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News February 2010

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Rudolph’s Chorley School added to Preservation
League’s “Seven to Save” list

February 12, 2010

The Paul Rudolph Foundation is stepping of its efforts to save Rudolph’s Chorley Elementary School from the wrecking ball. On January 19, the Preservation League of New York State announced that the school has been added to its “Seven to Save” list of endangered places after receiving an application from the Foundation, the fourth Modern building to make the list. The Foundation is circulating a petition asking the local school board to reconsider its plans. Click here to add your name. Providing the effort an added boost, the upcoming exhibition “Modernism at Risk,” (see “Events” for details) which will feature Chorley.

Located in Middletown, NY, the John W. Chorley Elementary School (1964–1969) is Rudolph’s only building designed specifically to the scale of children. It is an enclosed, internal landscape of open classrooms (referred to as the “continuous progress plan”) naturally lit by saw-tooth clerestory windows reminiscent of the many factory buildings dotting the nearby Hudson River. The classrooms in each of the four wings sweep into one another, each modulated by low, operable walls with a teacher’s planning center perched above.

In December 2008, local voters passed a referendum to acquire parkland adjacent to the school to build a new replacement elementary school. At the last minute, a provision was added to demolish Chorley Elementary School to make way for a parking lot–a plan identical to the one carried out on Rudolph’s Riverview High School (1957-1958) this past year in Sarasota, FL. Unless action is taken, Chorley Elementary will be replaced as soon as the 2011-2012 school year.

Sign the Petition:

Paul Rudolph Foundation Save Chorley webpage:

Preservation League of New York State “Seven to Save” List:

John W. Chorley Elementary School
© Andrei Harwell