The Zen Center of Syracuse is located on six acres of woodlands and gardens bordered by Onondaga Creek and Seneca Turnpike, both names indicative of the vital and continuing presence of Haudenosaunee culture in the region. A path winds through the wooded Garden of Serenity, leading to the Sangha Grove, a memorial garden, and following along the swiftly flowing creek. Herons, hawks, deer, and other wildlife nest here; herbs and wildflowers grow in abundance.
The zendo (meditation hall), a converted carriage house built in the Arts and Crafts period, seats forty. It is nestled among the ancient trees behind the main house, a majestic white Portuguese brick structure built in 1810 by Joshua Forman, who was the first president of the Village of Syracuse and a driving force behind the construction of the Erie Canal. Local lore has it that the Forman House was one of the stops on the Underground Railway during the movement to abolish slavery.
The Forman House is where classes, programs, and special events are held. An art gallery is located on the third floor. Ordained and lay students reside here and at the Residence House next door.