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The AARCHer

Built in 1832, Survived in 2011

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 2 Comments

By Martha Spear. Our Upper Jay farmhouse has a sign on it saying it was built in 1832.  No one living knows for sure if that’s true.  I spent some hours in the Essex County, NY Clerk’s office looking up ownership records, and got back pretty far, but not to 1832.  So the handmade plaque hangs there on the front porch portico, daring anyone to prove it wrong. We bought the place in 2003 when the ADK home prices were booming, bringing the property’s ownership out of the Torrance family which had held it for generations.  We were part of >> More


The Making of a Preservationist

Posted on: December 8th, 2014 No Comments

By Steven Engelhart. As the executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage and a contributing writer to The AARCHER, I’ll write about a lot of things closely connected to our work – preservation success stories and failures, interesting people that I meet along the way, my views on various regional preservation issues, the stories that historic places tell us, and highlight some of the educational events that we offer during the year. But you’ll also find me writing about other things, unrelated to my work, because I’m curious about practically everything that goes on here. I might muse about what makes >> More


Feeling Place: A Day at Dannemora

Posted on: November 6th, 2014 No Comments

By Kate Ritter. We often experience architecture by physical means – moving through a space, touching its walls, studying the way a truss is joined. But another important side of understanding a building is through the emotions it evokes.  These can be generated through accounts of people and historic events, and also through atmosphere, which tends to be less tangible. Twice this past summer, I co-lead an outing to Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. This maximum-security prison, with its imposing concrete wall that seems to go on forever, envelopes a spectrum of architectural styles, and is a prime >> More


Loco for Poke-O

Posted on: October 5th, 2014 No Comments

By David Thomas-Train. The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine is a  long-time project of AARCH, which kindly  lends us its tax-exempt status along with office space.  We’ve worked  here for over a decade,  restoring the fire tower, summit, and trails  for education and recreation on that nearby and strangely named mountain. I’ve had the fun and  occasional frustration of coordinating this project. First things first:  what’s with the name  Poke-O-Moonshine??  All  available accounts point to the  Algonquin language and words for “rough” and “smooth”, which have been phonetically written   as “pohqui” and “moosie”.  The rocks up there are rough and smooth granite and >> More


We Became Preservationists

Posted on: September 7th, 2014 2 Comments

by Virginia Siskavich-Bosley. By the time my parents bought their dream house in 1990, it was already a century old.  I was heading into the 7th grade when we packed up our belongings and two cats, two dogs, two parents, and seven kids (we’re a family of ten, but my three oldest siblings were already out on their own) and headed down “Sweden”, officially known as Standish Road or the main street that runs through the hamlet of Lyon Mountain. We made the transition from a neat, but cramped, single-wide trailer to a historic 3-story home with plenty of room >> More