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Rudolph home demolished despite massive opposition

A home designed by leading American Modernist Paul Rudolph has been knocked down, despite huge public opposition and a last-minute fight from the Connecticut state attorney general.

Even appeals from some of Rudolph's former students, such as international starchitects Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, fell on deaf ears as the bulldozers moved in early on Saturday morning (13 January).

Designed in 1972, the Modernist home on Minute Man Hill, Westport, was regarded by preservation groups as one of Rudolph's top three residential projects.

The building was the subject of an attempted restraining order, preventing it being razed, which failed due to the house not being listed on America's National Register of Historic Places.

State attorney general Richard Blumenthal even made a last-gasp attempt to reach a deal with the developer to keep the building - with another prospective buyer, and Rudolph enthusiast, waiting in the wings - but talks broke down late on Friday evening.

The demolition will come as particularly disturbing news to campaigners in Sarasota, Florida, who are fighting to keep another of Rudolph's buildings, Riverview School, from being knocked down.

A statement from the Paul Rudolph Foundation read: 'As more and more architecturally significant Modern homes reach critical points of neglect and eventual demolition, the consequences of devaluing the artefacts of our recent history will be felt by future generations.'

by Richard Vaughan

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