Manitoga

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Manitoga (Russel Wright Home)
Dragon Rock, Manitoga, 2009.jpg
Dragon Rock at Manitoga, south elevation, 2009
Location Garrison, New York
Nearest city Peekskill, New York
Coordinates 41°20′55″N 73°57′04″W / 41.34861°N 73.95111°W / 41.34861; -73.95111Coordinates: 41°20′55″N 73°57′04″W / 41.34861°N 73.95111°W / 41.34861; -73.95111
Area 75 acres (30 ha)
Built 1941-1961
Architect Russel and Mary Wright
David L. Leavitt
Architectural style Modernist
Governing body Russel Wright Design Center
NRHP Reference # 96001269
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 1996
Designated NHL 2006,[1][2]

Manitoga was the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976). It is located along New York State Route 9D south of Garrison, New York (US), a short distance north of the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Wright named his masterful synthesis of architecture and nature Manitoga after Algonquin words meaning "place of great spirit". Today, the home, studio and surrounding woodland garden uniquely convey Wright's enduring ideas about good design and living in harmony with nature.

The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. In 2006 the Department of the Interior designated it a National Historic Landmark, the only one to date in Putnam County. Manitoga is a member of the National Trust's Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program and a 2012 World Monuments Watch Site. It is one of the few modern homes open to the public in New York State.

History[edit]

Wright and his wife Mary acquired the property in 1942. The 75 acres (30 ha) had been devastated by previous logging and quarrying, common in the Hudson Highlands in the early 20th century. The couple designed the property with sustainability in mind, a concept not widely applied at the time. In his reclamation efforts, Wright redirected a mountain stream and designed a 30-foot (9.1 m) multi-level waterfall to transform an abandoned quarry pit into an enchanting swimming pond. In addition to trees, streams, boulders, moss and native plants, his woodland landscape design incorporated stone steps, terraces and bridges.

Following Mary's death in 1952, Wright built his experimental home and studio directly into the rock ledge of the quarry. The structures have green roofs, built-in elements and expansive walls of glass, offering dramatic views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape. Their design recalls Japanese temple architecture and an Asian sensibility in handcrafted details and in their deference to nature.

Access[edit]

Manitoga includes 4 miles (6.4 km) of walking trails that Wright designed, with numerous plantings. The trails connect with the Appalachian Trail alongside the neighboring ridge of Canada Hill in Hudson Highlands State Park via the Osborne Loop. The outer trails are open to the public daily until sunset for a suggested donation. Guided tours of Dragon Rock - the house, studio and inner landscape - are offered Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11am and 1:30pm by advanced booking.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Manitoga (Russel Wright Home)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  2. ^ Kathleen LaFrank (July, 2005), National Historic Landmark Nomination: Manitoga PDF (137 KiB), National Park Service 

External links[edit]