T W G : Design Journal


Russel Wright's modernist home in Manitoga, NY built into an abandoned stone quarry
Photos - Matthew Millman

Paul Wiseman recently made a trip to New York with author Brian Coleman and photographer Matthew Millman. The trio is in the early stages of collecting data and photographs of TWG projects for the firm's book of interior design, to be published in 2014. Taking a break from the book project, the team toured Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center in the Hudson River Valley. They were hosted by John Danzer, who serves as a board member with the Center. John is the owner of Munder-Skiles, one of TWG's favorite sources for fine outdoor furniture. Munder-Skiles recently moved their showroom to Garrison, NY just an hour north of Manhattan in the Historic Hudson Highlands.

John Danzer gives Paul a tour of Russel Wright's home

The Manitoga preserve allows visitors to experience Russel Wright's home, studio, and 75-acre woodland garden as a vibrant example of living in creative harmony with nature and the value of good design in daily living. According to John, "Wright was one of the early leaders in land healing that rings so true today. His innovative 'warm modern' house is built into the side of an abandoned industrial quarry. Manitoga was a remarkable remediation project with extensive planned natural gardens. It was truly ahead of it's time. We generously contribute to the Center because so much is to be learned by visitation and understanding Wright's advanced design thinking."

Dinnerware and furniture designed by Wright to achieve his concept of "easier living"
-- gracious, yet contemporary and informal

Large windows and natural elements bringing the outside in

Stone stairs, ferns, and tree trunk blurring indoor and outdoor spaces

Stairway to the upper level suggestive of Japanese design 

Beautiful woodland garden enveloping the house

The Manitoga home is a National Historic Landmark, a member of the National Trust's Historic Artists' Homes and Studios Program, and a World Monuments Watch Site. It is one of the few 20th century modern homes open to the public in New York State.