On September 29, Historic Saranac Lake was presented an Adirondack Architectural Heritage Award at a luncheon at the Woods Inn in Inlet. The award was granted for the restoration of the Saranac Lake Laboratory as a museum, community space, and organization offices.
“It is a real honor,” Executive Director Amy Catania said in a statement to the press. “Many community members have put in a lot of hard work on the restoration of this special building. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we are now open as Saranac Lake’s downtown history center, serving thousands of visitors every year from near and far.”
Built in 1894 by Dr. E. L. Trudeau, The Saranac Laboratory was the first commercial laboratory built in the United States for the research of tuberculosis. Built of stone and steel, it was built to last, and today it stands as a monument to Saranac Lake’s unique history as a world-renowned center for tuberculosis treatment and scientific research.
The laboratory building closed in 1964, when the new Trudeau Institute was founded. The building was donated to Paul Smith’s College in 1966; it served as classroom and dormitory space until the college’s new building opened next door in 1987. Historic Saranac Lake took ownership in 1998 and undertook extensive restoration of the building, opening it to the public in 2009 as a museum with exhibits on Saranac Lake history, scientific research and patient care. Historic Saranac Lake rents office space in the building to a computer software company and to the Adirondack Unitarian-Universalist Community. The congregation meets in the John Black Room library space every Sunday, and the room is available for rental for community functions.
The Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Awards Program annually recognizes exemplary historic preservation work throughout the Adirondack Park. The program highlights examples of sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and demonstrated long-term stewardship.
Program Director Kate Ritter described this event as “a celebration of the work and care that individuals and organizations have put into a variety of historic resources throughout the Adirondack region.”
Other recipients were:
- Adirondack Railway Preservation Society – Rail corridor restoration from Remsen to lake Placid, and the Thendara Station
- Railroad Historical Society of Northern New York – Croghan Depot in Croghan
- Ike Wolgin – Lake George Kayak Co. in Bolton Landing (former Fanita Boathouse)
- Indian Lake Theater, Inc. – Indian Lake Theater
- Eli Schwartzberg – Champlain Valley Senior Community in Willsboro
Adirondack Architectural Heritage is the nonprofit historic preservation organization for New York State’s Adirondack Park. AARCH was formed in 1990 with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Adirondacks unique and diverse architectural heritage.
Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.
Photo Provided: Ed Finnerty, AARCH Board Member, and from Historic Saranac Lake Amy Catania, Executive Director; Mary Hotaling, Historian; Priscilla Goss, President.