Saturday, May 20, 2006

Riverview, Rudolph and the National Press

There's a storm of controversy brewing in the national press over the Sarasota County School Board's decision to tear down Riverview High School.

Articles recently appeared in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boston Globe, Dwell, and Architectural Record.

Why is this? Apparently, the Paul Rudolph-designed original buildings on the Riverview campus are well-known works of 20th-century architecture and primary historic assets. The district would tear them down and replace them with a parking lot.

I hope it is not too late for the School Board to stop and look for ways to renovate, retrofit, upgrade and reuse the Paul Rudolph-designed Riverview High School buildings as part of its overall plan for an enlarged new campus. At current construction prices, adaptive reuse of these historic buildings just might be cheaper than brand-new construction. What can I do to help?

Martie Lieberman

The writer helped start the Sarasota Architectural Foundation and resides in Sarasota.
[Letter published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune 5/19/06]

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