4.5
165 votes

Opus 40

50 Fite Road, Saugerties, New York 12477 USA

$
$$$$
Budget
  • Independent
Add to Trip
Remove Ads

“made from millions of pieces of indigenous bluestone!”

 In 1938, Harvey Fite (1903-1976), one of the founders of the Bard College Fine Arts Department, purchased an abandoned quarry (reportedly for $250) in the town of Saugerties, NY, in Ulster County, about 100 miles north of New York City. Over a period of 37 years he created the monumental world-acclaimed 6 ½-acre bluestone sculpture now known as Opus 40. During this period he also acquired additional land (70+ acres today) and built several structures, including a beautiful large wood home, a studio, garage, blacksmith shop and the Quarryman’s Museum, home of his unique collection of historic quarrying tools. Constructed by this one man, using dry-key stone techniques adapted from the Mayans, Opus 40 is made from millions of pieces of indigenous bluestone, laid by hand, creating a labyrinthine world of finely fitted stone, swirling with ramps and terraces constructed around pools and trees and fountains, rising out of bedrock a half mile deep. One can walk through, around, and over it, from the deepest recesses of its subterranean pathways (16 feet below ground) and up to the nine-ton monolith that is the epicenter and summit of the sculpture (three stories above ground). Opus 40 is a breathtaking blend of artistry and landscape. After Harvey Fite’s death in 1976, his wife, Barbara, opened the sculpture park to the public and in 1978 she created Opus 40, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, dedicated to showcasing this monumental work as well as Harvey’s individual stone and wood sculptures. Striving to fulfill the mission to develop Opus 40 into a world class arts and cultural destination, Opus 40 has presented numerous concerts (including Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Cliff, Orleans and Pat Metheny), as well as theater and dance performances, lectures and many other educational and community events. Opus 40 has been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Digest, on network TV, and in many other publications and media. Opus 40 has been designated A National Historic Place.

Read More >
Add Review
Thanks!
Your Rating
1
2
3
4
5

Reviewed by
cweissert

  • 7 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
February 10, 2017
Rated 4.0

FYI, closes for the winter. But it was a nice drive ;)

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ejarvis

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
January 27, 2015
Rated 5.0

I'm so glad Opus 40 is on your map now so that fellow Roadtrippers can enjoy it! It's mysterious, elegant, and incredible.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Natalie Akers

  • Road Warrior
  • 373 Reviews
  • 124 Helpful
November 12, 2015
Rated 5.0

Incredibly impressive craftsmanship - you'll certainly leave wishing you'd met the legendary Fite who built this by hand! Touching story and moving place to go if you're human and have an appreciation for will power and art.

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the Opus 40.

Opus 40

50 Fite Road
Saugerties, New York
12477 USA

Hours not available

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
See More Details (1)
Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Hunter, New York
Tannersville, New York
Red Hook, New York
Palenville, New York
Rhinecliff, New York

Related Trip Guides

Remove Ads
2009158