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Goshen Commotion: Save-the-Rudolph Campaign’s Petition, Public Hearing

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The campaign to save Orange County’s endangered Paul Rudolph-designed Government Center, Goshen, NY, now has a logo (above), a website and petition. The petition (173 signatories at this writing) is for Orange County residents, but I added my name, with this full-disclosure statement:

I am not an Orange County resident, but I would like to express my solidarity with this effort to renovate, not decimate, an architectural treasure.

And here’s a comment, appended shortly after mine, by Paul Berman:

I worked on this project in Paul Rudolph’s office. For its time it was probably one of the most complex buildings ever designed. It was one of the first to use split-ribbed concrete block (designed by Rudolph!) instead of bush-hammered in-situ concrete.

The block was considerably less expensive, but at the building’s completion the contractor, Corbu Newman, (really!) sued Orange County and Rudolph for $1,000,000, for “miscellaneous and sundry extras.” The case was in mediation for over a year. Rudolph paid a modest amount in settlement, but it was expensive in employee time lost. I believe the contractor declared bankruptcy before the completion of the building but was kept alive by his bonding agent.

Years later, Rudolph told me that he thought this building one [of] his “most successful,” in spite of its leaky roofs. It would be a great pity to lose it!

The Save the Orange County Government Center advocacy group will conduct a public forum, 2-4 p.m., Sunday Mar. 25, at the Recreation Center, 134 Pike St., Port Jervis, NY. Mark your calendars and fire up your GPS, architecture activists! And don’t forget to write the local politicos.

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A Half-Hour Archi-tour:
“A” is Goshen, where the endangered Orange County Government Center is located.
“B” is Port Jervis, where the Mar. 25 public forum regarding the proposed demolition of the Rudolph building will be held.

Other architecture writers, yesterday and today, have taken up the cause on their Twitter feeds, including Paul Goldberger of the New Yorker and Alexandra Lange of Design Observer.

But where’s Kimmelman? The NY Observer the Architect’s Newspaper tell us.

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