MANITOGA, is the House, Studio and 75-acre Woodland garden of mid-century designer Russel Wright (1904-1976) located in Garrison, NY. It is one of the few 20th century modern homes open to the public in New York State.
In 1942, Russel and Mary Wright acquired an abandoned quarry and surrounding hillside in the Lower Hudson Valley and slowly restored this land to a place of extraordinary beauty. Inspired by the legacy of the Wappinger people, the ancestral residents of the area, Wright called the emerging vision for these 75 acres “Manitoga” or place of great spirit. In its concept, design, and management, Manitoga is completely unique, uniting art, science, culture, and nature with an ecological aesthetic that is both human and spiritual.
Vistors to Maniotoga can experience this extraordinary place in a number of ways. Guided House Studio and Landscape tours
Dragon Rock, Russel Wright’s House and Studio, is widely considered an outstanding example of Organic Modern architecture ca. 1960. It was occupied by Wright and his family until his death in 1976. Distinctive features of the House include large expanses of glass allowing for views of the 30 foot Waterfall, the Quarry Pool, and surrounding landscape. A large, smooth, cedar tree trunk functions as a design element and is the main structural support of house. Boulders, plantings, and stone terraces are positioned to bring the outdoors in, blending architecture and landscape.
In 2014 Manitoga initiated an Artist Residency program, inviting artists to create new works of art inspired by Wright’s vision and the Manitoga landscape. Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center has chosen NYC based artist Stephen Talasnik for its 2015 Artist Residency program. He will be building a series of floating reed structures in Manitoga's Quarry Pool adjacent to Dragon Rock. The works will be on view to our tour participants throughout the season. There will also be a performance at Manitoga on September 26. For details on these events, plus more on Manitoga and the design legacy of Russel Wright, go to our website at http://www.VisitManitoga.org.
Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site. Dragon Rock has been featured in numerous books and publications, including Life, The World of Interiors, Modernism, Preservation, and most recently, Don Freeman’s 2014 film Art House. Seasonal guided House & Landscape tours are offered from May 1 through November 9, twice daily on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tours are limited to 12 and can be reserved in advance at BrownPaperTickets.com. In addition to the tours, four miles of Russel Wright designed woodland paths, are open to the public year round for a voluntary donation.