It wasn’t a good year for the Paul Rudolph Foundation. In 2004, Ernst Wagner, who established the foundation, took a nasty fall in the Manhattan town house that Rudolph designed for himself and Wagner in 1989. His injury followed the departure of the foundation’s director, who left due to a budget shortfall.
Wagner and the foundation recovered, but today the organization faces a new crisis as Rudolph’s buildings are endangered by a storm of real estate pressure and Rudolph’s association with the misunderstood and underappreciated Brutalist movement. The list of threatened or demolished structures includes a 1972 house commissioned by Dr. and Mrs. Louis Michaels in Westport, Connecticut, that came down in January. The current owners of Rudolph’s Cerrito residence in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, were making plans to tear down that property until, earlier this month, a pair of New Yorkers stepped in with an offer to move it to the Catskills.