan/massing study.
When I was in Utah a couple of weeks ago, I heard from several people in the Utah development and construction communities that the project is all smoke, and that Anderson has essentially none of the multiple billions of dollars of financing in place to actually realize his grand vision.
More and more, this Gehry Lehi project reminds me of the Triad Center. When I was in 8th Grade, we lived in Salt Lake City, and the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi blew into town with huge, shiny plans to build a new downtown right next to the old one. Khashoggi’s son Mohammed lived around the corner from us, and so we had a front row seat to the starry-eyed reception those jokers got.[1] If there’s any progress to be marked here, it’s that Utah’s monorail salesmen are now homegrown.


I’ll be the first to sign up for wakeboarding classes if Gehry’s project ever gets built, but I’ll probably be bungee jumping from his Guggenheim Downtown before that happens.
2002: Guggenheim Drops Plans For East River Museum [nyt via wirednewyork]
[1] This all happened before Khashoggi was involved in Iran-Contra and BCCI. I had no idea he was Dodi Fayed’s uncle, though. Nor that Mohammed is now directing films?