Controversy surrounded the unveiling of the proposed design of the new Ed Wood Museum in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Designed by Los Angeles architects Nimby, Uhlrich, Thomas & Strauss, the museum is intended as “a tribute to America’s great film auteur.”
“It captures the spirit of his art and transforms it into space,” explained Roland Nimby-Thomas, one of the principal architects of the project.
At the public meeting, some residents expressed doubt that a building shaped like a giant octopus would fit well with the surrounding architecture in its prominent riverside site.
Others questioned the choice of materials. One woman who identified herself as a structural engineer questioned the choice of cardboard for supporting walls.
“It seems to me that one clumsy tourist could accidentally kick down the whole thing,” she said.
“Yes,” agreed Irene Thomas Strauss-Uhlrich, a partner in the firm. “In effect, we are creating an opportunity to live the Ed Wood dream, blurring the boundary between architecture and entertainment.”
One local preservation group has already filed a lawsuit, claiming that the building is “wilfully and egregiously stupid.”
But Thomas Uhlrich Strauss-Nimby, a partner in the firm, disputes that assessment. “They are confusing stupidity with suspension of disbelief,” he says.