About 324 Upper Byrdcliffe Road
On four beautiful acres in the hills above Woodstock Village, this lovely 5-bedroom home incorporates the ideals of the British and American Arts and Crafts movements and is one of only a handful of private historic homes in the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, which brought the first artists to Woodstock in the early 1900s -- decades before the famous concert. The original colony, founded by the wealthy British painter and Utopian philosopher Ralph Whitehead and his American wife, Jane Byrd McCall, was designed with the goal of creating a community of craftsmen (who built furniture and made textiles, pottery, and jewelry). Many of the original buildings, cottages, and studios still stand and have at times been home to such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Chevy Chase, Eva Hesse, Milton Avery and Lee Marvin who used to live in this home. Why did the Whiteheads and subsequent generations of creatives fall in love with the area? Reportedly, they searched the nation and chose the hills above Woodstock for it’s ideal mountain air. Perhaps it is the light filtering through the trees. The hush of snow in winter. Birdsong in summer. The streams, including one on this property, that flow down the mountain toward town. And, of course, the proximity to New York City, which is about two hours away by car and easily accessible by train or bus. The home itself is listed on the New York State Register of Historic Homes, and has been restored to the Byrdcliffe Colony’s Arts and Crafts ideals. Fully renovated, with a host of recent updates. The huge living room, with a massive original, wood-burning fireplace and restored beams, is ideal for relaxing and entertaining. The expansive kitchen -- big enough to include a sofa -- features the work of local craftsmen who built the hand-hewn beams, custom-crafted wood cabinets with local marble, and complemented by the Miele dishwasher, and a La Cornue stove. The kitchen's 13-inch floorboards were locally sourced and painstakingly sanded to restore their natural color; much of the paint, oils, and waxes were created only with natural ingredients and the fixtures are unlaquered brass handmade made by artisans in Brooklyn. A walk-in pantry has its own sink. On the same level are a large private office with custom-made bookcases and a sizable entertainment/recreation room. Some of the rooms are papered with fanciful William Morris patterns -- a nod to Ralph Whitehead, Byrcliffe's founder, and his friendship with Morris. Upstairs, a total of five bedrooms includes a master with a walk-in closet and en suite bathroom featuring custom tile and cabinetry plus a clawfoot tub that overlooks the woods. The other two bathrooms are tadelakt -- a rare kind of plaster that is 100% waterproof and used to make saunas in Morocco. A fourth bathroom can be found on the main level. Outdoors, there's a handsome hot tub and a hand-built Argentinian grill. Bluestone walls, patios, and paths balance harmoniously with nature. The land encourages exploring and perhaps finding a special spot to set down a cast-iron bench or a comfortable chair by the stream for reading. Walkable from the house is a trail that heads up Guardian Mountain. Today, the once-historic Byrdcliffe Arts Colony is under the stewardship of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, a regional arts center that continues to attract makers of all kinds by offering exhibitions, performance, classes, workshops, symposia, and artists' residencies. Imagine living in a spectacular historic home on four acres with your own stream, surrounded by natural beauty and the unique creative energy of Woodstock.