I have seen Photos of Olana in books and have always been curious about it. I was pleasantly surprised that it it was just 5 minutes away from Hudson, NY. First time I went my friends and I were denied entry because we hadn't made a reservation, and guided tours (less than an hour long) were mandatory (tickets tend to sell out during peak season). My friends and I lingered in their well-appointed gift shop, and as our luck would have it, there happened to be a cancellation, and we were admitted. The house was designed by legendary artist Frederick Church of the Hudson school of art and executed by an architect. Artist Church designed all the amazing handpainted features in the interior and conceptualized and mixed the colors himself. Very distinctive were the windows which look like they had grills but actually had intricately cut (what in current times can only be described as black construction) paper and sandwiched between 2 glass panes. I could not wrap my head around how they did the gargantuan window that illuminates the stairway. Many of Chirch's paintings still decorate the walls and his studio remains intact, with his sketchbooks and painting paraphernalia in full view. You will feel impressed by Church's vision and the fulfillment of. I can go on and on but you really need to see the house yourself. You will be surprised to know that his descendants lived in the house until the 1960's as modernization of it has not disturbed the interiors at all. Beautiful. Ground tours are also available (landscape design also by the artist). I will visit Olana again.
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