Limited to 30 lucky participants, this pre-trip offers intimate visits to two grand Hudson Valley Estates, culminating in a cocktail reception on Olana’s Piazza.

We’ll start with lunch at Stonegate Farm, owned and managed by award winning photographer, Matthew Benson, author of The Photographic Garden: Mastering the Art of Digital Garden Photography and Growing Beautiful Food.  

Stonegate Farm, also known as Echo Lawn Estate, is listed on the National Historic Register and dates back to the 1850s. The estate reflects design principles popularized in the Hudson Valley by Andrew Jackson Downing and former Downing associates Calvert Vaux and Frederick Withers. 

Matthew Benson will provide a guided tour before we enjoy a farm-grown salad and wood-fired pizza. Of special note is Benson’s orchard which includes all the pear varietals grown by Newburgh native and famed pomologist Andrew Jackson Downing, author of The Fruits and Fruit Trees of North America.   

After Stonegate, it’s off to Olana, the home and landscape of 19th century Hudson Valley painter Frederic Church. 

Olana is a New York State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Here Church lived and worked in a memorable house that he designed in collaboration with Calvert Vaux. Church was a key player in the international campaign to create the Niagara State Reservation, working alongside Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and others.    

During our visit, we’ll have a tour of the house and grounds with The Olana Partnership’s President Sean Sawyer and learn more about how Church’s vision for Olana was influenced by his artistic practice, landscape design and interest in ecology. We’ll top off the day with a memorable cocktail reception with splendid views.  

Travel Tips:

  • This pre-trip is not part of the conference and will require a separate ticket.
  • Tickets are $275 and include transportation from the recommended hotel, lunch at Stonegate Farm and sunset cocktail reception at Olana State Historic Site.
  • Attendees are encouraged to reserve rooms at Holiday Inn Poughkeepsie, as it is the drop-off and pick-up location for this event. Please book a room using this link before August 13.


The Olmsted Network is an LA CES-approved provider and can offer 2 hours of credit to those participating in this educational experience. Attendees will be responsible for completing a learning outcomes survey in order to receive credit and a certificate.