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Yet another Rudolph building faces destruction

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Another Paul Rudolph building could face the wrecking ball, with a tower in Boston, USA, set to make way for an 80-storey tower designed by Renzo Piano.

The move has pitted preservationists against the developer, Steve Belkin, who has firm backing for the demolition from Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino.

The 13-storey Rudolph tower, designed in the mid-1960s, is yet another building by the Modernist facing destruction, with some of his work already having been razed.

Rudolph's Micheels Residence in Connecticut has already been demolished (Rudolph home demolished despite massive opposition), and his Riverview High School in Florida is also in danger (AJ 18.01.07).

Preservation body Docomomo, which is devoted to preserving Modernist buildings, has stated that although it is not opposed to the new development, it does believe a solution is possible that accommodates Rudolph's building.

The squat tower, with its intricate concrete exterior, was said to be well ahead of its time, and president of Docomomo's New England branch, David Fixler, told the New York Times that Rudolph's building could still accompany Piano's.

Fixler said: 'There is a spirit of structural and system experimentation associated with the Rudolph building that is very close to Renzo Piano's. If it could be saved, it would make a good neighbour to his tower.'

by Richard Vaughan

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