Olana Frederic Church Center

The Frederic Church Center 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.

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Rendering of Frederic Chruch Center at Olana State Historic Site

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.

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Rendering of the terrace at Frederic Church Center
The Center is embedded in the landscape and opens onto an outdoor terrace.

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.

 

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  • Rendering of the Frederic Church Center entry lobby
    The Center is the first public building in New York State to be constructed with mass timber.
  • Rendering of the cafe at the Frederic Church Center
    For the first time in Olana’s 55-year history as a public site, a cafe will greet visitors as they plan their day.

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.

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