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“Living on the Edge”

Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center
Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Garrison
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Attraction details
Owner description: MANITOGA / The Russel Wright Design Center preserves, protects and shares Russel Wright's modernist House, Studio and Woodland Garden as a masterful integration of design and nature, a powerful example of land reclamation, and a resource for inspired design in daily living through public tours, programs and events. MANITOGA is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site. It is one of the few 20th century modern homes open to the public in New York State.
Reviewed 27 October 2013

The late Russel Wright, famed and innovative 20th century designer of tableware, furniture, and lamps, chose this 75 acre property on a steep hillside in Garrison, NY, which had old stone quarries, streams, granite boulders, and woods commingled. With his wife Mary, he designed and landscaped an idiosyncratic modern home as a showcase for his design philosophy and the latest in new materials in the immediate post WWII years. The style is a combination of modern and Japanese, with some Frank Lloyd Wright influence. The multilevel, flat-roof house with floor-to-ceiling windows is at the edge of one of the quarry walls, looking down and across a pond he created in the lower part of the quarry, redirecting a stream from high up the hill. The property is filled with trails he created that are open to the public; the house and its grounds may be visited only on a guided tour. Come prepared to walk steep, uneven stone steps around the quarry and even in the house. The scene is dramatic, sculptural. Hope for a sunny day; definnitely not a place to wander around in the rain. In snow it would be spectacular.

2  Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (55)
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37 - 41 of 55 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2013

Fascinating and interesting is the guided tour of the home of the the designer, Russell Wright. It is less than an hours drive from Manhattan and was an enjoyable way to spend the fall afternoon. Check before you go because the guided tours are not given all the time and although there are hiking trails, it would be a waste to go there and not get to see the house.

1  Thank EJMS10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

Great place to see if you like architecture and design. Perched on the edge of a quarry, a unique house of the renowned industrial designed Russel Wright designed by David Levitt.
Very interesting guided tour of the house and the studio of the designer. Very nice location with hiking trails abound. Austin Powers could have had parties in this house, it is a quintessential 50s-60s design. The house was really "lived in" and requires a lot of restoring but the design is very inspiring and representative of the era. In contrast to Frank Lloyd Wright's houses, where everything is done with relatively expensive and sturdy materials, this house is kind of a younger generation of the same ideas and is executed with plywood, melamine and similar materials which did not withstand the time and use very well.
Loved every minute of the visit and recommend it highly.

Thank maxjul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

By chance I found a brochure on Manitoga and being a huge fan of designer Russell Wright and his classic 50's dinnerware decided to take the tour of his home and property when on vacation in the Hudson Valley last week. As luck would have it, my partner and I ended up being the only two people purchasing tickets for the 1:30 tour and got a private guided adventure from our most knowledgeable tour guide Allen through the surrounding landscape and studio/home of Wright. Nestled in the wooded hills of Hudson valley on the site of an abandoned rock quarry , Wright reshaped the landscape to reflect his concepts in design within nature creating outdoor vignettes or "rooms" to captivate the visitor along pathways that he strategically planned. Definitely a worthwhile experience with some outdoor walking and a host of other trails also available on the property without a guide.

Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

This was a very unusual place. The grounds are beautiful. Everything is very different and interesting. It's a great activity to do in Putnam county, especially if you live nearby. Never expected such an unusual local attraction!

Thank BobrobinKentNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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