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The Lake Placid news. (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 1905-current, November 14, 2003, Image 19

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YOUR WEEKLY GUIDE TO THE LAKE PLACID REGION 1- LAKE PLACID NEWS INSIDE./. I EVENT CALENDAR-P. 20 * CUISINE SCENE-P.22 ;£ RELIGION PAGE-*-24 - NOVEMBER 14, 2003 AARCH: Preserving the human heritage of the Adirondack P&rk LKK MANCHESTER Nt-ws SiAf* WRITH* KLESEVILLE - \The Adirondack*\ means many things to the many people who k>ve this part of New York state. To some, the Adirondacks is a network of state-sanctioned wilderness areas, a haven from \the things of man.\ a place of wild, silent refuge in Nature's sanctuary Others, however, view the Adirondacks through a wider lens Without discounting the region's natural beauty, they also honor the story of its settlement and human development It is for them that Adirondack Architectural Heritage. or AARCH. was formed in 1^0 Toda> AARCH woris from its Kivseville office to awaken Adirondackers to their own her itage. present all arrnind them in the ordinan architecture of this extraordinary region This is AARCH\ story THE CREATION of AARCH was a historical neces- sit\ - an essential product of the conflicting forces at pla> in the Adirondack Park in the' 1970s. •80s and \90s. On the one hand were a half- do/.en Adirondack Clreat Camps — Nehasane. Topndge. Sagamore. Fox Lair. Colby and Santanoni - that had heen acquired b\ the state On the other were the two agencies responsible for admin- istering the states 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agenc> A strict interpretation <•! -h-. APA's Master Land Use and Development Plan required that, once these camps were given to the state, they be included in the Forest Preserve - and, once a part of the Forest Preserve, they had to be razed. Nehasane and Fox Lair were torched by the state. Topndge wa<> auctioned off, despite laws against selling Forest Preserve land. Colby was used by the DEC as an Environmental Education Camp The Sagamore Institute was allowed, by a constitutional amendment, to trade 200 acres of private land for the 10 acres of state land where historic build- ings were located. That left Santanoni In 1990, a group of high-pro- file preservationists trying to save the Santanoni Preserve came together to form Adirondack Architectural Heritage At the nexus of this group was Howard Kirschenbaum. who had just retired as executive director of the Sagamore Institute \We got the idea to form AARCH because there was a need for regional coordination and support among preservation ists.\ Kirschenbaum said in a recent interview \The urgency of the Santanoni situation made us think that the time was right to launch an organization \ AARCH was able to get the APA to reclassify the areas immediately around the Main House and the ex pen mental farm complex at Santanoni as historic areas within the Forest Preserve That made it possible for \ \KCH, the DEC and the town Guests on an AARCH tour listen to Rick RoMnskJ as he stands in the mouth of Adirondack 1854 \new\ blast fur- nace, explaining its historic significance. of Newcomb, acting as partners, to restore the buildings and run an interpretive program. Santanoni today draws up to 10,000 visitors each year •IN THE EARLY days, AARCH was run out of his (Kirschenbaum's) home.\ recalled Steve Engelhart. AARCH's current executive director, in a recent interview \He dedicated two to three days a week to the organization on a volunteer basis.\ \In the first year, we were totally run by our volunteer board members.\ Kirschenbaum said, \and we had no members to speak of A foundation gave us a $10.000 grant to fund a mem- bership campaign. We were able to put together a nice brochure and buy mailing lists, and that gave us 300 members right from the get-go.\ AARCH's first paid staff member was Mary Hotalmg. who worked for several years as a part-time program coordinator Still a very active member of AARCH's board of directors, Hotalmg now directs a local preservation organization called Historic Saranac Lake Then came the full-time staff members AARCH hired Engelhart as its executive direc- tor in 1994. Administrative Assistant Bonnie DeGolyer came on board in 1997. followed b> Program Director Paula Dennis in 2000. Together, the board and staff of AARCH conduct an incredi bly wide array of activities. Their programs are aimed not only at the preservation of \high end\ historic camps and buildings in the Adirondacks. but at educai- uig everyday Adirondack people about the every day history of the ordinary \built environment\ around them — the architectural heritage of their families and their communities \The kind of work we do is admired and envied b\ other preservation groups across New York state.\ Engelhart said, a claim backed up by a recent award The Preservation League of New York State gave Us Excellence in Histonc Preservation Award to Adirondack Architectural Heritage last year The citation said. \This award recognizes AARCH's sustained achieve- ment through 10 years of advo- cacy, saving histonc sues and educating the public about preservation's central role in revitalizing communities in the Adirondack region.\ \We take a balanced approach.\ Engelhart said \it isn't all advocacy: it isn't all edu- cation: it isn't all packaging National Register (of Historic Places) applications. \Some preservation organiza- tions always seem to be in a con- frontational mode, going to pub- lic hearings and the courts There may be communities where that's what's called for.\ EngeJhart caabaacd, \but that's not the Adirondacks If I were to ideatify oar pri- mary goaL « would be thu We want to make preservj oaf of people by The \new\ bridge through Au Sable Chasm, built in 1932. as thr haze of the outflow from a 19th century hydroelectric plant It is part of AARCH's tour of historic bridges. tremendous satisfaction of being involved in restoring a signifi- cant historic structure. Gil Barker, the supervising architect on that project, encouraged me to pursue a career in historic preser- vation.\ Engelhart went back to col- lege, finishing his history degree at Pittsburgh State before earn- ing his master's degree in his- toric preservation from the University of Vermont. Engelhart spent 10 years as director of bousing and historic preservation for Friends of the North Country, in Keeseville. and was a founding member of AARCH's board of directors before becoming its executive director nine years ago \While I was in grad school. I had to do an internship.\ Engelhart said. \They sent me to the Fayerweatber Island Lighthouse, in Bridgeport, Steve Engelhart, AARCH executive director, leads a four group through the Main House at Camp SantanorU. Conn., probably because of ray arrived at 1983. background as a stonemason.** They wanted me to spend my The lighthouse, decommis- 10-week internship noned in the 1930k, had been what to do severely vandalized. The area was a mess when Engelhart See AARCH, page 21 -Cactus Flats the focus of Land of inspired by AARCM. -We •oob to frost of ENGELHAJTTi a» year as AAJtOTs 2 FREE TICKETS TO THE ICE SHOW you gjfoilg fttttryrise SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2* - • PM OtYMffC CENTER, LAKE PlACtO TICKETS ON SALE NOW! 4 C S19-S2J-S3JS tMtmmmm

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