Taking a longer view on the County Government Center

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:50

    When the Eiffel Tower was proposed, the people of Paris were outraged. It did not fit in with the character of Paris, they claimed.(Sound familiar?) The French government refused to pay for it. So Eiffel paid for it. In 1989 I was in Paris and watched the French celebrate the 100th birthday of the tower. About 50 years ago, I and other architects picketed in a failing attempt to prevent Penn Station from being torn down. It was only 50 years old. Today it would never be torn down. At approximately the same time another 50 year old building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Building was torn down to make room for a parking lot. Again, today that would not happen. Gothic architecture was disliked so much and considered so crude that it was named after a tribe of barbarians. Today we rightly revere the style. It appears that a building must reach the age of 100 to be fully appreciated. Like the Alexander Jackson Davis Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh, the Goshen County Center is recognized as an architectural masterpiece by architectural historians, art experts and others possessing a developed sense of aesthetics. But it is only 40 years old and popular taste has barely begun to appreciate it. One would hope that the Orange County Government would not make the same mistake that short-sighted people who tore down Penn Station did. Konrad Von Appen Warwick