Another Paul Rudolph Bites the Dust: Sarasota's Riverview High School


Architecture from the 1950s and 60s is not beloved and protected like older stuff, but Paul Rudolph in particular is in danger of having his entire oeuvre wiped off the map. Latest to go is the Riverview High School, complete with its "melding of Modern modularity and technology with sensitive siting, daylighting, natural ventilation, and aggressive shading against the relentless sunshine." (Susan Szenasy in Metropolis) And for what? A parking lot, while they build an air conditioned, sealed up fortress next to it.


So what if the building you have is greener than any building you can build, particularly if it was truly a site-specific design for the climate with lots of shading.


Who cares that it is a masterpiece of what is known as the Sarasota Style, "Sandy soil, aquatint waters, flashes of purples and reds and yellows, intense heat under the sun, and a surprising coolness in the shade make Sarasota, Florida, a subtropical paradise. These unique local conditions were once celebrated by the mid-twentieth-century architects who built there before the profession was seduced by air-­conditioning."


Images from ::Sarasota Architectural Foundation

Who cares that it barely needed electricity, being covered in skylights to let natural lighting into the corridors. All that matters is money. "The time to show me the money was today," said board member Shirley Brown to preservationists trying to save it. "I'm sorry." The local paper says "The school has been falling apart for years and has persistent mold problems." Meaning that this is yet another case of demolition by neglect. ::herald tribune via ::Archinect

Other Paul Rudolph buildings TreeHugger has been sad to see go:
Off to the Dump: House by Paul Rudolph
Documenting Destruction: Paul Rudoph Houses
Paul Rudolph House Saved, Sort Of
Big Steps in Building: Ban Demolition

Related Content on