Architecture. Grad School. The State of the Profession. Field Trips. Agony. Ecstasy. Life. Etc.

Architecture Addiction, The Official Blog of

unSchool of Architecture
suggested reading/bookstore
other blogs I like
my portfolio
fieldtrips & workshops*
categories | archives | search
contact | rss

I want to visit Olana
by Katy Purviance on 03/08/10 @ 08:30:34 pm
Categories: My Travels | 379 words | 1077 views

Olana is the Persian-style home of fames Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church.


Scroll to the bottom of this page to see 360 views of the Vestibule, the Great Hall, the Dining Room, and the Sitting Room.

History of the House
When Frederic Church purchased the property for Olana in 1860, he hired architect Richard Morris Hunt (who was later to build several of the “cottages” in Newport, R.I.) to design a small house in which he could raise a family. Called “Cosy Cottage", the house was occupied in the early summer of 1861. Soon Church and his wife had two children filling Cosy Cottage, but, tragically, both children died of diphtheria in 1865.

In 1867 Church purchased an additional 18 acres at the top of the hill overlooking his property. Before building his new house, he and Isabel and their infant son Frederic Joseph left for an extended tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Frederic and Isabel Church, impressed by the architecture they saw in cities like Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus, envisioned a home at Olana that incorporated Middle Eastern elements and designs. Drawings by Richard Morris Hunt document that Church considerd using him as an architect, but ultimately decided on Calvert Vaux. Church spent the next two years working with Vaux designing and building a home that would be, as he called it “Persian, adapted to the Occident”

In the fall of 1872, Church and Isabel and their growing family of children moved into the second story of the new house while Church continued to decorate the ground floor. He designed stencils and chose the colors with which to decorate the walls and ceilings. Eclectic furnishings soon filled the house, gathered from NYC and abroad, and eventually, from the Church family home in Hartford, Connecticut. Frederic even designed a few pieces of furniture. The couple filled the house with thousands of objects meant to direct the attention to the great civilizations of the past.

Church continued to work on the house for much of the rest of his life. In 1885 he began a campaign to repair and improve the house, and in 1888, began the studio wing, with guest rooms and a glassed- in observation room in the tower. By 1891, the house was essentially complete, looking much as it does today.

Learn more.


Bookmark and Share Send Feedback | Permalink


No Pingbacks for this post yet...

Previous post: Earth Construction: yesterday, today, and tomorrow
Next post: I also want to visit Mercer and Fonthill Museums

our sponsors
Other Blogs I Like
GSD Blogs:
Ben in Paris
A Large Lumpy Rock
Wayfinding with Waxman
Other Blogs:
Saved By Design
Jetson Green
Core 77
Rammed Earth is for Everyone
Raw Design Build
Lloyd Kahn's blog
Form Follows You Home
Burning Down the House - Radio Architecture
Unhappy Hipsters
Design Vote
Truly Minimal Plan
February 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 << <   > >>
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28      


Me on Burning Down the House
The VERB School
August 18 2010

October 20 2010

Licensure in the USA
November 17 2010

Become One of Us...Subscribe to Architecture Addiction
Give the gift of an architecture book to Architecture Addiction
Radio Architecture
Listen live to Burning Down the House, Wednesdays 4PT/7ET
Or download the podcasts from iTunes

our sponsors
It's Finally Here
unSchool of Architecture is here. Enter your name and email below to learn more.

Architecture School Survey
Hi. My name is Katy. I like it when you write to me and tell me about the cool stuff you're doing in architecture. Yes, I write back.* I may publish your letter and my reply on the blog. If you don't want me to do that, you can just ask that I withhold your name, or if you're really serious about keeping your letter a secret, you can ask me to just not publish it at all. Of course I'll still write back to you. * I hope you'll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with our worldwide audience.

[Fields marked (*) are required]


Your Name:*

Your Email Address:*

Your Question or Suggestion:*

After you click Submit, you'll come right back to the blog!

* Unless you spam me.

Created by Contact Form Generator

places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

suggested reading/bookstore

Need more? Visit our bookstore

where is everybody?
Locations of visitors to this page

Who's Online Now?

  • Guest Users: 6
random quote generator

Give me another

our sponsors