Restored to its former art deco glory in 2020, Wolfhouse is a cultural center that doubles as a vacation home.
One of the greatest joys of the fall season is a weekend getaway in upstate New York, hopscotching through all the delightful towns and villages on both sides of the Hudson River draped in autumnal colors. There’s no better way to let it really sink in than by finding a stunning place to stay that perfectly complements the foliage, like Wolfhouse in Newburgh, New York.
The mid-century modern four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits on the west bank of the Hudson River. It features glass walls on one side of the house, offering expansive views of the surrounding landscape — a valuable design element to enjoy the fall colors.
The home was built by American architect Philip Johnson, who was once the head of the Museum of Modern Art’s architecture department. He created it in 1949, the same year he built his most famous work: The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, which is protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. But instead of just touring it, guests can stay overnight in this countryside haven.
In 2020, Jeremy Parker and Jiminie Ha bought the historic property, carefully renovating it back to its original glory, by following floorplans they found at Columbia University’s architecture library, they told Time Out New York. And they did so with mindful measures at every step of the way.
“It’s our responsibility as designers to lead with smart sustainability at the forefront of our practice, not creating more waste, but working with what we already have,” Ha told the publication.
Instead of simply thinking of the space as a home, they gave Wolfhouse — named after Benjamin V. Wolf, who originally commissioned the home — multiple purposes. At the forefront, the home is available as a vacation rental, sleeping up to eight guests, with top-notch amenities from high-speed internet to an outdoor dining area. But they also see it as a “BIPOC-driven incubator for forward-thinking art and design,” a virtual and physical exhibition space, as well as a “living showroom concept featuring custom furniture and design objects,” they said on their site.
“Located in a region with a rich history of architecture and design, Wolfhouse is introducing creative programs that build on this legacy while supporting diversity and inclusivity,” the site also said, adding that they are “committed to elevating the pioneering voices that shape culture today.”
A major part of the magic is in its location. While Newburgh has a bit of a complicated past, it’s a city on an upward trajectory. It was once George Washington’s Continental Army’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War — in fact, you can visit Washington’s Headquarters in town — it’s also home to an 85,000-square-foot Motorcyclepedia Museum with more than 650 bikes, Safe Harbor’s Ann Street Gallery showcasing contemporary art, and Newburgh Vintage Emporium with antiques and collectibles.
The city of about 28,500 is also part of a vibrant Hudson Valley creative arts community, combined with Beacon, just across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Traversing the river to the east side, you’ll find Dia Beacon, a museum of multimedia art from the 1960s to the present day displayed instead of a former Nabisco box printing factory. Other signs of the cultural scene are at the Hudson Beach Glass, Beacon Artist Union Gallery, and Marion Royael Gallery.
To learn more or to book your stay, visit wolfhouseny.com.
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