Volunteering at the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation matters and makes a difference - and we rely on volunteers to help us with our mission and to reach our goals. This year we were fortunate to have the help of several volunteers including Ethan Shapiro and Yasmine Rajkarnicar - who each brought a fresh perspective and a shared passion for Paul Rudolph’s work.
We received the following note from Yasmine Rajkarnicar. She recently returned to St. Cloud, Minnesota to study construction management at St. Cloud State University. Yasmine's enthusiasm and hard work were a great asset for us, helping with research and updates to our archives. It was also a plus that she loves brutalism :)
A SUMMER WITH PAUL RUDOLPH
I stumbled across the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation’s webpage one day as Summer was coming to a close and I was feeling that my Summer had not been exactly fulfilling. The Foundation had people like Anton Garcia Abril, Normal Foster and Iwan Baan follow them on Instagram. And I was fascinated to learn that their office was inside the iconic Modulightor building - the epitome of Paul Rudolph’s architecture of interconnected complex spaces, giving the feel of levitating planes and spaces. Before I knew it, I had signed up for a volunteer-internship with the Foundation and I was on my way to New York City.
During my time at the Foundation, I had the chance to explore many of Paul Rudolph’s wonderful buildings. I researched about the current condition of some Paul Rudolph houses and updated the Foundation’s website. I wrote a report on the Niagara Falls Public Library that is currently being threatened with demolition. My research assignments led me to books such as Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses, Paul Rudolph the Late Work by Roberto de Alba and magazines at USModernist. As I worked on Rudolph’s buildings, the story behind the design of each building came to life for me. I heard many interesting stories about Paul Rudolph’s life and his source of inspiration behind his buildings from his two best friends. The Foundation’s building is ornamented with Paul’s artifacts and drawings and it’s like a living documentary of Paul Rudolph’s life.
The office staff always seem like they are on an adventure or a mission of some kind, working on saving one building one day and another the next day. Kelvin Dickinson, the President of the Foundation, is always running from one state to another to gather more information or pictures of buildings threatened by demolition.
The office is busy with so many things going on and buzzing with exciting news about architecture and design. Everyone is constantly working on something and when we’re not working, we’re talking about Émilie du Châtelet or Ludwig Wittgenstein or Peter Eisenmann debates or Louis Barragan’s new documentary and of course, Paul Rudolph!
The Foundation also hosts many exciting events where a lot of design professionals, architecture enthusiasts and scholarly people come to socialize and network in this niche circle. I got to attend a ‘Women in Events’ party by peerspace, an open house party and Vladimir Belogolovsky’s (founder of the Intercontinental Curatorial Project) talk on the iconic Buildings of New York.
I learned so much more about architecture on the whole - concepts, issues and personalities. I didn’t expect to learn or do much at the Foundation, but I was actually given meaningful assignments and not just scanning or filing. I came out feeling inspired and transformed. I am not sure I actually did make a difference to the legacy of Paul Rudolph but what is important is that I felt like it in my own small way. Well, Mr. Rudolph ………...it’s been real! You just made my Summer of 2019!
Like Yasmine, you too can share your passion for Paul Rudolph’s work by volunteering with us. Join our dedicated team and help us preserve and share Paul Rudolph’s legacy. If you would like to know more, please reach out to us at email@example.com