This past year also saw two of the finest restorations of great landmarks in memory: Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building, at Yale (now renamed Paul Rudolph Hall), by Gwathmey Siegel, and the Eldridge Street Synagogue, on the Lower East Side, by Walter Sedovic.
Rudolph’s 1963 landmark is a brilliant, infuriating, impossible, frustrating, and breathtakingly glorious masterpiece that had been mistreated for years. The restoration by Rudolph’s former student Charles Gwathmey is not merely respectful, but loving. Gwathmey brought back the combination of toughness and sumptuousness that made this building so remarkable, and—thanks in part to the highly functional if not particularly lyrical addition he put beside it—it now works far better than it ever did.
Architecture’s Ten Best of 2008 Paul Goldberger New Yorker 12/17/08