Available Online- Adirondack Architecture: Great Camps in the Rustic Tradition

Available Online- Adirondack Architecture: Great Camps in the Rustic Tradition



On October 22, 2019, The Kelly Adirondack Center hosted a talk by Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, titled “Great Camps and the Rustic Tradition”. You can watch the talk here.

New York State’s Adirondack Park, a six-million-acre mixture of public and private lands, is the largest park east of the Mississippi River. Sixty percent of the region’s lands are constitutionally protected as “forever wild” and these lands include vast forests, hundreds of mountains, thousands of lakes and ponds, and miles of wild and scenic rivers. During the late 19th century, the region became a mecca for sportsmen and other people seeking recreation and revitalization in the wild places of the region. In response to this, native builders and professional architects developed a rustic style of architecture that is best represented by a series of building complexes known as Great Camps. These buildings were often built for wealthy urban clients and were constructed with a variety of natural materials so that they were harmonious with the rugged Adirondack landscape. A number of these camps, including Sagamore, Santanoni, Pine Knot, and Eagle Island are National Historic Landmarks. This rustic style eventually influenced the design of western lodges and hotels built for the National Park Service.

Engelhart has also recently concluded a 4-part series in the Adirondack Almanack on Myths of Historic Preservation. You can read the series at the Almanack web site

MYTH #1 If my property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, I will never be able to make any changes to it.

MYTH #2: If I buy an historic property, there is lots of government money available to help fix it up.

MYTH #3 Historic buildings are hopelessly energy inefficient and cannot meet current demands for sustainability.

MYTH #4 Historic Preservation Myths: It Cost Too Much

Enjoy other archival material from the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union’s Digital Repository: