|Historical Tours of Castle and Grounds|
The Manhattanville campus was once one of the nation's most prominent model farms, an art form and hobby pursued by affluent gentlemen in the 1800's. Ophir Farm was owned by Ben Holladay, who ran the Pony Express; and Whitelaw Reid, the editor of the New York Tribune and Vice Presidential candidate on Benjamin Harrison's ticket. Many premier artisans are represented including the landscaper, Frederick Law Olmsted, whose other projects included New York City's Central Park
The college has designed a campus Historical Walking Trail on the remaining land and its many historical sites that include a separate tour for the nationally recognized Reid Castle designed by McKim, Mead & White. Other sites on the trail include the Holladay Stone Chapel. Architectural restoration of the chapel was recently completed under the direction of Maya Lin, renowned architect and creator of the Vietnam War Memorial. Adjacent to the chapel Maya Lin designed a solar classroom to LEED certification standards. It is made of glass and sustainable harvested wood. Within the new building and surrounding area, John Todd of Ocean Arks International has developed an "Eco Machine," an entirely organic water-purification system.
Manhattanville and Purchase Environmental Protective Association (PEPA) a nonprofit neighborhood organization are currently working together to preserve Ophir Farm Estate's historic structures and cultural landscape. By formally instituting, maintaining and improving the walking trail, we hope to encourage students outside the classroom; show visitors how previous generations lived; foster awareness of the local Westchester community; encourage partnership with various academic units; and publicize the model farm era.
We are enthusiastic about the efforts to preserve Ophir Farm. To learn more about the historical campus as well as the surrounding area of Purchase see the following:
Or better yet, come to the Manhattanville campus to take a tour!