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News September 2011

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Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center closed—thanks to Irene and Lee

September 23, 2011

Local efforts to resolve the question of what to do with Orange County Government Center in Goshen, NY (Paul Rudolph, 1963) reached a new pitch over the past few weeks when County Executive Edward Diana closed the building and relocated all government offices in the wake of storm induced water damage and mold conditions brought on by flooding. Hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee were a double blow to a structure already suffering from water-related problems and deferred maintenance. Adding a new twist to the ongoing question of whether to demolish or gut renovate was the arrival just days prior to Hurricane Irene of the NY State Historic Preservation Office’s letter declaring the Orange Country Government Center eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places because of its architectural significance.

FEMA officials were expected to visit Goshen this past week to assess damage and the county is hoping that federal money will be forthcoming for renovation—or demolition and new construction. Feasibility studies that were underway will be fast-tracked and undoubtedly some decisions about the fate of what the SHPO report calls “a prime example of Rudolph’s “mature, large-scale expressionistic work” will be made soon.

Taxpayers of Orange County and Change Orange, local citizen groups advocating for renovation over demolition, will be holding a public forum Sunday, September 25 in Goshen. All are welcome and support is needed from the larger preservation community. For more information visit the groups’ website (“Events” tab):

Coverage in the local news: Mid-Hudson News, September 15

Orange County Government Center. Photo by Joseph Molito. Courtesy of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University