NEWINGTON CROPSEY FOUNDATION
For the last years of his life, Jasper Cropsey, the 19th-century Hudson River School painter, worked from his studio in Hastings-on-Hudson overlooking the Hudson River and a deep, adjoining gorge. Early in the 20th century, the gorge became an industrial site and, subsequently, the garage and parking area for the Village’s Department of Public Works. In the 1990s, the Newington-Cropsey Foundation purchased the eight-acre gorge from the Village to construct a new Art Center. The plan for this complicated site was developed over a three-year period.
The site is bordered on the east by the Croton Aqueduct, on the north by the backs of buildings along Main Street, on the south by the Cropsey house and several other 19th-century buildings, and on the east by the Warburton Avenue Bridge, a commuter parking lot, and the Hudson River beyond. The steep, wooded edges of the gorge rise 50 feet to the surrounding terrain. A stream running through the gorge, had been dammed to create a small pond.
The plan called for a studio/gallery, a caretaker’s cottage, and a museum, creating an oasis within the urban fabric of this River town. The stream and pond were enhanced and the wooded slopes were preserved. Two of the three new buildings were constructed at the bottom of the gorge in an informal, romantic landscape featuring the restored pond and an open lawn. An amphitheater used for outdoor performances is discreetly terraced into the north slope looking out over the gorge.