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Rescue bid launched for Rudolph's Orange County gem

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A US architect has submitted official proposals to buy the under-threat Orange County Government Centre in New York state for a reported $5 million.

Gene Kaufman, principal of Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates, is proposing that the iconic Brutalist building would be turned into a community arts hub.

The future of the building has been up in the air since it was closed in 2011 due to storm damage.

Kaufman said: ‘The Government Center is the single most important piece of architecture in Orange County.

‘Its destruction would be a tragedy, especially when a solution is at hand—repurposing the building as an arts hub—that would both ensure its survival and yield vast long-term benefits for the entire region.’

The center, designed by architect Paul Rudolph, opened in 1967 in Goshen, NY.
Rudolph was renowned for his Brutalist style and use of concrete, and also designed Yale’s 1963 Art and Architecture Building, which Gwathmey Siegel restored in 2008.

The threat that the building could be demolished provoked an outcry among architectural and preservation groups across the world.

Kaufman’s proposal was submitted at the end of last week in response to a request for proposals issued by the county last month.

Bidders are expected to submit a proposed contract for sale, along with a deposit of $1 million.

Earlier this year, Kaufman offered to work for the county for reduced fees if it committed to paying for the refurbishment, a suggestion that was not taken up.

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