Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center: House, Studio & Landscape Tour
Manitoga's mission is to preserve the legacy of pioneer designer Russel Wright - his home, landscape, products, archives and philosophy, and share them with professionals and the public. In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the Russel Wright signature on a set of dinnerware or piece of furniture elicited instant response. At that time, Wright was one of the best known designers in the U.S. At the apex of his career, Wright left New York City and moved his base of operations to Garrison. It was here that he created a unique home and designed landscape. He named it Manitoga, from the Algonquin words for Place of Great Spirit.
When Wright first found this property in 1942, it had been damaged by a century of quarrying and logging. Over the next three decades, until his death in 1976, he carefully redesigned and reclaimed Manitoga's 75 acres, using native plants, his training as a theater designer and sculptor, and his innovative design ideas. Though the landscape appears natural, it is actually a careful design of native trees, rocks, ferns, mosses, and wildflowers.
Manitoga is the only 20th century modern house museum open to the public in New York State, and one of few on the east coast. Wright considered it his most important creative effort. In 1996 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2006, it was named a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.
Tour participants meet at Manitoga Guide House located at 584 Route 9D in Garrison, NY. The tour guide will arrive just before the tour begins.
90-minute interpretive tours begin with a short documentary, narrated by Garrison Keillor, which provides an overview of Russel Wright's career as a pioneer industrial designer as well as his vision for and creation of Manitoga. Afterward, trained docents lead visitors around the inner Quarry Pond path to Wright's Home and Studio.
Please note: This trail is restricted to participants of a ticketed tour or other Manitoga program. The landscape features views of Dragon Rock, a field of mountain laurel and a moss room. Visitors not on a ticketed tour may view Dragon Rock from the view spot at the base of the Quarry Pond. REMINDER: DO NOT TRESPASS BEYOND THIS POINT.
Please wear sturdy shoes, as this is a moderate hike. Tour participants must be able to negotiate uneven ground, cross a small dam and wood plank bridge with no handrails, and climb a long series of stone steps.
No pets; no exceptions. No photography permitted on tour. Tours are conducted rain or shine.
Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center
584 Route 9D
Garrison, NY 10524
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|