Paul Rudolph's Sarasota High School                                 
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SAF and School Board Team Up to Preserve Rudolph Canopy Walkway at Sarasota High

4-27-17 Press Release
SARASOTA, April 27, 2017 – The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) and the School Board of Sarasota County have reached agreement on a plan that retains and restores a significant section of the Paul Rudolph-designed canopy walkway at Sarasota High School. The agreement was formalized at the School Board’s regular meeting on
April 18, 2017 with SAF board members attending. Read More


Saving Rudolph's Canopy Walkway @ SMOA
3-31-15 Press Release
Ringling College and Sarasota Architectural Foundation Create Preservation Plan for Paul Rudolph-Designed Canopy at the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA)
Sarasota, FL – Ringling College of Art and Design president Dr. Larry R. Thompson today announced that following meetings with architect Carl Abbott and delegates of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) and Ringling College’s Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) builder David Sessions of Willis A. Smith Construction, a workable plan has been developed to preserve the architectural integrity of the 1960’s era Paul Rudolph-designed canopy adjoining the historic 1920’s Sarasota High School Building. Read More

3-28-15 Statement by Ringling College of Art + Design

“Dr. Thompson is optimistic that there may be a solution that satisfies the needs of SMOA and the interests of SAF and its members,” according to a statement released by Ringling College.

“Although there is no definitive agreement at this time, discussion is ongoing and a decision will be made early next week following further research and deliberation.”

3-27-15 Statement by Ringling College and SAF to Study Plan to Preserve Paul Rudolph-Designed Canopy at the Sarasota Museum of Art

Ringling College of Art and Design president Dr. Larry R. Thompson announced today that there was an early morning meeting with architect Carl Abbott, FAIA, and delegates of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) and Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA) builder David Sessions of Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc. to explore ideas for the preservation of the 1960’s era Paul Rudolph-designed canopy adjoining the historic 1920’s Sarasota High School Building.

3-26-15 Statement by the Ringling College of Art + Design

"Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry Thompson met with Carl Abbott and leadership of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation this morning on site at SMOA. The decision was made by Dr. Thompson to delay canopy removal for two days. Architects and contractors for SMOA and SAF will meet during this period to explore potential solutions to determine whether the canopy can be preserved."


4-1-15, Herald-Tribune, by Harold Bubil
The Canopy Accord: Compromise Reached on Rudolph-designed Canopy at SMOA

3-31-15, Your Observer, by Nick Reichert
Canopy Compromise

3-27-15, Herald-Tribune, by Harold Bubil
Ringling Still Studying Rudolph Walkway Options

3-26-15, Herald-Tribune, by Harold Bubil
SHS Canopy Demolition is Delayed

3-26-15, Your Observer, by Nick Reichert
A Canopy Too Far: An Architectural Impasse

3-25-15, Herald-Tribune, by Harold Bubil
SHS Canopy Still Standing: SAF Plans Rally for Thursday

2013 Preservation Efforts

We need your help NOW! The Sarasota County School Board is not honoring their 2007 stipulation to "appropriately rehabilitate" Paul Rudolph's Sarasota High School Addition. SAF requests that the School Board direct Harvard Jolly Architects to revise their plans to incorporate and rehabilitate - not destroy - the significant character-defining elements which are: (i) the floating walkway, (ii) linear light wells and, (iii) the steel door frames. And above all, include a preservation architect in the design process of the classrooms, locker room building and gym.

A properly rehabilitated architectural treasure is an asset that benefits the entire community. Dear School Board, stop wasting time and money and honor your commitment to Sarasota so that our students can receive the best possible 21st century learning experience.

Send a Letter to the Editor Email: [email protected] (Type "Letter" in the subject line.)
Mail: Letters Editor, Herald Tribune, PO Box 1719, Sarasota, FL 34230
Letters must have the writer's name, full address and daytime phone number and should be no longer than 250 words. The Tribune may have to condense letters and edit for accuracy. Writers may have one published letter every 30 days. No email attachments please.

Send an Email to the School Board
Sarasota County School Board addresses below.

Example Letter or Email:
I am very concerned with the current construction plans for Sarasota High School’s Paul Rudolph Addition, specifically, the demolition of Building no. 4’s common areas. The loss of the floating walkway, linear light wells, steel door frames and other character-defining elements will forever alter Paul Rudolph’s last remaining public building in Florida. As stewards of this unique, historic structure, you have the responsibility to honor the School Board’s 2007 stipulation to appropriately rehabilitate the Rudolph Addition. Please direct Harvard Jolly Architects to redesign the common areas of Building no. 4 with proper respect for the entire structure. Now is the time to do the right thing.

Thank you for your consideration.

Let’s offer our students the opportunity to learn in one of the
world’s most important and innovative 20th century school buildings that supports 21st century learning.

Yes, we can have it all. Sarasota values our students and our heritage.

School Board of Sarasota County
1960 Landings Boulevard, 3rd Floor
Sarasota, Florida 34231
941-927-9000, ext. 31105
Fax: 941-927-2539

Lori White, Superintendent of Schools
[email protected]

Scott Lempe, Deputy Superintendent of Schools
[email protected]

Shirley Brown, Vice Chair
[email protected]

Frank Kovach, Chair
[email protected]

Jane Goodwin
[email protected]

Bridget Ziegler, School Board Member
[email protected]

Caroline Zucker, School Board Member
[email protected]

Sarasota High School Paul Rudolph Addition

Recommendations for Effective Rehabilitation August 29, 2012 - The SAF has compiled a report that identifies features and elements that define the essential character of the Addition to Sarasota High School, designed by architect Paul M. Rudolph in 1958-1959. It is the goal of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation to support the efforts of the Sarasota County School District to affect a sensitive and efficient use of this important local treasure for 21st century learning.

Click to download the SHS Rehabilitation Recommendations PDF.

The June 2012 listing of the Rudolph
Addition at Sarasota High School to the National Register of Historic Places was
a perfect follow-up to the unanimous pubic support received for Design
Option 5 at the School Board's June design charrette for the renovation of
the school. Scott Lempe, COO, summarized the key features of
Option 5, that relate specifically to the Rudolph Addition:

  • Leave the entryway at the top of the grand stairway of Building 4 open (Building 4 is the classroom building)
  • Use the entry to Building 4 as the primary entryway to the campus
  • Rehabilitate Building 4 to provide 21st century learning opportunities
  • Rehabilitate the West Gym to accommodate the programs currently housed in Building 42 (in whole or part)
As a follow-up to these positive developments, SAF convened a panel of preservation and architectural experts to draft "Recommendations for Effective Rehabilitation" for the Rudolph Addition. These recommendations are based on the guidance provided by the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings. The focus of the recommendations is on "Rehabilitation" and working within the key features of Option 5, especially providing "21st Century Learning opportunities" for our students.

We hope that the School Board and the project architects will find this document both constructive and supportive of the project's objectives. To quote from the Standards, "The Standards are neither technical nor prescriptive, but are intended to promote responsible preservation practices that help protect our Nation's irreplaceable cultural resources."

Paul Rudolph's Sarasota High School
is now officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

8.4.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune/Real Estate Today by Harold Bubil
The Paul Rudolph-designed addition to Sarasota High School, known as building 4, was built in 1958 and has gained prominence as a significant example of modern architecture from the Brutalist period. Its restoration is part of a campus renovation that is being considered by the Sarasota County School Board.

SAF Board Member Cindy Peterson, University of Florida assistant professor Marty Hylton, Barbara Mattick and Carl Shiver of the Florida Department of Historical Resources worked together to submit the Paul Rudolph, Sarasota High School Addition for the National Register of Historic Places.

Rudolph, Paul, Sarasota High School Addition,
1000 School Ave., S.,
Sarasota, 12000365,
LISTED, 6/27/12

Click to learn more about the National Register of Historic Places.

School Board "Plan Charrette" Details
for Sarasota High School Renovations

What: SHS Plan Charrette
Sarasota County Technical Institute
- Conference Centre
4748 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL
Parking: Access the visitor's parking lot from the Proctor Road entrance.  Look for the Conference Center sign on the front of the new SCTI building.

When: June 6 & 7, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Why: To solicit input from stake holders on how best to renovate Sarasota High School focusing primarily on the west side of the campus
Who: All stake holders (students, teachers, parents, SHS, Alumni, business leaders, local neighborhood residents, preservationists, fiscal watchdogs, SAF members)
Moderator: Dan Bailey

Evening 1: School Board Information and Public Statements.

1) Information share. Bring all stake holders up to speed on what it is the school board is trying to do and the constraints they work within, including a presentation on 21st century learning. At least four possible site plans will be presented and the public will be asked for their feedback.

2) Open Mic. This will be an opportunity for anyone who wants to share a concern or a position to do so. The goal here is to make sure EVERYONE that wants to be heard has a chance to be heard.
Evening 2: Group Findings and Site Plan Consensus.

This will be a more controlled group where every stake holder group has a voice that is heard and no one is significantly over-represented. Attendees will divide up into groups to evaluate the four site plans (and any others that may come out of evening 1) based on a set of criteria. Discuss pros and cons. Then each group will report their findings and rank the plans in order of preference. Groups may be brought together in twos and asked to reach a consensus on their number one and two options. Then there will be a final consensus among all groups. The ultimate goal will be to have everyone on the Charette team sign the selected site plan acknowledging they can support that plan.
Evening 1 will be open to everyone and anyone. Evening 2 will be open as well but
participation may be limited so that each group is heard and the process is manageable.

Press Photos
Upon download, please credit photos as noted.
All media inquiries call .


“[Sarasota High School] is intended to suggest the uniqueness of the Florida climate through carefully arranged sun shields and interior ventilating and lighting scopes. Its concrete structural frame is bent in such a way as to create hollow boxes at every bay, thereby accommodating an integral mechanical system. Planes in space which allow the building to be understood from great distances are utilized rather than the linear organizations of earlier buildings. The open-ended aspect of the building allows it to grow: thus the notion that no building is ever fixed and complete within itself is made clear.”
Paul Rudolph in Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, 1970. p. 62.

At a time when designers and architects are thinking more and more about sustainability issues in their practices, they often ignore or are ignorant of the important work done by the Sarasota School in the days when architects naturally built to climate. This case study of Paul Rudolph's Riverview High School and Sarasota High School is a beautiful expression of climate sensitive architecture. The film advocates a thoughtful evaluation of the building and the ideas Rudolph designed into the school such as day-lighting, natural ventilation, sun-screens, and shade-giving plantings. Film by Metropolis magazine and Matthew Kohn

Sarasota Herald Tribune
Letter to the Editor from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy
Worth Preserving
"The Rudolph addition is a cultural asset to be celebrated and links directly to Sarasota's highly deserved reputation as a mecca of architectural modernism." 
Click to read letter


SAF Blasts School Board Staff

Sarasota Herald Tribune
by Harold Bubil

Simply painting a pretty face on Building 4 makes a cynical joke of the Board’s agreement to "appropriately rehabilitate" the Addition. If this plan proceeds, Sarasota will once again be known worldwide for the destruction of a priceless asset that will bring dishonor to the entire community…a community we have all be working so hard to grow and nourish. Click to read article

Letter from the Sarasota County Commissioners to the Sarasota County School Board
This is the time to honor an important commitment that was made with a specific purpose. Click to read letter

Sarasota Herald Tribune
Letter to the Editor
Protect Rudolph Building
They always say, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” The Sarasota School Board is about to prove this with its plans to demolish the common areas of the historic Paul Rudolph Addition at Sarasota High School. This will forever alter the iconic architect’s last remaining public building in Florida. Read more

Sarasota Herald Tribune
Letter to the Editor
Rudolph Addition a Plus
"[The Paul Rudolph Addition to Sarasota High School] can and should
be a showcase for 21st century learning and an extraordinary cultural attraction for Sarasota." Click for article

Sarasota Herald Tribune
by Harold Bubil
Rehab Would Alter Sarasota High's Open Air Interior
Click for article
Comment Online about this front page Tribune article: click here
9.1.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune
by Harold Bubil
Plans Move Ahead for Paul Rudolph's Buildings at Sarasota High School
Click for article

Click to download August 2012 "Recommendations for Effective Rehabilitation"
for the Sarasota High School Paul Rudolph Addition. The focus is on key features of Charrette Option #5 providing 21st Century Learning opportunities for the students.

Click to download the June 12, 2007 School Board Stipulation to appropriately rehabilitate the Paul Rudolph addition to Sarasota High School.

6.19.12 Sarasota County School Board Monthly Work Session

Scott Lempe, COO school district, presented the "Sarasota High Construction Project Charrette Report". Charrette Option #5 garnered 100% support from all participants. Mr. Lempe and the school board were in support
of Option #5. A formal vote will be taken in September. The school board should now challenge their architects to meet the budget.

6.6 - 7.12 Sarasota County School Board Charrette
Public forum to review and select design proposal for SHS renovations and the Paul Rudolph classroom and gym buildings.
Sarasota County Technical Institute Conference Center

Click to download three design options which were presented by the School Board at the Charrette's first night.

5.1.12 Sarasota County School Board Meeting
Harvard Jolly Architecture contract approval.

4.19.12 Sarasota County School Board Meeting
SAF (Dan Snyder and Jim Keaton) meeting with Jane Goodwin, School Board Member and Scott Lempe, COO.

4.17.12 Sarasota County School Board Meeting
SAF (Dan Snyder, Jim Keaton and Janet Minker) meeting with Shirley Brown, School Board Member.

4.16.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune by Dale White
School Board Treads Lightly on Sarasota High Renovations

School district officials proposed renovations for Sarasota High School would enclose the Paul Rudolph breezeway in glass. The Sarasota Architectural Foundation adamantly opposes enclosing the breezeways. "It sounds minor but enclosing them would really ruin the facade of the building," Dan Snyder, SAF board member said. Click for article

4.12.12 Council of Governments Meeting
School Board reporting to Sarasota County Commissioners regarding  Sarasota High School renovation plans. Discussion Item notes:
  • Sarasota High School – preliminary planning for renovations underway
  • Paul Rudolph buildings (Building 4 and old gymnasium) have historic significance – public concern about preserving these buildings
  • School Board has been holding meetings with architects [ed note: Harvard Jolly and Jonathan Parks]
  • Riverview project - architect fees were high; wanted to mitigate this expense on Sarasota High project by providing some suggested designs early in process.
  • Paul Rudolph proponents are already lobbying commissioners; concerned they will not be heard.
  • School Board wants to communicate that no decisions have been made, it’s very early in the process, will be working with architects and the public, Charette will be held (not yet scheduled); Building 4 will not be torn down.
4.10.12 Sarasota County School Board Meeting
SAF (Dan Snyder, Jim Keaton and Janet Minker) meeting with Lori White, School Superintendent, and Scott Lempe, CEO.

4.7.12 Preserving an Architectural Crown Jewel
Interview with Dan Snyder, Paul Rudolph Legacy committee chair
Stewardship of iconic buildings, like it or not, is something [the school board] has to do. If they do a good job, the classroom building could easily become the crown jewel of school buildings in the U.S."
Herald Tribune article by Chris Angermann

April 5, 2012 Sarasota Herald Tribune by Harold Bubil
Sarasota High School Photo Gallery

Great photo album with commentary on the history and status of the current preservation threat. Click for photos

3.30.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune by Harold Bubil
St. Petersburg Architect Chosen for Sarasota High School Project

"What remains to be resolved is the effort by the community to prevent the proposed glassing in of Building 4′s open entry plaza for use as a media center." Click for article

3.25.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune by Harold Bubil
Readers React to SHS Plan

Ken Marsh, Director of Long Range Planning
for the School Board of Sarasota County: "Please ensure that your readers know the site remains in development. The plan is a "draft."
Click to download PDF

3.22.12 Sarasota Observer - Opinion/My View
Explore More Options at SHS

"We hope the school district and school board can find a way to explore other options than to demolish the Rudolph gym and enclose the
breezeway. In the overall scope and scheme, that would be a small price for taxpayers to pay." Click for article

Sarasota County School Board Meeting
SAF presented a 3-minute statement to the School Board voicing concerns about the Board's renovation plans for Paul Rudolph's iconic Sarasota High School Addition [building 4 classrooms and building 5 gym]. SAF members in attendance were Sally Katt, Michael Kalman,
Jim Keaton, Janet Minker, Sandy Motto and Dan Snyder.

SAF Statement to School Board_Mar20-2012.pdf

3.17.12 Sarasota Herald Tribune by Harold Bubil

Sarasota High School Plan Worries Architects
About Paul
Rudolph's Sarasota High School and SAF's efforts to
preserve buildings 4 and 5.
Click for article

Public Service Ad Campaign
Photography by Jenny Acheson, 2012

View from the Rudolph-designed gym (building #5) looking South towards the Rudolph-designed classrooms, now referred to as building #4. Drawing by Paul Rudolph 1958

"Rudolph's Sarasota High School is one of the most important buildings of its period in America. It is one of the early 'environmentally green' structures in the country with sunscreens and natural ventilation. The large entry atrium, the form of the building, the way it relates to the land, were all new design approaches and important architectural elements."
Carl Abbott FAIA, original member of the Sarasota School of Architecture, March 2012, SRQ magazine
© 2017 Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF). All rights reserved.
SAF is a
not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that celebrates the Sarasota School of Architecture movement
and advocates to preserve the midcentury modern structures that exemplify its forward-looking principles.
SAF, PO Box 2911, Sarasota, FL 34230  
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