SUMMARY OF INFLUENCES AND RESPONSES THAT SHAPE

THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

ECOLOGICAL INFLUENCES

• Topography dominated by mountains and

rolling hills with few open plains or fields.

• Glacier-sculpted granite mountains that

feature dramatic rock outcrops.

• Mountains that run north-south with

east-west exposures.

• More snowfall and wetter climate

than the Lakes Province.

• Cold, wet, and

overcast winters.

• Dramatic freeze-thaw cycles.

• Prevailing northeasterly winds.

• Long vistas.

• Lush, dense vegetation.

• Vegetation that changes with elevation from

low areas of hardwood forest to mixed conifers

with spruces and firs in upper elevations.

• Tree line as low as 1,800 feet in northern areas.

 

Typical Hills Country Vegetation Cross Section:

Hardwoods

Mixed hardwood - coniferous

Coniferous

 

Typical Mountain Vegetation Cross Section:

Hardwoods

Mixed Hardwood - coniferous

Coniferous

Scrub

Tundra

 

CULTURAL INFLUENCES

• This is settled country, not wilderness.

• Early settlers were English, Dutch, French,

German, and Scandinavian, but the English

influence is primary.

• Preservation of landscapes and traditional

townscape character is highly valued.

• Tourism is an important industry.

• Rural culture is focused on villages, hamlets,

and small farms.

• Traditional farms feature connected buildings.

• Dairy farms are typical in Vermont.

• Wood is preferred over brick as a building material.

• Early houses are timber frame and log.

• The area is the most densely populated portion

of the United States.

• Users of a national forest expect cultural

features as part of their experience.

• Traditional building forms include the Cape Cod

cottage, the masonry German farmhouse, and

brick or log mill buildings.

• Rustic design originated here in the Adirondacks

in vacation homes for the wealthy.

 

Figures show the following building styles:

Rural farmstead

English influence

Mill structure

Saltbox

Scandinavian

 

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