A few years ago when I first heard about Goshen, NY's plans to demolish the Orange County Government Center from 1967, I knew I had to go and check the place out for myself. I hadn't been to Goshen since I was a little kid and was unfamiliar with the landscape there. After my first visit, I was smitten with the Brutalist structure and disappointed in the attitude that it should be demolished.
Since then I've tried to visit regularly. I've been back there over a half a dozen times–each trip making images of the architecture and the status of the cultural butchery. My last two visits were particularly weird. A new building has grown an appendage to Paul Rudolf's masterwork set in a style. You could call Zombie Modernism. While it's not quite worse than a full demolition, it is a growth that is offensive. There seems to be little thought or care in its design. There is no conversation between the two structures; it's more like an argument. For example, the new building is clad in smooth steel. The brutalist structure has a rough concrete exterior.
I think about cases where old and new were joined together successfully (The Morgan Library's Renzo Piano editions come to mind), and I have to say this is an awful example of architecture gone wrong. This is the McMansion Hell in government office form. My only hope is one day a future generation will come along and slice off the new appendage.
Part 1 of an ongoing series as the new construction wraps up.