Orange County Government Center

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Orange County Government Center
The Orange County Government Center, located on Main Street ( NY 207) in Goshen, New York, is as its name suggests the main office of the government of Orange County. It houses most county officials' offices and meetings of the county legislature. The records of Orange County Court and all deeds and mortgages filed in the county are kept there as well. An office of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is located on the first floor. It was designed by noted architect and dean of the Yale School of Architecture Paul Rudolph in 1963 and built in 1967. A courtyard divides the portion of the building hosting the executive and legislative branches from the half that hosted County Court until the late 1990s, when the state's Court Facilities Capital Review Board deemed the old courthouse unfit for use. A new addition was built to its north to house the courts and opened in the early 2000s, at considerable cost and frequent delay. Its architecture has been subject to some criticism. At the time of its construction it was called a "monstrosity". "If I took a poll in town, it would be demolished tomorrow," County Executive Edward Diana said in 2010. In 2010 he proposed a replacement building, but the county legislature balked at the $114 million cost during difficult economic times. The building has had problems over its life. It leaked severely enough after a heavy storm in 1970 that the Finance Department had to stretch a tarpaulin across the ceiling. Today many of its 87 roofs leak and it has also become expensive to heat. So great are these problems, that when Diana considered demolishing it to build a new one in early 2004 the objections raised were purely financial. However, the costs of doing so are prohibitive enough that the idea has been dropped. At the same time it is uncertain whether it would be feasible to repair the building, and demolition is still the strongest possibility. There have been some architects who have urged the building's preservation, however, pointing to its historic value, Rudolph's stature as an architect, and the imaginative use of space within the building. The Paul Rudolph Foundation has been working to preserve both it and Chorley School in nearby Middletown, which has been slated for demolition. Some even consider it beautiful.