Friday, June 27, 2008

Adirondack Museum’s 21st Annual Rustic Fair

From the Adirondack Museum:

Talented artists from the Adirondack Park and across the United States bring highly prized craftsmanship and creative expression to one-of-a-kind rustic designs exhibited and sold at the Adirondack Museum’s 21st Annual Rustic Fair. This is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast!

Enjoy delicious food, and great music by the Lime Hollow Boys (Saturday) and traditional fiddling by Frank Orsini (Sunday). See demonstrations of rustic furniture making, carving, and painting throughout the weekend (September 6 and 7, 2008 10 am – 4 pm.

Here is a list of the 2008 Rustic Artisans

Gene Albright
Refined Rustics

Fred Beckhorn
Natural Form Furniture

Barney & Susan Bellinger
Sampson Bog Studio

Tom Benware
Adirondack Woodwright

William Betrus
Adirondack Custom Twig

Steve Bowers
Bald Mountain Rustics

Nathan Broomfield
Zoya Woodworks

Charley Brown
Mote Fly Rustic

Matthew Burnett *
Matt Burnett Paintings

Gary Casagrain
Casagrain Studio & Gallery

Steve & Gwenn Chisholm
High Ridge Rustics

Jim Clark *

Rhea Costello
Paintings by Rhea

Reid Crosby
Branch & Burl

David Daby
Adirondack Rustic Creations

Brant Davis
Gone Wild Creations, Inc.

Jay Dawson
Major Pieces

Russ DeFonce & Deb Jones
Bookman Rustic Furniture

Jeanne Dupre
Adirondack Watercolors

Dave Engelhardt *
Angelheardt Designs

Douglas Francis
Aurora Rustics

John Gallis
Norsemen Designs West

Russ Gleaves & Bill Coffey

Brian Gluck
Rustic Cedar

Brad Greenwood
Greenwood Designs

Barry & Matthew Gregson
Adirondack Rustics Gallery

Eric Gulbrandsen
Trout Pond Rustics

Wayne Hall *

Christopher Hawver
Woodsmith Rustic Furniture

Jason Henderson
J.R. Henderson Designs

Randy Holden
Elegantly Twisted

Michael Hutton *
The Rustic and Painted Garden

Wayne Ignatuk
Swallowtail Studio

Michael Kazlo
Adirondack Mountain Rustic

Phil Kellogg
Adirondack Rustic Furnishings

Morris Kopels
Glens Falls Rustic Studio

Janice and Jonathan Kostreva
Bear View Ridge Rustic Furniture and Lighting

Gary Krauss *
Native Woods

Paul Lakata
Rustic Artwork

Donald Moss
Don Moss Rustic

Anto Parseghian
Abiding Branches

Bill Perkins
Sleeping Bear Twig Furniture

Thomas Phillips
Thomas Phillips Rustic Furniture

Rick & Denise Pratt
Around the Bend

Daniel Quinn
Nature’s Design

Kevin & Jeannie Ridgeway
Unique Woodworks

Michael Ringer
St. Lawrence Gallery

Jim Schreiner
Great Sacandaga Designs

Steven Shroder
Stickworks Custom Furniture

Charles Phinney & Stan Steeves
Harvest Hardwoods

Robert Stump
Robert Stump Studios

Jamie Sutliff
Cold River Gallery

Jonathan Swartwout *
Fisher of the Berry

John Taylor
Rustic Furniture by John and Marjorie Taylor

Jim Thomson
Thomson Rustic Furnishings

Jane Voorhees
Jane Voorhees, Custom Furnishings and Accessories

Judd Weisberg

Tom Welsh
The Rustic Homestead

Bim Willow
Willow Works, Inc.

* Indicates a new artisan


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adirondack Museum Suspends Lake Placid Project

Just arrived from the Adirondack Museum:

Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York announced today that it has suspended work on its plan to erect a building on Main Street in Lake Placid, N.Y. to house a new branch of the museum and its existing store.

Museum Director Caroline Welsh said that the decision was made very reluctantly and only after detailed consideration of financial and other implications of the project for the museum. The decision was made at a special meeting of the museum’s Board of Trustees on June 23, 2008.

According to John Fritzinger, Chairman of the Board, the decision is the result of the cumulative impact of several key factors.

These include the extended period required to obtain the permits needed to proceed; continuing litigation over those permits that offers the prospect of even further delay and expense; escalation in costs related to the construction and operation of the museum; and the difficulty of raising the necessary capital in the face of deteriorating and uncertain financial markets, a strained economy, and the potential effects of high gas prices on museum visitation.

Ms. Welsh said the Board of Trustees is most appreciative of the strong support the Adirondack Museum has received for the Lake Placid branch from Mayor Jamie Rogers, Town of North Elba Supervisor Robi Politi, and many members of the community. She expressed the thanks of the museum to all for all their help and enthusiasm as the project moved forward.

Welsh also noted that the Board is particularly grateful for outstanding work by architects David Childs and Roger Duffy of Skidmore Owings & Merrill in creating an exciting design for the proposed new museum.

The Lake Placid project was part of the Adirondack Museum’s overall strategic plan that includes the goal of projecting the museum’s presence beyond Blue Mountain Lake. The Director emphasized that the goal remains in place. The museum recognizes the importance of Lake Placid as a cultural hub of the Adirondacks and a premier resort destination. Welsh said that the
museum will continue to deliver its programs and collections to the residents of and visitors to the Tri-Lakes area.

Welsh announced that the Adirondack Museum would partner with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to offer annual exhibits at the Center’s facility. “Rustic Tomorrow” will be the first exhibition. A show of unique rustic furniture created through the collaboration of noteworthy architects, designers, and craftsmen, the exhibit premiered at the museum’s Blue Mountain Lake campus in May, and will travel to LPCA in late fall.

She also confirmed that museum outreach programs will continue in the village, including the popular Lake Placid “Cabin Fever Sunday” programs.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adirondack Museum Opens for 51st Season

The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake will open for the season this Friday (May 23th) and then daily until October 19th from from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Except Sept. 5 and 19 when the museum prepares for special events.

This year they have renewed their commitment of free admission for year round residents of the Adirondack Park during May, June and October. Proof of residency is required. All regular paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.

New this year is a revised Woods and Waters: Outdoor Recreation in the Adirondacks exhibit that features new research by Adirondack Almanack regular reader and Adirondack historian Phil Terrie.

Also new will be Adirondack Voices, an interactive computer and web-based activity accessible in the Woods and Waters exhibit or on the museum web site at www.adirondackmuseum.org.

We’ve already reported the premiere of the Rustic Tomorrow exhibit in which six modernist and post modernist architects or designers have been paired with prominent Adirondack rustic furniture makers.

Also new this year will be “Mildred Hooker’s Tent Platform” where visitors can experience camping in an 1880s platform tent, and “Mrs. Merwin’s Kitchen Garden” the replicated vegetable garden of Frances Merwin, wife of Blue Mountain House owner Miles Tyler Merwin. The garden will feature heirloom varieties of vegetables that were once common in Adirondack gardens.

The “Whimsy and Play Rustic Tot Lot” (opening in July) is a play area designed just for toddlers and pre-school age children. Pint-size visitors can romp and play on a wooden rocker, scamper up and down a rustic bridge, or swing from timbers rustically decorated with twigs, bark, and pinecones. Carved animals will be part of the fun, ready for giggles, hugs, and photo opportunities.

In addition, a child-sized log cabin set in the apple orchard near the schoolhouse will provide children (and their elders) with an opportunity to see cabin being constructed log-by-log. This will be an on-going demonstration during the summer, offering visitors the opportunity to talk to the builder as the cabin arises. In 2009 the fully furnished cabin will open to families for imaginative play.

The Adirondack Museum has planned a full schedule of lectures, demonstrations, field trips, special events, and activities for 2008 to delight and engage people of all ages. To learn more about all that the museum has to offer, please visit www.adirondackmuseum.org or call (518)352-7311.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Stamp Honors Edward Livingston Trudeau

A press release issued today:

American Lung Association Founder Honored with New U.S. Postage Stamp

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2008—As part of its Distinguished Americans series, the U.S. Postal Service released a new 76 cent stamp today that honors Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848-1915), the founder and first president of the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, the precursor to the American Lung Association. Dr. Trudeau dedicated his life to researching and treating tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that at one time killed one in seven people in the U.S.

Tuberculosis is also known as the White Plague or TB, and in the late 1800s, doctors did not know its cause, how to treat patients or prevent transmission of the disease. Dr. Trudeau himself contracted TB after caring for his ill brother, and moved to the Adirondacks, where he recovered. There he founded the first research laboratory dedicated to TB and helped patients recover with “open-air” treatments, promoting the treatment and containment of the disease through fresh air, rest, nourishment and a positive attitude.

“Dr. Trudeau was a true pioneer who led a public health movement and remained focused on the ideal that we can overcome a disease through coordinated research, education and advocacy,” said Bernadette Toomey, President and CEO, American Lung Association.

Under Dr. Trudeau’s leadership, the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis spearheaded research, launched the first-ever public health campaigns to halt the spread of TB, and fought for the establishment of local public health departments. Ultimately, research breakthroughs led to the first effective drug treatment for TB in the mid-1950s, resulting in a dramatic change in our nation’s public health.

“America has many reasons to celebrate Dr. Trudeau and his contributions to our country,” said Toomey. “The American Lung Association continues to honor his legacy by investing in research on asthma, COPD, lung cancer, TB, and many more lung diseases.”

The stamp bearing Dr. Trudeau’s portrait is the U.S. Postal Service’s 11th issuance in the Distinguished Americans series; it will be a 76-cent stamp, priced for three-ounce First-Class Mail letters. Artist Mark Summers created the portrait on the stamp, based on a photograph of Dr. Trudeau provided by the American Lung Association.

About the American Lung Association: Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.” For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to www.lungusa.org.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

John Warren: Adirondack Railroads’ Time Has Come

The Adirondack Journal reported this week that Warren County supervisors “derailed” (pun apparently intended) a local tourist railroad development project by voting to pay a consultant for the design of two of the railroads train stations at Hadley and Thurman. Looking around the net, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is going on, but it seems as though the county may be dragging its feet on the plan to improve the long neglected Delaware and Hudson RR tracks between Corinth in Saratoga County and North Creek, near the Gore Mountain Ski Area.

NY State Transportation Commissioner Astrid Glynn definitely is, when he announced $20 million in rail funding last week to go toward 15 projects statewide, extending the Adirondack Scenic Railroad from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake was not on the list. In December 2006, former George Pataki had promised $5 million to make the 26 miles of track between the two villages passable. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Adirondack Museum Launches ‘Rustic Tomorrow’

Recently received from the Adirondack Museum, the announcement of a new project that takes Adirondack rustic design into the future. The exhibit will be an interesting addition to the ongoing (until October 31) Adirondack Rustic: Nature’s Art 1876 – 1950. Sounds like a great time to visit the museum. Locals get into the museum free during a few weeks in May (something they don’t advertise anymore, so give them a call for dates), but if you can’t make it then, here is a link to a $2.00 discount (see the “special offer” at the right, mid-page).

The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York will introduce a very special exhibit this season called Rustic Tomorrow. Six modernist and post modernist architects or designers have been paired with prominent Adirondack rustic furniture makers. The results of these collaborations are one-of-a-kind pieces, distinctly futuristic in design, but constructed using traditional time-honored techniques.

The goal of the project is to demonstrate the relevance of Adirondack rustic traditions to contemporary life and design.

Rustic Tomorrow will be on exhibit at the Adirondack Museum from May 23 through October 19, 2008. The exhibition will travel to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, N.Y. for a November 7 through December 13,2008 showing, and to the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute in Utica, N.Y. from February 14 to April 19, 2009.

The six unique pieces that are Rustic Tomorrow will be displayed at D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc. Gallery in New York City in April 2009. They will be sold at auction to benefit the Adirondack Museum.

Ann Stillman O’Leary, who founded her firm, Evergreen House Interiors, Inc, Lake Placid, N.Y. in 1989, originated the Rustic Tomorrow project. O’Leary has established a solid reputation in the field of interior design. Known for leading the renaissance in rustic architecture and interior design, she is sought after for her distinctive style that is both rustic and refined. O’Leary is the author of the best selling books Adirondack Style and Rustic Revisited. She has been featured on the Today Show, HGTV radio, Cabin Life, House and Garden Channel and in numerous national publications.

The Participant Partners

David M. Childs joined the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1971 after serving on the Pennsylvania Avenue Commission. Mr. Child’s diverse range of design projects circle the globe. He is the designer for the World Trade Center Tower 1 at the World Trade Center site, and the new Pennsylvania Station at the historic Farley Post Office building in New York City. His more recently completed work includes the new 7 World Trade Center and the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Childs is a Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA). His work has been widely published.

Wayne Ignatuk, owner of Swallowtail Studios in Jay, N.Y., spent eighteen years as an engineer in the laser industry before his woodworking hobby became a career. His style has evolved from twig chairs and tables to more complex designs he describes as “organic arts and crafts.” Ignatuk’s work has been profiled on HGTV’s “The Good Life,” in the book Adirondack Home, in Adirondack Life magazine and other publications. He exhibits his work at the finest rustic shows in the country.

In 1998 The New York Times declared Dennis Wedlick a “rising star in architecture.” The “rise” has continued as Wedlick’s work has garnered awareness and accolades in both the media and architecture community. He began his career working with world-renowned architect Philip Johnson. His own firm, Dennis Wedlick Architect, LLC has become synonymous with quality, craft, and the best in contemporary picturesque design. He was recently named to Architecture Digest’s AD 100 – showcasing the top international designers and architects.

Rustic furniture artist Barney Bellinger is the owner of Sampson Bog Studio, Mayfield, N.Y. It is an art studio where bark, twigs and natural materials are gathered into the hands of a craftsman inspired by the logging trails, wildlife refuges, fly fishing sites, and the Great Camps of the Adirondacks. Furniture created by Barney Bellinger has been exhibited at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Adirondack Museum, and the Ralph Kylloe Gallery, and appears in the permanent collections of the Orvis Company and the Smithsonian Institution.

Michael Graves has been at the forefront of architecture and design since he founded his firm in 1964. Michael Graves and Associates – the architecture and interior design practices, and Michael Graves Design Group – the product and graphic design group, have received more than 185 awards for design excellence. Design projects range from urban architecture to consumer products. Graves himself received the American Institute of Architect’s Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed on an individual as well as twelve honorary doctorates. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The work of Furniture Artist Jason Henderson stands out for its ability to push the tradition of Adirondack style furniture into new and interesting design areas. His interpretation of rusticity is closely aligned with studio furniture and contemporary furniture design. His work has an “edge” and has earned a bit of notoriety. “Dining Chair” (2003) received the Most Original Design award at the Adirondack Museum’s Annual Rustic Fair and was purchased by the museum for the permanent collection. He was profiled by Adirondack Life magazine in 2006 in an article aptly called “Mr. Henderson Presents.” Henderson lives and works in the Lake George, N.Y. area.

Thomas Cardone has had a long career as an Art Director in the film industry. He spent thirteen years with The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California before joining 20th Century Fox’ New York-based Blue Sky Studios in 2002. His most recent project has been art direction for “Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who!” which premiered in the spring of 2008. Among Cardone’s many film credits are “Ice Age: The Melt Down;” “Robots;” “Chicken Little;” “The Emperor’s New Groove;” and “Pocahontas.”
Russ Gleaves love of nature began when he moved to a log cabin in the Adirondacks as a young child. Raised in Queens, N.Y. Bill Coffey has created custom furniture with many of New York City’s finest craftsmen. His love for the Adirondacks – nurtured as a child on vacation – led him to Northville, N.Y. in 1999. There he met Russ, and the pair has been creating one-of-a-kind innovative rustic furniture ever since. The duo takes pride in crafting pieces that will be passed down through many generations. Customers in Wyoming, Wisconsin, New York City, and Japan have commissioned their
work.

Allan Shope has been an architect and furniture maker for thirty years. He founded the distinguished architectural firm of Shope, Reno, Wharton Associates in 1981. Shope’s abiding interest in the use of sustainable building materials, land use, and alternative non-fossil energy sources led to him to found Listening Rock Farm and Environmental Center in Armenia, N.Y. The focus is on man’s problematic relationship with the earth around him. “Carbon neutral” is the minimum standard for the Center.

Judd Weisberg has his home and studio in Lexington, Greene County, New York in the Catskills surrounded by rivers, lakes, and streams, which inform his life and work as an artist, designer, teacher, and environmentalist. He creates furniture environments for the home, business, and for sets and properties for performing arts applications. Finishes are non-toxic and are expressive of the burnished or matte looks found in nature. His work is in private collections and homes nationwide Nils Luderowski is an architect whose practice is about residential architecture and design in an Adirondack vernacular. His studio offers traditional architectural services including site planning, interior design, furniture design, and custom artisan work. Luderowski pioneered the “New Adirondack Style” of architecture, an authentic blend of Shingle, Craftsman, Prairie and regional expressions, incorporating modern living requirements and current technology. In the mid 1990s he settled in Keene, N.Y. in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Mountains.

Creating unique and functional art has been Jay Dawson’s passion since he began designing pieces over 20 years ago. A self-taught craftsman, he has worked with wood in some form for most of his life. He is well known for both furniture and stairways and has developed a reputation for custom creations. He works with clients, architects, and interior designers to ensure that each piece meets expectations for beauty, quality and functionality. Dawson’s work has appeared in many publications including Smithsonian Magazine, Log Home Living, and the book Rustic Furniture by
Daniel Mack. He created archways for Woodstock 1999, the 2000 Goodwill Games, and the 2000 Empire State Games.

The Adirondack Museum has the finest collection of historic Adirondack rustic furniture and furnishings, not in private hands, in the country. The museum hosts an annual Rustic Fair in the fall. The fair attracts more than sixty highly skilled rustic craftsmen from all parts of the United States and Canada, and is the largest rustic show in the eastern part of the country. The 21st Annual Rustic Fair is planned for September 5, 6, and 7, 2008.

The Adirondack Museum is a regional museum of art, history and material culture. It is nationally known for extensive collections, exhibits, and research library that together reflect stories of life, work, and play in the Adirondack Park and northern New York State. The museum celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. To learn about all the Adirondack Museum as to offer, please visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

The Adirondack Museum tells the story of the Adirondacks through exhibits, special events, classes for schools, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. The museum will open for a new season on May 23, 2008, introducing a new exhibit Rustic Tomorrow. For information about upcoming exhibits and programs, please call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

This is the rest of the post


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Pope and The Wind 3 Yrs Ago At Adirondack Almanack

Three years ago here at Adirondack Almanack we were wondering about how significant Pope John Paul’s passing would be for Catholics in the Adirondacks and we were Tilting at Wind Shills in hopes of keeping the tops of local mountains from being industrialized.


Monday, March 24, 2008

$1 Million Awarded to 18 Adirondack Projects

Here is a press release that just arrived from Governor Patterson’s Office. The projects include wireless, historic preservation, affordable housing, tourism, beautification, and more.

GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES SMART GROWTH GRANTS FOR ADIRONDACK PARK COMMUNITIES

Projects Link Sustainable Development, Environmental Protection and Community Livability

Governor David A. Paterson and Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Pete Grannis today announced “smart growth grants” for Adirondack communities to help counties, towns, villages and their partner organizations develop plans that link sustainable development, environmental protection and community livability.

A total of $1 million will be awarded to 18 projects – ranging from one proposing a new life for the Indian Lake Theater to another designing a better wireless communication network across the Adirondack Park. The initiative, announced last July, proved so popular that the DEC received more than $3 million worth of proposals from around the Park. The grants relate to a mix of local, regional and park-wide projects.

“The Adirondack Park is a unique American treasure, a special place for residents and the millions who visit each year,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “The Park serves as a model for how to merge environmental sensitivity with the pressing needs of development and expansion. By providing local planning assistance, we hope to meet the challenge of developing sustainable communities while protecting natural resources.”

“This program is dedicated to the belief that sustainable development and environmental protection go hand-in-hand,” said Commissioner Grannis. “Safeguarding the assets of the forest preserve and fostering sustainable development and a good quality of life for residents throughout the Park is in everyone’s best interest. This initiative provides the local planning assistance needed to accomplish both. The overwhelming response demonstrates the program struck a chord with Adirondack Park communities.”

Smart growth is sensible, planned growth that balances the need for economic development with concerns about quality-of-life, such as preserving the natural and built environment. Smart growth is also becoming a useful tool to attract businesses that value community quality-of-life.

The 2007-08 Environmental Protection Fund included $2 million in grants to promote smart growth initiatives; $1 million was earmarked for the Adirondacks. Smart growth can be useful in addressing land-use issues facing rural communities – workforce housing, aging infrastructure, water quality, economic development, open space protection and village/hamlet revitalization.

The grant winners include 12 projects that address local issues, four that are regional in nature and two that are park-wide in impact.

The grants include:

– $106,971 to the Town of Saranac to develop the “Wireless Clearinghouse” project to create a comprehensive plan for identifying potential structures for telecommunications infrastructure to bolster wireless networks in the Park. The State University of New York at Plattsburgh and the Adirondack North Country Association will assist the Town;

– $100,000 to the Town of Tupper Lake to produce a “Community Development Priorities” plan. Part of the plan includes developing a “visual identity” for the Town and Village of Tupper Lake, and concept designs for streetscape and waterfront projects;

– $42,600 to the Town of Indian Lake to plan the re-opening of the Indian Lake Theater. The 250-seat, Main Street venue has been closed for more than a year. Local officials want to explore re-opening the facility as a year-round community stage and screen, offering films and musical and theatrical performances, and a public space for schools, libraries and other organizations for meetings, lectures and seminars;

– $100,000 to Essex County to create an “Essex County Destination Master Plan” that will focus on communities beyond Lake Placid. It will explore opportunities to take advantage of recreational and natural resources in an economically sustainable way in locales such as Moriah, North Elba, Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga and Wilmington;

– $50,000 to the Town of Wilmington to conduct feasibility studies for a community center, municipal offices, historical society building and a fly fishing museum; and

– $35,000 to the Town of Chester to make plans for retaining existing affordable housing and establishing new affordable housing opportunities for working families.

Senator Betty Little said: “Balancing stewardship of the environment with the economic, housing and infrastructure needs of our Adirondack villages, towns and counties is critically important. I am pleased to see this partnership between the State and our local governments. I want to thank Commissioner Grannis for spearheading this initiative and congratulate the recipients for their successful applications.”

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said: “I applaud Commissioner Grannis and the DEC for addressing the needs of the North Country. These grants as well as collaboration among State and local officials, business leaders and concerned citizens are a good step toward a balanced approach to our economic development while sustaining the character of the Adirondack region.”

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said: “I am pleased DEC has recognized the unique issues facing municipalities within the Adirondack Park. I congratulate the local governments that have been awarded smart-growth funding and look forward to working with these communities as they complete these projects. The large number of competitors for the grants points out the struggles facing Adirondack Park municipalities, and I encourage Commissioner Grannis and DEC to continue this competitive grant program.”

Adirondack Park Agency Chairman Curt Stiles said: “We were impressed by the innovative and comprehensive grant applications that were submitted by Adirondack municipalities. We extend our congratulations to the grantees and look forward to the successful implementation of their plans. This was a very competitive grant program and demonstrated a strong need for future support. Partnering with local governments and State agencies enables smart growth through synergy and shared values, and makes for stronger communities.”

Upstate Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Dan Gundersen said: “I look forward to seeing these projects enhance and shape the Adirondack communities in a way that invites economic development that is compatible with the Adirondack’s natural environment.”

Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said: “The Adirondack smart-growth initiative represents a model for inter-agency and inter-governmental collaboration on some critical challenges and opportunities in the Adirondacks. With these grants, the State and the individual Adirondack communities have demonstrated an impressive commitment to economic and environmental sustainability in the region.”

Brian L. Houseal, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council, said: “It was a great pleasure to stand with Commissioner Grannis last summer as he announced in Lake George that half of the State’s smart growth grants would be awarded to communities and organizations in the Adirondack Park. Sound planning is a wise investment for municipalities, and it helps preserve open space, natural beauty, water quality, and wildlife habitat.”

Established in 1892, the Adirondack Park features world-class natural and cultural resources, including the Nation’s only constitutionally-protected wild forest lands. In contrast to America’s national parks in which no one resides, the Adirondack Park is home to 130,000 full-time residents and hundreds of businesses whose future depends on continued protection of the natural resources and a sustainable economy.

Many Adirondack communities lack the resources to comprehensively address the land-use challenges before them. The smart-growth grants program will provide communities with technical capabilities necessary to plan for the future.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Adirondack Blogosphere: Year Three

This month marks the third anniversary of the Adirondack Adirondack and that means a look at the local blogosphere.

New Local Blogs of Note

This past year, once again, has been a banner year for local blogs. A look at our blogroll (at right, below) shows that a number of new blogs have joined the ranks. Here are a few that I think are the best new local blogs:

Corktown Capers – written by the chaplain of the Corinth Fire Department. You’ll remember that Corinth recently had a devastatingly destructive fire. Here is another post – God in Three Inches – worth reading and thinking about.

City Mouse / Country House – the ramblings of a musician, artist, craftsperson, modern homesteader and who knows what else, splitting his time between the Adirondacks and the big city. Check out I Have a Propane Problem, and Authentic Dreams for a taste of what it’s all about.

Adirondack Naturalist – NatureGirl says : “From sea slugs to sundews, redpolls to resin blisters, the world presents an endless array of “WOW” upon which we can feast our eyes, ears and mind.” Her blog has so far proven to be the proverbial dinner table. May we suggest My Favorite Marten and a helping of Hungry Deer?

Lake Placid Skater – a figure skater and speed skater living and training in Lake Placid writes this local blog that provides a little insight into what’s really happening on the Olympic rink – loaded with photos. Check out her report on the “load-in” for 2008 Empire State Games entitled Meeting Monica and find out what speed guarding is all about.

There has been a movement toward local business blogging. The best of the business blog bunch has been The Cottage Chat based in the The Cottage Cafe, the former Mirror Lake Inn boathouse turned pub-style restaurant in 1976. The Cottage Chat’s mix of event notices, Lake Placid gossip, and general community news is the best of what Adirondack business blogging can (and should) become. Another blog worthy of note this year is the infrequently updated but funny, irreverent, and mildly urbanesque cogblog from the women of Adworkshop / Inphorm.

Something we hope not to see anymore in local business blogs is the attempt to attract readers by using blog titles that mis-construe the true nature of the blog. Adirondack Vacation Guide, by Harbor Hill Inns and Cottages in Saranac Lake is a classic example. Some advice: be honest with your readers business bloggers, be upfront about your purpose, offer value. Take the good example of Christy’s Motel in Old Forge; their regular reports on snowmobiling conditions no doubt attract readers and customers – without the subterfuge.

Local Media Enters the Blogosphere (Sort Of)

The local papers have begun to get into the blogging game more seriously. Syracuse was named one of America’s Top Twenty Blogging Cities and I suspect that a large part of the reason is the Syracuse Post-Standard’s acceptance of the blog community. Unlike local media who – even though they’ve tried to enter the Adirondack blogsphere – have yet to cover the local blog scene in any even remotely appropriate way, the Post-Standard online includes an enormous list of blogs, and reports regularly on local blogs and blogging. Even the Adirondack Almanack graced their pages when we wrote about the Best Summer Adirondack Travel Blogging in September 2007.

The best local newpaper blogs (other media still hasn’t entered the fray) arrived this past year at the Albany Times Union. Their list of blogs is impressive, but so far offer little more than your average old media style commentary. Perhaps the best blog of the bunch is Birding by Rich Guthrie. Guthrie’s pursuit of his topic demonstrates the kind of potential local newspaper blogs have.

The Saratogian’s managing editor Barabara Lombardo entered the local blogosphere with Fresh Ink – not much happening there though. The Glens Falls Post Star’s effort (blog list) seems like some kind of weird joke, unless you’re a sports fan. The archives are nearly impossible to navigate.

Our suggestion for local media outlets? Take a lesson from the Syracuse Post Standard and get involved in your local blog world and abandoned attempts to merely capitalize on it. That’s just not what the blogosphere is about – it’s about a variety of voices engaging the local media world. There’s nothing wrong with making money from your efforts, but provide your audience with value first.

Those interested in the local blogospere should check out our comparison of local news stories reported on blogs and local mainstream media which appeared to show that local blogs are competing head-to-head for internet eyeballs.

There is also now a list of mentions of Adirondack Almanack in the local media, for those who are interested.

On a related note – although in the past year the New York Times opened its historic archives to readers, local newspapers have yet to figure out that people want to be able to access their stories for more than a week or two even though, as we recently pointed out, there is obviously a great desire to access old copies of local papers.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Adirondack Historic Newspaper Site Hosts Millionth Page

Quite a milestone over at the Northern New York Library Network’s historical newspaper site. According to Alex Jacobs at the Watertown Daily Times, they just added their millionth scanned page of local newspapers from the past.

Just three years after its founding, the Northern New York Historical Newspapers Web site now has 1,004,000 pages available from 28 newspapers in seven counties.

The millionth page was among 84,000 pages added from the former Potsdam Courier-Freeman, published from 1861 to 1989. Its addition was supported by the Friends of the Potsdam Public Museum, which helped finance the microfilming of issues from 1946 to the mid-1980s.

This part should interest local media who still charge for access to their own digital archives (attn: Albany Times Union and Glens Falls Post Star – even the New York Times has begun opening theirs).

Since the Potsdam publication was added, more than 24,000 searches have been conducted on the online Courier-Freeman archive, said Thomas J. Blauvelt, library network systems administrator.

At the NNLN’s page you can look at scanned copies of the originals and search their index – ads and all. They are going to add the Tupper Lake Free Press and the Massena Observer next.

SOME TIPS
Search for full or last names of people you know, famous people you’re interested in, places, industries, ideas.

Instead of viewing the pages in the built-in online viewer, download all the pages for a single search term into their own folder and view them later in your pdf program (like the free Adobe Acrobat).

Also check out the Brooklyn Daily Eagle online and another more local newspaper archive here.

And don’t forget our own Great Adirondack History Searches from 2005.

And also Adirondack Genealogy: Researching Local Roots from 2007.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

African American History – Essex County Expulsions?

It’s February and that means a post on some aspect of African American history in the Adirondacks.
Here is last year’s popular list of stories.

I recently discovered that one of the Almanack‘s posts, The Ku Klux Klan in the Adirondacks, had been used for the companion website of the new PBS documentary film Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings. As a result of the attention, I thought I’d dig a little deeper on the issue of racial cleansing and the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Seven Human Made Wonders of the Adirondacks

In no particular order, Adirondack Almanack’s list of Seven Human Made Wonders of the Adirondacks. Our list of the Seven Natural Wonders can be found here. Feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

Whiteface Memorial Highway
Although Lake George’s Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway deserves honorable mention, the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway deserves a spot on our list of wonders. Considered a test case for both the New Deal Works Progress Administration and the constitutional protection of the Forest Preserve, construction began in 1929 (after passage of the necessary amendment) and eventually cost 1.2 million dollars. The completed road, an eight-mile climb (at 8 percent average grade) from the crossroads in Wilmington, comes within 400 feet of the summit of the fifth highest mountain in the Adirondacks. New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt announced at the groundbreaking that a “distinguished French engineer” had driven the road and told him, “I, of course, know all of the great mountain highways of Europe. There is no highway in all of Europe which can compare for its engineering skill, for its perfection of detail, with the White Face Mountain Highway of the State of New York.” When the road was completed, F.D.R. (by then President of the United States) officially opened the route on July 20, 1935 and dedicated it to the “veterans of the Great War.” In his closing remarks F.D.R. said “I wish very much that it were possible for me to walk up the few remaining feet to the actual top of the mountain. Some day they are going to make it possible for people who cannot make the little climb to go up there in a comfortable and easy elevator.” The result of F.D.R’s desire is the 424-foot tunnel into the core of the mountain that ends in a elevator which rises 276 feet (about 27 stories) to the summit.

Fort Ticonderoga
Although the earliest archeological evidence of Indian settlement dates to 8,000 B.C. (and Native Americans were planting crops there as early as 1,000 B.C.), the first fort built there by Europeans was Fort Carillon constructed by the French in 1755-1758 during the French and Indian War. It’s location at the narrow strip of land between Lake Champlain and Lake George meant that the fort, called the “key to the continent,” controlled the northern portion of America‘s most important north-south travel route through the earl 19th century. Its impressive placement atop the cliffs and its European design kept it from being taken by an overwhelming British force under General Abercromby in 1758. It was taken the following year under General Amherst and again on May 10, 1775, when Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys surprised the sleeping British garrison. It was retaken by the British in July 1777 by General Burgoyne who managed to place cannon on Mount Defiance overlooking the fort. In 1820, William Ferris Pell bought the ruins and in 1908 Stephen and Sarah Gibbs Thompson Pell began restoration. The following year it was opened to the public (President Taft was on hand) and in 1931 Fort Ticonderoga was designated a not-for-profit educational historic site managed by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

The Adirondack Museum
Some day the Wild Center in Tupper Lake may make this list, but until then the Aidirondack Museum owns the title Adirondack wonder. The brainchild of mining baron Harold Hochschild, the museum has recently reached its 50th year preserving the heritage of the Adirondacks. Although it began as a small endeavor it has become a must see attraction of 32 acres and 22 buildings. Nearly 3 million visitors have seen the exhibits on mining, logging, boating, recreation, and the environment and culture of the Adirondacks. It is the single largest collection of Adirondack artifacts, including thousands of books (60 published by the museum), periodicals, manuscripts, maps and government documents, over 2,500 original works of art, 70,000 photographs, 300 boats and wheeled vehicles, and a large collection of rustic furniture, art, and architecture. Highlights include the Marion River Carry Railroad engine passenger car and the carriage that brought Vice President Theodore Roosevelt to North Creek the night President William McKinley was assassinated.

North Country Public Radio
Founded at St. Lawrence University and now celebrating their 40th year, today’s North Country Public Radio is a network of stations broadcast from 30 fm transmitters and translators from the Canadian frontier to Western Vermont and south into Hudson Valley. Its regional and national news, public affairs, and music programs have become a part of Adirondack culture in a way that gives NCPR a place on our list of Adirondack wonders. Whether its a ham dinner in Placid, a lost dog in the Keene Valley, a fire in Pottersville, or a political event in Saranac or Tupper, NCPR reaches over, around, and seemingly through the mountains and into our homes in ways nothing else in the North Country does. That’s a wonder in itself.

Keeseville Stone Arch Bridge
Workers building the historic Stone Arch Bridge over the AuSable River on Main Street in Keeseville had a close call in 1842. The bridge of native stone, believed at the time to be the largest such bridge in the country, was being built to replace the original wooden structure erected in 1805. The men had completed the first course of stone including the keystones and had nearly finished the second course when a violent storm blew in. Just as more then 30 men fled the storm’s heavy rain to a wooden shed on the bank of the river, the entire bridge collapsed into the AuSable with a thunderous crash said to have shaken buildings as far away as Port Kent. Since then it’s done quiet service. Rehabilitated in 2000 and now carrying more than 5,500 vehicles a day, the bridge still stands as a testament to Adirondack engineering. Its total length is over one hundred feet with 90 foot stone arch span.

Santa’s Workshop
Each year more and more of the region’s theme parks fade into oblivion. Those that have been lost include Old McDonald’s Farm (Lake Placid), The Land of Make Believe (Upper Jay), Frontier Town (North Hudson), Storytown (now the corporate Great Escape), Gaslight Village (Lake George), and Time Town (Bolton Landing). Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, NY seems the last of a breed and some of the remaining (and still operational in its original context) handiwork of Arto Monaco. Monaco was the local artist who designed sets for MGM and Warner Brothers, a fake German village in the Arizona desert to train World War II soldiers, and later his own Land of Make Believe (as well as parts of Storytown, Gaslight Village, and Frontier Town). Lake Placid businessman Julian Reiss’s Santa’s workshop opened July 1, 1949 and included a very early prototype petty zoo; it received its own zip code (12946) in 1953. A record daily attendance occurred in 1951 when 14,000 people walked through the gates. Julian’s son Bob Reiss took over the operation in the early 1970s, but the number of visitors has continued to drop with the park closing in 2001 only to reopen, hopefully for good.

Lake Placid Sports Complex

From the early competitions at the Lake Placid Club to the modern Olympic Training Facility, the sports complexes in and around Lake Placid have been bringing the sports world to our doorsteps for over a hundred years. Most are familiar with the stats: 12 awards in each the 1932 and 1980 games; Jack’s Shea two gold medals (the first American to win two gold medals at the same Olympics); figure skater-turned movie star Sonja Henie’s second of three consecutive Olympic gold medals, speed skater Eric Heiden’s five medal sweep (including one world record); “The Miracle” of 1980. After the 1980 Games, the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) combined under one management Whiteface, the bobsled, luge, cross-country ski and biathlon facilities at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the Olympic Center, the speed skating oval, and the jumping complex. Since then ORDA has hosted hundreds of major national and international events, including world championships and world cup competitions in bobsled, luge, skeleton, alpine racing, ski jumping, speed skating, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The Olympic Training facility opened in 1988 (one of only three in the country) and includes a 96-room dormitory that meets the needs of more than 6,000 athletes a year. The Lake Placid facilities are in one of only three communities in the world to have hosted two Winter Olympics, and that alone makes them an Adirondack wonder.

What do you think?

Fire away – let us know which Adirondack human and natural constructed things/places are the most significant, must-see attractions, marvels of engineering, historically important, or have other significance that makes them one of your top seven?

Remember – two lists – one for the human-made wonders, one for natural wonders.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Adirondack Region Martin Luther King Jr Day Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this Monday, January 21, 2008.

According to a press release from Adirondack Progressives: » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gaslight Village: Lake George Fun Yesterday

I thought I’d take a look at the history of the one of the more popular Adirondack theme parks – Lake George’s Gaslight Village.

Gaslight Village opened in 1959 and was run by Charley Wood. Charley already owned a number of investments including Holiday House on the shores of Lake George, and Storytown, U.S.A., an amusement park with a Mother Goose rhymes theme (later expanded with Ghost Town, a western boot-hill theme, and Jungle Land, an animal park) which he opened in 1954. He later went on to build the Tiki Resort (now a Howard Johnson’s), a short lived wax museum, Sun Castle resort, and more. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Another Adirondack Fire Disaster On The Way?

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most terrible Adirondack years on record. Forest fires ravaged the region in 1908 and led to a widespread system of fire detection. The recent California fires point up the danger Adirondackers face as global warming tends the region to increasing episodes of drought such as that that occurred this fall and contributed to the historically low levels at the Hinckley Reservoir.

According to the APA:

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fires raged out of control in the many of New York State’s vast wooded areas. The years 1903 and 1908 were particularly disastrous, and because of public outcry for protection from the devastation, the state began a rigorous fire and prevention and control program, including the building of fire towers. » Continue Reading.


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