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About this collection

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) is the nonprofit historic preservation organization for New York State's Adirondack Park. AARCH was formed in 1990 with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Adirondack's unique and diverse architectural heritage.

The following collections, derived from 35mm slides, showcase the diverse and rich architectural heritage of the Adirondack region. 

The General Collection

This architectural legacy includes not only the nationally recognized "Great Camps" and other rustic buildings, but also the many other structures that embody the whole range of human experience in the region. These other structures include a wide variety of homes and farmsteads; the churches, commercial buildings, town halls and libraries that make up most Adirondack settlements; bridges, railroad buildings, lighthouses and other transportation related structures; and industrial sites related to the region's important iron, wood, quarrying and tanning industries. 

The Barbara Parnass Slide Collection

Barbara Parnass was a founding board member of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) in 1990 and served on the board until her death in 2002. She was an incredible asset to the organization and, standing out among her many contributions to AARCH, was the establishment of AARCH’s photographic collection in the early 1990s. She collected slides from many sources and donated many of her own photographs to form the basis of the AARCH collection, which now numbers more than 5,000 images.

The images in this collection are her own personal work, which captures the rich and diverse architectural heritage of the Adirondack region. There was very little that did not interest her as a photographer and within the collection one can find lakeside camps, cure cottages, downtown and civic buildings, gas stations, motels, and ice cream stands.

Her three decade career as a photographer led to many one-woman and group exhibitions throughout Northern New York. She also served as the archivist of historic photographs in the Adirondack Collection of the Saranac Lake Free Library

During her 30 years in the Adirondacks, Barbara was a tireless supporter of area arts, history, environmental, human service, and education causes. She was a founding member of Historic Saranac Lake, North Star Industries, and the Saranac Lake River Walk project. She served lengthy and productive terms on the boards of the Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Free Library, River Walk Commission, Essex County garden Club, and College Council of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

 
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