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When Russel Wright, world
famous industrial designer, found the property in
1942, it had been damaged by a century of quarrying
and lumbering. Over the next three decades, until
his death in 1976, he carefully redesigned and resculpted
Manitoga's 75 acres. In his creation he used native
plants, his training as a theater designer and sculptor,
and his innovative design ideas to create a completely
unique landscape. Though the landscape appears natural,
it is actually a careful design of native trees, rocks,
ferns, mosses and wild flowers.
As he created Manitoga
he installed over four miles of paths that wind over
creeks, into woods, among boulders and through ferns
and mountain laurel.
Today, Dragon Rock, Wright's
home at Manitoga, is the only 20th century modern
home open to the public in New York, and one of the
few on the east coast. Built in collaboration with
architect XX, Wright considered it his most important
creative effort. In 1996 it was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. It now is also listed
on the National Trust for Historic Preservation Artists'
Homes and Studios Associates Sites.
Manitoga is open daily
from dawn to dusk for hiking and nature observation.
Dragon Rock is also open for guided tours on weekends,
spring thru fall.
This panorama view is
taken from the main path just above Dragon Rock. To
the left and below you can see the quarry pond, and
surrounding you are paths leading off into the landscape.
The nearest building is Wright's Studio, now fully
stabilized and reconstructed.