The World Monuments Fund calls for international awareness to the 2012 list of endangered monuments. The watch encompasses 67 threatened cultural-heritage sites worldwide. These influential landmarks include the iconic Manufacturers Trust Company Building in New York City designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York.
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The former 1950’s Manufactures Trust Bank exemplifies mid-century modern architecture situated on one of the busiest streets of Manhattan. The glass and aluminum façade abandoned the traditional “fortress” approach and confidently displayed the interiors of the bank, exposing the 30-ton steel vault serving as a metaphor for transparency in banking. In 1997, the building was designated a New York City landmark and in early 2011 received protection for the modern interiors designed by Eleanor H. Le Maire. The current owners are adapting the building for reuse and altering the interior features, endangering the iconic bond between the exterior and interior.
Considered one of Paul Rudolph’s greatest achievements, the 1970’s Orange County Government Center is an icon of the late modernist era. Large expanses of glass puncture the massive concrete exterior bathing the complex interior with natural light. Poor maintenance has lead to deterioration and in September a large flood caused extensive damage to the structure. The county government has been calling for the building to be demolished.