Feature image: Mark di Suvero: Mother Peace, 1969-70. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. ©Mark di Suvero, courtesy the artist and Spacetime C.C.,NY. Photo: Storm King Art Center ©2020
Located in the Town of Cornwall, Storm King Art Center has been and continues to be a leader in arts scene in the Hudson Valley.
There are few things better than spending an afternoon at Storm King Art Center admiring the impressive, large-scale sculptures and how they interact with the landscape. The beauty of the 500-acre art center is how it is always changing, whether that be because of the weather, season, or introduction of a new exhibition.
Coming soon, Storm King will welcome even more changes to support a better, more engaging visitor experience in the Hudson Valley.
Set to be completed in 2024, a new $45 million capital project will result in an unparalleled visitor experience at Storm King Art Center, as well as increased onsite opportunities for art and artists. A backbone of the project is sustainability, focusing on conserving the art center for future generations, while contributing to bettering the environment.
A Brief History of Storm King Art Center
Storm King Art Center is a nonprofit that opened to the public in 1960. It was founded by the Star Expansion Company, co-owned by the late Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern. The Ralph E. Ogden Foundation provided the initial gift of what is now the museum building. Later, the Star Expansion Company donated 300 contiguous acres. Although the art center was originally envisioned to be for Hudson River School painting, by 1961 the vision focused more on modern sculpture. By 1967, the purchase of 13 works from the estate sculpture David Smith led to the placing of sculptures directly in the landscape.
A New Welcome Sequence
At the property entrance, there will be a series of accessible pavilions to meet visitors’ immediate needs. These pavilions will offer a space for group orientation, new restrooms, group gathering spaces, and will be in an all-new parking area. The existing north and south parking lots will be removed with the introduction of the Welcome Sequence, diminishing visitors’ interactions with vehicles while onsite. The pavilions will be constructed with natural materials to remain courteous to the landscape.
Storm King Art Center aims to make the onsite experience more accessible by adding a public transportation drop-off space for up to eight buses and shuttles, as well as space for ride-share drop-off. The new parking lot will have 580 parking spaces, 12 vehicle charging stations, and dedicated ADA parking spaces close to the entrance. There will be the addition of 122 visitor lockers, an all-gender bathroom facility, two accessible/ family rooms, a nursing room, and a medical room at the welcome area. Additionally, there will be increased capacity for school buses and field trips.
New pathways throughout the site will be built to universal design standards, making it accessible to visitors of all mobilities. Everything, including the ticket counter and new bathroom sinks, will be built to universal standards, making it all the appropriate height for visitors of all mobilities and statures. Storm King also hopes to broaden the vehicles/ mobility devices visitors can rent at the bike kiosk, appealing to a diverse audience.
Sustainability and Conservation at Storm King Art Center
Storm King will lead the way for sustainability upon the completion of the capital project. For the project, the art center plans to build only what is necessary to reduce energy demand. In alignment with New York’s goals for future carbon neutrality, all-electric building systems will be introduced. Solar panels will be placed at the Welcome Sequence. Sustainable and durable materials will be used in all new buildings to extend building life and limit long-term maintenance demands.
A new 19,375-square-foot Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building will be of benefit to the sculptures and artists. Rather than having to move massive sculptures many miles away for repairs, there will now be a place onsite to bring them indoors. The Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance building will have five large access doors to move art in and out. This building will also be a space for artists to create new pieces.
The removal of the north and south parking lot, as well as the planting of new species throughout the site will be beneficial to the ecosystem and wildlife that resides on the property. Red maple, sugar maple, northern red oak, flowering dogwood, witch hazel, Virginia rose, Christmas fern, and numerous other species will be planted on the grounds.
The Design Team
Working with heneghan peng architects, WXY architecture + urban design, Reed Hilderbrand, and Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Storm King Art Center hopes to ensure that the introduction of new buildings and structures will fit seamlessly within the landscape. Embracing the notion of “the porch,” as Amy S. Weisser, Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and Projects at Storm King, describes it, there will not be any unnecessary indoor space. The goal of Storm King is to bring your gaze to the depth of the landscape and the many outdoor views the art center has to offer. “The buildings are the pathway to art – not the experience themselves – we are working off this idea of the porch, [so] you don’t need to go inside,” notes Weisser.
Storm King is grateful for support of the project from the Town of Cornwall and Town Supervisor Joshua Wojehowski. Weisser notes that “we are also excited that this project will be accessible for our neighbors,” as Storm King Art Center is and will continue to be one of the great treasures of the Hudson Valley. Learn more on Storm King’s website.