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News July 2012

Summer Update: Orange County Government Center

July 24, 2012

It’s been relatively quiet on the Brutalist architecture front in Goshen, NY since the Orange County legislature failed to pass a $14.6 million bond resolution that would have funded the demolition of the Paul Rudolph designed Government Center (1967) and construction of a new building. The May 3 vote was very close however—11 to 10 in favor—lacking only the necessary majority. In mid-June the County received word from FEMA that its payout for damage to the Government Center related to tropical storm Irene in 2011 was likely to be increased from $535,000 to $3.6 million. This seems to have kickstarted activity.

The Orange County special legislative committee overseeing the Government Center held working sessions on July 13 and July 20. And in early July, dates were announced for a new round of public hearings. Dates and information below.

This celebrated and controversial building is still very much at risk. You can help defend Brutalism, the work of Paul Rudolph and Modern architecture of the 1960s by speaking out for renovation over demolition at an upcoming hearing. And if you haven’t done so already, please sign the petition set up by the World Monuments Fund. Here’s the link: OCGC Petition. Share this link too.

Need a little convincing? Maybe you only know one side of this dynamic, complex building? ESTO photographer Jeff Goldberg recently shot the Government Center for the ESTO archive. View the portfolio.  Even in its current state—years of neglected maintenance, storm damage and vacancy since last Fall—the Orange County Government Center embodies a caliber of Modern civic architecture rare in the 1960s and still rare.

Upcoming Public Hearings:
Monday July 30, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday July 31, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday August 1, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday August 2, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Friday August 3, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Hearings will take place in the Emergency Services Building Auditorium, 22 Wells Farm Road, Goshen, NY. legislature@orangecountygov.com
(845) 291-4800

Orange County Government Center, Paul Rudolph, Gohsen, NY. © Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Orange County Government Center © Jeff Goldberg/Esto