From Architect Online:
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That the Bilbao effect became a wildly successful urban development strategy for resuscitating declining cities throughout the world, and then a de rigueur formula, is a familiar story, if one that is not completely played out. The “build it and they will come” approach still remains unsubstantiated by the evidence.
On a single day last December, The New York Times carried two unrelated articles in different sections of the paper. One reported on the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, a sprawling and costly—$461 million—complex by Cesar Pelli that opened in late 2006 to high urban hopes but which is currently struggling to find an audience. (Its propensity to devour the municipal budget has earned it the nickname “Carnivorous Center.”)
The other concerned a $66 million zinc, glass, and steel art museum scheduled to open in November in smaller Roanoke, Va., designed by the Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, a Gehry protégé, which is viewed by boosters and detractors alike as one of the biggest gambles in the city’s history.