Modernist gem or eyesore? NY building again stirs debate

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

GOSHEN, N.Y. (AP) — The Orange County Government Center features a geometric jumble of concrete-and-glass box shapes rising several floors. It is hailed as a modernist treasure — and panned as an ugly place to apply for a driver's license.

Crews are preparing to renovate and partially demolish the sprawling building 50 miles northwest of Manhattan. But preservationists are still trying to halt a project that they say will permanently disfigure the landmark. No demolition will occur before July.

The building was closed in September 2011 after it was damaged by remnants of Hurricane Irene, forcing county operations to other buildings.

County officials settled on a compromise plan to replace one of the three sections to give the front entrance a more generic municipal look. The other two sections will be renovated.