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J. King: Oakland Museum, Then and Now, Isn't a Very Good Neighbor

In a followup to last week's introduction to the new Oakland Museum, John King waxes urban today on the museum's place in the city. The original intent, says King, was a sort of scientific endeavor to "make the museum a place where all of the citizens would want to go." Failing that, the 7.7-acre complex at least achieved a certain beauty — and here's where King confesses a certain affinity for '60s-era brutalism — "at least if you're open to straight lines and assertive concrete (I am)." But true to his beat, the urban design critic says that despite an earnest attempt to fuse the building with the city, and the praise-worthy renovation, the Oakland Museum fails to engage with the rest of Oakland itself: "here's what we see on the street: long walls of thick concrete ... and you still must pass the loading docks before reaching the museum's secondary entrance." Something to think about for the two museum projects coming up in the next couple years...
· Effort to link museum to Oakland's heart [SFGate]