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Paul Rudolph and the Challenge of Preserving Modern Architecture

A photographer sets out to capture as many of the architect's remaining buildings as he can, before they're gone.
relates to Paul Rudolph and the Challenge of Preserving Modern Architecture
Chris Mottalini

It’s not easy being a neglected modernist building.

Design that felt cutting edge at mid-century may indeed still feel too avant-garde to people viewing it today (even when the replacement structure is tacky '80s contemporary). These buildings are old, but often not old enough to be considered “historic” (and therefore worth saving). The lucky structures have devoted residents (like most of the mid-century modernist icons) or generous endowments to keep them in mint condition (say Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water) and/or are concentrated in modern-friendly locales like Los Angeles, a city particularly welcoming of a diversity of architectural styles (just last week, the Getty announced its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative, dedicated to “conserving 20th century heritage, with a focus on modern architecture.”) But many neglected works sit awaiting saviors, often unable to be saved from the wrecking ball.