Friday, June 16, 2006

Letter to the Editor - SHT

Preserve the Rudolph collection

I write to encourage the Sarasota County School Board's support of a reuse solution for the Paul Rudolph portion of Riverview High School, in light of its historic and architectural significance locally, nationally and throughout the world.

While times and educational-facility needs change, those cultural lessons learned from the preservation of the significant aspects of our built environment only enhance the experience of the children of our community. Lessons of preservation and celebration of our past are not taught merely through books and videos, but through learning and living in the locations that made the news.

I attended classes in Rudolph's Sarasota High School building and was continually intrigued by the structure and why it was how it was. I could also never escape the feeling that it was not well maintained, even then, leading me to the conclusion as an adult that the lack of care and regard for these resources has, unfortunately, existed for quite some time.

In any event, I do not believe our community's children should go without modern educational amenities, or have to endure extended periods of construction. However, I also believe we would be doing them, and everyone, a disservice by destroying those buildings that help make our community unique, and which are a symbol of the art and innovation that were (and are) what make Sarasota a destination.

Progress and preservation are not mutually exclusive concepts. Isn't it quite the opportunity for the district to underscore this point, through the renovation and reuse of Riverview, in turn acknowledging the district's unique status as the owner of the single largest collection of Sarasota School of Architecture structures, and embarking on the path to being a leading steward of this legacy as well?

Thomas B. Luzier


[Letter to the editor - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - published 6/16/06]

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