As it is with most historic mansions, the history is as compelling as the home itself. Olana was the home of Frederic and Isabel Church. They traveled and moved among New York City’s cultured citizens, but Olana was their primary home. The home reflects their travels including mixtures of Victorian, Middle-Eastern and Mexican decorative motifs. It's almost a must that you preorder your home tour on-line, as many visitors get turned away without a reservation. Out docent was terrific - well informed and engaging, as she weaved the history of Church with the house. You book the reservation ahead and pay upon arrival at the visitor center. Try to see the film offered in the center before your tour to gain an understanding of Church and the environs. The museum store offers a variety of Church and Olana offerings. My wife and I were fortunate to also book one of the last historic electric carriage landscape tours before the season ended - this prepay one hour tour was absolutely beautiful and fantastic - we highly recommend this when it continues in the spring. Our tour guide was energetic, fun, and informative - truly appreciating the landscape and history of Olana.
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