An abandoned Hudson Valley building with no roof that's been overrun with trees and plants will soon become the focus of the art world.

The art piece is called "A Home With a Garden" and is scheduled to open at the end of the month. Conceived by installation artist, Martin Roth, the work will turn the plants and vegetation overrunning the decaying building to a musical, sensory experience.

Roth visited the City of Newburgh in 2017 and was taken by the city's architecture. Once magnificent buildings have now succumbed to neglect and the ravages of time. One building in particular interested Roth, the City Club on Grand Street. The building was designed by Andrew Jackson Downing and Calvert Vaux. Downing was an acclaimed landscape designer who worked with Frederick Law Olmsted in creating Central Park in New York City. Newburgh's Downing Park was named for this influential designer.


The City Club is one of the last buildings still standing that was designed by Downing, which made Roth even more excited about the idea of transforming it into a living art piece. Sadly, the artist passed away in 2019 just as a Kickstarter campaign was being launched to fund the ambitious project. Strongroom, a nonprofit arts organization based in Newburgh, decided to take on the project themselves and turn Roth's vision into reality.

The plan for the massive art installation was originally described by Roth as a truly interactive experience. Trees and plants overrunning the decaying building will trigger a musical experience as visitors walk through them, creating what he called a "plant concert."

The 'natural concert hall' will be created with devices that amplify the internal sounds of the plants, creating an immersive experience and place to contemplate our connection to nature. Each sensor creates different notes, together forming a magical "plant concert" throughout the garden.

The installation is scheduled to open at the end of this month and will likely run through the fall.

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