Goshen, Orange County NY

More internationalising of worsts. Another from Bartender’s Skills with a Manhatten. For those still wondering, the whole world is regarded as the outer environs of Perth.
BSWAM says…
We’re off to Goshen, NY, land of horse races and gin-soaked sadness, where this last October I visited two massive buildings. It is generally accepted that one is a masterpiece of American architecture, the other an overbearing concrete monstrosity. Which is which is a local point of contention.
The first stop is the Orange County Government Center, designed and built 1963-76 by Paul Rudolph, the then Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture.  Based on an interpretation of Italian hill village architecture, the Center is in fact located on an ancient flood plain as flat as a billiards table. Orange-County-Center
Having seen the place I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed a masterpiece, with an awesome sculptural presence that my crappy pictures do little to nothing to convey – on the other hand, it has 87 roofs and they all leak.  Orange-County-Center-Courtyard
I don’t think the bench is original.
The locals would probably prefer it if the Center had been designed to be more in harmony with the town’s legal offices and village hall, both directly across the street (originally private houses from the 1790s -1810 period). Town-Hall,-Goshen,-NYColonial-house,-Goshen,-NY
Two great old buildings – the beautiful Anthny Dobbin’s Inn, now closed, which dates to 1747, and a charming Victorian house, currently empty, that sit side by side next to the Village Hall and the legal offices. The inn is for sale, the last owner of the family that built it having passed away in 2012, and the house appears to be in the tentative stages of restoration.
This is the view – the Orange County Government Center Parking Lot.Orange-County-Center-Parking-Lot
The second enormous building is Glenmere, a house designed in the 1910s by the firm of Carrere & Hastings, whose other work in the area, Arden, is even larger and grander. Best known for the New York Public Library, (the one with the lions out in front) they are celebrated for their public buildings. Their domestic output, not so much. Glenmere-Entrance-Facade
The place was restored from ruinous conditions and is now a 5-star hotel with limited access for non-guests. I was too nervous to take any pictures of the off-limits interior spaces, but a peek into the white-on-white-on-white-on-white Art Deco salon convinced me that it would be a pretty good place to be suddenly shot dead by Barbara Stanwyck.Glenmere-Formal-Garden
Someone was looking at me from one of the upper windows as I took this picture. No idea who, but they spent $2,000 a night to do so.
Not really loving the color scheme, although it is evidently original.
The view is wonderful, however.
It seems that if these two buildings could trade places everything would be perfect. Glenmere is much more a pretentious public building and the County Government Center, sited on an actual hill, would make a great luxury hotel. As it is, the Center is seen as a carbuncle-class eyesore and Glenmere feels as if someone dragged a train station up a mountain and then ran away giggling.
Nothing will help that fucking wasteland of a parking lot, though.Glenmere-View

About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in The Worst of New York, worst architecture, worst carpark and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Goshen, Orange County NY

  1. I love the Victoria House. Looks like the kind of place you could lock DFOC in the tower when guests come around.


  2. Bento says:

    Americans appear to plonk benches in the same way we plonk ‘public art’.

    I love the Government Center. Looks like the sort of place you could send DFOC from counter to counter for eternity, in a fruitless search to get details on a setback variation.


  3. Snuff says:

    Dig the Orange County Government Center, (except for the bench), and the Victorian house tower. The rest, meh. That carpark would be perfect Perth if the lawn were more registered.


  4. Russell Woolf's Lovechild says:

    Meanwhile, in local news …


  5. Russell Woolf's Lovechild says:

    “… on the other hand, it has 87 roofs and they all leak.”

    A tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright?


  6. BSWAM says:

    Goshen…it’s a strange place. Glorious houses, a handsome and well-preserved downtown and one of the few towns in the HRV to have a classic New England-style green, yet there is an air of indescribable malice about everything, a kind of brooding, hateful undercurrent of resentment. A bastion of Republican values in a primarily Democrat-leaning county, it exemplifies the self-pity and persecution complex that currently characterizes America’s right-wing rich. The progressive culture that built the Orange County Govenrment Center – and, indeed, Anthony Dobbin’s Inn – is long gone. What’s left gardens a bit, golfs a bit and pays $2000 grand a night to stare icily at intruders from an upstairs window.


  7. BSWAM says:

    Found a YouTube video that shows Arden, the other massive Carrere & Hastings house in the area. It sits in the center of Harriman-Wayne State Park and is the inspiration for Wayne Manor in the Batman comics. Not sure what the “original” music was for this video. I assume the opening theme to “Dynasty.”


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