Many of the rustic stone fireplace designs created today were inspired by the picturesque and romantic architectural style of the Adirondack Moun-
tain region in Upstate New York between 1870-1930. The Adirondack Style, as it came to be known, utilized rustic hand-hewn logs and tree branches, often in their natural state, in both structural and decorative ways.
Adirondack Stone Hearth, ca. 1904
Monumental fireplaces were skillfully crafted from rugged stones and boulders gathered on site. Pictured below, right, is the "Playhouse (1901) at Sagamore Camp, one of several historic Adirondack retreats.
During the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, the Adirondacks became
a fashionable summer retreat and at-
tracted some of America's wealthiest families. Sprawling compounds, called Great Camps, were built for Morgans, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Carnegies, and Rockefellers in densely wooded set-
The most spectacular Great Camp was a 68 building complex called Top-
ridge. Built in the 1920s for cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, the main lodge boasts a living room 80 feet wide by 100 feet long. Massive timber beams support the 30 foot high ceiling. Anchoring each end of the room is an enormous walk-in fireplace made of stone. (see photo below)
While the striking present-day rustic stone fireplace designs pictured below may not be quite as massive as the walk-in hearth above, they do, never-
theless, have a very commanding presence. Whether crafted from granite (top row, below) or fieldstone (bottom row, below), they make a powerful design statement.
Adirondack Style represents a uniquely American innovation. Roman-
tic evocations of a pioneer past, the camps erected in the Adirondacks were unlike any buildings created be-
Since its inception, the rustic and pic-
turesque style of the Adirondacks has spread to many other regions of the country . . . . .
and continues to be as popular as ev-
er for homes in mountainous, wooded, and waterside settings.
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