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News May 2012

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A small victory: Orange County Government Center

May 11, 2012

On May 3, Paul Rudolph’s Government Center (1967–1970) in Goshen, NY averted a date with the wrecking ball thanks to the favorable, albeit narrow, 11-10 vote by the Orange County Legislature. It’s a heartening outcome for preservation advocates for sure, but it’s no cause for a victory lap yet. Two previous hearings on the Center’s future yielded majority votes for replacing it with a new neo-Georgian edifice. Perhaps the old adage that the third time is a charm will prove true. We certainly hope so. It’s uncertain whether this sway of support is due to new appreciation for Rudolph’s architecture—and Brutalism—or fiscal concerns. What is certain is that this reprieve adds time to the clock for OCGC advocates who are already building a strong case for restoring and renovating what is arguably Modern civic architecture of a caliber rare in the 1960s—and today.

For further reading about the OCGC’s significance within the larger realm of civic architecture, we suggest Anthony Paletta’s article “Saving Ruolph in Goshen” in Metropolis magazine and Christopher Pryslopski’s eloquent article for the Hudson River Valley Review, published in its Autumn 2004 edition.(see page 80 of the PDF)

original artwork © Kim Barker