The town of Woodstock, New York, certainly marches to the beat of its own drum. The soundtrack to life in the world’s most famous small town would definitely be America’s most well-known popular music.
Woodstock has been associated with music and the arts for decades. According to the town of Woodstock website, the town’s hosting of the arts began in 1902 with the founding of Byrdcliffe, which today is the last intact colony from the Arts and Crafts movement conceived by William Morris and John Ruskin. In the 1920s the Art Students League of New York City opened a summer school in Woodstock, and painters, writers, actors and musicians flocked to the town.
Today, art galleries exhibit some of the area’s finest arts and crafts. Three recital halls feature music of all genres, and there is a new performing arts center. For those who love the outdoors, there are many trails with beautiful views. For the antique lover, there are shops that sell a variety of items. Less than two hours from New York City, at the foothills of the Catskills, people have been escaping from New York City to Woodstock from as early as the 19th century, when hotels were constructed to house those seeking relief from the hot city streets in summertime.
According to the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Arts, the town’s history began in the early 1900s with the founding of Byrdcliffe. Woodstock today is home to the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, the Historical Society of Woodstock, the Woodstock School of Art and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, housed in a building that musician Bob Dylan once called home.
The Woodstock Playhouse has featured internationally known stars of stage and screen and hosted the final concert in a series of performances known as the Sound-Outs, considered by many as the precursor to the famous 1969 Woodstock music festival, which is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history as well as the larger counterculture generation.
The Sound-Outs inspired the Woodstock's organizers to plan their concert at the Winston Farm in Saugerties. However, the town turned down their permit, and the Woodstock Festival was actually held almost 60 miles away at Max Yasgur's Farm in Bethel.
For those looking to join the unique vibe of life in Woodstock, Heather Croner Sotheby’s International Realty is experienced at representing the area’s finest homes.