Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Riverview Graduates Writes To The School Board

Honorable School Board Members,

I am proud to say that I was among the 1,500 or so students who were in attendance at Riverview when it first opened in September 1958. I went on to graduate in 1961, attended MJC for a couple of years, then enlisted in the Navy in 1965. During the next 39 years I lived in and/or visited a wide-ranging variety of locations (both foreign and domestic) from Hawai'i to Mediterranean seaports in France, Italy, Spain, Egypt, and Israel. During my Navy career I developed an appreciation of Fine Art and Architecture.

As a naive High School student, I had no idea of the uniqueness of the buildings which comprise my High School Alma Mater. Since moving back to Sarasota, however, I have come to realize what a treasure Mr. Paul Rudolph came up with when he designed the historic Riverview Campus. Last September, during the Reunion of "The Founding Five" classes, I was stunned and disappointed to learn that you all plan to demolish this rich architectural treasure. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to please reconsider this decision. There just has to be a way that the existing plant can be renovated and upgraded to meet modern building standards more cheaply than tearing it down and building a whole new plant. Please consider giving a fair analysis of any option which would save Mr. Rudolph's original buildings.

Thank you for your time,
Richard P. Sundstrom
4027 Condor Lane
Sarasota, FL 34232-4915

1 comment:

Rod said...

Demolishing Riverview would be another blow to preserving "Old Sarasota". We natives have watched the Lido Pavillion, the train depot, and many other historic Sarasota structures razed for no good reason other than "progress".

Certainly, rehabilating this beautiful structure would be more cost effective than demolition. We Riverview grads truly value this great example of Rudolph architecture. Let's not tear down another beautiful building to make Sarasota a little more progressive.