Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert

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Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert


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Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert
By John M. Bryan, Richard Cheek

  • Publisher:   Princeton Architectural Press
  • Number Of Pages:   240
  • Publication Date:   2005-04-07
  • ISBN-10 / ASIN:   1568983174
  • ISBN-13 / EAN:   9781568983172

Product Description:

Mount Desert has been one of America's favorite tourist destinations for over 150 years. As early as the 1840s, the lush landscape of this island on the Maine coast attracted artists and writers, who soon made Mount Desert's beauty famous with their paintings and publications. The stream of tourists that began traveling to the island after the Civil War prompted a building boom of cottages, hotels, and various buildings in Bar Harbor and other towns in the vicinity. Fred Savage (1861–1924) was the most influential architect in the development of Mount Desert and northeastern Maine, designing over three hundred buildings. Richly illustrated with archival drawings, photographs, and newly commissioned color photography, Maine Cottages presents all of Savage's most important works while placing the life and career of this architect in the larger context ofMount Desert.

Summary: Great,great,great Uncle wrote the book!
Rating: 5

I am so proud of the work, and the acrhitecture in the book. It depicts the awesome Maine history, and the author's amazing gift. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as Fred's family has.

Summary: excellent book on architecture, beautifully photographed
Rating: 5

I wish that more books on architecture could be this good! First of all, the title is a bit misleading. Many of Savage's works shown here are not, and never were intended to be, cottages. So in addition to private dwellings, there's an inn, schools, firehouses, garages, etc. Second, for the private dwellings, what we think of as cottages nowadays and what was thought of as cottages back in 1900 or so are very different. I remember reading many years back about a 1900's cottage in Aiken, S.C., which had something like 40 bedrooms, plus about 15 servants' bedrooms. The book shows High Seas, built 1911-12: 23 rooms plus a servants' wing with 5 servant's bedrooms--this was, at the time, a cottage.

You get a coffee-table book with stunning photography of both buildings and landscapes (many of the landscape photographs have no houses visible in them). There is an old map of Mount Desert Island, and period drawings and paintings. There are old photographs of the buildings and of Savage, etc. What is a delight are original architectural sketches and floor plans for many of the buildings. The chapters mostly cover individual buildings, and there's accompanying narrative. Consequently, what you get here is a tribute to a man who was able to blend architectural beauty with the great natural beauty of Mount Desert Island: Savage was able to work superbly with the settings and the land. Sadly nowadays, too much architectural work is done by drastically modifying the setting, chopping down most of the trees: for too many people, and too many architects, the goal is that your expensive house should be conspicuous--a highly-visible tribute to your wealth. Savage took the opposite approach--the buildings were there for the people to enjoy them, and to relish the beauty of the land. Quite a book!

Summary: Magnificent Maine
Rating: 5

I must confess I knew very little about the coast of Maine before picking up this spectacular book. The images are just so crisp and well executed. Mr. Savage designs fit the coast of Maine perfectly, they are so well sited and they really complement their breath taking settings. The text is quite informative and the images really make the houses and surrounding landscape come alive. One warning, after reading this book you will want to hop a plane to Maine.

Summary: See What's Hidden by Trees and Private Acces Roads
Rating: 5

The coast of main around Bar Harbour, and the houses on that coast are some of the most beautiful areas on any coast, anywhere. The problem is that the waterfront there is almost entirely privately owned with access restricted and with so much vegitation (trees) so that these views cannot be seen by the casual visitor.

A surprising amount of these houses are the work of or were influenced by one architect, Frederick L. Savage. This magnificant book takes us not only back in time through historic photographs, but also through the trees and down the private access roads to see these houses and their settings.

The style of these houses, most dating around 1900 have become almost a traditional United States style, although sometimes looking somewhat out of place when placed in a different kind of climate. These houses were designed to keep out the severe Maine winters, with small windows, strongly build roofs and the like.

Summary: My Great-Grandfather was a GREAT Architect!
Rating: 5

Fred L. Savage was my great-grandfather. As a descendent of Fred's only son, Francis Chase Savage, I couldn't be more proud of this beautiful book honoring the history of Mt. Desert Island, and my great-grandfather's place in it. I would only suggest one improvement: I wish that more photographs of Fred and his family would have been included, rather than the multi-page spread of photos of the family of one of his clients. Otherwise, Fred's work speaks for itself. It's breathtaking!