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The Main Building of the Adirondacks' Historic
Lake Placid Lodge Destroyed by Fire


By Leigh Hornbeck, Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

NORTH ELBA -- December 16, 2005 - Fire destroyed a portion of the historic Lake Placid Lodge, frequented by celebrities and wealthy tourists, on Thursday.

Ten fire departments responded to the 9:43 a.m. call in 8 weather, said Lake Placid Fire Department dispatcher Greg Hayes. There were no injuries.

The resort is located off Route 86 in Essex County, with views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains.

The fire started in the main building, where the dining room and pub are located. Firefighters knocked down a walkway between the front and back portions of the lodge, which prevented the fire from destroying the whole building, officials said.

But a collection of more than 130 pieces of handmade, one-of-a-kind, rustic furniture was lost, as were paintings of the Adirondacks that were hung on the walls of the dining room, said Darlene Gregson of Schroon Lake, whose family was commissioned by the resort owners in 1995 to make the furniture.

Lake Placid Mayor Jamie Rogers said firefighters were still cleaning up at 6 p.m. It took them more than seven hours to put out the flames using tanker trucks and a hose from the lake. Rogers expected firefighters to remain at the resort through the night.

"It's one of our older buildings that is still functional, and it's sad to watch a big part of our history turned to rubble," Rogers said.

Numerous honors have been bestowed upon the lodge over the years.

The Zagat Survey recently named it one of the Top 20 U.S. Small Hotels and Resorts, and Conde Nast Traveler named the resort one of the three best lakeshore hotels in North America. Rooms start at $400 a night and a collection of private cabins are scattered through the property.

Forrest "Dew Drop" Morgan, one of the lodge's first employees when it opened under new ownership 13 years ago, said there was an estimated quarter million dollars worth of wine in the wine cellar of the building that burned. The extent of the damage, if any, to the wine was unclear.


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Copyright (c) 2005, Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

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