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The AARCHer

So, What Is Public History?

Posted on: September 4th, 2018 No Comments

By Nolan Cool. “So…what is public history?” Folks attending Adirondack Architectural Heritage’s day-long tours ask me this all the time. My sarcastic answer is “it’s the opposite of private history,” followed by a more serious explanation that public history is applied history out in the world. A still unsatisfied, confused look prompts me to further explain that historic preservation projects, working with communities, public stakeholders, and local governments, museums, nonprofits, and other institutions on any project with history at its core qualifies as public history. My work as AARCH’s Educational Programs Director falls under this umbrella through public programming centered >> More


Finding True North

Posted on: July 6th, 2018 No Comments

By Fran Yardley. In 1968 Fran and Jay Yardley, a young couple with pioneering spirit, moved to a remote corner of the Adirondacks to revive the long-abandoned but historic Bartlett Carry Club, with its one thousand acres and thirty-seven buildings. The Saranac Lake–area property had been in Jay’s family for generations, and his dream was to restore this summer resort to support himself and, eventually, a growing family. Fran chronicles their journey and, along the way, unearths the history of those who came before, from the 1800s to the present. Offering an evocative glimpse into the past, Finding True North >> More


Cordwood Masonry and the Earth Friendly Home

Posted on: April 5th, 2018 No Comments

By Rob Roy. On Saturday, May 12, 2018 AARCH will kick off its summer tour season with “Cordwood Building School and Private House Tour”.  We’ll be lead by cordwood masonry experts Rob and Jaki Roy, founders of the Earthwood Building School in West Chazy.  Rob has graciously shared with us the first chapter to his newly-released book, Essential Cordwood Building, as a primer to this special outing.  For more information on the upcoming tour, how to get a discount on Rob’s new book, and cordwood masonry, keep reading! What Is Cordwood Masonry? Cordwood masonry (sometimes called stackwall construction in Canada) >> More


Pleasant Surprises on Culvert Street

Posted on: March 15th, 2018 No Comments

By Darren Tracy. We bring you the third and fourth installments of Darren Tracy’s blog from the fall as he and his team worked to stabilize the Dr. Ferguson Office in Glens Falls.  We look forward to more progress and updates from Darren and his team when we can see the ground again! ~AARCH Blog #3 | 11.16.17 We are continuing with stabilizing the structure and have started to rebuild the exterior brick masonry walls that had caved in.  We are salvaging and reusing existing brick as much as possible. The existing brick are a non-standard length.  They are on >> More


The Fun is About to Begin

Posted on: February 2nd, 2018 3 Comments

By Darren Tracy. Dr. Ferguson’s Office Restoration Blog#1  10.29.17 Restoration timeline: 10/6/17 – Learn of plans to possibly demolish 5 Culvert Street from AARCH (Adirondack Architectural Heritage) email. 10/10/17 – Contact Mayor Diamond asking if the demolition is a done deal, or if the City would entertain an offer to purchase. The mayor acknowledged that bids have been accepted to demolish the building but no contract has been awarded, stating the city would entertain an offer to sell instead of proceeding with demolition. 10/16/17 – My first impression was that this is a cute building but, too far gone to >> More


Discovering The Adirondacks in Washington Park

Posted on: April 5th, 2017 No Comments

By Tom Riley. In October 2016, AARCH ventured outside the Blue Line to tour Albany Rural and Oakwood Cemeteries.  One of the big draws, besides the elaborate and extensive architecturally significant buildings on both grounds, was that so many people connected to the Adirondacks are buried there.  This list includes Governor Marcy, geologist Ebenezer Emmons, entrepreneurs Archibald McIntyre and David Henderson, and Robert and Anna Pruyn, for whom Santanoni was built.  As part of this outing, we were able to include a last-minute bonus tour of Washington Park, a private ornamental park in Troy, NY.  The Park was established in >> More


How I Got to Lake Kora

Posted on: January 31st, 2017 No Comments

By Ed Hodges. On a plane in the late eighties I read an article about a glorious rustic hotel in an amazing setting, on a lake with mountain and valley views and a turn of the century golf course. Departing the plane, I neglected to take the magazine and promptly forgot the name, but the compelling image of the place was imprinted on my mind. Several years later, I acquired a copy of Harvey Kaiser’s “Great Camps of the Adirondacks” and thumbed through looking for that hotel. It was not in there, but there were many outstanding examples of rustic >> More


Every Community Needs a Beating Heart

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 1 Comment

There is overwhelming evidence that the most successful communities—with thriving economies, healthy schools and social and cultural institutions—are those that embrace their own history and preserve their historic buildings. Good jobs, protection of natural resources, and good leadership are perhaps even more important. Historic preservation is a critical element in the revitalization of struggling communities and it is a visible expression of a community investing in itself and improving its own quality of life. AARCH has always been a strong advocate for the connection between historic preservation and community vitality. We work to preserve individual buildings, yes, but we also >> More


Patrimonio: What I Learned in Cuba

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 No Comments

By Mary-Nell Bockman. Since leading the first AARCH tour to Cuba in January, I’ve given slide presentations and interviews a half dozen times. The questions are always interesting and often provoke lively discussions about the differences and similarities in preservation work between the Adirondacks and Cuba. I can usually provide answers about the similar challenges we face: impact of the weather, lack of funds and resources, state bureaucracy, too many projects at once, the poor economy. But I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s different about historic preservation in Cuba and how to explain why I was so moved by what we saw on the >> More


Keeseville Quest: An Amazing Treasure Hunt

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 No Comments

“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever made,” exclaimed one fifth grader at the Keeseville Quest celebration at AARCH headquarters in June. We heartily agree that this is the coolest thing we’ve seen! So, what is this mysterious, very cool project? It’s the Keeseville Quest, a community treasure hunt created by three 5th grade classes at Keeseville Elementary School. The “treasure” is not gold or jewels, but even better, local landmarks! Quests progress from one place to another, ending at a final destination with a reward for successful completion. Questing was developed by Steven Glazer of Vermont and the idea behind it is simple: >> More