How Olana, Frederic Church’s Home, Survived the Bulldozer and Thrived

View of the stair hall and court hall, main house, Olana. (Photo: Peter Aaron/OTTO)
A Moorish Revival marvel, Olana is a New York State/private partnership with big plans for the future.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE L ast week I went to Olana, Frederic Church’s house and landscape in Hudson, in upstate New York. Church (1826–1900) is the artist who, more than anyone, made the Hudson River School a movement. His teacher and mentor, Thomas Cole (1801–1848), is America’s first landscape superstar, but Cole, putting aside moments when he truly goes native, is the offspring of English Romanticism.

I’ll write two stories on Olana. This weekend, I’ll write a bit about Cole and Church and the fantastic polychrome Orientalist villa that Church built in the early 1870s and mostly designed himself. Next week, I’ll write about Olana as

(Photo: Peter Aaron/OTTO)

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