Excerpts from "The Great Camps of the Adirondacks"by Harvey H. Kaiser

camp Pine Knot
A main bedroom with rustic furnishings at Kamp Kill Kare.

Previously, rustic work was seldom used as architectural ornament, being confined primarily to nineteenth-century garden gazebos and summer houses and their furniture, or to country fences and estate entrance gateways. But in the Adirondacks, roughly dressed limbs and roots of the native trees were used to create imaginative, ornamental patterns, producing unique architectural embellishments. The same skills were applied by the guideboat builders as well, using native materials supplemented by craft, practicality, and some imposed materials. On building exteriors, rustic work included decorative application of peeled-bark sheathing, elaborate branch-work patterns on porch railings, and gable screens. Interiors incorporated it into fireplaces, decorative trim, and all types of imaginative woodland furniture produced on the site.

Consciously sited in remote locations, characterized by the use of logs and indigenous stone, shingled roofs with broad overhangs and porches, and amply-proportioned window and door openings, these building complexes are among our most original examples of vernacular architecture. Although efforts have been made to link their style to European precedents, and particularly to Alpine chalets, the collective work was, in fact, a logical and inevitable combination of local craft traditions and readily available materials - the Adirondack style.

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