Dragon Rock

Manitoga: Nature and Architecture in Perfect Harmony

Garrison – At the top of a winding driveway off Route 9D in Garrison sits 75 acres of woodland gardens and modern architecture, the realized vision of the late industrial designer Russell Wright. He acquired the property, which had been a quarry and logging site, in 1942, and it took nearly 20 years to complete the work.

A Melding of Design

Among the tasks undertaken, a stream was diverted to create a 30-foot waterfall and fill the rock quarry. It is here, along the sharp rock ledges, Wright built the house and studio, which he named Dragon Rock. Both structures appear to rise out of the landscape, creating a seamless transition between modernist architecture and the surrounding environment. A carpet of grass and plants cover the roof of the studio nearly camouflaging it as one walks the path around the pond to the house. Boulders, stone terraces and rock stairways blend the interior architecture with the surrounding landscape with walls of windows further blurring these lines. Within the home and studio, Wright used natural elements along with manmade materials including stone doorknobs, butterflies pressed between plastic as room dividers and pine needles embedded in plaster walls. The property includes meadows, woodlands and trails complete with intentional plantings, placed boulders and beds of moss to further illustrate the perfect harmony between organic beauty and manmade design.

‘Evolution of consciousness’

Describing Manitoga does not do it justice. There are few words to define the first-hand experience of walking the path around the Quarry Pool to the house itself, surrounded by plants, boulders and moss while hearing music played on speakers placed above you in the trees. According to Manitoga’s website, “In its concept, design, and management, Manitoga unites art, science, culture, and nature with an ecological aesthetic that is both human and spiritual. At a time when most Americans are profoundly alienated from nature and feel isolated from or sentimental toward the world they share with other living things, Manitoga can be seen as an important step in the evolution of our consciousness.”

Take a trip

Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the few 20th century modern homes with original landscape open to the public.

Access to the Inner Quarry area with House and Studio is by tour reservation only. Advance ticket purchase required. Tours last 90 minutes, rain or shine. Manitoga’s woodland trails are open to the public daily during daylight hours.

Please follow CDC/NYSDOH guidelines that can be found at https://parks.ny.gov/.

Manitoga is at 584 Route 9D in Garrison. For more information, call 845.424.3812 or visit www.visitmanitoga.org.

Philipstown Bikes Day

Pedal into Cold Spring and Nelsonville for ‘Philipstown Bikes Day’

The Philipstown Trails Committee is gearing up for its third-annual Philipstown Bikes Day Saturday, Sept. 26 (rain date: Sept. 27), from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants can bike, walk or join by any non-motorized means. Philipstown Bikes Day

The event will take place outdoors with social distancing maintained at all times. To aid in minimizing large gatherings, there will be no official starting or closing ceremony so those that wish to join in can do so at any time between 9 a.m. and noon and from any point in the 1.7-mile loop. There will also be a check-in station with health screenings in the upper parking lot of Haldane High School, 15 Craigside Drive in Cold Spring. All participants at the check-in area will be required to wear masks.

The annual event, part of a larger effort to bicycle 500 miles, encourages a healthy, active lifestyle and promotes the reduction of our area’s carbon footprint. Any participant who completes the loop at least once will receive a commendation, recognizing their participation in the event and support for a more bike-friendly and walkable community.

The mission of the Philipstown Trails Committee is to create more opportunities for bikers and walkers of all ages to safely access local sites and recreational activities; develop healthier, more active and environmentally aware lifestyles; and experience more social connections in the community.

For more information about the Philipstown Trails Committee or the Bikes Day event, please email philipstowntrails@gmail.com.



Patterson Library installs new Storywalk

The Patterson Library Youth Services staff has been busy making and installing a new Storywalk! Read the story of “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson as you walk through Patterson.

The storyboards will begin at the gazebo and continue through the Library Park. From there, take a short drive or walk to Patterson Recreation, cross the railroad tracks, and stroll or ride down the environmental trail to the boardwalk, reading the story pages as you go. During your adventure, take a picture and send it to Miss Jenn or Miss Jane at ysc@pattersonlibrary.org.

Patterson Library is at 1167 Route 311 in Patterson. Visit the library’s website for more information about this program and others at pattersonlibrary.org/.

Spring has sprung! That means some of Putnam County’s best attractions are about to re-open after a long winter

Spring has sprung! That means some of Putnam County’s best attractions are about to re-open after a long winter

Boscobel : April 1st Wednesdays-Mondays 9:30am- 5pm

Boscobel is one of Putnam’s top destinations that is about to open for the season. Visitors can tour the Boscobel House built in the 1800’s, walk through the blooming gardens and grounds, and see spectacular views of the Hudson River and Constitution Marsh.

Chuang Yen Monastery : April 1st 9am-5pm

Chuang Yen Monastery is home to the largest Buddha statue in the Western hemisphere and is one of the most unique attractions in Putnam. As of April 1, visitors will also have access to the Thousand Lotus Terrace, Seven Jewel Lakes, and expansive grounds.

Stonecrop Gardens : April 1st  Mondays-Saturdays select Sundays 10 am-5pm

Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring has become a treasured destination among garden visitors and horticultural enthusiasts. After April 1, visit the garden display that includes a diverse collection of plants and gardens spanning 12 acres of well manicured property. Stonecrop also includes a Conservatory, a display Alpine House and the Pit House, with an extensive collection of over fifty plant families.

Visit Putnam County Tourism for more information!

Putnam Has a Seat at the Economic Development Table


Putnam County Mourns The Loss Of County Historian Denis Castelli

Putnam County Historian Denis Castelli died on Saturday, April 19. He was 67 years old.

“Today the county mourns the loss of a great man and I mourn the death of a great friend,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “I met Denis over 10 years ago and we have worked on a number of projects together that dealt with the history of Putnam County, the betterment of his beloved Brewster or about bringing awareness, and where we could solutions, to the issues affecting veterans. His spirit and unwavering loyalty will be missed.”

Castelli was appointed as the county historian by then Putnam County Executive Paul Eldridge in 2011. As the county historian, he helped spearhead the county’s bicentennial activities. Prior to serving as the county’s historian he was first appointed as the Village of Brewster’s historian in 2006. He continued to serve in that capacity until his death.

Castelli served in the 1st Cavalry during the Vietnam War and received the purple heart for being wounded in the line duty. A proud veteran, he worked tirelessly to help his brothers in arms. Castelli was a member of the VFW Post #672 in Brewster. He also had assisted Congresswoman Nan Hayworth for two years as a veterans advocate. He was also instrumental assisting Putnam County to become the first Purple Heart County in New York State.

Castelli was born on April 26, 1946 in the Bronx, N.Y., to the late Pasquale and Caroline (Piacquadio) Castelli. He married Athena Arvan on Oct. 2, 1982 at Church of Our Savior in Rye, N.Y.

From the late 1970s until his retirement in 2000, Castelli had been a computer analyst for Daprex Inc. in Stamford, Conn. He had lived in North Salem since 1989 and Brewster prior since the early 1970s.

Castelli was an avid photographer, displaying his works in both the Applebee’s restaurant in Brewster and the Putnam County main offices; he enjoyed writing articles for the village of Brewster among many entities. Castelli was also a trustee of the Southeast Museum for 19 years and a board member for both the Putnam County Land Trust from which he recently received the emeritus award and the Landmarks Preservation Society.

Besides his wife Athena of 31 years, Castelli is survived by his brother Michael Denis Castelli of Venice, FL as well as several aunts and uncles and many many friends.

A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday April 25, at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Brewster. A private cremation was held earlier. Calling hours will be on Thursday, April 24, at Beecher Funeral Home, 1 Putnam Avenue, Brewster.

The county will honor and remember Denis Castelli on June 12 during the bicentennial celebration of the Putnam County historic courthouse in Carmel, N.Y.

Imagination Station – Students and Residents come together to create a better community

Imagination Station Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that uses community effort to rebuild the playground that once stood at the Kent Schools! We are parents, former students and residents who simply want to be involved and create a better community! Find out more about this great organization by visiting there website www.imaginationstation2.org



Putnam County Bicentennial Veterans Day & Closing of the Time Capsule 2013


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