Minnowbrook Lodge (old) Special Collections Research Center

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original wooden adirondack lodge

Minnowbrook Conference Center, Main Lodge (Old), Image 09-0640

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Acquired: 1954

Original Lodge: Constructed ca. 1900; destroyed by fire 1947

Reconstructed: 1949; destroyed by fire January 27, 1988

Architects: Original lodge, William Ward Durant; 1949 lodge, William G. Distin, Saranac Lake

Style: Great Camp with traditional Swiss characteristics

Materials for 1949 Lodge: Wood frame on concrete foundation: British Columbia red cedar, western Canadian jack pine, Oregon cedar for roof shingles, indigenous stone for chimneys

Location: Blue Mountain Lake, New York

Notes: The original hunting lodge was part of Durant's Forest Park and Land Company and included several service buildings on the property. Acquired by businessman Stewart Hollingshead after Durant's 1904 bankruptcy, by 1944 it was used by the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation as an executive retreat. In 1946 an airplane hangar was built to accommodate the company's float planes. A submerged ramp connected directly to the building. Destroyed by fire in 1947, the lodge was rebuilt in 1949. Designed with a two-story central portion and two wings, it contained five bedrooms, a dining hall seating 66, a large pine-paneled living room with flagstone flooring and stone fireplace. The library of the new lodge was paneled in mahogany taken from a Philadelphia townhouse. Bar walls were sheathed in weathered boards taken from an 80 year-old barn near Saranac Lake. Other buildings on the property, including the hangar and the boathouse, were not touched by the fire. To accommodate construction crews, a guest house was built with an attached greenhouse. Nearby were an icehouse and a ten-sided open frame woodshed.

Donated to SU in 1954, the lodge was again destroyed by fire in 1988. A new lodge was constructed in 1989.