Adirondack Addition|Elizabethtown, New York

Renovating older buildings is one of the primary principles of green building design. We transformed this Adirondack summer cottage located on an historic estate in Elizabethtown, New York into year round retreat by winterizing the existing cottage and adding a new structure containing bedrooms and baths for family and guests.

The addition, located at right angles to the existing cottage, forms an outdoor courtyard with dramatic westerly views of the Adirondack Mountains. The design of the addition mimics the gable form and period details of the existing cottage such as the stone foundation and patio, flared shingled walls, diamond light windows and elaborate timber framed elements inside and out.


“Joan Heaton has been the most fabulous individual to work with! From the moment we started conversations with her, we could tell that she understood our somewhat quirky desires to go with recycled and old elements and styles. She created an addition to a 1920s building that is just seamless and even made adjustments along the way that improved the building and the addition even more. She has been more that just a one-time architect in that she also has helped us with long-term planning for our vacation property in terms of needs for buildings. She helped us find the perfect location and design for a second structure that provides boat storage and exquisite guest space above. Joan is so good at listening to the client and working on solutions that make sense for everyone – she often was the bridge between our very practical builder and our fanciful ideas. It is also important to note that much of our conversations with her were over the phone or by email and she visited the projects while under construction many times more than we did. We could trust her completely to oversee the projects. We fully intend to keep creating projects for her over the next several years!”

Vanessa and Ned

Completed: 2010

Photography: Gary Hall

Builder: High Peak Carpentry

Additional Contributions: Amstutz Woodworking