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The building for Judd’s Architecture Office. Photo: Judd Foundation.
The building for Judd’s Architecture Office. Photo: Judd Foundation.

Donald Judd’s Marfa Office Heavily Damaged in 12-Hour Fire

Donald Judd’s Architecture Office in Marfa, Texas, has been gutted by a blaze of undetermined origin that burned steadily for twelve hours beginning just after midnight on June 4. The two-story brick 1907 structure, formerly known as the Glascock Building and purchased by the late groundbreaking Minimalist in 1990, was nearing the end of a three-year renovation: A new sprinkler system had been purchased for it but was a week away from being installed ahead of the expected July 3 project completion when the fire broke out. Volunteer firefighters responded to the scene, and no injuries were reported and no artworks, furnishings, or design or architectural objects were damaged, as the building was largely empty at the time of the conflagration.

The Judd Foundation and New York– and Marfa-based architectural firm Schaum/Shieh have said they will rebuild the structure. “This is a heartbreaking turn of events for everyone who put so much care into the restoration effort. We are turning our focus to protecting the remaining structure and supporting the Judd Foundation in the ultimate reconstruction of this historic building in Marfa,” said Troy Schaum, a founding partner of Schaum/Shieh. Working with the Judd Foundation and according to the artist’s plans, the firm has been overseeing the restoration or completion of six of the twenty-one Marfa buildings owned by Judd, who lived and worked in the town during the 1970s. Among these are La Mansana di Chinati, the artist’s home (also known as the Block); the Print Building; the Ranch Office; and the Archives Building.

“It is a setback, not a defeat,” Judd Foundation artistic director Flavin Judd, the artist’s son, told The New York Times. “While it will take twice as much effort, we will restore it and open it.”