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Speak up for Rudolph’s Chorley School

March 18, 2010

A presentation on Chorley Elementary School on March 11 as part of the “Modernism at Risk” events made clear that the Middletown, NY school board, with support of the NY State Historic Preservation Office, is pushing forward with plans to demolish Chorley School rather than build its new school and keep the Chorley structure for reuse now or in the near future. The latter would require moving a new bus parking lot to a different area of the site, which is ample enough to do so.

Located in Middletown, NY, the John W. Chorley Elementary School (1964–1969) is Paul 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 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.

What you can do: visit the Paul Rudolph Foundation’s Chorley School website to learn more about the building and the current situation and see historic and current photos, sign the Save Chorley petition and better yet, write a letter to the SHPO asking the agency to push a plan that includes building the new school and keeping the Chorley structure.

Send letters to:
NY State Historic Preservation Office
Attn: Elizabeth Martin
Historic Sites Restoration Coordinator
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 1
Albany, NY 12238

Paul Rudolph Foundation Save Chorley website:
Sign the Petition:

John W. Chorley Elementary School
© Andrei Harwell