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Originally, Ben Holladay had buffalo running on the Great Lawn. Later, the Reids used it to graze sheep. The terraced areas adjacent to the Castle were formal gardens, and the whole was intended to evoke English country estates.
The landscape of Ophir Farm was designed to be typical of the "model farms" being developed by wealthy gentleman farmers during the Gilded Age. Both Olmsted and Reid were intensely interested in the model farm movement, and many progressive ideas were incorporated into the estate's plans. Nowadays the Quad lawn is used for sunbathing, frisbee tossing, and the occasional class meeting on a sunny spring day.
When the National Register of Historic Places listed Reid Castle, it included 1.5 acres of the adjoining area as an "essential component of this historic designation."
Braisted, Gayl Maxwell. "The Gentleman Farmers of the Gilded Age." M. A. thesis, Manhattanville College, 1993.
Gold, Anne. Ophir Farm and Manhattanville College. Purchase, NY: Manhattanville College, 2005.