By Associated Press - Monday, April 27, 2015

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Work has begun on upgrades planned for a storied artists’ retreat in upstate New York that has hosted some of America’s greatest writers, composers and artists.

Five work studios are being built at Yaddo (YA’-doh), the longtime Saratoga Springs home to an artists-in-residence program that has hosted such luminaries as James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

Yaddo is located on the 400-acre Trask estate, next door to Saratoga Race Course. The grounds include a 122-year-old mansion and extensive gardens that attract tens of thousands of visitors each year. It opened as an artists’ retreat in 1926.

The upgrades are expected to cost about $7 million. The work will include repairing the 45,000-square-foot mansion’s stone foundation.

Private donations will pay for most of the improvements, with another $500,000 in funding provided by New York state.

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