In the Northeast, we do not

need to reproduce the saltbox

houses found on Cape Cod or

the barns of the Genesee

Valley to create successful

designs. But we can learn

from these earlier models

of design and construction.

For example, the saltbox

house employed forms and

materials that proved durable

and comfortable in New England’s

coastal climate.

The climate, harsh at times,

presents challenges for building,

maintenance, and sustainability.

For example, cloudy winters offer

low potential for implementing

active or passive solar heat.

Yet the Northeast Province can be a

forgiving place in which to build. The dense

forest and lush vegetation can screen many

structures so they seem to disappear into the

landscape. The preponderance of native trees

and rocks provides ready-made building materials

or at least matches for suitable materials.


Figure of a clustered compound on a slope with the following characteristics:

• Simple forms, added to each other

• Buildings step down grades

• Multiple double-hung windows

• Clapboard siding

• Simple roof with gable dormers

• Shed porch

• Large gable ends


Figure of an administration/maintenance compound with the following characteristics:

• Simple forms repeated

• Clustering of smaller masses


Figure of a visitor facility with the following characteristics:

• Saltbox form

• Simple forms repeated

• Single, punched windows with divided lights


Figure of an overlook with the following characteristics:

• Simple forms

• Minimal base


Figure of a restroom with the following characteristics:

• Steep roof with

minimal overhangs

• Simple gable end

• Entry porch

• Small window

with divided lites

• Light structure

• Minimal base


Figure of a maintenance shop with the following characteristics:

• Gable roofs with attached shed forms

• Clustering of forms

• Mass broken down




Chapter 4.1 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide