Study it as you Would a Painting


Source: Town of Webb Historical Association:

On April 14, 1913, a massive fire destroyed the Adirondack League Club’s Mountain Lodge, the ice house, laundry and storehouse at Little Moose Lake. Local firemen were able to save the Club’s boathouse and several adjacent cottages. The Directors met two days later in New York City and a decision was made to have Augustus D. Shepard design the new clubhouse, known today as the Little Moose Summer House.


Mountain Lodge – Green & Wicks

Sketch from the Syracuse Sunday Herald, “Adirondack League Club,” January 8, 1893, p. 2.

Shepard’s Adirondack Architectural Style: An Adirondack Camps National Historical Landmarks Theme Study was submitted to the National Register of Historic Places in March of 2000, later updated in 2007. The study was prepared by Historic Preservation Consultant Wesley Haynes and National Historic Landmarks Program Historian James Jacos. Central to the theme study was the argument that the wilderness camps in the Adirondacks “represented the first and fullest application of a rustic aesthetic in American buildings.” “They appealed to some of the country’s most prominent and wealthy families, who were attracted to the idea of traveling to the mountains to experience nature and outdoor activities in extremely private yet luxurious surroundings.”

This document credits architect William S. Wicks, an Adirondack League Club member and designer of the 1892-1893 clubhouse at Little Moose Lake, as the earliest voice on the subject. Author of Log Cabins: How to Build and Furnish Them (1889), Wicks emphasized the importance of selecting a site with commanding views while cutting as few trees as were necessary for the construction of camps. In Wicks’ words, “Study it as you would a painting.”

wicks 1890

Remembering Wicks …


About Stories, Old & New

My background is in Public Relations with a B.S. from Syracuse University. I would like to publish "Rabbitwild - A Shelter in the Wilderness", written by my Great Grandfather, William S. Wicks, a gifted early American Architect and Naturalist. Wicks, a member of the first group to purchase 100,000 acres of Adirondack Wilderness with the idea that it should remain a "forever wild" preserve, in fact designed and built "Rabbitwild" within the Adirondack League Club. And so, this blog isn't about me at all, but about remembering Wicks, his legacy, love and loyalty to natural design. By happenstance, he created the same appreciation in me for all that is beautiful, by nature.

2 responses »

  1. Looks very much like the Ottowego Club in North Buffalo, a Green & Wicks design. Sadly, the city demolished it during the WW II era. By the 30’s that place had become a WPA art center. My dad went there for art classes as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found a photo of the club which is included in this blog. WSW was President of the club at one point, for a period of time. Yes, a shame it was demolished…


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