Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finally? we've been working for this for years at Roosevelt Baths

SPA: For the purists
May 28th, 2008
Mineral bath purists can bathe easy once again.

Two of the bathing rooms at the Roosevelt Bathhouse were converted into fully heated, fully mineral water-based havens of water luxury last week. The move comes months after it was discovered warm tap water was being mixed with the mineral variety to bring what would otherwise be a frigid dip to lukewarm temperatures.

Two more baths are also expected to get mineral water heating equipment by the summer’s end, said Michael Barnes, the general manager at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Spa State Park.

They are among a litany of renovations planned by Delaware North, which took over management of the hotel and the bathhouse in January. They are currently in the beginning planning stages of the renovation process.

– Drew Kerr

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Broadway protest to get Victoria Pool open, Saratogian, 5/25/08

A small crowd gathered in front of Mrs. London’s bakery on Broadway in Saratoga Springs to protest the Victoria pool not being open by Memorial Day weekend. (ERICA MILLER/The Saratogian)
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Approximately a dozen people, some in bathing suits, gathered together on Broadway Saturday afternoon to protest the late opening of the Victoria Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park.

“We don’t want to be here,” said Louise Goldstein, co-founder of the Save the Victoria Pool Society. “We’d rather be at the pool.”

Goldstein was joined by Andrew Jennings of Ballston Spa, who co-founded the group with her. Each held signs; Jennings spent much of his time sitting in a blue kiddie pool. The pair is part of a group who wanted to use the visible Broadway sidewalk as a means to attract attention from state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, the state Parks Department, and taxpayers.

The Victoria Pool first opened in 1934 and is said to have been the first heated public pool in the country. While the pool is no longer heated, Goldstein said traditionally the pool was always opened on Memorial Day weekend, but in recent years, the Parks Department has declined to open the pool until late June, typically after school finishes for the year.

While the pool’s open to people of all ages, few children are found there. Most children and families utilize the Peerless Pool, which includes a main pool with zero-depth entry, a children’s wading pool area and a separate pool dedicated to a double slide. The atmosphere at Victoria Pool is significantly different, as it is surrounded by historical architecture with a café and bar easily accessible.

In addition to the history it offers, Jennings said Victoria Pool offers those who make their way there the opportunity to create lifelong friendships. For Holly Swits, a board member of the Save the Victoria Pool Society, the atmosphere makes it special.

“It is like being at a resort,” she said. “You feel like you’ve gotten away.”

The society members said they collected hundreds of signatures last year from people who wanted to see the Parks Department open the pool earlier this year. Saying they have been given a variety of reasons, all unacceptable to them, from the Parks Department as to why the pool can not return to the Memorial Day weekend opening, the group held their signs high and spoke with passersby regarding the situation.

The Save the Victoria Pool Society was founded in 2003 as a grassroots group dedicated to restoring, maintaining and preserving the historic pool. The group publicized the pool’s state of disrepair and lobbied for improvements. In December 2003, park officials announced a $1.5 million restoration and revitalization project which addressed the needs of the Victoria Pool. Repairs were made to the masonry work, the roof, the locker rooms, showers and bathrooms were improved; a filtration system was replaced and a multitude of exterior renovations were made

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can't wait until Saturday... Come join us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Andrew Jennings, Co-Founder, Save the Victoria Pool Society preparing for assembly on 5/24/08

Victoria Pool rally gains steam

Spa State Park cuts mowing to save on fuel, labor
Critics blasts decision to let some acres go wild

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
Last updated: 11:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The Saratoga Spa State Park's manicured lawns are the latest casualty of sky-high fuel prices.
To save money on gas, the state will allow parts of the park to grow wild this year.

Under a new initiative also designed to save on labor and cut emissions, 11 1/2 acres of lawns at the park will be allowed to become meadows, Park Manager Michael Greenslate said.

Areas along the road connecting routes 9 and 50, a grassy acre or so located across Route 9 from the Lincoln Bath House and other low-use spots will go uncut, he said.

Reducing mowing will cut down on fuel and maintenance costs, and is a smart environmental move, park officials said. Mowing reductions may be introduced at some of the other 177 state parks, too.

``While there is no official statewide policy per se, we are always looking at ways to improve our efficiency and sustainability,'' said Eileen Larrabee, communications director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The 2,200-acre Saratoga Spa State Park is distinguished by its classical architecture, entertainment venues, pine forest and natural geysers. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and locals are famously protective of it.

In an interview this week, Louise Goldstein, co-founder of a group that worked to keep the park's Victoria Pool open, called the decision to cease mowing ``ridiculous.'' The park and some of its buildings already are ``in a horribly deteriorated state,'' she said.

Save the Victoria Pool Society members will gather at 5 p.m. Saturday on Broadway near City Hall to push the state to open the stately pool prior to this year's first day, June 28, Goldstein said.

Park officials volunteered information about the changes in grass cutting because they wanted the public to know that they are not neglecting lawns, but making positive environmental adjustments, said Alli Schweizer, park naturalist.

``I think people might be surprised how beautiful the fields will look when they come back to their natural state,'' she said.

Last week, the state committed $5.2 million to the park, which will build a new facade for the Saratoga Performing Arts amphitheater, renovate picnic and parking areas, repair the Peerless Pool and more.

Greenslate could not say how much money the mowing initiative would save. The park's staff of 12 groundspeople, plus seasonal workers in the summer, will be free to work on other projects, he said. The 11.5 uncut acres will be mowed once at the end of the season, he said.

The Victoria Pool is opening the same date as all state pools, Greenslate said. The date has been pushed back a few days because school schedules are running later this year, he said.

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2008, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rally to open Victoria Pool As soon as POSSIBLE

Save the Victoria Pool Society needs your help to let NYS Parks know that an end of June opening of the Victoria Pool is outrageous. Your taxpayer dollars recently paid $1.5 million to save the Victoria Pool and it is opened later every year for a variety of excuses that change daily. One-third of our precious summer is over by the end of June and the traditional opening date is Memorial Day.
Join us in your bathing suits(optional but preferred) with signs on:
Saturday, May 24 at 5PM in front of Mrs. Londons, 464 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

or Call:
NYS Parks:518-486-1868
Senator Bruno:518-455-3191

Friday, May 16, 2008

Victoria Pool demonstration, Glens Falls Post Star 5/16/08

Even if the gravedigger isn't busy, Broadway is still buzzing
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008

On the corner of Broadway and Lake Avenue, shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday, a woman leans into the display window of Menges & Curtis Pharmacy and re-arranges a blue-veined floral display in the storefront window. SNAP.

Across the street, in front of City Hall, blue-suited public defender Andrew Blumenberg leaps onto the curb just as the small traffic box above him lights up with a giant red hand that proceeds to perform a countdown in the crosswalk for pedestrians: 3, 2, 1. SNAP.

Before the end of the business day inside the courtroom on the second floor of City Hall, 54 cases would pass in front of the judge, and on this day, most seemed to arise in the aftermath of alcohol, or drugs, or a sudden fit of madness.

On Caroline Street, where a community board is fixed to a wall, flyers announcing weekend events jockey for position: Ice cream and a free dance lesson at the Saratoga Music Hall, reads one. Brazilian fusion guitarist Ulisses at Cafe Lena, reads another. There is also a benefit dinner in Ballston Spa for a 2-year-old girl battling a rare, life-threatening disease.

Across the avenue, where Washington Street crosses Broadway, a group of smokers gathers beneath a canopy to shield themselves from nickel-sized drops of rain that suddenly begin falling from the sky.

Two blocks away, Louise Goldstein, co-founder of the Save the Victoria Pool Society, is seated at her favorite table inside Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe, which she laughingly calls her "winter office." She wonders what she can do to get state parks officials to open the Victorian Pool earlier this year.

"We'll stage a protest on Broadway with people wearing bathing suits," she says, finally. "We just need to get a permit."

On Thursday, many of the staff of this newspaper set out on the streets of Glens Falls to capture "A Day in the Life" of that city.

There is a story about young newspaperman Jimmy Breslin looking for an angle from which to cover the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963. He talked to the gravedigger.

So when the "Day in the Life" project came up, the gravedigger naturally came to mind.

Unfortunately, setting up an appointment to find a gravedigger busy doing actual digging on Thursday would prove to be challenging.

Instead, I spent an afternoon trying to capture images of Broadway in Saratoga Springs.

The gravedigger's reasoning, though, for being unable to provide an exact schedule was classic.

Sorry, the man said.

"We don't generally get that much advance notice."

Saratoga Bureau writer Thomas Dimopoulos can be reached at

Thursday, May 15, 2008

SPAC to get new facade in the fall

SPAC to get new facade $2.5M renovation includes sound system, lighting

Undulating sand-colored waves cover the outside of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center amphitheater in a design revealed on Wednesday.
Construction on the $2.5 million facade renovation is scheduled to begin this October after the 2008 SPAC season ends and be finished by next May before the new season.
The renovation designed by Saratoga Associates is expected to go out to bid in about a month. Under the plan, the deteriorating 43-year-old wooden siding would be replaced with a new facade made of recycled paper and forest products. New lighting and sound systems also would be added.
That means people on the lawn won’t be able to see big black speakers anymore, said Bob Bristol, chief executive officer of Saratoga Associates. And new fiber-optic lights directed at the floors and exits will light the way without blinding SPAC patrons, he added.
“The light that you see is going to be remarkably impressive,” said SPAC Chairman William Dake.
The lights are energy-efficient and will reduce light pollution in Saratoga Spa State Park, he added. The SPAC renovation is one of a slate of state park projects this year that include $1.5 million to renovate six restrooms in picnic areas, $625,000 to repave roads and parking lots, $263,000 for bike and pedestrian improvements, $169,000 to repaint and fix concrete at Peerless Pool and $147,000 to remove asbestos at Spa Little Theater.
State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R- Brunswick, said that it’s money well-spent. “This is a priority.”
The money for the project was provided in a $132 million package for the state park system in Gov. David Paterson’s budget that was approved by the state Legislature, said Carol Ash, state parks commissioner. In all, the park system needs $650 million to bring its facilities up to snuff, Ash said.
Bruno noted that he and the new governor are big supporters of the state parks, adding he’s enjoying working with Paterson. “It’s like a honeymoon,” Bruno said. “It’s almost indecent, we’re getting along so well.”
Since 2005, the state has pumped nearly $7 million into SPAC’s facilities, including padded seats, a new roof and a better backstage to the amphitheater.
The latest renovation sketch was unveiled Wednesday as part of SPAC’s annual meeting at the Hall of Springs in Congress Park.
The amphitheater renovation will be a “green” building, Bristol said. It’s the second such environmentally friendly building Saratoga Associates has designed for SPAC.
The box office was designed in 1973 partially underground to shield it from public view. As an unintentional result, it stays cool without air conditioning, Bristol said.
“Where it was situated, the back end of the building would have been visible,” he said.
SPAC’s new marketing initiatives this year include a redesigned Web site and “previews” of future acts that will be played during performance intermissions and on video screens downtown. “The idea is that people have a better idea of what the performance is about,” Dake said.
SPAC officials also are marketing the center, with music, the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as a close-to-home option for summer fun that won’t require paying the high price of gas to get out of town.
The performing arts center enjoyed $2.9 million in total ticket sales last year compared to $2.6 million in 2006. In all, it had $3.4 million operating income, $4.4 million in contribution income and $7.7 million in expenses.
“This marks the third year in a row that SPAC has operated in the black,” said board member Arthur Roth.
It even has almost a $150,000 surplus from last year.
Other announcements Wednesday include:
Sonny and Julie Bonacio will serve as honorary chairs of the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival with co-chairs Jasper and Beth Alexander.
“West Side Story” star Rita Moreno will be the chairwoman of the New York City Ballet gala on July 19.
Heather Mabee, chairwoman of the Saratoga-Capital District region of the state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission, and Susan Phillips Read, associate judge of the state Court of Appeals, were elected as new SPAC board members.

An artist’s rendering shows the planned facade face-lift for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center amphitheatre.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Saratoga's Roosevelt Baths in NYTimes,5/8/08

They Came to New York for the Waters

James Rajotte for The New York Times
Janice Hall takes a soak at Clifton Springs, near her home in Rochester. Many of the mineral-springs spas that once dotted New York are being rejuvenated.

Yahoo! Buzz

Published: May 9, 2008
PUNGENTLY sulfurous waters burble up from the ground alongside a concrete 1970s hospital building in Clifton Springs, N.Y., southeast of Rochester, and I’m soaking in them. That is, waters from a mineral spring renowned in the 19th century for healing properties have been pumped from a stream running beneath the hospital lawn into a new spa wing, where I’ve gone more for relaxation than anything curative, and a nurse has prepared a hot bath for me.

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James Rajotte for The New York Times
Even Europeans now come to Clifton Springs for the waters.

James Rajotte for The New York Times
A range of additives is available at Clifton Springs, top. The décor at Roosevelt is testimony to its Depression-era origin, above.

James Rajotte for The New York Times
Clifton Springs recently uncapped its waters. Qi gong exercise in the chapel of a sanitarium that once occupied the grounds.

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Stewart Cairns for The New York Times
Since the 1930s, the state-run Roosevelt Baths have been a fixture at Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, a k a Spa City.

In a serene pale-purple treatment room, I step gingerly into the tea-colored water. The vapors clear my head, and I soon feel tingly and light, yet strangely immobile. The sound of the spring outside, gurgling into tiers of concrete fountain pools, mingles with the indoor soundtrack of pan flutes. When a knock on the door comes for my scheduled massage, I’m sorry to let the water drain.

Upstate New York is hardly known as a center of mineral springs. But in the 19th century, the golden age of mineral-water spas, at least 50 New York towns, scattered from Long Island to Lake Ontario, had resorts or sanitariums drawing on water emerging from rocky places underground and laced with elements like magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and sulfur. “There were more mineral baths available in New York than in any other state,” said Charlotte Wytias, the program manager at the Clifton Springs Hospital’s spa.

All sorts of healing powers were claimed for the waters, which often carry a metallic or swampy taste and smell. But primarily, the resorts were places to go on vacation. “Life at the springs is a perpetual festival,” an 1850s guidebook said.

Most of the resorts failed after World War II. Clifton Springs is one of a handful of towns left in New York with licensed facilities for soaking in mineral water. But with spas again a hot tourist draw (though in a 21st-century guise), interest is growing again. “Towns are realizing that they’re sitting on gold mines,” said Ms. Wytias, who, as a board member of the five-year-old New York Spa Alliance, is active among spa owners, medical workers, government officials and preservationists trying to revive the state’s mineral springs. For now, there are a few quirky vintage and new New York facilities to bask in, and some eerie spa ruins to visit.

Caveat before you go: drinking or lounging in the waters is calming, entertaining and nostalgic, but don’t expect much healing. “There are no studies I’m aware of that actually prove any medical benefit,” said Wallace Sampson, a professor emeritus at Stanford University’s medical school and editor of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.

At the springs at Clifton Springs Hospital, spa customers enter via an unexpectedly charming lobby stocked with exhibitions of antique medical equipment, like ivory-handled surgical knives and a woven-cane wheelchair — relics of the Clifton Springs Water-Cure, a once-popular Victorian sanitarium on the property. The town capped those waters in the 1950s, but in 2004, the hospital laid new pipes. Since then, word of the new spa has gotten around. “We’ve had visitors from as far away as Latvia and Germany,” Ms. Wytias said. “They’ll walk in and tell us, ‘Thank goodness there’s a place like this again!’ ”

In the heyday of the waters, New York’s mineral springs resorts were “the poshest,” said Thomas A. Chambers, an associate professor of history at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., and author of “Drinking the Waters: Creating an American Leisure Class at Nineteenth-Century Mineral Springs” (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002). And perhaps poshest of all were those in Saratoga. “They set a standard for luxury and conspicuous consumption,” he said.

The official nickname of Saratoga Springs is Spa City, and a few Victorian hotels there still have wraparound porches for lounging between baths. Only two spas in town still draw on certified mineral water: the privately owned, 20-year-old Crystal Spa just outside Saratoga Spa State Park and the state-run 1930s Roosevelt Baths deep in pine groves inside the park. My husband and I opted for the latter, a sprawling Georgian-style brick complex with black-and-white tiled hallways and bright ceiling lights, built during the Depression and used ever since. Wounded World War II veterans frequented it, and the German government paid for Holocaust survivors’ treatments there.

We waited 40 minutes after the staff mislaid our appointment record, but irritation faded when we sank into white tubs in adjacent treatment rooms separated by thick wooden doors. My husband had lavender oil sprinkled into his bath, almost entirely concealing the mineral smell, while my choice of Adirondack Woods flavoring resulted in a pleasant fresh-peat smell.

We rehydrated afterward with naturally carbonated spring water from a black-ceramic wall fountain. It tasted a little like Campari (and would be great with cranberry juice). We were curious about it. Which of the park’s dozens of subterranean springs did it come from? Why did it seem fizzier than the bath water? There were no explanatory panels and no one to answer questions, just a small sign: “Mineral Drinking Water.” No labeled bottles are on sale either — just generic beauty products. (You can fill your own bottles with various kinds of Saratoga water, however, at a dozen springs in gazebos scattered around the state park and the town. Maps are available at the visitor center at 297 Broadway.)

Enlightenment may be easier at the Roosevelt Baths after this summer. Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, a company with management contracts in publicly owned locations from Niagara Falls to Yosemite National Park, has taken on a 20-year lease at the Saratoga park. “We’ll be putting in beautifully well-done interpretive boards, like you’d see in a museum, with photos and drawings and verbiage telling the story we need to be telling,” said Michael Barnes, the general manager for the baths and the adjacent Gideon Putnam Resort. The clinical bathhouse palette will also be softened, he added: “It seems kind of institutional a little bit. We think we can warm it up.”

An already romantic mineral-springs bath is available just south of Saratoga, at the 1804 Medbery Inn & Spa in the slightly tattered town of Ballston Spa. (Richard Russo, in his 1993 novel “Nobody’s Fool,” parodied Ballston Spa as a town “waiting for its luck to change.”) According to Professor Chambers’s book, by the early 1800s, “Ballston Spa had become the premier resort of American gentry from both North and South.” But eventually its springs were partly tapped out, and its grandest hotel, the Sans Souci, was demolished in 1887. The Medbery, a long-vacant rooming house when the innkeepers, Jim and Dolores Taisey, bought it in 2002, is now linked by piping to the Sans Souci spring and has 11 guest rooms and a spa suite in a woozy palette of mauve, burgundy and rose.

In my treatment room, a mural depicted a garden vista and tiles were embossed with ferns and seashells. I didn’t recognize the mineral water at first because of a spicy added scent and a thick coating of bubble bath. But the familiar odor and tea tint gradually came through. Crickets and birds chirped on the sound track as my hands broke the bubbles. I polished off a tray of cranberry juice and cantaloupe and a Hershey’s Kiss left on the bathtub rim.

Mr. Taisey, when I called for an interview a few weeks later, explained that "a lot of people definitely believe in the healing, therapeutic qualities of the waters, and the baths make great pretreatments" for massages and other body work. “People call us so happy and relieved to find out they can have access to the waters again,” he said.

Within the next few years, a few other mineral-springs facilities are expected to open. In Dansville, 45 miles south of Rochester, the Krog Corporation received a $2.5 million state grant in January to convert the Castle on the Hill, an abandoned sanitarium on a slope riddled with mineral springs, into a wellness center with public spa. In the center of Clyde, 40 miles east of Rochester, the town government is digging a well into its long-dormant spring and planning to provide public faucets and signs.

And in Sharon Springs, 45 miles west of Albany, Sharon Springs Inc., a group of primarily South Korean investors, paid $750,000 in 2005 for a moldering complex built between the 1870s and 1930s, including two bathhouses and three hotels. It has plans for amenities ranging from ginseng saunas, outdoor pools and Korean barbecue stands to a convention center and helipad.

“We will also have signs in many languages, explaining the kinds of water and how it is good for you,” Kyusung Cho, chief executive of the investment group, said in an interview at his office in Queens. The village government has not yet approved the proposals. Locals are concerned that historic buildings may be demolished or renovated beyond recognition.

“There’s a wonderful weird magic to this town, a confluence of geology and climate and architecture, that we want to keep,” said Tony Daou, owner of the Black Cat Cafe and Bakery in Sharon Springs. “This was the Baden-Baden of America, and it could be fabulous again, if the project’s done right.”

The investors have preserved one drinking well under an octagonal 1920s gazebo called the White Sulphur Temple. As I leaned over the railing around the gurgling source, the stinging smell kept me from scooping up a drink. But I couldn’t help imagining a long soak under the stars.


THE Springs Integrative Medicine Center & Spa (2 Coulter Road, Clifton Springs, N.Y.; 315-462-0390; is at Clifton Springs Hospital, 25 miles southeast of Rochester. From Interstate 90, take Exit 43 to Route 96 east and turn south on Kendall Street to reach Clifton Springs. Mineral bath soaks start at $20, and an hour massage costs $60. The spa also has beauty treatments and offerings like aroma therapy ($30) and craniosacral therapy ($60).

Just up the street is the Clifton Pearl (46 East Main Street; 315-462-5050), a newly restored Victorian bed-and-breakfast. Doubles start at $179; a package including treatments at the Springs starts at $309.

Medbery Inn & Spa (48 Front Street, Ballston Spa; 518-885-7727; is in a former rooming house from the early 19th century. It is on Route 50, accessible from Exit 12 on Interstate 87. The inn has 11 rooms, starting at $150 and offers mineral baths starting at $16 and massages starting at $65. Beauty treatments include the black Baltic mud wrap for $85.

The Roosevelt Baths (39 Roosevelt Drive in Saratoga Spa State Park, on Route 9 off Exit 13 on I-87; 518-226-4790) is a state-owned Georgian-style complex built in the 1930s as a clinic. It has mineral baths (from $25), an array of massage styles (Swedish, from $85) and body wraps (mountain maple sugar scrub, $95). Adjacent is the colonnaded Gideon Putnam Resort (24 Gideon Putnam Road; 866-890-1171; doubles from $209). The hotel and baths share the Web site

A short drive from the park, the Crystal Spa (120 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs; 518-584-2556; offers mineral baths for $21, massages starting at $45 and assorted flavors of wraps and aroma skin therapy, including the chocolate addiction for $85.

In Sharon Springs, accessible from Exit 29 of I-90 or Exit 21 on I-88, the bathhouses are closed, but visitors can drink from the still-open sulfur springs under a 1920s pavilion along Main Street. At the restored 1840s American Hotel (192 Main Street; 518-284-2105; rates start at $130.

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Saratoga's painted horses on display in NYC Museum 5/17/08

Painted horses make debut at Museum of Natural History

If you visit Manhattan this summer, you just might see a sight familiar from your jaunts in downtown Saratoga Springs last summer.
Seven of the “Horses Saratoga Style” fiberglass art pieces are being showcased outdoors at the American Museum of Natural History as part of the museum’s exhibit on “The Horse,” which opens May 17.
Four of the painted ponies stand on the plaza at the museum’s front entrance, which faces Central Park; one graces the gateway leading to Roosevelt Park at 81st Street and Columbus Avenue; and two are at the Weston Pavilion at Columbus Avenue and 78th Street, said Joel Reed, executive director of the Saratoga County Arts Council. They are: “Horse Power II” — painted by George Frayne for the Saratoga Automobile Museum; “Polo” — Frankie Flores’ creation for the Saratoga Polo Association; “Pony X Press” — The Times Union’s horse painted by Michael Lewandowski; “Horse of a Different Color” — another Flores work owned by Adirondack Trust Co.; “Starry Night” — created by artist Gerri Bowden for Courtyard Marriott;
“Paleo” — which Ida Pagano painted for Saratoga Sotheby’s International Realty; and
“Nocturnal Landscape” — owned by Alcove Marina in Schuylerville and painted by Heather Martin.
While thoroughbreds that race at Saratoga are well-traveled, the fiberglass ones are a little tougher to coax onto a truck. The horses themselves weigh only about 80 pounds but with their attached concrete bases weigh about 300 or 400 pounds, Reed said.
And the horses are all privately owned now, so they were located throughout Saratoga Springs, in Schuylerville and Albany.
Luckily for the museum’s movers, Bob Guay, owner of the Alcove Marina, offered to herd the horses to the marina so the movers only had to make one stop.
“I don’t know how Bob put them in his truck,” Reed said.
On Tuesday, the horses were loaded and shipped downstate.
“To load them into the movers’ van to go to New York, we used a bulldozer that Bob has,” he said. “Once they got to New York, they had five moving guys who were able to use straps and dollies to move them around.”
The horses were chosen for the exhibit after Reed sent the museum a calendar that pictured the horses. “They gave me a list of 10,” Reed said.
Of those, the owners of seven horses agreed to the necessary loan.
While they’re displayed, each horse is mounted to its concrete base with a marble plaque listing the horse’s name, the artist and owner.
Reed doesn’t know whether the museum operators plan to display an explanation of the horses and the project, but he hopes they’ll set out new maps that will describe the project and list the horses that are displayed both in the New York City and Saratoga areas.
The maps will be available here by the end of this month at the Arts Center and the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center downtown and are updated with the 31 horses from the 2007 and 2002 shows that will be on public view in Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville this summer.
The 34 horses from the 2007 show were displayed last summer on the sidewalks of Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville.
They were stored for the winter, and some are already back out, Reed said, including one in front of the Inn at Saratoga on Broadway. The rest will be back in the sun by the end of May, he said.
The exhibit in New York runs through Jan. 4, 2009, but the horses will be there only until the end of October and will leave earlier if an ice storm threatens, Reed said.
To see photos of the horses being loaded and set up in New York and for more information about the exhibit, visit

Painted fiberglass horses stand in front of the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday.

Photo Gallery: Saratoga Horses Outside the AMNH

Seven life-size fiberglass horses, each over 6½ feet tall, were delivered to the American Museum of Natural History from the Saratoga County Arts Council in upstate New York on Wednesday, May 7, for display in conjunction with the Museum's upcoming exhibition The Horse, which opens to the public on Saturday, May 17.