Between 1873 and 1945, Saranac Lake became a world renowned center for the treatment of tuberculosis, using a treatment that involved exposing patients to as much fresh air as possible under conditions of complete bed-rest. In the process, a specific building type, the Cure Cottage developed, built by local residents seeking to capitalize on the town's fame, by physicians, and often by the patients themselves. Many of these structures are still extant, and their historic value has been recognized by listing on National Register of Historic Places.1
Fifty-nine of these structures named below are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as individual cure cottages. Others can be found in National Register-listed Historic Districts. Many others exist in Saranac Lake and surroundings, but were not listed on the National Register.
Note: The name assigned to each of these cottages gives the impression that it was called by that name throughout its service as a cure facility. In fact, it was common for a house to be operated by several different people over time, and the name of the cottages changed accordingly. We have tried to assign the name each cottage was best known by, but some idea of the history of the property can be gained by looking at the "Other names" entries. See the discussion at Disinfection Records for more on the sources of this information.
See also Cure Cottage History
|Cottage||Pre-911 Address||Current Address||Notes|
|22 Catherine Street||11 Woodycrest Road||A 1909 Scopes and Feustmann-designed cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|43 Church Street||19 Church Street||
A Queen Anne style cure cottage built about 1906.
|111 Glenwood Road||67 Glenwood Road||A virtually intact cure cottage built in 1930, near the end of the cure cottage era. NRHP Form|
|108 1/2 Park Avenue||40 Cliff Road||A two-story cure cottage that was originally a barn, converted to residential use in 1910. NRHP Form|
|59 Franklin Street||25 Franklin Avenue||A 1908, Craftsman-inspired cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|Northwest Bay Road||Camp Colby Road||A Great Camp built for theatrical agent William Morris, designed by William G. Distin NRHP Form|
|9 Rockledge Road||36 Rockledge Lane|
|30 River Street||63 River Street||
A Queen Anne-style cure cottage built about 1896.
|34 Shepard Avenue||82 Shepard Avenue||
A two and 1/2 story cure cottage designed by William L. Coulter and built between 1897 and 1899 as his residence.
|76 Bloomingdale Avenue||141 Bloomingdale Avenue||
A cure cottage built about 1910.
|11 Kiwassa Road||186 Kiwassa Road||A cure cottage designed by architect William G. Distin for his father, photographer William L. Distin. NRHP Form|
|29 Bloomingdale Avenue||52 Bloomingdale Avenue||
A cure cottage built c. 1912.
|183 Broadway||212 Broadway||
A Queen Anne style cure cottage built before 1917.
|31 Franklin Street||83 Franklin Avenue||
A 1901 cure cottage. 2
|11 Neil Street||203 Neil Street||
An intact cure cottage built before 1915.
|28 Catherine Street||83 Catherine Street||A private cure cottage designed by architect Maurice Feustmann for use by his own family. NRHP Form|
|40 Kiwassa Street||267 Kiwassa Road||A largely intact private cure cottage built before 1925 NRHP Form|
|15 Helen Street||27 Helen Street||A cure cottage designed by Scopes and Feustmann, built between 1911 and 1913. NRHP Form|
|6 Charles Street||168 Charles Street||
A largely intact, Queen Anne-style cure cottage built about 1900.
|36 Franklin Avenue||76 Franklin Avenue||
A 1913 Craftsman-style cure cottage.
|Harrietstown Road||2030 State Route 86||
An intact cure cottage built about 1920.
|3 Maple Hill||17 Maple Hill Road||
A boarding cure cottage built in 1890.
|24 Park Place||4 Prescott Pl||
A 1916 cure cottage.
|5 Birch Street||58 Birch Street||
A cure cottage built in 1923.
|16 Marshall Street||23 Marshall Street||An 1896 Bungalow-style cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|6 1/2 St. Bernard Street||46 St. Bernard Street||
A largely intact cure cottage built before 1896.
|26 Shepard Street||98 Shepard Avenue||
A 1897 cure cottage that was used by the National Vaudeville Artists before the construction of the Will Rogers Hospital.
|4 Rockledge Road||5 Rockledge Road||
A 1923 cure cottage built by Edward Shaw for his wife, who had tuberculosis. The Shaws had two young children; fearing that they would contract TB from Mrs. Shaw, a separate house was built for them, nearby.
|112 Park Avenue||247 Park Avenue||A cure cottage built between 1905 and 1910. NRHP Form|
|110 Park Avenue||50 Cliff Road||A 1905, cure cottage, built for the priest of St. Luke's Church, later the home of Dr. Edward Welles, a pioneer in thoracic surgery. NRHP Form|
|3 Johnson Road||12 Labrador Lane||A 1932 cure cottage designed by William G. Distin for Dr. Henry Leetch, who specialized in treating tuberculosis, and who had the disease himself. NRHP Form|
|3-5 Bloomingdale Avenue||12 Bloomingdale Avenue||A 1902 commercial building with apartments built with "cure porches", it originally housed Henry P. Leis pianos and a pharmacy on its first floor. NRHP Form|
|26 Algonquin Avenue||401 State Route 3||A private, shingled cure cottage built about 1906. NRHP Form|
|18 Franklin Avenue||114 Franklin Avenue||An apartment house, built about 1920 as a cure cottage NRHP Form|
|Algonquin Avenue||154 Algonquin Avenue||The original cure cottage of the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium founded by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. NRHP Form|
|37 Riverside Dr.||74 Kiwassa Road||A cure cottage built about 1911. NRHP Form|
|6 Slater Street||67 Slater Avenue||A 1914, Queen Anne-style cure cottage built of rusticated cast-concrete blocks, with an octagonal corner tower. NRHP Form|
|15 Franklin Street||119 Franklin Avenue||A cure cottage built about 1900. NRHP Form|
|89 Park Avenue||192 Park Avenue||A Colonial Revival cure cottage with Craftsman-style touches, built between 1915 and 1925. NRHP Form|
|100 Park Avenue||211 Park Avenue||A 1915 bungalow designed by Scopes and Feustmann as a cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|25 Riverside Dr.||60 Kiwassa Road||A boardinghouse-style cure cottage built about 1907. NRHP Form|
|16 Helen Street||35 Helen Street||A cure cottage built in 1898. NRHP Form|
|15 South Street||30 Clinton Avenue||A 1925 Colonial Revival apartment house, with three apartments used as a cure cottages for three families. NRHP Form|
|14 Forest Hill Avenue||494 Forest Hill Avenue||
A cure cottage with five cure porches, built about 1920.
|26 Baker Street||55 Baker Street||A Craftman-style house built about 1910, it may have been designed as a private cure cottage by William G. Distin. NRHP Form|
|2 Charles Street||178 Charles Street||An intact 1896 cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|62 Algonquin Avenue||29 Algonquin Avenue||An 1893 Queen Anne-style cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|72 Bloomingdale Avenue||129 Bloomingdale Avenue||A cure cottage built about 1930. NRHP Form|
|33 Olive Street||117 Olive Street||A cure cottage built about 1910. NRHP Form|
|49 Riverside Dr.||116 Kiwassa Road||A 1906 Queen Anne-style cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|27 Olive Street||127 Olive Street||An intact cure cottage built in 1890. NRHP Form|
|21 View Street||31 View Street||A Coulter and Westhoff-designed single-family cure cottage built in 1907. NRHP Form|
|12 Jenkins Street||25 Jenkins Street||A cure cottage for a single patient built about 1903. NRHP Form|
|Stevenson Ln.||44 Stevenson Lane||A cure cottage used by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887. NRHP Form|
|Glenwood Road||92 Glenwood Dr||A private home built in 1916 for the president of Northern New York Telephone who used it as a cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|6 Clinton Avenue||17 Fawn Street||A cure cottage built between 1897 and 1900. NRHP Form|
|67 Park Avenue||134 Park Avenue||A 1904 Colonial Revival-style house that evolved into a cure cottage. 3NRHP Form|
|8 Williams Street||21 William Street||An intact Queen Anne-style cure cottage. NRHP Form|
|3 Kiwassa Road||164 Kiwassa Road||A boardinghouse-style cure cottage built in 1910. NRHP Form|
There were many more houses that were used as cure cottages in Saranac Lake. Many of them can be found on the pages of this site: see Streets.
For other properties on the National Register of Historic Places, see Other historic properties.
WATCH Curiously Adirondack: The Adirondack Mountain Village of Saranac Lake Remembers Its Curative Past produced by Josh Clement and Ed Kanze.
Most of us have heard William Faulkner's famous line about the past not being dead. His wisdom is nowhere more apparent than in the Adirondack Mountain village of Saranac Lake. Here, from the 1880s to the 1950s and a little bit beyond, tuberculosis patients arrived from near and far to rest on porches, breathe crisp pine-scented mountain air, and get well or die trying. Antibiotic therapy eventually put the village's sanitariums and cure cottages out of business. Still, in architecture, memory, story, and a heart-breaking poem penned by a brilliant young woman who didn't get well, the village's rich past remains vibrant and alive.
2013-08-29 18:29:29 I want to see the Williams Cottage —126.96.36.199
1. National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: Cure Industry Resources in the Village of Saranac Lake, Essex and Franklin Co., NY, 291 KB, John A. Bonafide, Mary Hotaling, and Rachel D. Bliven
2. Gallos, Philip L., Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, ISBN 0-9615159-0-2.
3. Gallos, Philip L., Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, ISBN 0-9615159-0-2.