Friday, June 23, 2006

Message From AIA

They know not what they do...

The Sarasota School Board voted 5-0 to demolish Paul Rudolph's original Riverview High School buildings on Tuesday night.

The presentation from the Save Riverview side was excellent. The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) and the Sarasota Historic Alliance both offered funds to the school board toward paying the architects to do further studies to save the Rudolph buildings. John Howey, FAIA and Joe King, AIA, both of which have written books on Rudolph's work, gave compelling historical reasons on the importance of the Riverview buildings. Guy Peterson, FAIA, Riverview grad, told of how his firm has recently renovated Rudolph's Revere House and added an addition that compliments Rudolph's work because of the owner's insight of its historical importance. Carl Abbott, FAIA presented a diagrammatic site plan developed by his committee that illustrated how the existing Rudolph buildings could be worked with a new school design that satisfied the school board's requirement of centralized parking and single entrance onto the campus.

On behalf of AIA Florida, President-Elect Mark Smith, AIA gave a plea that these historic buildings, once gone, can never be replaced, and that these historic buildings belong to the entire world not just Sarasota.

A handful of teachers and parents spoke on how they wanted a new school. Many could not seem to understand that saving the school and designing a 21st century school were not mutually exclusive.

Mark Smith, AIA commented that, “It is extremely disappointing and disheartening to watch the irreplaceable be deemed irrelevant. To watch our past be disregarded. To watch history be erased.”

Thank you to the Save Riverview Committee for your valiant efforts.

It is unfortunate that the School Board members could not see the value in restoration and preserving a piece of Florida history.

phone: 850-222-7590


Anonymous said...

Who votes these board members in?
I ask, because I see 100% incompetence to insure a proper vision on education from these people.
The rest of the world is boggled as of why America keeps destroying their cultural heritage.
Maybe this is just a reflection of American culture, and hopefully not just plain ignorance...

Architect DPLG

Anonymous said...

The U.S. doesn't have a lot of respect for its history. Officials have knocked down prominent buildings of some of America's greatest architects. In Sarasota however, they are better organized to destroy their heritage than any place I know of. Anyone who knew Sarasota in the 50's, 60's, or 70's would hardly recognize it today. It has lost its character. Sarasota officials and developers have worked hard to make it as 'anywhere USA' as they can. They have sold its past, present and future for convenience, ignorance and greed. Ignorance couldn't possibly be to blame for all that has occurred. But it certainly has played an important part in the process. I think even Hugh Hefner would consider what has been done to Sarasota as obscene.

Mark Wilson, architect
Charlottesville, VA