Noonmark Antiques

Lower Hudson River Valley, Part 1 – Manitoga


The perfect weekend aligned itself with our schedules and we took off on the long anticipated trip to the Lower Hudson River Valley. Our first destination was Manitoga.

Being a nature lover, I soon realized this was a great way to begin our weekend.

According to my research, I found that Manitoga was the home of Russel Wright and that he had built his unique home into the side of an abandoned quarry. Russel Wright loved nature and used every opportunity to incorporate nature into his lifestyle. When guests arrived at his home in Garrison, New York, before welcoming them inside, he would have them take a walking tour around the perimeter of the woodland quarry pool. From various vantage points, his visitors could admire the waterfall that filled the pool, the natural  Dragon Rock formation gently sipping water poolside, the modernist house itself built into the hill, and finally, cross the spillway of the pool to arrive to a waiting host and his creative domicile.

Russel Wright (1904-1976) was a successful industrial designer who changed the way modern society lived. He invented inexpensive, mass produced, non-breakable dinnerware. He also created furnishings and household décor with modern flair. All of this he incorporated into his earthy home at Manitoga.

In a sense, the house is a split level. The kitchen/dining area is aligned with the pool. A rock wall and stairs rise to the living area and stone fireplace built into the hillside. The walls are framed glass and permit your eyes to constantly wander from the pool to the sloping wooded hillside to the waterfall. When the windows are open, the sound of the waterfall is ever present.

For me, this was a great way to begin our weekend because Russel Wright’s home enabled me to breathe deeply and relax and leave work behind.

If you go:

Tours are by reservation only and tickets ordered online. The tour is a woodland hike. Wear sturdy shoes. The tour lasts about 1 ½ hours. Not recommended for children under 13.