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New on the bookshelf: After You Left/They Took It Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes

November 16, 2013

New York photographer Chris Mottalini has spent years photographing Paul Rudolph-designed buildings as they await demolition. There are more opportunities for this pastime than you might think. His recently released book, After You Left/They Took it Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes, portrays three Rudolph houses in their final weeks. These are not glamorous architectural portraits; they are end-of-life portraits. As structures reduced to what most would say is everything without value, the images strangely let the architecture speak—almost as if to say goodbye—in defeat but with unexpected strength and dignity. Images of these houses at the height of their glory will always dominate the official historic record, but Mottalini claims the very poignant last chapter and documents an all too common cycle—disfavor, danger, demolition.

After You Left/They Took it Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes
Columbia College/University of Chicago Press, October 2013, 75 pages, $50