Protect Rudolph Building

February 13, 2013, Letter to the Editor, Sarasota Herald TribuneSarasota High School SOS

They always say, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” The Sarasota School Board is about to prove this with its plans to demolish the common areas of the historic Paul Rudolph Addition at Sarasota High School. This will forever alter the iconic architect’s last remaining public building in Florida.

Responsible local governments all across the country are going out of their way to protect significantly historical homes, buildings and landmarks. Sarasota should be one of them.

Imagine visiting the Lincoln Memorial and finding it encased in a glass, air-conditioned box to make visitors more “comfortable.”

Imagine visiting the great cathedrals of Europe only to find inside modern track lighting and altars of gleaming stainless steel to make them more “relevant” to today’s worshipers.
Absurd, but similar to what is being proposed in Sarasota.
We bought a home on Siesta Key eight years ago because we loved the area’s beaches, cultural attractions and strong, modern architectural heritage.

Paul Rudolph is a founding figure in the field of modern architecture. His work began here and he’s recognized internationally.

As steward of this unique, historic structure, the School Board has the responsibility to honor the 2007 stipulation in which they agreed to appropriately rehabilitate the Rudolph Addition. Please, board members, direct your architects to redesign the common areas of Building No. 4 with proper respect for the entire structure.

History will prove you right.

Michael Bille
Lois Greenbaum
Siesta Key, FL
Link to Herald Tribune

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