Lake George Avenue Historic District
The Lake George Avenue Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The Lake George Avenue Historic District consists of 14 properties and contains 20 contributing buildings and 5 non-contributing buildings. All of the properties are residences, some of which are complemented by original contributing garages.
The Lake George Avenue Historic District is located on the east bank of the upper LaChute River in the village of Ticonderoga in northern New York State. This two and one-half mile river flows northward from Lake George, curving to the east in the village center and coming to rest in Lake Champlain, over 220 feet below its source. The commercial center of Ticonderoga, situated on Montcalm Street several hundred yards from the south bank of the lower LaChute, contains several individually eligible buildings, but major losses of integrity preclude its consideration as an historic district. A short distance south of the intersection of Montcalm Street and Lake George Avenue is a small well-preserved group of similar early twentieth century residences that overlook the LaChute River. The boundaries of the Lake George Avenue Historic District were drawn to include twelve workers' houses constructed for the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company from 1919 to 1921. The twelve contributing properties in the Lake George Avenue Historic District are characterized by similar residential lots and setbacks, styles, materials, plans and orientations. The Lake George Avenue Historic District boundary is congruent with existing lot and right-of-way lines enclosing the properties. They include only that land historically related to each of the principal buildings. The areas located to the north, south and west of the Lake George Avenue Historic District are characterized by mid and late nineteenth century residences that are historically and architecturally unrelated to the district with the exception of two residences located at the center of the district. These two earlier dwellings within the Lake George Avenue Historic District boundary, like the residences outside the district, are characterized by larger irregular lots, shallow setbacks and are architecturally unrelated to the remainder of the district. As such, they are classified as non-contributing. West of the Lake George Avenue Historic District is a large, unbuilt parcel of land which slopes down to the river.
The Lake George Avenue Historic District is composed of twelve individually contributing dwellings and eight contributing garages constructed at the same time and in the same style as their associated dwellings. The components of the Lake George Avenue Historic District feature similar forms, scale, orientation, size, materials, setbacks and street frontage, which serve to unite the properties visually as a cohesive residential neighborhood.
The twelve contributing residences that compose the Lake George Avenue Historic District were built between 1919 and 1921 under the direction of local builder W.A. Gale. All of the buildings are built of wood frame construction and share such common features as clapboard and shingle sheathing, irregular massing, recessed porches, and grouped windows. The Craftsman influenced Bungalow form is reflected in the use of long sloped roofs which sweep down over recessed front porches. This interpenetration of interior and exterior spaces is further expressed with bay windows, entrance hoods, screened-in sunrooms and wide, overhanging eaves with large triangular brackets and exposed rafter ends. Several of the homes display Colonial Revival inspired features such as classically detailed porch posts and multi-pane window sash. This influence is more evident on the interiors, where there are classical columns and Colonial style trim. Among these residences there are two general types: 305 and 307 Lake George Avenue are rectangular in plan with large dormers across the front elevation, 301, 303, 321, 325 and 327 Lake George Avenue are L-shaped in plan and have enclosed side porches surmounted by gabled dormers, 309, 319, 323, 329 and 331 Lake George Avenue are L-shaped as well, but have shed roofed dormers above the enclosed side porches.
A non-contributing, c.1895, Italianate style residence in the center of the district (No. 313-315 Lake George Avenue) displays such characteristic features as a broad, bracketed cornice with a central peak and peaked lintels. The remaining house in the Lake George Avenue Historic District (No. 311), built c.1890, is a simply detailed late Victorian building. Both late nineteenth century buildings are classified as non-contributing buildings due to their lack of historical or architectural association with the remainder of the district. In addition, both properties exhibit a substantial level of alteration, contributing to an excessive loss of architectural integrity.
The Lake George Avenue Historic District is architecturally related to the Amherst Avenue Historic District two blocks to the east. The houses contained in the latter district were constructed between 1921 and 1923 by the same builder as the Lake George Avenue homes. Similar details, including lot size, uniformity of setback, massing, scale and materials visually link the two sets of houses. In particular, 303 Lake George Avenue is nearly a mirror image of 326 Amherst Avenue; 305 and 307 Lake George Avenue resemble 324, 334 and 330 Amherst Avenue in plan and form.
The Lake George Avenue Historic District is architecturally significant as a well-preserved example of an early twentieth century residential enclave, which illustrates the amalgamation of popular architectural tastes with national trends in corporate sponsored workers' housing and residential planning in the village of Ticonderoga. Constructed by the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company in 1919-1921, under the direction of local builder William A. Gale, the Lake George Avenue Historic District is one of two industrial sponsored housing developments constructed for mill employees. The twelve contributing properties that compose the district exhibit numerous architectural features and residential planning techniques associated with the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These characteristics include: large residential building lots, deep setbacks, spacious rear and side yards, similar building plans and similar scale. In addition the Lake George Avenue Historic District is the contributing properties. These architectural similarities include: clapboard or shingle sheathing, irregular massing, recessed porches, grouped windows, entrance hoods, wide overhanging eaves supported by large triangular brackets and exposed rafter ends. While similar massing, materials and details unite the homes, the arrangement of prefabricated architectural elements varies in each. The Lake George Avenue Historic District remains virtually unchanged since its construction by the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company, retaining an outstanding level of integrity of setting, feeling, association, location, design, materials and craftsmanship.
The twelve contributing elements of the Lake George Avenue Historic District clearly illustrate the prevailing national trend in the construction of workers' housing of the period. The houses that compose the Lake George Avenue Historic District exhibit similar functional floor plans divided into social spaces on the first floor with chambers situated on the second. In addition they are characterized by the inclusion of built-in bookshelves, benches and cabinets. Interior ornamentation is simple, reflecting the shift toward easily cleaned surfaces. The contributing properties within the Lake George Avenue Historic District derive additional significance as intact representative examples of Craftsman inspired Bungalow design in the village of Ticonderoga. Like the small, one-story Bungalow, these residences are distinguished by their broad, low sloping roofs and extended eaves. Another characteristic of this form displayed in the mill houses is the interrelationship of exterior and interior spaces achieved with bay windows and entrance hoods, and particularly by including porches and sunrooms under the main roof rather than treating them as appendages. Although primarily Craftsman inspired, the builder also incorporated elements associated with the Colonial Revival style, including classical interior columns and porch posts, large interior chimneys with classical mantelpieces and multi-paned windows. The Colonial Revival style prevailed in Gale's second enclave of workers' homes, the Amherst Avenue Historic District.
In designing the homes on Lake George Avenue, Gale used two standard plans, a rectangle and an L-shape, but he applied a different combination of prefabricated architectural details to each house. It is highly likely that the plans were adapted from an architectural pattern book or mail-order plan supplier's catalogue. The similarity of such features as dormers, windows, porch supports and entrance hoods suggests they were ready-made and perhaps ordered by mail. These homes, with their repetitive forms and interchangeable details, illustrate the concept that had evolved as the final phase of corporate sponsored residential housing and would later become the standard for the mass produced housing found in post-war suburbs.
Many of the mill houses continue to be owned by mill employees, retirees or their families and have thus been well maintained. When International Paper moved its facilities to the outskirts of the town in the early 1970's, all of the remaining mills of the paper industry in the village were demolished. This group of homes and its counterpart, the Amherst Avenue Historic District, are rare intact remnants of the industrial boom period that sustained the village for nearly 100 years.
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