Two books published this year have significantly expanded our understanding of Adirondack architecture. People familiar with the Adirondacks know that twig furniture and palatial robber baron wilderness compounds are the exception, not the rule, for the Adirondack built environment. Unfortunately, until this year there have been no real resources that document the diversity of what really exists along the roadsides and in the settlements of the region. Now, at last, two truly amazing new books have arrived to fill the void. Both books belong in the bookcase of anyone who wants to know more about the Adirondacks.
Destined to become the reference book most often used to jog the memory is A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks by Prof. Richard Longstreth ($34.95, 427 pages). Published by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and produced by Adirondack Life this book covers the most significant buildings and structures throughout the region. Longstreth is a well-known architectural historian who teaches at George Washington University. He has deep first hand knowledge of the subject having been an inquiring seasonal resident of the Adirondacks since 1978. Continue reading
The Liberty Museum & Arts Center will host a walking tour of historic Ferndale, Sullivan County, led by Maurice Gerry, on Sunday, August 27.
Gerry’s preservation and restoration efforts are responsible for the current state of many of the homes and buildings in Ferndale. Participants in the walking tour will have the chance to see Gerry’s work firsthand, and learn about the history of the hamlet.
The tour will commence at 10 am at the historic Ferndale schoolhouse on the corner of Ferndale-Loomis and Upper Ferndale Roads. Continue reading
An architectural walking tour of the Mansion House and Kenwood neighborhood will be held on Saturday, August 12 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Oneida Community Mansion House.
Attendees will have the opportunity to look at architectural clues about how neighborhoods, and the way we live, have changed over time. Participants can learn the history of the Mansion House and the Kenwood neighborhood of Oneida, while seeing distinctive architectural styles in this walking tour of about a dozen houses (exteriors only) designed by Arts & Crafts architect Ward Wellington Ward and by noted architect Theodore Skinner. Continue reading
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the historic preservation organization for the region, has opened nominations for its 2017 Preservation Awards. For over 20 years, these annual awards have recognized sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic structures, as well as individuals who have promoted historic preservation and community revitalization consistent with AARCH’s mission.
Projects of all sizes and scopes are eligible for consideration. The deadline for nominations is July 1, 2017. A celebration of the 2017 award winners will be on September 18, 2017, at a farm-to-table luncheon at the Nettle Meadow Farm, a 2016 AARCH Presevation Award recipient in the town of Thurman near Warrensburg. Continue reading
Of all the world’s cities, perhaps none is so defined by its Art Deco architecture as New York. Anthony W. Robins’ new book New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (SUNY Press, 2017) leads readers step-by-step past the monuments of the 1920s and 30s that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis.
Robins’ new guide includes an introductory essay describing the Art Deco phenomenon, followed by eleven walking tour itineraries in Manhattan each accompanied by a map designed by New York cartographer John Tauranac and a survey of Deco sites across the four other boroughs. Also included is a photo gallery of sixteen color plates by Art Deco photographer Randy Juster. Continue reading
The site of New York State’s oldest surviving theater, the Hudson Opera House has completed the final phase of a major restoration project begun in April of 2016. The re-opening of the historic theater is accompanied by a name change: the Hudson Opera House will be renamed Henry Hudson Hall. Continue reading
“It is the sense of the council that the standing of this city as a worldwide tourist center and world capital of business, culture and government cannot be maintained or enhanced by disregarding the historical and architectural heritage of the city and by countenancing the destruction of such cultural assets.” – New York City Council, April 6, 1965 Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, Jerry Snyder of Historic Amsterdam League talks about the mansions built during the industrial heyday in Amsterdam, NY, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many post card views and photos of these houses are published by the League in the Amsterdam Icons 2017 Calendar. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Though Olive Tjaden’s name is not known to most Long Islanders today, a mayor of Garden City in the 1930s reportedly suggested that the community be renamed Tjaden City, because she designed so many houses in the village.
Cornell University, her alma mater, named Olive Tjaden Hall for her in 1980. The story of this prolific woman architect appears in “Designing Suburbia: Olive Tjaden on Long Island,” in the recently issued Nassau County Historical Society Journal. Continue reading
A standard in the field since its publication in 1992, A History of Housing in New York City traces New York’s housing development from 1850 to the present in text and profuse illustrations.
Richard Plunz explores the housing of all classes, with comparative discussion of the development of types ranging from the single-family house to the high-rise apartment tower. His analysis is placed within the context of the broader political and cultural development of New York City. Continue reading