Another Paul Rudolph School Threatened with Demolition

Although people like Norman Foster and his fellow Yalies might be filled with fond feelings for legendary architect Paul Rudolph, his work around the country continues to find itself in jeopardy. By way of Archinect, we’ve learned that Rudolph’s John W. Chorley Elementary School in Middletown, NY is in danger of being demolished and replaced with a parking lot, which will serve the new elementary school built to replace the original. If this sounds familiar, it’s a very similar situation to what happened in Sarasota, Florida in 2008 with Rudolph’s Riverview High School, which, despite architecture activist’s push to save it, was ultimately voted to be demolished because the city couldn’t afford to restore it. Chorley Elementary now faces destruction as early as next year, but the New York State Preservation League is already trying to fight for its survival. Here’s a quick description of the beautiful modern building and a certainly uncomfortable quote from back on its opening day:

Built of fluted concrete block, and designed to reflect the limitless potential of its pupils, each class room has its own door to the exterior, and is open within the wing, allowing teachers the capacity to teach up to eight classes at once. At its dedication, on May 18, 1969, then Superintendent of schools John L. Krause wrote “let us hope that forty years hence people will be commenting favorably on the foresight of this community during the ’60’s”.

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