Owner's Representative—Garrison, New York

The Garrison Institute

In 2000, the Open Space Institute (OSI) asked Jonathan Rose Companies for thoughts on the re-use of a magnificent Capuchin Monastery on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River. We began by asking the questions: “What is a monastery of the 21st century?” and “How should contemplation, social service and respect for the environment be expressed today?” The result of this inquiry is The Garrison Institute. 

The Institute's mission is to connect the wisdom of the world's contemplative traditions with environmental and social action. Collaborating with practitioners in diverse fields, the Institute develops and hosts retreats and symposia, produces research and publications, and provides a hub for ongoing learning networks. 

Located on part of the 95 acre former estate of Hamilton Fish, Governor of New York and Secretary of State under President Ulysses Grant, the Garrison Institute is housed in a former Capuchin Monastery built in 1928. Current facilities include; meeting rooms, a 300-seat non-denominational meditation hall, a 175-seat dining hall, a library and a theater. The Institute also offers accommodations for 160 overnight guests, in single, double and dormitory-style rooms. The renovation of the monastery preserved many qualities of the original building's extraordinary character while introducing new elements such as modern spa-styled bathrooms. Green features include a new energy efficient boiler, natural ventilation and furniture made by Amish craftsmen.  All of the food served at the Institute is organic and primarily grown or raised by local farmers.

Visitors have included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and spiritual leaders of many faiths. 

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Project Profile

Renovation of a former Capuchin monastery situated on a 12 acre site overlooking the Hudson River

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Project Team
Steven Tilly Architects
Project Status

Completion: 2003

Total Project Size / Budget
70,000 sq ft
$4.5 million