After you left, they tore it apart

Chris Mottalini is a New York-based photographer who has documented vacant homes designed by Paul Rudolph, photographed just prior to demolition.

Westport, CT 1972-2007

Rudolph's building seems to be falling these days at a rate faster than even the busiest architect can throw them up. The house above in Westport received a fair amount of press earlier in the year when a last-minute attempt to save it failed.

Westerly, RI, 1956-2007

The Cerritto House in Rhode Island was spared the fate of other Rudolph creations, as its new owners moved it to Catskill, NY. Like other houses, this one depended a great deal on its site for its meaning, though I'm guessing the move is seen as a win over the apparently popular alternative these days.

Sarasota, FL, 1941-2007

Rudolph is known for many things, such as popularizing the short-lived brutalist Modernism of his Yale Art and Architecture building. He was also one of the major architects of the Sarasota School of Architecture, "a regional style of post-war architecture that emerged on Florida's Central West Coast." The Riverview High School is the latest building threatened in that state, in addition to houses like above.

While Mottalini's photos in the "after you left, they tore it apart" series strike a similar appeal as other images of ruins and the like, they serve a dual purpose of bringing attention to not only the state of these buildings shortly before their fate is sealed, but also raising the question of why such unique buildings are threatened to begin with.

(Thanks to Chris for the head's up!)


  1. great post. that second shot from the bottom is almost heartbreaking.

  2. A correction: the Westerly, Rhode Island house was unfortunately demolished this past Spring despite concerted efforts to relocate the structure elsewhere. The three parties involved in the negotiations were not able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on how the project was to proceed.

  3. Art Critic Phyllis Tuchman wrote a story about this today at It's called Coming Around Again.


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