Thomas Cole National Historic Site
Location: Catskill, New York
Notable Owner: Thomas Cole
National Historic Landmark
The famous Hudson River School artist, Thomas Cole, built a new studio in 1846 near his house. Unfortunately, he died a little over a year later in 1848. His descendants preserved the studio into the next century. Then, owing to its advanced deterioration, it was demolished in 1973. In the 1990s the site, including Cole’s residence and his old studio, was rescued by the Green County Historical Society.
Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects was engaged to reconstruct the new studio on the original site. After archeological investigation had unearthed the remains of the old foundation, and several old photos of the studio were found, it was possible to prepare an accurate design conforming to the original building.
While the exterior was an exact reproduction, the interior was recreated as a state-of-the-art gallery for the display of paintings. This entailed the introduction of several non-historic systems needed to control temperature and humidity, fire suppression, flexible lighting, security, and a pair of accessible toilets; all within the confines of the historic footprint.