Sharon Prince, CEO and Founder, envisioned that intentionally-designed space could communicate a set of values and advance good in the world for years to come. Pritzker Prize-winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, of the Japanese firm SANAA, embodied this vision into the River building’s design. The result is a hopeful environment that has become a three-dimensional expression of Grace Farms Foundation’s mission to create grace and peace in our local and global communities.
Grace Farms’ open architecture is designed to break down barriers between people and nature. The extensive use of wood and spectacular 360-degree views of the landscape creates a warm invitation to pause and reflect, while encouraging engagement with each other.
The land on which Grace Farms sits – almost 80 acres of natural landscape with 10 diverse habitats – creates an environment to bring together diverse communities around common pursuits. By preserving our wetlands and forests as well as planting more than 500 trees and 1,000 native perennials, Grace Farms has enhanced biodiversity and contributed to the fresh air and clean water that are necessary for healthy ecosystems and human flourishing.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is the product of a collaborative agricultural and gastronomic experiment. Its seeds were planted in the 1990s by the Rockefeller family, together with conservation planners, organic farmers, chefs and many others who came together to set a common vision and purpose for the land.
Their goal was to make the beauty and agricultural heritage of the property accessible to the public in hopes of establishing a dynamic campus of farmers, chefs and educators working together to inspire and reconnect the local community to food and farming. They envisioned a place where people could experience the land, farming and an ecological food culture; a place that would bring inspiration and innovation to our regional food system, informed by creativity and experimentation.
Oh, and their café has the best food! Hopefully will reopen soon :)
John Jay Homestead offers countless immersive and hands-on educational, recreational, and inspirational experiences for visitors of all ages. Come explore today!
John Jay's Bedford House
During twenty-seven years of service to his state and nation, John Jay looked forward to the day when he would retire with his wife and family to “the house on my farm in Westchester County…” During his second term as governor of New York, Jay had renovations made to his 1787 farmhouse in preparation for his retirement from public life. He was finally able to move to the house in 1801. Visitors to John Jay Homestead State Historic Site are invited to take a docent-led tour of John Jay’s Bedford House. The historic house’s interior has been restored to reflect its appearance during John Jay’s lifetime. Well over 50% of the furnishings are original to John Jay and his family.
Carriage Barn Education & Visitor Center
More than 200 years after it was built, John Jay’s original Carriage Barn has been given new life as the Homestead’s Education & Visitor Center. Open daily May through October, the Carriage Barn hosts interactive, educational exhibits; a 12-minute biographical video about John Jay and his accomplishments; our premier hands-on Discovery Center; a gift shop; and a reading room.
Six historic buildings at John Jay Homestead feature hands-on, immersive Discovery Centers, each focused on a different theme. Designed as interactive exhibits and exploration areas, the
Discovery Centers help young visitors and their families learn about life on the Jay Farm during the 19th and 20th centuries in a fun and engaging way.
Special Exhibition – Moments in Time: Photographs from the Jay Family Collection
Photographs have a capacity to connect us with people and places long gone, perhaps better than any other pictorial medium except film. Life is captured in an instant: a moment of joy, or wonder, or wistful reflection. The Jay-Iselin family, who lived at John Jay Homestead, compiled an extensive collection of family photographs over many decades, from early daguerreotypes to modern snapshots. Moments in Time will include photographs stretching from the 1850s to the 1950s, depicting the family’s growth, its travels, and its participation in daily life and special occasions.
John Jay Homestead has many beautiful gardens, lovingly tended to by dedicated organizations. The formal Sundial Garden, originally installed in the mid-19th century is cared for by Bedford Garden Club. The Herb Garden, created in 1991 is cultivated by members of the New York Unit of the Herb Society of America. Rusticus Garden Club restored the 1924 Terrace Garden and continues to maintain it today. The North Courtyard Garden was created in the 1990s by Hopp Ground Garden Club. They oversee this garden and a restored Children’s Garden adjacent to the Schoolhouse. InterGenerate oversees the vegetable garden.
We have three backpacks you can take with you while you explore the Homestead’s natural environment. Junior Explorers can use magnifying glasses and binoculars to study birds and animal tracks. Handy guidebooks are included as well to help explorers identify birds, mammals and plants. Findings can be recorded in the journal and the sketch pad and colored pencils can be used to draw a picture of the experience. We also have backpacks for Bird Watching and Landscape Art.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. If you’d like to place a geocache at John Jay Homestead, please see a staff member for permit information.
John Jay Homestead is a beautiful place for a hike. Our perimeter trail offers scenic views and a moderate terrain.
The 4,315-acre park makes Ward Pound Ridge Reservation the county’s largest park. With its varied terrain, landscapes, and miles of wooded trails, the park provides a variety of activities in all seasons. There are areas for picnicking, lean-to camping, fishing and cross-country skiing. Originally part of Cortlandt Manor, the reservation was settled by farmers from Connecticut.
The name Pound Ridge is credited to the Indians who originally lived in the area. They had a local pound in which they kept game on the hoof until they needed it for food. The Indians built an enclosure of saplings driven into the ground and drove their game into the pound.
The Hammond Museums mission is to stimulate interest in appreciating the artistic traditions of the East in the West through exhibitions from the museum's collections, music, dance and theatre; to preserve and develop the Japanese Stroll Garden which serves as a model for teaching people about the value of the environment, horticultural design and Eastern traditions through lectures, walking tours, classes and workshops. And finally, to promote the transformation of Eastern Culture in the West through the efforts of artists and performers in the Greater New York Metropolitan Region, involving them in the presentation of work, performances and teaching opportunities, especially for school groups.
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is a destination for exceptional music, captivating programs, spectacular gardens and grounds, and wonderful moments with friends and family. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered around music.
Audiences are invited to explore the lush grounds, tour the historic Rosen House, enjoy a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and the magnificent gardens.
Our grounds are open to the public Friday – Sunday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, through September 26. Caramoor’s hours will be adjusted for private events on the following dates: 9/25 – Grounds close at 3:00pm