The main house at Olana, sited impressively at the top of a long slope, is a unique mixture of Victorian architectural elements and Middle-Eastern decorative motifs. Frederic Church worked closely with architect Calvert Vaux to realize this distinctive home. Stylistically, the building is a villa with asymmetrical massing of towers and block masonry punctuated by fanciful windows and porches. The irregular silhouette of the exterior contrasts with the more regular rhythm of rooms arranged around a central hall. On the exterior, Middle Eastern motifs are carried out in colored brick, wood, slate, ceramic tile and especially stenciling. Together, the various motifs and themes create a unique artistic unity, one that is difficult to categorize.
Archived in December, 2015
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