The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is a destination for quality nature-education programs, wildlife art, photography exhibits and much more.
What many fail to ever think about, however, is that the building that houses much of its programming is a beautiful work of art in its own right.
This Saturday, the institute will host the first of two architecture tours it has planned for this summer. The tours, led by retired architect Marlin Casker, will take visitors on an in-depth look of the distinctive headquarters that houses the institute. The building, which was completed in 1993, was designed by Robert A.M. Stern.
The headquarters of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, completed in 1993 and designed by Robert A.M. Stern, will be the subject of two upcoming architecture tours. The first will take place Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
P-J photo by Dave Emke
In addition to the RTPI headquarters, the firm of architects has completed projects including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.; the Disney Feature Animation Building in Burbank, Calif.; the Brooklyn Law School Tower in Brooklyn, N.Y.; the Museum Center at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn.; and many other major projects internationally. According to its website, its international recognition during its 41-year history includes numerous awards for design excellence including National Honor Awards of the American Institute of Architects.
The RTPI headquarters, located at 311 Curtis St. in Jamestown, is a 26,000-square-foot facility. According to its profile on the Robert A.M. Stern website, its ''environmental commitment ... is reflected in (its) picturesque massing and rustic vocabulary.''
Tours will begin at 1 p.m. on both this coming Saturday and Saturday, Aug. 13. Casker will lead visitors on a walk through the structure to learn about all its nooks and crannies, including all its shifting spaces, lighting and views.
Following the Aug. 13 tour, at 3 p.m., a Roger Tory Peterson Biography Tour will be held. This tour, also led by Casker, will take visitors through the institute's ongoing exhibit interpreting the life of the Jamestown native and great American naturalist for whom the center is named. The tour will also include a visit to the archives, where a few specially selected items will be shown just for the event.
Tickets to each of the three tours are $6 for non-RTPI members, with RTPI members admitted free. Those non-RTPI members who elect to participate in both of the Aug. 13, tours will be to admitted to the second at half-price.
For more information about the tours or to register, contact Tina Nelson at the institute by calling 665-2473, ext. 221. For more information about the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, including more future tours and programming, visit www.rtpi.org.
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