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Friday
Jun302017

William B. Kuhl, FASLA, Recognized by Worldwide Association of Notable Alumni

William's leadership and mentoring skills speak for themselves, as evidenced by a number of his previous employees that have gone on to start their own firms with great success. He is also especially proud of the fact that a number of his projects received National attention, and he was presented National Landscape  Awards by the First Ladies at five different White House Ceremonies, once by First Lady Roslyn  Carter, twice by First Lady Nancy Reagan, and Twice by First Lady Hillary Clinton.

You can read more about Bill's noted accomplishments here.

Friday
Jun302017

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge Receives Two Diamond Awards

Each year, over 60 firms submit projects to the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) that are judged on a rigorous set of criteria, which includes complexity, innovation and value to society. In addition to celebrating among peers, the EEA helps to publicize the many significant contributions consulting engineers make to the built environment throughout the world. We are proud to announce that The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge has won two Diamond Awards within the category of Engineering Excellence. Saratoga Associates was honored to have developed the concept, and provided the architecture and landscape design for this award-winning project. 

The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook reconnects the City of Amsterdam’s north and south side neighborhoods which were once divided utilitarian arterial bridge that was no pedestrian friendly. To infuse new energy into the City’s riverfront, Saratoga Associates created a comprehensive vision for a waterfront park system that reconnected the two sides of the Mohawk River. The 30 foot wide bridge spans 511 feet over the Mohawk River and connects Riverlink Park on the north shore of the river and Bridge Street on the south shore. It features numerous trees and flower plantings, as well as historical and cultural information engraved into the decking and on plaques along the railings. 

The unique “Park over the River” theme for the pedestrian bridge extends a greenway across the Mohawk, including extensive landscape planting, viewing areas, and gathering spaces for large functions. A variety of interpretive elements highlight the history and culture of the City and its relationship to the Mohawk Valley Region. The bridge’s design vocabulary incorporates interpretive architectural and landscape architectural elements to celebrate the story of Amsterdam. The curvilinear bridge design establishes an artful ribbon that unifies diverse origins, perspectives, and places. 

The project was designed in close coordination with the NYS Canal Corporation, the City of Amsterdam, and Congressman Paul Tonko; an Amsterdam native.

Friday
Jun302017

Meet the Newest Faces: Saratoga Associates Welcomes Three New Staff Members 

 

Steve Lee

Steve joins the firm as an Intern Architect.  Steve brings over 11 years experience in all phases of schematic design, project development, and project administration. Steve earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  

As an intern architect at Saratoga Associates, Steve will be working and managing a variety of projects dealing with commercial, government, and institutional projects.

 

Leigh Ann Murphy

Leigh Ann joins the firm as our new Marketing Coordinator. Leigh Ann completed her undergraduate degree in Marketing at Siena College and went on to complete her MBA, with a concentration in Marketing, at Touro University Worldwide. Leigh Ann comes to Saratoga Associates with an expertise in direct marketing campaigns, social media marketing and graphic design within the architectural field.

As marketing coordinator, Leigh Ann is responsible for sourcing RFP's, facilitating and leading the proposal response process, maintaining collateral materials, preparation of contracts, and coordinating marketing analytics.  With an additional background in graphic design Leigh Ann will also take the lead in developing the firm's written, graphic and on-line materials for consistent visual branding.

 

George Turner

George joins the firm as a Senior Designer and Arborist, with more than 19 years of experience in landscape architecture. He earned his Associate of Applied Science in Landscape Design at SUNY College of Cobleskill Agriculture and Technology and his Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University. George has been responsible for a multitude of landscape architectural services, which include site layout and design, grading, landscape design, tree inventory and assessments, associated construction detailing, site planning and zoning analysis, stormwater management design, and preparation of graphic renderings for presentation. His projects represent municipal, commercial, residential, K-12, higher education, sports and recreation, industrial and planning clients.

The focus of George’s expertise is identifying, evaluating and assessing potential impacts of developing a proposed site and determining mitigation measures to address potential impacts through professional design and sitting, maintenance recommendations and offsets. 

Friday
Jun232017

Reinvigorating Our State Parks: Saratoga Associates’ Designs Come Alive In the Opening of the John Boyd Thacher State Park Visitor Center.

Saratoga Associates is ecstatic to have completed site and architectural design services, from concept visioning through construction administration, for the new Thacher Park Center, which opened its door to the public this past May in a grand opening celebration.

Thacher State Park is an iconic and popular year long destination situated along the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. The park provides an illustrious panorama of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys, Adirondack and Green Mountains even as it provides protection along six miles of limestone cliff-face, rock-strewn slopes, woodland and open fields. Thacher Park has served as one of the Capital District’s most cherished State Parks for nearly a century, drawing in close to 350,000 visitors each year.

The new, 8,240-square-foot, Visitor Center welcomes guests with grandiose views, provides park orientation, and engages visitors with interpretive elements and information about Park amenities and environmental resources. Thacher Park Center also includes a full-service conference center complete with a catering kitchen and access to a large patio, featuring a fire pit, making it perfect for weddings and other events. A wide solar array provides some of the center’s electricity supply, allowing for cleaner energy use. The Center is also an interactive central hub to Park trails, geologic features, and historic sites. It was designed to introduce visitors to the park's trails and to provide environmental education. This can be seen when you enter into the “Kid space” which greets young visitors with hands-on displays, including a fossil rubbing area, video nook, and a simulated cave, complete with bat replicas and sounds. In the winter, guests will be greeted with a massive wood burning fireplace to provide a cozy gathering area after snowy hikes.

The Visitor Center was designed to be carefully positioned in a way that offers the best advantage of the sweeping panorama of the Hudson River Valley while blending in to the natural forms of the escarpment. The building and site are designed to accommodate year-round group activities and special events with one-of-a-kind experiences and sites from atop the magnificent Helderberg Escarpment. Whether you have ten minutes or four hours, there is something special awaiting every visitor at the Thacher Park Center.

Wednesday
Feb222017

The "Gateway to the Adirondacks"...A New Look for the Old "Frontier Town"

Any longtime Upstate New Yorker can appreciate our excitement about this new project! Saratoga Associates was recently enlisted to provide design services for the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at the site of the former Frontier Town in North Hudson. The recreational hub is the vision of New York State and the Open Space Institute, in collaboration with five neighboring Adirondack towns. The Gateway seeks to improve local amenities, expand access and draw increased visitors to this part of the Adirondack Park. The 300-acre site sits just off of Exit 29 of the Northway, adjacent to state-owned lands, and includes almost a mile and a half of the Schroon River.

“The Master Plan, developed with key community partners, builds on our comprehensive efforts to protect the Adirondack Park while attracting tourists to experience the wide array of outstanding recreation options this region has to offer.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo

The master plan includes a DEC campground with a mix of cabin, yurt, tent, and RV/trailer sites; a day use area along the river; equestrian camping areas and dedicated trails; an information center to introduce visitors to the world-class recreation opportunities in the Adirondack Park; an event center with tourist accommodations; and the expansion of locally-based Paradox Brewery. Past, present, and future Adirondack forest products and local food industries are to be exhibited throughout interactive exhibits in historic structures.

The Gateway will have easy access to thousands of miles of public recreation trails for biking, hiking, skiing, and snowmobiling. The connection of trails seeks to unite communities throughout the Park and link to the proposed Empire State Trail, creating the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. The trail connections between North Hudson and Schroon Lake will come together to create the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. 

Tuesday
Feb212017

SA Partners with National Golf Foundation & Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs to Serve NY State

Hole 2 at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, Photo Courtest of Raymond HearnSaratoga Associates is pleased to announce a collaborative new initiative that will enable us to provide comprehensive consulting and design services to public golf course clients in the State of New York.

By aligning with the nationally acclaimed golf course architectural firm, Raymond Hearn Golf Course Design Inc., and National Golf Foundation Consulting, the premier economic consultant in the public golf course industry, Saratoga Associates will be able to provide all inclusive, start-to-finish golf course services. Our team of golf course architects, market analysts, engineers, clubhouse architects, master planners and designers will provide our clients with a holistic approach to problem solving – working to address both short and long term needs in an economically efficient manner.

“The combined skills of this partnership will enable us to address our golf clients’ unique and varied needs, from course and clubhouse renovations and redesign to full master planning and programming.”

Saratoga Associates President, Dan Shearer, PE

There is no greater authority than the National Golf Foundation on the economics of supply and demand in the business of golf. The NGF has been closely involved with municipal golf for more than eight decades, and appreciates the crucial role municipal golf continues to fill in providing affordable golf opportunities to players of all economic backgrounds and skill levels.

 “We understand the unique challenges that municipalities face with respect to their golf course operations, and are excited to team with Saratoga Associates and Raymond Hearn on this important initiative to provide comprehensive consulting services to public sector golf courses in New York State."

National Golf Foundation, Ed Getherall

Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs, Inc. has a world-renowned reputation of creative, thoughtful, and memorable golf courses. Ray’s expertise is to assist in all aspects of golf course remodeling, restoration and renovation.  His award winning portfolio highlights an innovative design approach that increases course playability, strategy, beauty and enjoyment while achieving economic and environmental sustainability for his clients.  Back to back Design Excellence Awards from the American Society of Golf Course Architects speaks volumes for his company’s success.

Schenectady Municipal Golf Course“I am pleased to join this great team in helping public golf courses in the State of New York achieve increased profitability.  Our team will take a comprehensive design approach in master planning all aspects of the golf course and/or clubhouse improvements while analyzing the market and economic feasibility associated with proposed improvements."

Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs, Inc. Raymond Hearn, President

Our team understands the intrinsic value that public golf courses bring to their communities, and the importance of proper planning to ensure that these social, recreational and environmental assets will continue to serve in the same capacity for generations to come.

 

To request additional information or to further discuss our golf-related services, please contact Dan Shearer at dshearer@saratogaassociates.com or (518) 587-2550 x 2211.

Friday
Oct072016

Saw Mill River Receives Waterfront Honor Awa

Photo credit Jim PintoSaratoga Associates is thrilled to receive a national Honor Award presented by the National Waterfront Center, for our 2012 project Daylighting the Saw Mill River.

The project was selected for the Parks/Recreation/Walkway award category due to its innovative and sustainable design supporting people, environment and the local economy. On land, plazas and walkways provide a hierarchy of spaces that support recreational and civic activities, such as the weekly farmers’ market, annual music festival and environmental education outings.  Within the River, carefully positioned riffles and weirs help oxygenate the water and improve microclimate for fish and other riparian wildlife. A fish ladder and rockscape assist movement of anadromous fish, and has facilitated the return of native species, including eels and alewives. Naturalistic stone embankments protect plantings. Photo credit Jim PintoWhat’s more, the city is enjoying an economic boost with a residential high-rise and office development across the street from the park and the newly completed Millstreet Plaza. Restoration of the River and the park has boosted civic pride and connection to place.

The design carefully knits the park into the daily 24-hour fabric of city life making the park fit into the circulation pattern of the city streets and transportation system. All park amenities were made fully ADA-accessible through careful design of walkways, overlooks and gradient changes. The park pays homage to the industrial past of the city and provides a foreground for significant historical structures. People experience nature in a deeply personal way without having to leave the convenient and urban context of the city.

The daylighting of the Saw Mill River, and the creation of Van der Donck Park, is the realization of a long-term goal by Yonkers environmentalists and grass root education groups, including Groundwork Hudson Valley who was instrumental in securing funding for this ambitious and successful project. 



Friday
Oct072016

Groundbreaking at Grafton Lakes State Park

Construction has officially begun at Grafton Lakes State Park for the new Welcome Center which Saratoga Associates has been designing since 2014. Various dignitaries dug into the soil of the 2,500 acre park to signify the launch of the exciting project that will provide space for year-round educational, recreational and volunteer activities. Visited by 250,000 people each year, the Park lies between the Taconic Mountains and the Hudson Valley and offers hiking trails, outdoor education programs and a popular beach for summer swims.  

To expand park offerings, the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation appropriated funding for a Welcome Center that would address underserved visitor needs and expand environmental education programs. The Welcome Center design provides educational services, exhibition spaces, information, offices, and public restrooms. The Center will employ a variety of important sustainable systems including geothermal and radiant heating, solar panels, and stormwater managing rain gardens. An educational display will teach students about these and other sustainable infrastructure systems.

Rendering by Eric Whiting The Welcome Center responds to the site in its design vocabulary, incorporating local rock outcroppings and gently floating a boardwalk over the adjacent wetlands; providing a subtle transition from focused education within the Center to broader awareness and appreciation for the surrounding environment. Construction is expected to be completed next year. Featured on site were Andy Beers, Executive Deputy Commissioner; Alane Ball Chinian, Regional Director; Kurt Kress, Capital Facilities Regional Manager; Jason Penge, Senior Park Engineer; Melissa Miller, Park Manager; Elizabeth Wagner, Park Naturalist.

Thursday
Oct062016

Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Opens and is "A Destination in and of Itself!"

On August 31st, ribbons were cut and the new Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook opened to the public. Saratoga Associates was commissioned to create a comprehensive vision in Amsterdam, NY which included the design of a pedestrian bridge stretching over the Mohawk River and reconnecting the two sides of the city. The curvilinear greenway stretches 511 feet over the water and surrounds the visitor with lush landscape plantings, overlooks, sitting areas, and gathering spaces for community events. Along the way, interpretive elements artistically highlight the history and culture of the City of Amsterdam and its important, historic relationship to the Mohawk Valley Region.

The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook has long been a vision of the City and Congressman Paul Tonko, an Amsterdam native, who worked tirelessly to secure funding for the project whileserving in the New York State Assembly. The bridge strives to unify the City of Amsterdam culturally, socially, and
Original rendering by Eric Whiting Saratoga Associates

 economically, and is part of a larger vision to revitalize the waterfront, a program that Saratoga Associates has worked with community stakeholders to redevelop for nearly 25 years. On the north shore, the firm designed Riverlink Park which offers an imaginative open space for recreational, cultural activities and weekly open-air concerts. With the addition of the pedestrian bridge, Riverlink Park is now more accessible to the increasingly utilized Bridge Street, on the south shore, and was the missing link needed to take the City to the next level of community development. “This is a project we can all be proud of, as it reflects on our rich history and heritage and builds a path toward a bright future. I could not be happier to see its completion," said Congressman Tonko of the bridge’s stellar outcome.

Photograph by Eric Whiting Saratoga AssociatesSince it’s opening, the bridge has been received enthusiastically by locals and visitors alike. Amsterdam’s Homecoming parade marched down the greenway, breakfasts are hosted at sunrise, and Erie Canalway Trail users enjoy the spectacular sunset views. "This majestic scenic overlook is both a means to reach a destination and a destination in itself,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, who went on to state, "the completion of this project will attract new visitors to the City of Amsterdam, increase regional tourism and help fuel economic growth in the Mohawk Valley.”

Saratoga Associates is honored to have had the opportunity to craft such a landmark project. As a New York based firm, we are passionate about any opportunity to reimagine and rejuvenate communities in our State, by enhancing the sense of place and celebrating every communities’ story. The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook is a pristine example of how a vision that once existed only in our minds, on our sketch pads and computer screens can come to life.

Photo Credit: City of Amsterdam courtesy of Matthews Marketing We wouldn’t have been able to see it through without our friends at Ammann & Whitney (Engineer of Record), MJ Engineering & Land Surveying (Civil Engineer & Surveyors), D.A. Collins (Construction Contractor) and Shannon-Rose Design (Graphic Design). Already, the bridge has won the 2016 Engineering Project of the Year award from the Capital District Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, and the Bridge of the Year Award by ENR New York.

The primary source of funding for the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook was a $16.5 million award associated with the passage of the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005. In recent years, an additional $1.65 million in state funds was secured for artistic elements and other amenities. 

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Thursday
Oct062016

Eric Whiting to Guest Lecture at UMass Amherst

Eric Whiting has been the creative genius behind some of Saratoga Associates’ most acclaimed designs over the past 18 years, including the new Thacher State Park Visitor Center, the Entrances and Jockey House at the world famous Saratoga Race Course, the rejuvenated facade at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the all new Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge to name a few.

His career as an architect and illustrator merge to afford him an unparalleled knack for inspiring architectural designs, both by hand and computer, that are both rustic and modern, traditional and forward-thinking. And it doesn’t go unnoticed. This fall Eric will be a guest lecturer at UMass Amherst’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. Eric will guide first-year Landscape Architecture students during a studio session, which will focus on the art of telling their design story by creating imagery, and seamlessly moving between hand and digital media during the creative process.