Things to See
Dia:Beacon, one of the world's preeminent contemporary art institutions, houses many major works of art from the 1960's to the present in a spectacularly restored 300,000 square foot historic printing factory on the east bank of the river in Beacon, NY.
Those who favor the American decorative arts will enjoy touring Boscobel Restoration in Garrison, a Federal-style mansion with a charming rose garden and entrancing river views.
Russel Wright was one of the best known designers in the US in the first half of the 20th century. A modernist who believed that one's personal space should be personal, Wright supported nonconformity. At the apex of his career, he left New York City and moved his base of operations to Garrison. It was here that he created a unique home and designed landscape, Manitoga.
Storm King Art Center, located in Mountainville on 500 acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands, is a museum that celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature. It features postwar sculptures by internationally renowned artists.
Crawford House in Newburgh offers tours on Sundays of this 1830s English country-style home. (845.561.2720)
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library is the first of the presidential libraries. It was conceived and built under President Roosevelt's direction during 1939-40 on 16 acres of land in Hyde Park, New York, donated by the President and his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt.
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is a critically-acclaimed regional theater whose productions take place each summer on the grounds of the Boscobel estate in Garrison, NY. Shakespeare scholars, critics and enthusiastic fans laud its spare, clear and compelling productions. For information on this year’s season, visit Shakespeare Festival.
The Garrison Art Center fosters creative ideas and appreciation of the arts in the community. It is a short walk from the Garrison Station on the Metro North Hudson Line, and the Garrison Marina affords access to the Art Center for boaters.
Constitution Island is most famous for the Great Chain that was placed across the Hudson during the Revolutionary War and the Warner family who lived on the Island during the 19th century. The Warner House and ruins of the Revolutionary War fortifications are the primary points of interest.
Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, in Sleepy Hollow, NY, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. A historical site of the National Trust, the estate is open to the public for tours of the home, gardens, art gallery, automobile collections and outdoor sculptures.
History and Heritage
The Hudson River Valley is a National Heritage Area, one of 38 such designations in the country named by Congress in which conservation, interpretation and other activities are managed by partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and the private sector. This website is a wonderful resource for places in the Hudson Valley relating to the colonial period, the Revolutionary War, great Americans, landscape and gardens, industry and commerce, architecture, art and artists, decorative arts, parks and environment, and social and political issues. http://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/
Putnam County Historical Society and Foundry School Museum:
Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring was originally the home of Anne and Frank Cabot. Open to the public since 1992, the display gardens cover approximately 12 acres and comprise a diverse collection of gardens and plants including woodland and water gardens, a grass garden, raised alpine stone beds, cliff rock gardens, and an enclosed English-style flower garden. Additional features include a Conservatory, display Alpine House, Pit House with an extensive collection of choice dwarf bulbs, and systematic order beds representing over 50 plant families.
The garden at Boscobel Restoration features a brick walkway past an exquisite herb garden and perennial beds, to a formal rose garden that opens onto a great lawn with sweeping views of the Hudson River. Boscobel also offers a woodland trail that leads visitors on a one-mile walk by a stream and waterfall, with a gazebo for picnics overlooking Constitution Marsh.
The Innisfree Garden, in Millbrook, NY is a 150-acre public garden in which the ancient art of Chinese landscape design has been reinterpreted to create a unique American garden. The garden uses streams, waterfalls, terraces, retaining walls, rocks, and plants to define different areas; the property also includes a 40-acre glacial lake. Wethersfield Estate & Gardens, in nearby Amenia, has formal classical gardens and sculptures (the stable block houses a carriage museum and coaching memorabilia). Wethersfield telephone: (845) 373-8037
Located further north in Columbia County, the Gardens at Cricket Hill Farm features four acres of 25 beds on rolling hills with distant views. Innovative design approach plays with scale and lines of sight to maximize four-season views from the house. Interesting plant collections include bulbs, perennials, flowering shrubs, evergreens, grasses, herbs, fruits and vegetables. The gardens, incorporating moss and lichen-covered rocks, are planned for no watering, reduced maintenance, four-season interest, food and cover for birds.
American history buffs will not want to miss the opportunity to visit West Point, located directly across the river from The Garrison. Guided tours aboard a West Point Tours coach begin at the Visitors Center, which educates tourists on the tradition of US military service that has been proudly preserved and honored since our country’s inception. The West Point Museum, considered the oldest and most diversified military collection in the western hemisphere, is a highlight of the tour. Eisenhower Hall at West Point offers a range of entertainment throughout the year, from Broadway shows to musical events and art exhibits.
For information about visiting West Point: www.usma.edu/visiting.asp