The Illustrious History of New York's Lake Placid Lodge
The Adirondacks have a long and storied past that includes Algonquins and Gilded Age millionaires as well as rough-hewn guides and modern-day Olympic athletes. The vast Adirondack Park is an enchanted wilderness of six million acres of green primeval forest known as the “North Woods.” Within this wild domain, there are thousands of pristine alpine lakes, hundreds of miles of mountain streams and rivers, and 46 rugged peaks rising over 4,000 feet into the sky.
Considered one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the land is beautiful, vast, and mysterious. Members of the Algonquin tribe were called "bark-eaters" — Adirondack — by the Mohawk because they often subsisted on trees in wintertime. In the early days, only the most fiercely determined were able to survive in the great North Woods. Adirondack history abounds with stories of resolute men and women using the land's abundance of raw materials to carve dreams out of the wilderness — from the first rustic lean-tos of 18th century trappers to the magnificent Great Camps of the Gilded Age. The new craft and architecture of the woods was so distinctive that it became known as the "Adirondack style", a legendary architectural heritage that has not only survived, but flourished.
In 1882, a German family built a rustic camp of shingle and stone on the shore of Lake Placid. From the long, twig-framed porches they could sit all day and gaze at Whiteface Mountain's mighty reflection in the still waters of the lake. The camp remained a private residence until 1946, when the property was sold and then reopened to the public as a one of the premier Lake Placid, New York hotels. Half a century later, new owners saw in the old property the spirit of a grand Adirondack camp in a remarkable setting. The Lodge was fully restored and transformed into one of most celebrated hotels in Lake Placid, renowned for its outstanding cuisine, service and accommodations.
Unfortunately, in the winter of 2005 a massive fire burned the original camp to the ground. A team of architects and scores of local artisans immediately set to work. Their intent was not to simply rebuild the Lodge, but to create a hotel unrivaled anywhere, a celebration of luxury and comfort in the woods. The result is our Main Lodge, a majestic Arts and Crafts building on the scale of the Newport Cottages, with the heart of an Adirondack Great Camp.
Today, the great Adirondack Park is home to sports, art, cultural activities, clapboard villages and small towns, and Lake Placid Lodge is the perfect setting to experience its timeless allure.
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