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Saving Paul Rudolph at Yale

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Interesting story from the Tribune about saving Paul Rudolph‘s Art and Architecture building on Yale‘s campus. Rudolph, as you might know or remember us talking about at times, is one of the most tragic figures in modernist architecture, given how many of his buildings having been destroyed or are set for demolition. Luckily, Yale has stepped up and decided to save the building, at a cost of near $130 million dollars, clearly helped by having Robert A.M. Stern running the university’s architecture program. It’s a great piece, explaining both the tragedy of the extermination of Rudolph’s work and why, if you’re going to save something, this Art and Architecture building has to be it.

The Art and Architecture building is not only generally regarded as Rudolph’s masterpiece. It also was his workplace. He was the head of Yale’s architecture program from 1957 to 1965, and the students during Rudolph’s tenure who have gone on to illustrious careers include not only Stern but also Charles Gwathmey, who is overseeing the restoration; British architects Norman Foster and Richard Rodgers; and Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman.

“He was a brilliant teacher,” Stern recalled during a tour for journalists through the half-completed building, which is scheduled to reopen for students in August. “But he left many students, regardless of gender, in tears. I don’t know if it was a healthy environment, but it certainly made us aware that what we were doing was important.”

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