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Touring Tupper Lake: Architecture, Industry, & Reuse

September 20, 2022

Tupper Lake’s major industrial, institutional, and community buildings help to highlight an expansive, multi-layered history and their preservation offers the community a canvas for a vibrant future. On this outing, we’ll explore several defining places, structures, and facilities that bring Tupper Lake’s past into clearer view, including our first stop to today’s Sunmount Developmental Center. Opened in 1924, the former Sunmount Veterans Administration Hospital helped house, treat, and care for World War I veterans struggling with Tuberculosis. Today, the Sunmount complex still serves the community as a space for the housing and care of people with disabilities. Next, we’ll visit the 1905 Beth Joseph Synagogue, a center of worship that served the earliest Jewish settlers in the area who worked in the lumber and railroad industries and eventually established family-owned department stores, furniture stores, dry goods stores, and other burgeoning businesses. Members and workers helped renovate the building in the 1980s, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Lastly, we’ll visit the iconic Oval Wood Dish factory, which recently earned its own National Register Historic District in early 2022. The contributing historic core of the solid concrete complex dates to between 1916 and 1918, including its main factory building, sawmill, powerhouse and its infamous smokestack, free-standing water tower, and the former factory office building. Today, the Syracuse-based Lahinch Group has undertaken ambitious plans to rehabilitate the 145,000 square-foot complex as a multi-use housing and commercial space to serve Tupper Lake’s community. Get a “behind-the-scenes” tour to see the historic space and learn more about the site’s redevelopment.

This tour is led by historian, author, and former Adirondack Museum curator Hallie Bond, developers from Lahinch Group, and other community hosts and guides. The tour begins at 10 AM and ends around 3:30 PM.

The fee is $55 for AARCH members and $65 for non-members.



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