The Paul Rudolph Foundation Rebuts Criticism of Recent Article


From the Paul Rudolph Foundation web site.

The Paul Rudolph Foundation found itself the subject of a short and nasty article published in a local NYC weekly this past week. We were told, when we were orginally approached for the article, that it would be about the recent rededication of Rudolph Hall. As it turned out, the author had something else up his sleeve - including misquotes and misinformation.

In response, the Paul Rudolph Foundation released the following letter today to the editors:

December 2, 2008

New York Media
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013

To the Editors of New York Magazine:

We appreciate and share David Hay’s interest in the preservation of Paul Rudolph’s legacy. The Paul Rudolph Foundation is alarmed by the growing threats posed to Mr. Rudolph’s buildings and the work of his contemporaries John Johanson, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer both across the country and abroad.

Like the Lautner Foundation mentioned by Mr. Hay, we also work with realtors and share current listings on our For the three buildings lost since Paul’s death in 1997, we worked to place the property with interested buyers who recognized its architectural significance and shared our goal of its preservation. The Twitchell Residence (depicted in article) belonged to an architect who authored a book on Rudolph’s Florida work. It was only demolished as a last resort, due to heavy storm damage, and only after being fully documented. When the Cerrito Residence fell in 2007, Paul’s most recent building to meet its demise, the Foundation had worked personally with Mr. Hay to put the home in proper hands. Unfortunately, the deed holders refused to engage our efforts once a preservation plan had been formalized.

The founder of the Paul Rudolph Foundation and key patron, Mr. Ernst Wagner, fought vehemently with other supporters in 1999 to preserve Paul’s legendary apartment at Beekman Place as a place for the study of his contribution to modern architecture. When this effort ended with its sale and subsequent gutting, he offered work and archival space at the Modulightor townhouse to pursue the final wishes of Mr. Rudolph.

We welcome and encourage any inquiries into our activities and upcoming exhibition during our next open house, Friday, December 5th from 6-8 pm at the Foundation’s headquarters, located in the Rudolph-designed Modulightor Building at 246 E. 58th Street, or online at

As the recent renovation of Yale’s Art & Architecture building indicates, there are success stories. And with each loss we have gained supporters and experience as how to work more effectively to preserve Paul’s work for future generations. As Paul himself once said, “only time can ascertain the true artists.”


Kelvin Dickinson
Sean Khorsandi
Fong Huang
Ernst Wagner
George Balle