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“Not Your Typical Estate Museum”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 29 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church designed Olana, his family home, studio, and estate, as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, and landscape. Olana, a National Historic Landmark, is an icon of naturalistic landscape design, with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson River Valley. Today, visitors can experience an array of activities, from meandering through the 250 acre artist designed landscape, to taking a tour of the house and surrounding landscape, to viewing the changing exhibitions both in the main house and a gallery devoted to contemporary photography. They can see a 17 minute award-winning video on the property and a permanent orientation exhibit. They can also participate in a variety of educational programs in the Wagon House Education Center, including a free backpack program that includes a variety of projects for children.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have little patience for being herded through these dusty old estates with all of their re-assembled attempts at authenticity, but Olana is a place to itself, astonishingly beautiful in its setting and vividly immediate and authentic in nearly every way. Nearly everything in the house is original, the guides are patient and knowledgeable, and every new room and each new vista is breathtaking, fascinating and a reflection of a truly unique and unusual mind. A day on the grounds alone would be worth the trip. Most of the other estate-museums on the Hudson are merely piles to commemorate someone's massive fortune, but Olana is a work of genius and beauty that is very much worth the journey.

Thank lbloom616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 594 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Olana is a restored property of Frederic Church, the Early American Artist who used his talents and influence to foster an art style in his own lifetime.

The house is interesting inside and out. Heavily influenced by Persian design, it is unique in it's appearance and architecture. I enjoyed viewing the house and walking around the grounds. There are some excellent views of the Hudson Valley, which were emphasized by Church's landscape design on the property. It was well worth the cost and I recommend it if you like historical sites.

Thank corptool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This house is a quadruple hit. For general interest, the location is stunning and worth visiting for its beautiful grounds and view of the Catskills, the Hudson River, and the Berkshires. The house itself is an exotic folly, also worth seeing simply for the architecture. For students of art, this is across the river from the home of Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School, and itself the home of Frederick Church, Cole's most successful student and protege. It also has art from many periods right up to this year. On top of that, this is a treasure because it remained intact with all of the furnishings and art right up to the time it was transferred to the state as a museum, so it is a great time capsule.

1  Thank GilBagnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2017 via mobile

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.

Thank malujai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2017

First of all, it is a miracle in the making. This classic historic home, belonging to Frederic Church, was almost lost to us. Church was one of the most important artists of the Hudson River School. Through monumental effort, the house, its grounds and most of the artwork and furnishings were preserved and Olana is for the most part intact and just as it was when Church lived there. Truly Amazing! The Persian style home itself is exceptionally beautiful inside and out. The tours are about an hour long and most interesting and informative. There is a senior discount available. Spectacular works of art and precious objects abound inside. This should be a destination for an lover of art, architecture, landscape, scenic views, and history. One of the most wonderful tours we have ever had. I would suggest the first tour of the day and get there early (grounds open early) to stroll around the estate without anyone being there. The house, the gardens and the scenic vistas are so beautiful in the early morning light. Pick a sunny day, if at all possible, as this will illuminate the interior of the house also. We made reservations well in advance, as tours sell out quickly especially during the summer and when the fall foliage peaks. Well worth the trip.

Thank jer b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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