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Goshen Commotion: Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center Saved!

RudolOC

Paul Rudolph-designed Orange County Government Center
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

Sometimes miracles (and bipartisan cooperation) do happen.

I’ve been reporting since last March about the precarious situation of the flood-damaged Orange County Government Center, Goshen, NY, a masterful composition of cubes by architect Paul Rudolph. It was deemed so important that it had been placed on the World Monuments Fund’s 2012 Watch List of endangered cultural-heritage sites. The building has been shuttered since September 2011.

Last night, Chris Mckenna of Orange County’s Times Herald-Record reported some very welcome, overdue news:

The long, rancorous debate over the fate of the Orange County Government Center ended abruptly Wednesday, as a group of Republican lawmakers sided with Democrats to pass a proposal to renovate the 43-year-old complex.

The 15-6 vote marked another stinging defeat for County Executive Ed Diana, who has pushed to demolish and replace the county government’s main office building since 2010, and a victory for Democratic lawmakers and others who defended the architectural landmark and insisted it could be upgraded much more cheaply [my links, not Mckenna's]….

Pressure has mounted recently with an approaching March 12 deadline to decide what path to take or risk losing up to $2.7 million in federal funds to repair water damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. Until Wednesday, neither side appeared to have the two-thirds majority, or 14 of 21 votes, needed to approve bonding.

Looks like the World Monuments Fund needs to update its listing for this rescued and (we hope) soon-to-be restored building.

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