Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center Gets Reprieve, Vote Points To Renovation

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Monday, February 11, 2013
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(Tom Stoelker / AN)

(Tom Stoelker / AN)

Concrete architecture from the 1970s hasn’t been faring well of late, but while Bertrand Goldberg’s expressionist Prentice Hospital seems destined for the wrecking ball, Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York has been spared. In a 15-6 vote, the members of the Orange County Legislature backed a resolution to renovate the building, defeating efforts by County Executive Edward Diana who has pushed for demolition of Rudolph’s dynamic and puzzling structure. The arguments hinged on cost more than on architectural merit, but even so, architecture fans will be relieved that this unique building will be spared.

Dubious FEMA Argument for Rudolph Demolition Debunked, Again.  RUDOLPH'S ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER In yet another turn of the screw, Orange County, New York county executive Eddie Diana’s claim that a FEMA report proved Paul Rudolph’s Government Center sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Irene turns out to bogus at best.  Dogged reporting from the Times Herald-Record reveals once again that the county executive’s numbers just don’t add up: “Diana told reporters that county officials have coaxed FEMA into raising its original estimate to $535,000 from $505,000. By contrast, the county’s consultants had estimated $10.5 million in damages.” FEMA officials blame the bulk of the damage on poor maintenance.

 

Rudolph Lives! At Least For Now.  Rudolph Lives! At Least For Now The perplexing yet bewitching jumble of concrete boxes known as Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York has been granted a reprieve. The county legislature voted 11 to 10 against a bond issue which would have funded the demolition of the Paul Rudolph designed building. Preservationists and architects have been following the project closely, and have made compelling arguments against the demolition and in favor of renovation. No word yet on whether the county will move to renovate the building, which suffers from leaks as well as damage from tropical storm Irene.

 

More Eyes on Rudolph’s Threatened Orange County Government Center.  More Eyes on Rudolph's Threatened Orange County Government Center Recently AN put a spotlight on Rudolph’s threatened Orange County Government Center, through photos and reporting, and many others are coming to defense of this challenging and bewitching building. The World Monuments Fund declared the building a culturally significant site, and a local group is protesting the planned demolition. Bloomberg’s James S. Russell just visited, declaring it, “insistently attention-grabbing in photos, the building reveals a surprising delicacy in person. Rudolph’s complicated shape-making domesticates the building’s institutional scale.”  Will prominent architects from around the country rally to around Rudolph’s singular creation? Time is running out.

 

Pictorial> An Artistic Tour of Rudolph’s Ill-Starred Government Center

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Thursday, March 8, 2012
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The Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph faces an uncertain future. (Courtesy Aracelis Diamantis).

The Orange County Government Center by Paul Rudolph faces an uncertain future. (Courtesy Aracelis Diamantis).

[This photo essay accompanies AN's recent article on the pending demise of Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center in New York. Read more here.]

The day before Orange County Executive Director Eddie Diana presented plans for replacing architect Paul Rudolph‘s Orange County Government Center, AN took a trip up to Goshen, New York with photographer Aracelis Diamantis to check out the scene. Diamantis ditched her SLR in favor of a Hipstimatic app on her iPhone. The effect gave the building a haunted-Brutalist-house quality and amplified the the architect’s multi-textured use of concrete.

View pictorial after the jump.

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