Olana Frederic Church Center for Art & Landscape
The Frederic Church Center for Art & Landscape is a new visitors’ facility for the Olana State Historic Site. Located near Hudson, NY, Olana was the home, studio, farm, and culminating masterpiece of Frederic Edwin Church, the preeminent artist of the Hudson River School of landscape painting.
The 4,500 SF building is the linchpin of landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz’s award-winning Strategic Landscape Design Plan for the entire 250-acre site. The project reorients the visitor’s arrival, providing an interpretive threshold to Church’s vision of Olana: a work of art uniting nature and culture.
Conceived as an indoor-outdoor space, the Center invites visitors through an entry lobby, café, restrooms, and a multipurpose room adjoining outdoor terraces and paths that connect to Olana’s historic carriage road network. From here, visitors can join a guided tour, access the lake to the restored farm, and explore the larger historic landscape.
In the spirit of Church’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the all-electric building is also an exemplar of sustainability, integrating mass timber construction (a first for a public building in New York State) and targeting LEED-Gold Certification.