In Stern We Trust
In spearheading the restoration of Paul Rudolph Hall, the School of Architecture dean left a mark on Yale. We look forward to his next.
It was a time to commend Charles Gwathmey ARC ’62 for his restoration success, and a time to rejoice, as hoards of alumni and architecture aficionados filled Paul Rudolph Hall for its rechristening this weekend.
But restoring the dilapidated Art & Architecture Building was not the only feat to be celebrated this weekend. So too was the decade-long quest by School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65 to persuade the University to look at an eyesore from a different point of view.
It was Stern who convinced President Levin to restore the A&A building, and then saw the project through from start to finish.
As Stern put it at the rededication, “Rudolph Hall rose like a phoenix from its own ashes.” Indeed it did and while Gwathmey deservedly gets the credit for engineering the restoration, Stern deserves praise, too, for demanding it in the first place.
Unlike his mentor, Rudolph, Stern builds traditionally and is sometimes decried for his old-fashioned ways. But though some critics write off his buildings as nostalgic or conservative and some certainly are Stern’s fight for the A&A building has shown he respects the avant-garde while also honoring tradition.
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