Manhattanville and the Purchase Environmental Protective Association (PEPA) have worked together to preserve Ophir Farm Estate's historic structures and cultural landscape, much of it co-located on the college campus.
Anne Gold, executive director of PEPA, created a book, Ophir Farm and Manhattanville College, to celebrate the land's rich history and recent advances while identifying noteworthy sites on the Purchase campus to incorporate into a public walking trail.
The designation of the Manhattanville College Historical Walking Tour as an official segment of the New York State Greenway Trail System represented a triumph for the preservation of Ophir Farm as well. The inclusion provided widely acknowledged recognition to the site and walking tour.
The historical walking trail contains 14 locations including Reid Castle, assigned to the National Register of Historical Places in 1974, and surviving structures from the "Model Farm Group." This well-preserved sample of the model-farm era includes the dairy, stable/coach house and farmhouse. Also featured the Ann Holladay Stone Chapel, a Norman Gothic-style building and one of only three remaining family chapels in Westchester County. Maya Linn, renowned architect and creator of the Vietnam War Memorial, restored the 140-year-old stone chapel along with the creation of a neighboring solar-powered classroom in the surrounding environmental park.
PEPA financed the printing and mailing of the book, which was mailed to every household in Purchase, local educators, supportive organizations and government officials. The Ophir Farm and Manhattanville College book and the Historic Walking Tour are used as educational tools by Manhattanville professors, school groups and community organizations, including the Purchase Elementary School and the Harrison Girl Scouts.
Trail visits and special interactive workshops help future generations learn respect for our common heritage, and develop a sense of time and community. The book and walking tour also helps Manhattanville College pursue related grant proposals and has introduced the staff and students to historic preservation techniques and trail maintenance.
We are enthusiastic about the efforts to preserve Ophir Farm and hope you will read this beautiful new booklet to learn more about it. The Ophir Farm and Manhattanville College book and trail map are free and can be requested by calling our office or download a PDF below: