DISCOVER THE HUDSON VALLEY MAGNIFICENT ARCHITECTURE,

FROM THE GILDED AGE TO THE 21ST CENTURY,

ITS GARDENS AND ART MUSEUMS, STARTING IN ALBANY & TROY.

June 5 to 12, 2022 

The tour starts in Albany, New York State Capital

There are trains in NYC, leaving Penn Station at 7:15 AM, 10:20 AM, 11:20 AM, 1:20 PM, 2:20 PM, & 3:40 PM, arriving 2hr30m later in Albany.  

There are direct flights to Albany from Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia, Ft Lauderdale, Detroit, St Petersburg, Chicago, NY LGA, Charlotte, Orlando, and many other connections available.

It would be nice to arrive in Albany a bit before 6:00 PM so all the participants could get together for our first dinner. 

You will be picked up at the airport or train station.

SUNDAY JUNE 5, 2022: D1:

Arrive in Albany. Picked up at train station or airport to be taken to hotel in Troy.

Diner together.

MONDAY JUNE 6, 2022: B1-L1:  

Troy has many iconic buildings, each unique for an architectural, functional, or historic reason. The city’s building stock is one of the reasons Troy has become a favorite Capital District destination. Walking the city’s streets is a visual treat. Within the space of blocks, one can see 200 plus years of architecture and history all around.

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall ((1870):  to demonstrate the Bank's appreciation for the many years of patronage by the local citizens, the plans for a new building included a music hall on the upper floor. Factors that contribute to the high qualities of its acoustics includes: narrow shoebox form, early sidewall reflections, tall ceiling, seat count of 1180, padded wooden seats, shallow under-balcony, thick plaster surfaces, ornamental detailing, organ cove (built in 1882) which projects sound.The acoustically sensitive hall is rented for concerts and recordings.

 

Walking tour of historic Troy with Kathy Sheehan, City of Troy and Rensselaer County historian and Warren Shaw, an architect  friend, well versed in the architectural history of the region. we will visit a few pplaces that are closed to the public, or not yet opened for the season:

Russell Sage College campus. Tiffany windows at St Paul’s Episcopal Church and Troy Public LibraryThe John Paine Mansion, aka "The Castle," was built in 1896 as the "Grandest House in Troy,"a Gilded Age masterpiece. It has served as a private residence, a college administrative building, a movie set, and a fraternity house,.a gilded age mansion; Washington Park and the HBO Guilded Age sights at Monument Square;

Hart Cluett Museum, where we will learn more about Troy's Gilded Age Period and also Uncle Sam; Okwood Cemetary and its interesting architecture. with graves of Uncle Sam and many other important people involved in the city history; House of Herman Melville, where he wrote Moby Dick. The house was transformed, changed many times since the 1840s, with a campaign to restore it to its looks from the time Melville lived in it. It will be interesting to learn about the processes that went into finding documention, original materials that would help in the restoration. 

Then we go for coffee where the Erie Canal statrs and see the Waterford Flight, a set of locks on the Canal. Locks E-2 through E-6 make up the combined flight lifting vessels 169 ft. from the Hudson River to the Mohawk River. [Built in 1915, the Waterford Flight remains the flight with the highest elevation gain (169 feet = 51,5 m) relative to its length (1,5 mile) for any canal lock system in the world.. Then a quick look at the second most important waterfall in water volume after Niagara Falls, this side of the Mississipi.

Dinner on your own. Night in Troy.

TUESDAY JUNE 7, 2022: B2-L2:  

The large public mural project at Uniting Line under Hoosick street bridge, is a multiphase project that is transforming 500 feet of road under the Hoosick Street Bridge – an urban void that acts as a massive divider between downtown Troy and North Central Troy – into a space that draws people together, uniting what a highway divided.that involvedd architects, politicians, artistsa nd numerous committees. A good nderstanding of how to navigate all the waterfalls and dams slowing down such types of projects.

Albany City Hall, SUNY Bldg, and State Education bldg.

Guided tour of the Empire State Plaza, with the Corning Tower and its 42nd story observation desk; the Egg, performing arts venue named for its shape, designed by Harrison & Abramovitz as part of the Empire State Plaza project, and built between 1966 and 1978;   

The Empire State Art Collection, a major public collection of 1960s and 1970s monumental abstract artworks, on permanent display throughout the site. 

NYS Capitol: a very large and tall building, part of the 11  State Capitols without a dome. Starting in 1867, in its 32 years of construction it had 4 architects, all pushing a different style: The state capitol's ground floor was built in the Classical/Romanesque style,by Thomas Fuller who also designed the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa. He was replaced by  Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Hobson Richardson who built the next two floors in a Renaissance Classical style. Dismissed, they were replaced by Isaac G. Perry who more or less continued to copy his predecessots, drew plan for the dome that never was.

 

Cathedral of All Saints: Called by some the "American Canterbury," the cathedral is an unfinished example of the primitive Gothic style. It was the fondest wish of the first bishop of Albany, William Croswell Doane, to see a grand and noble monument to God rise in the capital city of the Empire State. The cornerstone was laid in 1884, but politics and lack of funds plagued the work almost from the start. After Bishop Doane's death in 1913, all work on the cathedral ceased. Aside from periodic maintenance, it remained little altered during the 20th century. The building is nevertheless an impressive sight, featuring strikingly beautiful stained glass windows, numerous stone carvings, and 17th century Belgian choir stalls. It sits on the north ledge of an overlook and facing the monumental neo-classical colonnade of the New York State Education Building to its south.

Dinner on your own. Night in Troy.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 8, 2022: B3-L3-D2

We are going to start early with Olana, the house of Frederic Edwin Church, an American landscape painter and central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters, best known for painting large landscapes, often depicting mountains, waterfalls, and sunsets. Church's paintings put an emphasis on realistic detail, dramatic light, and panoramic views.

Olana was built on a hilltop Church wanted for a long time, for its magnificent views of the Hudson  River and the Catskills. Olana is one of the few intact artists' home-, studio- and estate-complexes in the United States and a a prime example of Orientalist architecture.

The stone, brick, & polychrome-stenciled villa is a mixture of Victorian Persian &              Moorish styles. The house was intricately stenciled inside and out; based on drawings and sketches, Church brought back from his travels in the Middle East

 

-After lunch we will visit the Richard B. Fisher Center, a concert hall at Bard College designed by Frank Gehry.

A little later it will be the Wilderstein Mansion, The original Italianate country home designed by John Warren Ritch in 1852 was remodeled and enlarged in 1888 by Thomas’s son Robert Bowne Suckley and his wife Elizabeth Philips Montgomery. Poughkeepsie architect Arnout Cannon was hired to transform the two story villa into an elaborate Queen Anne style mansion. Later it becames the home of Margaret Suckley, a cousin and confidante of Franklin Roosevelt, and is widely regarded as the Hudson Valley’s most important example of Victorian architecture.

Diner together - Night in Dutchess County

 

THURSDAY JUNE 9, 2022: B4-L4-D3-

Vanderbilt Mansion

Lunch will be at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the top culinary school in the US and certainly one of the top in the World. The campus in Hyde Park, was ramed one of “The 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America” by Condé Nast Traveler.

-Then on to the Mills Mansion at Staatsburgh: Originally built in 1832 and greatly expanded in the 1890’s, the mansion at Staatsburgh State Historic Site is emblematic of the great country estates built in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to house America’s wealthiest families. Referred to locally as Mills Mansion, it is an elegant example of the beautiful homes built by America’s financial and industrial leaders during the Gilded Age. A 25-room Greek Revival structure was built on the site in 1832 by Morgan Lewis and his wife, Gertrude Livingston, and in 1895, Mr. and Mrs. Mills commissioned the prestigious New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, to remodel and enlarge their Staatsburgh home. After completion in 1896, the house had been transformed into a Beaux-Arts mansion of 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms. Its exterior was embellished with balustrades, pilasters, floral swags, and a massive portico. The rooms were furnished with elaborately carved and gilded furniture, fine oriental rugs, silk fabrics, and a collection of art objects from Europe, ancient Greece, and the Far East.

While visiting, we will be told about the restoration work that has been accomplished as well as what ihappening and what be be needed in the short future.  

Close by is the beautiful Vassar College campus of over 1,000 acres and more than 100 buildings, including two National Historic Landmarks and an additional National Historic Place. It is a designated arboretum, featuring more than 200 species of trees, a native plant preserve, and a 530-acre ecological preserve.

We will visit  the very interesting Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, a teaching museum, major art repository, and exhibition space

Diner together - Night in Dutchess County

FRIDAY JUNE 10, 2022: B4-L4-D3-

Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor museum located in New York’s Hudson Valley, where visitors experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky. Since 1960, Storm King has been dedicated to stewarding the hills, meadows, and forests of its site and surrounding landscape. Building on the visionary thinking of its founders, Storm King supports artists and some of their most ambitious works. Changing exhibitions, programming, and seasons offer discoveries with every visit.  It contains what is perhaps the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the United States. Founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden as a museum for Hudson River School paintings, it soon evolved into a major sculpture venue with works from some of the most acclaimed artists of the 20th century.

Boscobel House & Gardens. Built between 1804 and 1808, Boscobel was originally the dream house of wealthy Loyalists. By the 1950s, after falling into disrepair, it was demolished. Preservationists saved as many architectural fragments as possible and reassembled them fifteen miles north, where the Neoclassical mansion was restored back to—and even beyond—its original grandeur..

Boscobel’s interiors display one of the finest collections of New York furniture from the Federal period, including documented examples by America’s most celebrated cabinetmaker, Duncan Phyfe. Overlooking Constitution Marsh toward the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Boscobel’s landscape showcases dramatic views of the Hudson River.

The Frances Stevens Reese Woodland Trail of Discovery offers hikers a tranquil mile through the forest. The Apple Orchard, Formal Garden, and Herb Garden feature fruit trees, flowers, and plants prized by New Yorkers then and now. The Hudson River School Artists Garden, with sculptures by Greg Wyatt, honors 19th-century painters who celebrated this landscape.

 

SATURDAY JUNE 11, 2022: B4-L4-D3-

Manitoga/ Russell Wright Design Center: Manitoga is the former home and 75-acre woodland garden of American industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976).

After studying the site over many years, Russel Wright hired architect David Leavitt (1918-2013) to help him realize Dragon Rock. He shared with Wright’an appreciation for Japanese architecture and landscape design.  Distinctive features of the House include large expanses of glass allowing for views of the 30 foot Waterfall, the Quarry Pool, and surrounding landscape. A large, smooth, cedar tree trunk functions as a design element and is the main structural support of house. Boulders, plantings, and stone terraces are positioned to bring the outdoors in, blending architecture and landscape. Unique built-in architectural artifacts, designed by Wright, fuse natural and man-made materials in new and unexpected ways, to create a house of high drama.

Opened in May 2021, the Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery tells the story of how the Wrights shaped modern American lifestyle – from early experiments in spun aluminum in the 1930s and the colorful rounded forms of American Modern and Iroquois Casual mix & match dinnerware to Japanese inspired patterns and textures decades later. The display of over 200 objects is the only permanent, in-depth public exhibition of the Wrights’ product designs anywhere.

Lyndhurst  

Overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, is Lyndhurst, one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions. Designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892), the mansion’s architectural brilliance is complemented by its comprehensive collection of original decorative arts and the estate’s park-like landscape.

The estate was shaped for more than a century by three families and their staff: The Pauldings, The Merritts, and the Goulds. Their influence is evident in the expansion of the main house from a country villa “in the pointed style” to a Gothic mansion, the park-like design of the grounds, as well as in the rich furnishings and decorations inside.

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