The Sarasota Herald-Tribune posted an article yesterday about the status of the demolition of Paul Rudolph's iconic Riverview High School.
According to the article, only half of the building is still standing, with the demolition crews having reached the student drop-off area with the distinct Paul Rudolph-designed sun shades.
The building had been drastically altered during the last couple of decades, with a metal hip roof and fabric awnings added by school officials who were less sympathetic to the structure than the original patron - Philip Hiss. Mr. Hiss, a wealthy Sarasota builder and chairman of the Sarasota school board during the late Fifties, found the young Rudolph the perfect architect for the job because he thought the current educational environment had grown too stale.
The original condition of the building, with its "exposed steel frame, excessive use of glass and the meticulous planarity of the flush brick panels have a distinct Mies van der Rohe flavor," noted Sibyl Moholy-Nagy in her 1970 book about Paul Rudolph.
Despite efforts by the Paul Rudolph Foundation and other preservation groups - including a proposed reuse for the building by architect Dianne Lewis - the school board chose to tear it down for a parking lot.
The original dedication plaque, which lists Paul Rudolph as the architect and Phil Hiss as the chairman of the school board, has been removed.