By title
By date

Home > Book Reviews

Book Review: September 2011

Adirondack Style: Great Camps and Rustic Lodges

by F-Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffrey

Adirondack Style

No word yet on the extent of damage to the Great Camps in the Adirondacks after Tropical Storm Irene swept through upstate New York in August.

Fortunately this book documents extensively 37 camps and lodges, the majority of which were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Each one is beautiful and inspirational, especially for those of us with Craftsman influenced bungalows and cottages.

Almost all of these were done on a grand scale by robber barons and titans of industry for their amusement and recreation. No expense was spared and the results are spectacular.

Rather than being inspired by the conventional tastes of time, many of these buildings were influenced by their context in what was then mostly wilderness. The Arts & Crafts movement of simple living and working with local materials crafted by talented artisans clearly found a fertile reception with the builders and designers.

The style is relaxed, individual, organic, and rustic. These "great camps" were designed to get away and have fun. Outdoor activities like boating and camping in the wilderness were part of the allure, with the base camp serving as the rendevous point. Each camp is unique with characteristics that draw from European and English antecedents. Some buildings are Shingle style which morphs into Arts & Crafts style as the years pass.

Many of the earlier buildings show decided European influences, especially the Swiss Chalet and Northern European Log styles, many of which are whimsically detailed with decorative painted wood detailing including porch railings and, trim, and shutters. The Craftsmans details are generally rustic and artistic.

Exteriors and interiors alike use huge amounts of stone, log construction, and twig details. Beams are often whole logs and interior wall finishes include varnished wood and peeled bark. Furnishings range from the late Victorian Eastlake to Mission and the "cottage furniture" marketed by companies like William Leavens specifically for summer homes. All exhibit a wonderful eclectic aesthetic that encompasses almost a 150 years of design.

Though the majority of houses are old, some are new. They are just as grand and in most respects require a second look because they are as timeless in design as the original buildings.

The book has incredible photography and even if you never read a word, it's a wonderful way to gather design inspiration for your own home, regardless of its style or age. However, if you want the history of each of these buildings, writer McCaffrey has provided plenty of details on each lodge.

Adirondack Style: Great Camps and Rustic Lodges by F-Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffrey. Universe, 2011.

© 2008–2015 — Antique Home Style

Books, ETC.