Two Hudson Valley Sites Added to 2012 World Monuments Watch List

A plea for protection: Hudson Valley sites Manitoga and Orange County Government Center added to list of World Monuments Watch in 2012



At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that Manitoga, the modernist Garrison home of famed industrial designer Russel Wright, and the Orange County Government Center in Goshen have much in common. But the World Monuments Fund sees the similarities. Both sites were part of a list of 67 properties worldwide (and six in the U.S.) that the organization named to its 2012 World Monuments Watch. Only sites that are in urgent need of preservation funding and protection — but also demonstrate leadership, vision and commitment to community — earn this distinction. These two Hudson Valley locales have moved into impressive company: past designees include Machu Picchu and sections of the Great Wall of China.

Set on 75 acres, Manitoga is open to the public and gives tours of Wright’s home and studio. The landscape has suffered from invasive nonnative plants and the negative effects of storm water. The house and studio have been damaged by water infiltration, and conservation work has been hampered due to the array of unusual materials used in Wright’s experimental composition.

Designed by noted architect Paul Rudolph, the modernist Orange County Government Center, which was completed in 1970, is characterized by massive, textured concrete blocks and large expanses of glass. The building was evacuated after Hurricane Irene last September, and the county government has been calling for it to be demolished.

 

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