The latest in the debate over Paul Rudolph's controversial Orange County Government Center, Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times stresses the importance of its survival in "A Chance to Salvage a Master's Creation." The much debated plan for the now monumental structure would alter much of its existing character, whether by removal or replacement. Kimmelman argues that despite the criticism the Government Center has garnered from some, Orange County should reconsider architect Gene Kaufman's alternate proposal which would keep the structure intact and would restore it to its former glory.
In response to the recent rejection of Kaufman's proposal to keep the Government Center intact and provide a new government center designed by his firm Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman, Orange County executive Steven Neuhaus argued, "My job is to make an honest, unemotional calculation of facts based on reality and the best deal for our taxpayers." Kimmelman views the issue differently, however, stating the vetoed proposal "would save the center, potentially save the county a fortune, bring in tourist dollars, and even put the Rudolph building on the tax rolls."
As for those who would demolish the existing Government Center because of its derelict condition, Kimmelman refers to a former restoration by the firm, claiming, "years of contempt and neglect were stripped away... Almost miraculous, the restoration vindicates Rudolph." Whether or not the Government Center will be given this opportunity for transformation will be determined on February 5, when the county legislatures will reexamine, and potentially override, the vetoed proposal.
Read Kimmelman's full article, here.