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New York Daily Photo: Audubon Center
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Saturday, 25 August 2007

Audubon Center

Famed landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux, who designed Prospect Park in Brooklyn where this building is located, built the original Boathouse in 1876 as a rustic canopied structure on piers straddling the north end of the Lullwater. In 1905, it was replaced with the current Beaux Arts structure seen in the photo. Its design was inspired by the lower story of Sansovino's Library of St. Mark, built in 16th-century Venice. The white matte-glazed terra cotta facade is adorned with Tuscan columns capped with a balustrade. The building was relocated to the Lullwater's eastern edge to provide a vantage point for sunset views over the water. Targeted for demolition in the 1960s, the building was saved through community protest. The City of New York granted it landmark status in 1968, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The building underwent a four year, five million dollar renovation and opened as the nation's first urban Audubon Center on April 26, 2002, the birthdate of both John James Audubon and Frederick Law Olmsted. The center is the first of 1,000 nature education facilities to be built across the country by the year 2020, with a goal of reaching one in four schoolchildren nationwide ...


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