Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design CenterRussel Wright, b 1904- d 1976
584 Route 9D PO Box 249, Garrison, NY 10524 - view on Google Maps
“I would like to create a shelter in which I can enjoy the beauty of this land, the woods, the stones, the sky, the river, the animals. I do not want this house to dominate the land. The quarry and the land must always be most important. I love it so much that I wish this shelter to blend with the landscape…”
—edited quote from Russel Wright
Manitoga is the modern home, studio and 75-acre woodland garden of mid-20th century American industrial designer, Russel Wright (1904-1976). Once a ravaged industrial site, Wright transformed Manitoga into a place of extraordinary beauty.
Industrial Designer Russel Wright introduced modernism to millions during the mid-20th century through his elegant and affordable designs for the home. In 1942, seeking a respite from city life, Russel and Mary Wright acquired the former industrial site that later became Manitoga – meaning “place of great spirit” in native Algonquin. Over the course of 35 years Wright built his dramatic modernist home and studio and transformed the land into a woodland garden. Today visitors to Manitoga experience Wright’s masterful interplay of design and nature. His house and studio, complete with green roofs, are integrated into the ledge of an abandoned quarry. Unique built-in panels seamlessly blend the natural and synthetic by combining organic elements -- butterflies, hemlock needles and ferns – with materials new for their time – plastics, resins and epoxy. At Manitoga, Wright attempted to show how individualistic a home can be. His woodland garden can be viewed as radiating from the dining room table, becoming progressively wilder at the outer edges. The landscape features a 30-foot waterfall cascading into an idyllic quarry pool, over four miles of paths with seasonal Hudson River views, outdoor rooms, stream-crossed ravines, ponds, boulders, laurel fields, and a meadow of dogwoods and wildflowers. Visitors engage with Manitoga through seasonal scheduled tours (house, studio and inner landscape), volunteer days, events, performances or simply hiking our outer paths that are open daily.