Main Street, Lake Placid (Part 2 of 2)
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Main Street, Lake Placid (Part 2 of 2)

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The work of three historians — Mary MacKenzie, Lee Manchester and Janet Null — has been combined in this survey of the historic architecture of Main Street, Lake Placid, in the heart of New York's ...

The work of three historians — Mary MacKenzie, Lee Manchester and Janet Null — has been combined in this survey of the historic architecture of Main Street, Lake Placid, in the heart of New York's Adirondacks. Rich in both current and archival photographs, the book includes a section of comparative streetscape images, placing full-page archival shots side-by-side with current views of the Olympic Village. TO PURCHASE A BOUND, PRINTED EDITION, GO TO http://stores.lulu.com/marymackenzie

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Main Street, Lake Placid (Part 2 of 2) Main Street, Lake Placid (Part 2 of 2) Presentation Transcript

  • West Side
  • 3 School Street Original Methodist-Episcopal church building (1888; moved, 1923) The building that now houses a sports bar was moved here from the Mirror Lake shore in 1923, where it was originally Lake Placid’s Methodist-Episcopal church (built 1888). The wooden Methodist church was built in 1888, and it appeared in several of the earliest photographs of Main Street. It was the second house of worship built within the borders of what would become the village of Lake Placid, following the Adirondack Baptist Church, built in 1882 (and since demolished). The old church building was purchased by one Dura W. Jenney and, in 1923, towed down Main Street to its present site on School Street opposite the [present] Skating Oval. It became a restaurant, was altered considerably over the years, and is today a nightclub. The new Adirondack Community Church, a Gothic stone church, was built on the old church site. 111
  • The Oval 1932 Olympic Stadium 1980 Olympic speed skating oval The present Olympic speed-skating oval was once the site of many early buildings: the Hotel Albert, an apartment house, a blacksmith shop, private homes, etc. (from a 1903 Main Street map). These were demolished when the land was excavated and prepared for the building of the stadium for the 1932 Winter Olympics, situated below the Lake Placid High School. The outlet of Mirror Lake also ran through this land; when the Oval was engineered for the 1932 Olympics, the outlet was piped underground. The Olympic Stadium was where the opening ceremonies took place. At the center of the stadium was a speed skating course and hockey rink. A completely new speed skating short course was built on the same site for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. It was later renamed to honor pioneer Placid speed skater James “Bunny” Sheffield. 112
  • The first portion of the modern Lake Placid High School (now the South Wing), constructed in 1922 113
  • Lake Placid High School South wing, 1922 Center and north wing, 1934-35 Further additions completed 2001 and 2004 The “new” Lake Placid High School — what is now the south wing of the school — was built in 1922. The construction supervisor was Wallace MacFarlane, of Upper Jay, who later oversaw the construction of the new Adirondack Community (Methodist) Church. The architect, however, is unknown. The center and north wing, built in 1934 and 1935, were designed by architect H.O. Fullerton, of Albany. It was built with Works Progress Administration money, using local labor. The central section of the building is a Palladian neoclassical composition. The ground floor is limestone with emphasized joints and arched openings with leaded fanlights. It forms a solid base to the temple-front of the upper floors, which consist of six Roman Ionic attached stone columns on plinths surmounted by a full entablature, pediment, and attic parapet. The second floor windows have alternating half-round and triangular caps, and “Lake Placid High School” is engraved in the frieze. The corners of the structure are finished with anta pilasters. The central staircase inside has a tall arched window on the landing. The whole central structure is a quite correct and academic revival of Palladian- Renaissance design, imposing and well-done. The classroom wings, constructed of complementary brick and stone and angled back from the central structure, enhance the prominence and complement the design of the center. The building is a successful example of additive transformation, in that the original structure was transformed through the design of the additions into an integral part of a more complex total design, for which the neoclassical architecture of the original served as a guide. This was the first masonry school for Lake Placid, constructed after the old wooden school was removed from the site, cut into sections, and removed to Park Place (where it became part of the Lake Placid Club). In a sense, the building is a manifestation of the new era of the community following the 1932 Olympics. 114
  • The old “wooden high school,” which stood on the same lot as the current high school. Photo circa 1902. 115
  • 220 (2640) Arena Grill (1927) This small building, surrounded by Olympic venues, was originally a log cabin built for Clark Hayes in 1927 and opened by him that April as a sporting goods and fishing tackle store, the Northwoods Outfitter. A few years later he converted it into a bar and restaurant, which became known as the Arena Grill. Succeeding owners made additions and covered the exterior with new siding in 1946. In 2005, the building was again rehabbed and expanded. Although originally a log cabin, the building was never much on architectural form or character. Today it is covered with a “rustic” clapboard which contributes, along with its squat form, to an unimpressive character. The architectural significance of the building, per se, is debatable. Despite its size, this free- standing building on the corner of Cummins Road and Main Street is highly visible to those coming up Main Street from the south. Changes: Central gabled section is the original structure; east and west sections added. July 2006: There & Back Again (photo, scrapbook supplies) October 1988: Arena Grill 116
  • 216 (2634) Olympic Arena (1932, 1968, 1978) The Arena was constructed for the 1932 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics to be held in the U.S. This event brought international recognition to Lake Placid and heavily influenced the future of the village as a winter and sports resort. The building was designed by the important Adirondack architect William Distin and is one of his largest projects, as well as being an early wide-span structure. It followed his Agora Theater (Lake Placid Club) of 1923 and his Saranac Lake Curling Rink of ca. 1930. In the Curling Rink, Distin experimented with laminated wood arches, but he resolved on steel arches for the Arena. The utilitarian skating rink space in the Olympic Arena is fronted by a streamlined neoclassical brick block, presenting a conventional front to the street. The symmetrical facade has regularly spaced brick piers on a brick base with recessed bands. The end bays project forward, as does the center bay, which contains the original entrance surmounted by a tall arched window (now infilled) and a gable roof. The overall character of the building is dignified and solid, and the design is professional though not innovative. Changes: A two-story brick addition, known as the Convention Center, was built onto the north side of the Arena in 1968. It contains offices, meeting rooms, and the Lussi skating rink. The new Olympic Field House, a separate structure connected to the Arena on the southwest, was built in 1978 for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Other detail alterations made in 1978: Windows on the sides of the Arena and the third floor front have been infilled. The first- and second-floor windows have been replaced with aluminum units. The entrance canopy has been removed. The large arched window has been replaced. The gabled roof section over the center of the building has been removed, and an exterior steel truss has been placed at the front of the Arena roof. Interior seating areas and peripheral spaces have been completely renovated. 117
  • The Olympic Arena during the 1932 Olympic Winter Games 118
  • Interior of the Olympic Arena during the 1932 Olympic Winter Games 119
  • The Olympic Arena, circa 1950 120
  • The Olympic Center, Main Street, September 2006 121
  • Exterior of the Field House at the Olympic Center, September 2006 122
  • Grand View Hill aka Olympic Hill On this hill, currently crowned by the Lake Placid Resort Crowne Plaza Hotel, sat three of Lake Placid’s early hostelries: the Mirror Lake House (built 1882; burned 1894) and the Allen House (built 1880; burned 1886) next to one another at the base, and the Grand View Hotel (built 1878) at the top. The Grand View was demolished in 1961 to make way for the construction of a modern Holiday Inn, which is now the Crowne Plaza. At the base of Grand View Hill today is a municipal parking lot, at the front of which stands a fountain that was originally known as the WCTU fountain. First dedicated in September 1905, it was initially placed at the top of Mill Hill, at the intersection of Sentinel Road and Main Street, where it was meant to provide water for the horses that had just finished climbing the hill. In 1924, it was moved to the front of an apartment building on Parkside Drive owned by Louis Berg, who used it as a planter. Berg’s daughter returned it to the custody of the village in the early 1940s, and it was placed at the Lake Placid electric plant below Lower Mill Pond. It was moved back to Main Street in 1966. July 2006: Crowne Plaza (same hotel) October 1988: Holiday Inn 123
  • Grand View Hill, September 2006 124
  • The Grand View Hotel, circa 1900 125
  • The Allen House hotel, 1883 126
  • The Mirror Lake House hotel, 1893 127
  • The WCTU fountain at the foot of Grand View Hill, September 2006 128
  • 140 (2544) (post-WW2) A motel of rather recent construction. July 2006: Mountain View Inn (same motel) October 1988: Thunderbird Motor Inn 129
  • 122 (2520) Northwoods Inn (built, 1880; expanded, 1897; burned, 1966) Lake Placid–Marcy (1927) The hotel now called the Northwoods Inn was originally the Lake Placid–Marcy, the village’s first “fireproof” (i.e., brick) hotel. It was built in 1927 adjacent to and north of an existing, smaller frame hotel, the original Northwoods Inn, the core of which dated to the 1880s but which was expanded and opened as a hotel in 1897. After the Marcy opened, the older building was no longer referred to as the Northwoods Inn, only as “the south wing of the Marcy,” thus leaving use of the Northwoods name open in the 1930s for a newly christened hotel at 159 Main St., next to the Adirondack Community Church. Later, when the “new” Northwoods inn was demolished so that Favor Smith could have the small building currently standing at 159 Main built, the “Northwoods Inn” moniker was once again considered available for re-use. At some point after contractor Gregory Ruppert and corporate lawyer Barry C. Maloney bought the Marcy, in the fall of 1986, they renamed it the Northwoods Inn. The original 1897 Northwoods Inn was first the private home of Charles Wesley Kennedy, built in 1880. (Kennedy also bought the Lamoy house later, to the north.) In 1897, the original Kennedy house was substantially expanded to facilitate its rebirth as a hotel. The Marcy, built in 1927, used the Northwoods Inn for overflow and staff housing until December 1966, when the Northwoods Inn building burned to the ground. An addition to the Marcy was built on the footprint of the old Northwoods Inn. The neoclassical brick Marcy/Northwoods is the largest historical building on Main Street, but its architectural values have been greatly obscured by major and insensitive additions. The original structure, however, survives under the additions. This structure was (or is) a simple but impressive neoclassical block. In its current condition, the building has as much of a negative influence as positive on the character of Main Street. Its appropriate role as a major landmark, as well as its architectural character, is compromised by the additions and the recent painting of the brick façade. The original second-floor windows remain. The upper four floors of this six-story building, however, once set back, have been added on to so that the entire façade is even with the sidewalk. July 2006: Northwoods Inn October 1988: Hotel Marcy 130
  • The Lake Placid–Marcy, 122 Main St., 1928 131
  • The Northwoods Inn, 122 Main St., September 2006 132
  • 104-106 (2512) Marshall Lamoy house/Alford Inn (1880) This building is now the oldest on Main Street. Marshall Lamoy bought the site from Joseph Nash on Feb. 27, 1880, and built an imposing dwelling house, probably the same year. The Lamoys occupied the home until 1900, when it was sold to Rev. William W. Moir, rector of St. Eustace Episcopal Church. Remodeled and refurnished, it served as the Episcopal rectory for several years. It was acquired in 1906 by Charles Wesley Kennedy, a Lake Placid pioneer, who built the old Northwoods Inn that once stood next to the site of the Marcy Hotel. It was not until the 1920s, however, that the building was first used as a hotel. After Harvey Alford bought the house as a private home, his daughter Climena converted it into the Alford Inn, which later ran with husband W.R. Wikoff. (The Wikoffs also owned and ran the Mirror Lake Inn.) The Alford Inn became a popular and long-lived hostelry. Among its several owners was well-known hotelman Frank Swift, who renamed it Lake Placid Inn in 1937. (In 1927, Swift built the Lake Placid–Marcy on the lot between the Alford and Northwoods inns.) After the Lake Placid Inn was bought by Greg Peacock in 1989, the knoll upon which the building stood was excavated and a street-level story added. The upper part still includes the original Marshall Lamoy home. The top two floors retain today the form of the building as it was in the 1920s, and the gable roof with dormers indicate the origins of the building as a house. The architectural character of the building, however, has been seriously compromised by the “addition” of the lower story, and by the mock-Tudor and board-and-batten siding with which the building is covered. Its primary significance in its current state is historical rather than architectural. July 2006: The Peacock Building — Adirondack Decorative Arts & Crafts October 1988: The Warehouse (formerly EMS) 133
  • Adirondack Decorative Arts & Crafts, 104-106 Main St., September 2006 134
  • th The Marshall Lamoy house, 104-106 Main St., late 19 century 135
  • The Alford Inn, 104-106 Main St., 1932 136
  • 90 (2490) J.B. Williams Garage (1912) This structure was built in 1912 for Joseph B. Williams as a service garage, which he ran for some years. (He first opened a garage business in Lake Placid in 1904.) It continued as a garage over much of its history. The original architectural form and character of the building is not known,6 but whatever character existed has been obliterated by alterations. No historical significance is known, apart from a relatively early construction date for Main Street. July 2006: In transition upstairs. Downstairs: Starbucks coffee; Quizno’s submarine sandwiches Prior to 2006: Nicola’s on Main restaurant (upstairs); 90 Main café (downstairs) October 1988: Sundog (downstairs); Northland Auto Supply (upstairs) 6 According to MM, the second story of the building was added in 1918, per an article she cited from the March 1, 1918 issue of the Lake Placid News. A later researcher found a front-page story in the Oct. 12, 1917 issue of the LPN announcing plans for a major expansion of the garage, including the addition of a third story. The earliest known photograph of the garage shows the two-story building now standing at 90 (2490) Main St. In that photo, the seven automobiles lined up in front of the building display 1914 license plates. 137
  • The J.B. Williams Garage, 90 Main St., circa 1914 138
  • 86 (2488) Log cabin office/shop (1915) A log building, built in 1915 by architect Floyd Brewster as his office. The building brought Adirondack-style rustic architecture to Main Street, and it remains today as the only example of the style on the street. [Note: The façade changes on the Marcy/Northwoods, and the new building erected around the first St. Agnes church building, are more recent allusions on Main Street to the “Adirondack style” of architecture and/or decoration.] The dollhouse scale and compact massing contribute to the building’s considerable visual appeal and architectural value, as do its decorative eaves. The building has long been occupied by various businesses. Changes: Front addition, extending façade to the sidewalk. Front steps altered. July 2006: Log Cabin Antiques October 1988: Log Cabin Antiques 139
  • Baptist parking lot Green House/The Adirondack (1889) Adirondack Baptist Church [Nazarene] parsonage (1888) — 76½ (2476 rear) Main St. Adirondack Baptist Church (1882-1954), replaced by the Lake Placid Church of the Nazarene (1960) — 78 (2476) Main St. What is now a two-level parking lot accommodating shoppers on upper Main Street was once a green lawn populated by several buildings: a small Second Empire hotel, a Shingle Style Baptist church, and a Victorian parsonage. The parsonage still stands, albeit in a very poor and significantly altered condition. The old church building was condemned in the early 1950s and replaced with a newer structure in 1960. The small hotel is altogether gone. The Green House — aka The Adirondack — was a small hotel/boarding house run by Charles and Hattie Green, well-known for their many ventures in the local hospitality industry. It was the southernmost of the three buildings situated on this site in the 1890s. According to a March 10, 1939 Lake Placid News article, the first house on this site was built in 1879 for Mrs. Jane Benham Wood at the direction of Joe Nash, a relative — in one day. Ten years later, in 1889, the Green house was built for Charles and Hattie Green, the daughter of Joe Nash. The Greens “conducted it as a guest house for summer and winter visitors for many years. … The large structure on Main street [had] 12 sleeping rooms and nine baths.” It was considered “one of the largest boarding cottages in the village, and a landmark.” The house appears in a photo ca. 1890 with the Adirondack Baptist Church and parsonage, and on an official map made of Main Street in 1903. Architectural features of this handsome, eclectic Second Empire house included: two full stories with a high attic; mansard roof without brackets; pedimented dormers; simple doors and double-hung rectangular windows, and a wrapped front porch with thick spindle supports. When Charles Green(e) died in February 1936, his obituary spoke of The Adirondack as being still in operation. The house passed through the hands of Mrs. J.B. Williams (the garage owner’s wife), then Fred Dashnaw, before being taken over by the bank from Dashnaw’s estate. The 1939 LPN article, however, was written to describe the razing of The Adirondack “to make way for a filling station and public parking lot. It has been occupied continuously until purchased by the Lake Placid Garage, Inc.” 140
  • The article noted that, “although the structure was built about a half century ago, its timbers and sheathing were found to be in excellent condition. … William MacComber has purchased the salvaged building material, from which he will construct an apartment house on a site to be selected.” Between and uphill of both The Adirondack and the Adirondack Baptist Church was built the Baptist parsonage in 1888, six years after the church itself was built. According to MM, it was constructed on land donated by Jane Benham Wood. It is the only one of the three original buildings still standing on the site and, until 2006, had continued serving as a church parsonage. [Note: The parsonage was demolished in 2007.] According to the 1990 Main Street survey, the parsonage is “a well-detailed and -proportioned Victorian cottage that retains most of its architectural character.” Decorative scalloped shingles on the second floor may be original, meant to mirror the Shingle Style church building’s exterior. The house has undergone several alterations. Like the Adirondack Baptist Church building, the house was originally painted or stained brown, not white. A lower level has been excavated from the hillside beneath the original house. All the windows on the front bay have been replaced. The northernmost of the three buildings originally situated on this lot was the Adirondack Baptist Church (1882), the first church to be built within the borders of what would eventually become the village of Lake Placid. It appears to have been designed in the Shingle Style popular in the 1880s and 1890s, with its very steeply pitched roof, multiple cross gables, and continuous wood shingles extending halfway down the exterior walls. The Adirondack Baptist Church was built, of course, for Lake Placid’s Baptist congregation. The Baptists, however, stopped meeting altogether for several years in the early 1920s; the building was used by Lake Placid’s two Episcopal congregations (St. Eustace and St. Hubert’s) for winter services in 1923. The Adirondack Baptist congregation was revived in 1926 by a young, newly ordained pastor, but the revival lasted just over a decade. In 1937, the Adirondack Baptist Church building was taken over by the new Lake Placid Church of the Nazarene. By 1952, the building had become sufficiently difficult to maintain that the Nazarene denomination approved its condemnation, and construction of a new building was started in July 1953. The structure currently standing on the site took seven years to complete, costing an estimated $50,000 in materials and about $16,000 in donated labor. The Lake Placid Nazarene congregation had only 23 members by the time the new sanctuary was completed; according to a newspaper story previewing the church’s Oct. 15, 1960 dedication ceremony, the Rev. A.M. Babcock of the Wilmington Church of the Nazarene had been largely responsible for seeing to it that the Lake Placid church building was completed. In 2006, the new sanctuary and the 1888 parsonage were sold by the Nazarene congregation to the Adirondack Museum, which planned to use the church building as a Lake Placid branch facility. Those plans later fell through. 141
  • The “Baptist parking lot,” just north of 90 Main St., was once a green lawn that was home to a small hotel, a Baptist church, and a parsonage. 142
  • The Green House, 1897. Also known as the Adirondack, the small hotel was built in 1889 and razed in 1939. 143
  • Adirondack Baptist Church (1882) and parsonage (1888), the first church built within the boundaries of what would later become the village of Lake Placid 144
  • Adirondack Baptist Church, photographed from the north by Seneca Ray Stoddard 145
  • The Baptist church building was demolished in 1953 and replaced with the Nazarene church building (left), opened in 1960. The only original building still standing in 2006 on the “Baptist parking lot” site was the Baptist parsonage (right). It has since been demolished. 146
  • 54 Main St. (14 Hayes St.) Bumstead house (before 1913) The most obvious streetscape feature to the immediate north of the Baptist parking lot is a strip mall containing several outlet clothing stores (above, left), built in the 1990s on a piece of land once used as a parking lot. Behind that strip mall/parking lot site stands a bungalow known as the Bumstead house (above, center and right), built as a summer home before 1913 for Dr. Clarence VanReynegom Bumstead and occupied by the Bumstead family “for many years,” according to MM. Bumstead first came to Lake Placid in 1908 after being treated in Saranac Lake for tuberculosis. He leased a cottage on Main Street and carried on his medical practice there for a few years before moving to Newark, N.J. At that time, he had the bungalow at 54 Main St. built as his summer home. He carried on his medical practice at 54 Main during the summer, and for some years was physician at the Lake Placid Club. Bumstead died of a stroke in May 1934 and was buried in the North Elba Cemetery. At some point between Bumstead’s death and MM’s 1988 Main Street summary, the house was bought by the Baptist Convention of New York, the state affiliate of the Southern Baptist Church. The church organization operated a youth hostel for some time in the house, according to MM, but no details about its operation could be found. Based on a comparison to a photo taken in 1913, MM said in 1988 that little had changed in the outward appearance of the Bumstead house. The 1990 survey said that the Bumstead house was “a substantially unaltered but architecturally undistinguished bungalow. Its architectural character would have been more notable before the porches were enclosed [in 1946].” The house was re-sided at the same time as the porches were enclosed. 147
  • 44 (2450) St. Eustace Episcopal Church (1900; 1927) St. Eustace Episcopal Church, a beautiful little Gothic church, was erected on this site in 1927, and the first worship service was held on June 19, 1927. The building, however, is essentially much older. This Episcopal congregation began holding services in 1894, and in 1900 completed construction of St. Eustace-by- the-Lakes Church on Mirror Lake Drive. After maintaining two churches for over 20 years, the congregation sold its St. Hubert’s Church (a William Distin building since destroyed by fire) and decided to move St. Eustace onto their property on Main Street, where the rectory (44 Main St.) already stood. Under architect William Distin, the building was dismantled by contractor Leo Malone (and the parts numbered) and reconstructed on Main Street in 1927, with some design modifications. In substance of both design and fabric, St. Eustace on Main Street is the same building as the 1900 St. Eustace-by-the-Lakes. Where the reconstructed building differs from the original — its elevated siting, the increased overall height, and the new and taller tower — the changes enhance the simplified Gothic Revival architecture of the original, in particular by reinforcing its picturesque qualities and by strengthening the vertical emphasis. With its dark-stained siding, random stone tower, and simple detailing, the church is a fine example of almost-rustic Gothic Revival. Its siting overlooking the village park and the lake (and its conversely high visibility) make it a focal point of the center of the village. Its excellent state of preservation enhances its value. The interior of the building is as well-preserved as the exterior and possesses an intimate character as well as a unity of design in which all the parts harmonize. Of special note on the interior are the substantial, but refined, roof trusses that support the crossing, the chandeliers crafted locally by Guy Slater of Au Sable Forks (c. 1927), and the St. Eustace stained- glass window (1900). Apart from its considerable artistic quality, the subject and the symbolism of the window are relevant to the local community. The window literally depicts Whiteface Mountain and Placid Lake, and figuratively depicts an experience of spiritual redemption in the wilderness. For its architectural, artistic, and urban value, St. Eustace must be ranked as one of the most important buildings on Main Street. St. Eustace is known to have been the architectural model for two churches designed by a New York City architect, Albert (or Alfred) Sutton — St. Peter’s Chapel (1901) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, and Faith Chapel (1904) on Jekyll Island, Georgia — both built within a few years of St. Eustace. (Like the chapels on Mare and Jekyll islands, both designed after St. Eustace, the Lake Placid church contains an original Louis Comfort Tiffany stained- glass window. The St. Eustace window depicts the conversion of the church’s namesake, whose Roman name was Placidus.) Sutton copied St. Eustace in both these churches, and it was thought that he may have been the architect of St. 148
  • Eustace. Research by Mary Hotaling into the work of the firm of William Coulter of Saranac Lake, however, established that Coulter was the architect of the original St. Eustace. The architectural value of the church is further enhanced by this fact, as Coulter was one of the most important early architects in the Adirondacks. Other notable features: Spectacular siting, picturesque massing, stone tower with broken-slope pyramidal roof, Gothic stained-glass windows, milky glass windows. Interior: Church walls and ceiling completely wood paneled with wide boards and beaded boards. Intersecting roof trusses with steel tension rods. Stained glass windows (especially the St. Eustace window), wrought iron chandeliers, Estey pipe organ. Changes: In the course of reconstruction, the height of the basement story was raised and the original wood tower replaced by a taller stone tower on the opposite front corner of the building, presumably in response to the new corner site. The sanctuary was enlarged and other unspecified alterations made in the interior at the same time. 149
  • St. Eustace Episcopal Church, 44 Main St., began its life as St. Eustace-by-the-Lakes (at another location) in 1900. 150
  • 44 Main St. rear (15 Hayes St.) Crosby house/St. Eustace rectory (1884) This charming house (above, left) behind St. Eustace Episcopal Church was built in 1884 as a summer house — one of the first in the village — for J. Crosby, a Chicago banker. The small house in back (above, right) was built at the same time for servants’ quarters. Purchased from John Stevens by St. Eustace Church in 1918, it has since been used as the parish rectory. The house is a well-preserved Victorian cottage, articulated in form and nicely detailed. Its architectural importance is enhanced by its hillside siting with front lawn, which provides a welcome green space on Main Street and makes the house very visible from the lake. Notable features: Stickwork gables with decorated verge boards and brackets. Porch wrapping three sides. Servants’ cottage is clapboarded on the first floor, with scalloped shingles on the second. 151
  • 34 (2442) Restaurant (1980) A new building, erected in 1980. July 2006: Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood Restaurant October 1988: Great American Steak & Seafood Restaurant 152
  • 26 (2432) Palace Theater (1926) The Palace Theater was built in 1926. The architect was Louis Wetmore, of Glens Falls, and the builder was George Bola, of Lake Placid. Built by the Adirondack Theater Corporation in 1926, the Palace has been in continuous operation as a theater ever since. The building, which contains dressing rooms backstage and an orchestra pit, was used for silent films and live performances in its earliest years. In the 1930s, after the introduction of sound movies, the painted ceiling panels — which reportedly depict angels — were covered with a composition material to improve the acoustics. In 1960, the Palace was bought by Reginald Clark, who continues to operate it today. During this ownership, the auditorium was first divided into two theaters by enclosing the balcony to create the second theater. Then, the balcony was divided again, producing three theaters. At that time, the painted walls of the balcony were restored (by Eileen Black of Saranac Lake), and the new dividing wall was decorated with reproduction painting. Dividing the theater improved its economic viability without significantly impairing its integrity, as the main auditorium remains intact. Apart from the changes above and minor alterations on the facade, the theater retains its original form and fabric. The neoclassical design is symmetrical, monumental, and substantially detailed, although built of ordinary materials throughout — clay tile structure, brick and concrete exterior, plaster and paint interior. An unusual feature of the design is the large egress corridors flanking the auditorium, which exit onto the street through arched openings in the facade. The building is eclectic rather than innovative in design, but is nevertheless harmonious. It is a very prominent part of Main Street, and well-appreciated in the community. Notable features: East façade, with neoclassical “cast stone” detailing, including central Palladian window, lotus- capital pilasters, and pediment. Original marquee, integral storefronts, and flanking side bays with arched doors (which are exit passages from the theater). Interior: orchestra pit, with Robert Morton pipe organ (Van Nuys, CA); late Art Nouveau stenciled walls; original cast-plaster chandeliers and wall sconces. Changes: Interior converted into three-screen theater by enclosing and dividing the balcony [later, fourth viewing room added behind the main screen]. Seats have been replaced. Painted ceiling panels covered, ca. 1930s. Marquee partially altered. Returns on parapet removed. Storefront alterations. South exit doors altered. July 2006: Same October 1988: Same 153
  • The Palace Theater, 26 Main St., September 2006 154
  • Until 1979, the Palace was adjacent to the lot upon which stood the Homestead Inn, as seen in this aerial photo. 155
  • The Homestead, circa 1905 156
  • The Homestead Inn at the height of its growth in a photo taken September 16, 1949 157
  • Head of Main Street, west side Homestead Inn (1880s); replaced by Hilton complex (1979) The Hilton complex at the head of Main Street was built in 1979 on the site of the old Homestead Inn, which was demolished to make way for the new hotel. The Homestead Inn started out in the 1880s as a private home. It was owned in 1900 by E.D. Viall; it was he who put on the first big addition. The Homestead was being operated in 1909 by Mrs. Martin Ryan. It was sold to Thomas Roland in 1922 by Charles Green, who apparently had been the owner for several years. The Roland family owned it continuously up to 1979, when it was torn down to make way for the Hilton. Peter Roland was the owner of the Hilton until the early 2000s. Note: In 1961, Peter Roland had also torn down Joseph Nash’s famous “Red House,” across Saranac Avenue from the Homestead, to make way for the new Lakeside Motor Inn, built to replace the old Lakeside Inn (built 1883). (The original Lakeside had been destroyed in a fire on Friday, March 13, 1959.) The Red House (built 1852) was the first permanent structure to be built within the borders of what would later become the village of Lake Placid. It also served as the first guest house on Mirror Lake. The impending demolition of the Red House in 1961 was the catalyst that provoked the formation of the Lake Placid- North Elba Historical Society. 158
  • The west side of the head of Main Street, September 2006 159
  • Historic Main Street streetscapes
  • An 1878 photo by Seneca Ray Stoddard shows Main Street — actually, Joe Nash’s cow path — stretching south above the Mirror Lake shoreline from Nash’s Red House (at right). At center is the original Grand View hotel. 162
  • Another Stoddard photo taken about five years later (ca. 1883) shows the rapid growth of the nascent village of Lake Placid. 163
  • Three more years had passed when Stoddard took this photo in 1886. 164
  • This photo was taken prior to 1894 by Lake Placid photographer W.W. Brownell. 165
  • Main Street, from a different perspective: looking down from the Stevens House hotel lot on Signal Hill, ca. 1900 166
  • A post card photo from the same perspective, taken around 1902 167
  • An image from 1903 168
  • A pre-1919 post card photo 169
  • A panoramic photo of Main Street, taken by Saranac Lake photographer William Kollecker between 1927 and 1933, looking north from just below the Marcy-Lake Placid hotel. 170
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 171
  • A photo looking south from 125 Main St., taken around 1921. At right, a horse-drawn piece of equipment is preparing the street surface for paving. 172
  • The same scene, viewed from a spot just slightly farther to the north, photographed in July 2006. 173
  • A colorized post card displays an image from 1929 looking north from about 121 Main St. 174
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 175
  • A 1926 photo looks north from 99 Main St. 176
  • The same shot, July 2006 177
  • A 1911 colorized postcard shows the Main Street streetscape (mislabeled “Lake Street”) looking south, with 97 Main St. and 99-101 Main appearing in the far left. 178
  • The same streetscape in July 2006 179
  • A 1908 colorized post card photo looking north from 97 Main St. Note the flag flying at right from the de-steepled annex of the original St. Agnes Catholic Church building. 180
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 181
  • The top of Main Street, 1901, looking north, in a streetscape taken from 34 Main St. 182
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 183
  • A colorized post card, postmarked 1921, shows upper Main Street, looking north, from 44 Main St. 184
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 185
  • Upper Main Street, 1920, looking north from 44 Main St. 186
  • Same streetscape, July 2006 187
  • Upper Main Street, 1906, looking north from 29 Main St. 188
  • The same streetscape, September 2006 189
  • Construction of the first sidewalk along Main Street occurred between 1908 and 1910. This photo shows work proceeding, looking south from 9 Main St. 190
  • The same streetscape, September 2006 191
  • A colorized post card of the head of Main Street, 1909, looking south from the Saranac Avenue intersection. 192
  • The same streetscape, July 2006 193