Must-See Museums and Art in Northern Westchester County
If you already live in Northern Westchester County, you know how rich the area is with art and history. Residents and newcomers alike will enjoy visiting our local museums and the historic homes that reside in our little corner of the Earth. While it is impossible to cover all of the places to experience and explore in one post, we thought we’d start with a few places to get you on your way to discovering your Westchester North.
You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy the artwork that the Katonah Museum of Art has on display for their visitors. The unique dynamic of this museum allows for an ever-changing assembly of artwork. The founders of this museum decided that they would operate as non-collectors, meaning instead of putting funding into maintaining a permanent collection of artworks, they instead put their funding towards educational experiences as well as community outreach programs.
The Katonah Museum does have year-round visitation time. Their sculpture garden is among one of the more popular features. One of the more distinctive features of this museum is the captivating exhibitions that they host three to four times per year. So, whether you plan your trip to Westchester North to see one of the exhibitions or decide to pop in on a whim, you will not be disappointed in what Katonah has to offer to their guests.
Hudson Valley MOCA
Formerly known as the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts, MOCA (Museum of contemporary arts) is a renowned arts and education driven organization. Livia and Marc Straus founded this organization with the mission of bringing exhibitions to the Peekskill area that would bring enrichment and further understanding of contemporary art styles to the Peekskill area.
When you visit their website, you will find that they host three to four exciting exhibitions per month at their museum in Peekskill. These exhibitions typically include an exciting educational topic within the realm of contemporary art, as well as a hands-on activity that visitors can join in on.
Lincoln Depot Museum in Peekskill
Another influential museum that’s located in the Peekskill area of Northern Westchester is the Lincoln Depot Museum. This site of major historical significance may appeal greatly to American history fanatics out there. The Lincoln Depot Museum is a railway depot where, on February 19, 1861, our former president Abraham Lincoln stopped to greet New York citizens as he passed through on his way to D.C.
After four years of dedication and hard work, the Lincoln Depot Foundation was able to completely restore the station. It is now a place where anyone can come to learn about the huge impact that Lincoln himself had on the small regions such as Peekskill. As well as his impact on New York as a whole. The title of their one of a kind exhibits is “New York and Abraham Lincoln: An Indispensable Relationship.” New Yorkers, as well as travelers from out of state, will appreciate this tribute to our former president.
Beyond the art museums and exhibits, you will also find a plethora of homes that belonged to historically significant figures who were happy to call Northern Westchester their home. These homes have been preserved or restored into a place where locals and tourists can come and take a look around.
Horace Greeley House
American Author and founder of the New-York Tribune, Horace Greeley made Chappaqua his home when he began the construction of his home in 1852. After years of sale and repurchase, the Greeley house became a main historical feature in downtown Chappaqua in September of 2000.
John Jay Homestead
Due to all of the important hats that Jay wore in his time, there isn’t one, in particular, that might jump out at you if you haven’t brushed up on your American history recently. After starting his career as a lawyer, John Jay eventually made it to a place where he essentially became George Washington’s, right-hand man.
After his years of hard work alongside the great founding fathers, Jay was happy to retire into his home in the Town of Bedford with his family. After much work went into the restoration of his home, it is now open to the public to enjoy through a docent-led tour.
The Historic Home of Bill and Lois Wilson
Even if you have never been to a meeting, most Americans are aware of Alcoholics anonymous groups and the positive impact that it has had on millions of people who struggle with addiction. Bill and Lois Wilson are the ones who deserve thanks for creating this life-changing support group system.
The Stepping Stones Foundation, an organization founded by Lois herself in 1979, is who is responsible for preserving and protecting their historical home. A home that stands to represent the victories won over the awful disease. The property features a beautiful garden, a writing studio, and the main portions of the home that are available to tour by the public.
When traveling through the Northern Westchester area, there is never a lack of historical sites to stop and appreciate. From Katonah to Peekskill, the Northern Westchester area is saturated in awe-inspiring must-see museums and historically accurate sites to check out when passing through.