Friday, December 08, 2006

New York Team Films Documentary On Riverview High School

The Metropolis Team of five people, from New York City, was in Sarasota for four days last week filming a Documentary on Riverview High School, which is scheduled for demolition. The school was designed by Internationally recognized Architect Paul Rudolph.

Metropolis, based in New York for 25 years and distributed Internationally, is one of the world’s outstanding publications - “in reviewing Contemporary Life through DESIGN”.

Metropolis EDITOR IN CHIEF, Susan Szenasy, learned of Riverview High School’s proposed demolition from the American Institute of Architects’ Headquarters in Washington and visited the Riverview Site. The Documentary is to investigate the following :

  • How a Community could allow such an Internationally important building to be up for demolition.
  • How the Save Riverview Committee, a broad-based, grass roots effort, is working to save this important part of the Community's Architectural Legacy.

The Metropolis Team filmed interviews with the following leaders of the Save Riverview Committee : Mollie Cardamone (former Mayor of Sarasota), Lee Byron (former Chairperson of the Sarasota County School Board) and Carl Abbott FAIA Architect / Planner.

Others Committee Members interviewed : Architect Mark Smith, the new President of the State of Florida American Institute of Architects (Mark is a graduate of Riverview High School and has a daughter in school there now); John Howey in Tampa, author of the MIT publication Sarasota School of Architecture; Joe King (author of a book on Rudolph buildings in Florida) and Guy Peterson FAIA (a graduate of Riverview High School). To be interviewed are Charles Gwathmey FAIA in New York and other Design Experts throughout the Country.

BMK Architects' Darryl McClain, head of the firm who is designing the new school to replace Riverview High School, was interviewed ; Dr. Norris, Superintendent of the Sarasota County School Board, refused to be interviewed.

The Metropolis Documentary on Riverview High School will be shown across America as a guide for other Communities.

Susan Szanasy has written an editorial titled "What We Value" that includes a description of the effort to save the Rudolph courtyard buildings:

Rudolph’s experimental architecture can pass on what he learned about observing climate (subtropical), terrain (the building was sited to blend in with the surrounding pines), and culture (progressive Modern buildings represented the aspirations of the county as a center for the arts).


Anonymous said...

I attended RHS from 96 - 00 & feel a bit sad about the loss of such an architecturally important building. I was always pretty amazed at the view of our school when viewing it from the court yard. This being said, the school was falling down around us. One year I had a class cancelled 3 times due to flooding from rain. The water eventually destroyed our books. And with all the add-ons over the years the original concept seemed to have lost its ways. I would love for the county or school board to strip away all the access and keep the original plan. Possibly as offices. But as time passes this looks less and less likley.

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