thomas-cole-national-historic-site.jpgCatskill, N.Y. - Having reached 80 percent of their targeted goal, Elizabeth Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS), has announced the beginning of the public phase of the Campaign For An American Treasure. The over-arching mission of the capital campaign is to bring back one of the few known architectural creations of Thomas Cole - his New Studio - which will complete the restoration of the historic site, and create a much needed year-round, handicap-accessible gallery for public exhibitions and events. The campaign goal is $1,500,000.00. Groundbreaking for the New Studio is scheduled for June of 2014. Anticipated completion of the project is June 2015. "By resurrecting this architecturally and historically important building that was an inspiration for Cole and the artists who followed in his footsteps, our vision is to provide a new source of inspiration for present and future generations who come to learn about the birthplace of American landscape painting," said Jacks. The New Studio, which was designed and built by Cole to fulfill his dream of having a space of his own in 1846, was privately owned in the 1970's and having fallen into disrepair, was torn down in 1973. The original foundation of the Italianate style building was unearthed in 2008. Historic photographs, 19th century drawings, and archaeology at the site have revealed a building with a footprint of approximately 1,000 square feet. The building was well documented through the photographs and drawings which include a detailed 1848 drawing by the artist Frederic Church and Cole's original drawings. The New Studio will be rebuilt on its original footprint - and through the study of the artifacts, architect John I. Mesick of Mesick Cohen Baker Wilson Architects has finalized drawings to recreate the exterior of the building to exactly match the Cole's original design and details, including wood clapboard siding, wood shutters, two-story double hung windows, a north portico, and a cedar shake roof. The interior will provide state-of-the-art exhibition and program space. Working on the project with Mesick are: Stephen Shadley of Stephen Shadley Designs; and Robert M. Toole, the landscape architect who authored the site's Landscape Restoration Plan. "The completion of this project will enable the Thomas Cole National Historic Site to effectively serve as a catalyst for the burgeoning national and international interest in 19th century American landscape painting, offering an outstanding destination for visitors to and residents of the Hudson Valley, providing a resource and inspiration for future generations of scholars, collectors and artists. Most importantly," concluded Jacks, "this project will ensure that present and future generations can learn about the profound impact of Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School." For a PDF about the project to reconstruct the New Studio click here: About the Thomas Cole National Historic Site The Thomas Cole National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation's first art movement. Cole's profound influence on America's cultural landscape inspires us to engage broad audiences through educational programs that are relevant today. The Thomas Cole Historic House is an independent non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Park Service. Directions:  The Thomas Cole Historic Site is located in the scenic Hudson River Valley, at 218 Spring Street in Catskill, New York. Located near the western entrance to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, with easy access from the New York State Thruway exit 21 or Amtrak train service in Hudson, detailed directions and more information can be found at . Hours:  The Main House, Old Studio, and special exhibition gallery are open by guided tour Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, April 30 - November 2, 2014. Grounds are free and open to the public year-round. Contact: Marcia Clark 845.528.6647 /