5 Year Plan Update March 2007 Approved by Town and Village of Tupper Lake
Community Development Goals:
1. Improve Community Appearances
2. Revitalize Commercial Districts
3. Complete the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
4. Study the Feasibility of Reopening Big Tupper Ski Area
5. Reconstruct the Railroad Depot
6. Construct Multi-Use Recreational Trail System
7. Create Additional Youth Programs and Activities
8. Foster Municipal Communications and Cooperation
9. Improve Municipal Parks
10. Build the Adirondack Observatory
11. Build the Tupper Lake Heritage Museum
12. Support the Tupper Lake Country Club and Golf Course
Tupper Lake is the home of the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, “The
Wild Center”. The community is a friendly clean and attractive all-season
outdoor family recreational destination that has maintained its small town
character, capitalized on its crossroads location, and preserved it scenic
beauty while creating ample employment opportunities for its residents. These
qualities have made Tupper Lake a desirable place to live, work, raise a family
Community Development Goals
1. Improve Community Appearance:
Much of Tupper Lake’s business district’s sidewalks are in disrepair, with large
cracks caused by frost heave and salt damage from constant salting by merchants.
Presently the State of New York is responsible for snow removal along Route 3
and 30. These routes travel through the business districts, however, because of
state budget restraints snow removal is minimal thus creating large snow banks
making it difficult and dangerous for residents and visitors to get in and out
of their car. Often snow is plowed onto the sidewalk itself. When snow is
finally removed the large bucket loaders have to drop their buckets on the
sidewalk further damaging the walkways.
At present the sidewalks are not wheelchair accessible. It is difficult for a
handicap person to go into a store because of the step-ups.
● Design safe, attractive and functional sidewalks that are inviting to
residents and visitors during the winter months as well as the summer season
Sidewalks should be handicap accessible from street to store entry.
● Design sidewalks with bump-outs. Bump-outs will allow for lamppost, decorative
plantings of, shrubs or trees that will further beautify the community. Provide
information as to shrub and tree species that could be planted. How the bump-out
look and what will be their impact on parking.
● Consider installing heated sidewalks. Provide a cost analysis as weighed
against the cost of snow removals.
● Provide a variety of sidewalk design options with comparable cost. Sidewalk
design should be consistent throughout the entire village. Build a “yellow brick
road” that connects the downtown with the uptown through Demars Boulevard.
Accomplishments to date: A streetscape plan was designed by Barton & Loguidice
from a grant obtained by _______________. The plan was meant to implement when
the DOT completes the Route 3 & 30 renovation.
Lighting is very important to a community’s visual appearance. Although lighting
is sufficient on many of Tupper Lake’s street the design is out of date and many
electrical wires are visible. Visible electrical wires diminish the scenic
beauty of the community.
● Design the appropriate lighting that matches the vision statement. Lighting
should be consistent in design throughout the Village. It should warm and
inviting enough to encourage evening stroll while at the same time be functional
and specific for the task.
● Evaluate and make recommendations as to what wires should be hidden or buried.
● Consider lighting with the (Adirondack Public Observatory), APO in mind, and
encourage the village and town to subscribe a membership to the International
Dark Sky Association and to develop a Model Lighting Ordinance.
● Much of the residential lighting we have is outdated and glutinous. In "light"
of our current power situation we should encourage our residents to consider
their home lighting also. This in turn will help to keep our new transmission
line viable for years to come. Rapid growth will tap this line faster and steps
need to be taken now to educate the general community. Local retailers and
contractors should be provided information and access for purchase of the newest
lighting available. This information can be provided by the Franklin County
● Informational packets regarding energy efficient and non invasive, "good
neighbor lighting" could be made available either in public offices or through a
mailer sent to residents. The information should contain such things as what
energy efficient means, what constitutes good lighting and how lighting should
be mounted to keep your neighbor happy and your home safe and enjoyable.
● Good lighting systems need to be encouraged at the very start of any
development project and the Town/Village planning board should be encouraged to
adopt standards for developers or any projects that come before the review
board. The Town and Village should be able to supply them with information on
their lighting requirements and the purpose it will serve.
c. Vegetative Plantings and Preservation
Tupper Lake main streets like Demars Boulevard, Park and Main Street have lost
many of the larger mature trees that once lined their roadsides. Many of the
larger trees are uplifting sidewalks as their root systems grow. Strategic
plantings of flowering plants and shrubs, the placement of flowerpots and
preservation of mature trees adds to the scenic beauty of a community.
Specific plantings of certain species of shrub will encourage use by wild life,
The Tender Loving Care (TLC) Committee creates a yearly journal of flower
containers and gardens planted and maintained through the community. It is not
only useful as a record of this year’s planting activities, but also provides
guidance and recommendations for the planting, budget, purchasing and planting
for each year.
● Produce a strategic plan for the preservation of existing mature trees and for
the planting of trees, flowering shrubs and plants.
● Consideration should be given to flowering native plants and shrubs. Plants
and shrubs that are planted together should flower at different times.
● Work with TLC to locate planting areas for shrubs and trees and the summer
installation of flowerpots and gardens.
● Develop a shoreline-planting plan to encourage wildlife viewing.
Accomplishments: A wildlife viewing area and community kiosk will be installed
next year as part of planning that took place with the Department of
Transportation between the Wild Center and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Power lines will be buried along the Moody Marsh Causeway and paved
bicycle/walking ROW to allow safer egress.
We improved thee appearance of trash receptacles throughout the village. (Ellen,
can you add to this?)
d. Façade Management; Over the years Tupper Lake has lost many of its historical
buildings to fire and disuse. As you drive through the community you will see
some sections where buildings have be modernized by removing the upper stories.
There are spaces and gaps between buildings, and new buildings built that are
seemingly out of place by their design. Although many of Tupper Lake’s original
building are still standing they are in need of a facelift. The overall look of
the Village is not appealing because it has lost its consistency of design.
Accomplishments: Money obtained from a HUD grant has helped to restore facades
on __?__ store fronts on Park Street.
f. Address the general appearance of the Village as well as the appearance of
major entrances into the community and signage to encourage those passing
through to stop
● Establish a campaign to encourage property owners and renters to assume
responsibility for clean up of areas surrounding homes and businesses.
● Establish and enforce littering laws, cite violations.
● Create system for low income residents to apply for trash vouchers
● Establish set dates for community clean-up days once or twice a year.
● Assess and address absentee landlords, cite violations
● Assure attractive, appropriate placement of trash receptacles in the Village.
● Provide incentive for residents to recycle used appliances and large household
g. Design overall theme consistent with overall planning.
● Develop incentives to willingness of owners to invest in the community
● Focus efforts toward joint Towm-Village cooperation to merge codes and zoning
2. Revitalize Commercial Districts:
a. Build the Tupper Lake “Crossroads or Base Camp Community Information Center”
at the Junction of Rt. 3& 30
General information on the Adirondack Park is not easily accessible to most
visitors and residents. In 2001, the two existing Adirondack Visitors
Interpretive Centers served 74,000 people; the Adirondack Museum served 90,000.
The Wild Center expects to see 85,000 to 125,000 visitors. These numbers seem
large, but pall in comparison to the nine million visitors the Adirondack Park
sees each year. Only two percent of the visitors are learning about the
Adirondacks through existing facilities. Tupper Lake’s unique positional
location in the center of the Ten Rivers Region and as the crossroads to two
Scenic Byways will provide visitors the opportunity to get the information they
need to understand and enjoy the Adirondack experience.
Background: Adirondack Community Information Center (ACIC):
Empty storefronts and vacant downtown spaces are abundant inside the Adirondack
Park. Boarded up windows and broken-down buildings create a negative ambiance
which mars the Adirondack landscape and detracts from the quality of life in the
region. The 92 towns, 12 counties, innumerable private organizations, and state
government have only recently started to work together to improve these
downtrodden buildings and offer residents and visitors a product in which we
have the ultimate comparative advantage - an Adirondack experience.
The Adirondack Community Information Centers (ACIC) project is a cooperative
effort modeled after the series of thematic visitor centers in Abruzzo National
Park, Italy. This effort revitalizes rural town centers and surrounding
communities through an information based approach to the development of town
resources and Adirondack Park amenities. The ACIC project improves community
infrastructure by converting abandoned storefronts or underused downtown areas
to attractive centers that provide essential information on local history, local
recreational opportunities and activities, local sights, near-by public land,
significant natural resources, tourism attractions, and key conservation and
development issues. The ACIC project provides a long-term vision for linking
community resources to the natural environment that will improve rural
development, conservation efforts, and quality of life in the Adirondack region.
The Adirondack Community Information Centers project is a region wide effort
focused on selected towns that volunteer to participate. The Towns of Inlet and
Johnsburg opened the first ACICs in 2001. The development process is currently
underway in the Town of Fine. The goal of these centers is to increase the flow
of information among institutions, organizations, residents, and visitors and
thereby foster greater understanding and appreciation for the stewardship of the
Adirondack Park's natural resources and human settlements. In addition, the ACIC
project sparks new development in town centers thereby increasing economic
activity on Main Streets.
Summary of the Inlet Experience:
The Town of Inlet is a small community of about 350 year round residents in the
west-central Adirondacks. In recent years, the Town has taken progressive steps
to improve the quality of life and plan for its future. The Town Board and the
Chamber of Commerce formed an Inlet Area Economic Development Group with a broad
base of local participation. This group conducted two surveys on community
visioning and desired economic development, while also actively supporting a
tourism assessment in Inlet. Town leaders participated in a Gateway Communities
training course and an exchange visit to the Abruzzo National Park. These
activities and the residents’ sense of pride sparked the community's initial
interest for developing an ACIC.
The Town of Inlet opened the first temporary ACIC in May 2000. The building sits
on Route 28, the Central Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway and primary thoroughfare
in downtown Inlet, next to the Town Offices and right of way to the public
beach. A vacant gas station was renovated and converted into the ACIC. Other
stores have "spruced up" their appearance by adding Adirondack features, a coat
of paint, and other facade improvements. In 2001, the ACIC reopened with
permanent exhibits. The interior was renovated to resemble a boathouse and
exhibits depict the Town’s history and natural resources under the umbrella
theme of “Waterways.”
The Town staffs an employee to greet visitors and direct them to local and
Adirondack attractions. The Inlet ACIC is open to the general public and from
May 2001 to May 2002, almost 3,000 visitors signed in at the information desk.
Prior to the ACIC opening in Inlet, many empty storefronts lined the hamlet’s
main street. As discussion of where to place the ACIC and renovation of the
building occurred, new businesses opened their doors. Since it’s opening, eight
new businesses have opened on Main Street, all of them located in once vacant
buildings. Other stores have “spruced up” their appearance by adding Adirondack
features and a coat of paint.
As Tupper Lake looks to establish an ACIC, it looks to the Town of Inlet as the
ACIC proto-type. Inlet has served as the pioneer in the overall ACIC project and
in turn, the ACIC has contributed to the community’s sense of pride and
continued economic activity. The ACIC project has fostered an emerging vitality
in the downtown core and has provided opportunities for economic development,
tourism, education and awareness among residents and visitors, while building an
appreciation for regional history and human and natural communities. These
successes serve as a model for revitalizing Tupper Lake’s uptown area and will
be helpful as we move forward in this project.
Primary Contacts Organizations:
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation
Program (WCS) has been the acting coordinator/facilitator of the Adirondack
Community Information Center Project since September 1999.
Adirondack North Country Association is overseeing the development of the
Corridor Management Plans for the Olympic and Adirondack Trails Scenic Byways.
An approved NYS DOT Corridor Management Plan is now required to access any
future Transportation Enhancement funds. Information Centers are eligible as
potential fundable projects under this granting source.
The New York State Department of Transportation has been designing a new
intersection for construction in year 2007 and can help with the location and
size of the Center.
The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce can provide the workforce to run the Center.
The Tupper Lake Village can provide infrastructure information for designers,
electric, water and sewer systems.
Outline of Needs:
On many occasions we have heard throughout our Village "How do we get the people
to stop in Tupper Lake and not just drive through?" The proposed ACIC will
encourage motorists to stop, get out of their vehicles and move about on foot in
downtown Tupper Lake and the Village’s municipal park. Further exploration of
Tupper Lake will be complimented by the implementation of pedestrian and cyclist
friendly project such as the proposed multi-recreational trail system. These
companion projects offer an integrated network of positive experiences
benefiting travelers and locals.
● The Tupper Lake Information Center should reflect Adirondack design and
incorporate the flavor of Tupper Lake’s historical past in its decor.
● Signage (map) and displays at the Center should direct the visitor to the
local venues (National History Museum, Railroad Station, Big Tupper Ski Slope if
it re-opens), and the Scenic Byways
● The Visitor Center should provide information to enhance the visitor
experience with shelf design to exhibit Adirondack brochures and for brochure
● The Visitor Center should have adequate space to sell merchandise for small
● The Visitor Center should be designed to have adequate parking, bathroom
facilities and connectivity to the Village Municipal Park and Park Street
● The Village will work with the Department of Transportation and other contact
groups to incorporate Visitor Center Design and location.
● A major kiosk or information panel should be incorporated to include the
Tupper Lake recreational map. This map should show all recreational resources
within twenty miles of Tupper Lake. Those resources would include items such as
the Village’s multi-recreational trail, boat launches, other trails and
trailheads, snowmobile corridors, fire towers, parking lots, beaches, golf
course, campsites, lakes, parks, etc.
● Three major themes to express: Tupper Lake is located in a region of ten
rivers and 1,000 lakes. We are at the crossroads of the Adirondack and Olympic
Trail Scenic Byways. We are the base-camp for visitors to begin their
exploration of the Adirondacks (The Adirondack Museum, The Two Vic Centers, The
Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks and Paul Smiths College all within 40
minutes of Tupper Lake) and the Scenic Byways
Accomplishments: Although the road construction date has been backed up, the
Tupper lake Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in this goal with opening of
the Tupper Lake Visitor Center at 121 Park Street. The Center is presently
functioning at the best of its ability considering current funding. The center
is funded by the Town of Tupper Lake ($11,000 annual) The Wild Center ($1500)
and the Adirondack Club and Resort ($1500). Annual rent is $6,600. The current
cost of part time salary (6hrs a day, 5 days a week) is $15,600 not including
pay-role taxes. (Desiree can fill in more detail here) The Chamber of Commerce
runs the Visitor Center and supplies the balance of all funding that includes
computer costs, brochure creation and maintenance.
A parking area overlook and kiosk will be installed near the bowling alley on
Route 30. It will include information about the community with the ability to
change information in the display.
b. Restoration of the movie theater
Accomplishments: The inside of the movie theater has been completely renovated
with the addition of a new viewing screen and comfortable seating. The theater
is now fully insulated. The front façade has been renovated. Work is ongoing.
(Sally Strasser can add more here)
c. Plan façade management for consistency of design and overall theme (any work
d. Parking plan for the entire Village (no work done here)
e. Provide amenities for all recreational vehicles (part of overall plan)
f. Provide vendor locations for specific recreational items (snowshoes, cross-
country skis, snowmobile, etc.) (no work done here)
g. Restore the Grand Union Hotel (no work done here, should we remove this?)
h. Promote speedy permitting for projects and obtain Class B jurisdiction from
the Adirondack Park Agency ( Jim fill in)
Accomplishments: Addition of Planned Development District to community zoning
law. (Jim fill in).
A brochure was created for hand out in the Visitor Center Business brochure
3. Complete the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
Accomplishments: Done! (Stephanie will write this up)
4. Study the feasibility of reopening Big Tupper Ski Area.
3,100 Businesses in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and northern Warren Counties were
asked in a survey by the North Country Chamber of Commerce if they supported the
Adirondack Club and Resorts proposal to reopen the Big Tupper Ski Slope. 95 % of
the responders supported the position and recommended approval by the APA
(Adirondack Park Agency) and other agencies.
For years there has been a decline in accommodation businesses. This lack of
infrastructure has greatly prevented the success of past owners to make the ski
slope successful. The Adirondack Club and Resort associates have came forward
with a plan to make the slope economically feasible.
At present, there are about 138 (motel) rooms and 104 units or cabins available
to rent during our summer season. Saranac Lake and Long Lake rooms are only a
half hour away and there are over a 1000 campsites available between the three
communities. For the most part, during the summer season, our motel owners do
business within the industry standard occupancy rate of 55%-60%. When winter
rolls along. The campsites close, the cabins shut down, leaving Tupper Lake with
just over a 100 rooms available to the visitor.
There has been an overall decline of Tupper Lake’s accommodation industry. Table
1 depicts the current inventory of accommodation businesses in Tupper Lake for
the current year 2006. Table 2 was taken from a Chamber brochure published in
the sixties, about 40 years ago. The Asterisks note that the business was open
Table 1. List of Local Accommodation Businesses in Tupper Lake / 2006.
Coccia Pines Curtigay Cove Faust Motel
Hauser’s Haven Lakeview Motel * Northwood Cabins
Park Motel * Quinn Cottage Red Top Inn *
Rock Bay Camps Shaheens Motel * Sunset Park *
The Three Pillars Timber Lodge * Top Notch Motel *
Tupper Lake Motel * The Wawbeek Mountain Gate Motel
Adirondack Lakeside Cabin Camp Dancing Bears Green Bay Camp
Little Wolf Cabin Moody Cabin Mt Arab Lodge
Tall Pines Cottage
Table 2. List of Local Accommodation Businesses in Tupper Lake / circa 1966.
Adam’s Guest House * Alpine Motor Court * Baileys Motel *
Bellevue Motor Court Bliss Haven Cambridge Cottage
Camp Kirk Camp Lure Camp Phyllis
Clear Vallee Colonial Hotel * Country Cottages *
Doll House Dumoulin Cottage Faust Motel
Greenway Terrace Motel Halbigs Motel * Hillcrest Cabins *
Honeymoon Cottage Hutts Cottages Hutts Motel *
Iroquois Hotel * Jackman’s Imperial Motel * Lakecrest Cottages
LaRocque’s Cottage Martins Cottage Millstone Cottage *
Lake Shore Cabins Lakeside Motor Court * Lake Simond Cabins
Lambie Cottage Mt. Morris View Oberland Cottage
Panther Point Cottage Bull Point Motel Cottages Daly’s Cottages
Foresters Lodge Indian Spring Camp Peace Haven Cottages
Pine Terrace Motor Court Plaza Hotel * Quinn Cottage
Red Top Cottages Roland Richer Cottages Sekon Lodge
Shore Acres Motor Court Storm Cove Sunset Park Motel
The Lumberjack Three Pillars Tope’s Motel
Tupper Lake Motel * “U” Motel * Upper Saranac Lodge
Waukesha Lodge * Wawbeek Hotel and Motel Windsor Hotel *
Grand Union Hotel Wood’s Guest House * Waverly House *
During the late sixties, about 40 years ago, there were 60 accommodation
businesses. Currently, we have 25. 19 of them were open year round (we’re down
to 9). Some of the businesses like the Plaza Hotel still exist but function
There are many reasons for this decline. The 1980 Olympics re-invigorated Lake
Placid making them a major destination and allowed for the growth of their
current infrastructure. The building of the Adirondack Northway changed the way
people traveled through the Adirondacks and the tourist industry began to change
as motels and cottages found themselves no longer on the main travel corridors.
Lake cottages, that were once rentable, have become second homes and the low
occupancy rates during the winter have caused many of our motels to close their
doors. Visitor expectations have also changed; today they want indoor pools,
internet connections, restaurants and other amenities provided by modern inns
Our current hotel base in Tupper Lake consists of scattered motels and cabins
and is inadequate to meet the expanding needs of our community. Our new museum
expects to have a number of educational conferences, workshops and exhibits
throughout the fall and winter, but how successful can we be with only a hundred
rooms available during the winter, where road conditions constitute the
willingness of a person to travel.
According to the Resort Associates, if the Adirondack Club and Resort becomes a
reality it will eventually add an additional 400+ rental units and a 40 room
hotel. Rental units in Tupper Lake are necessary to enable the success of the
Big Tupper Ski Slope, the new Wild Center and main street businesses. If we
accept the $50,000 per room number using the above mentioned statistics, when
fully developed the Adirondack Resort Project will infuse $22,000,000 a year
into the local economy.
Without a winter destination and adequate visitor accommodations, Tupper Lake
will not be able to become a viable all season tourist economy and current
trends will most likely continue. We will continue to lose accommodation
businesses and increase the tax burden of our citizens as we lose our tax base
and become out-competed by other tourist destinations.
The re-opening of the Big Tupper is now beyond the feasibility stage with plans
under review from the Town of Tupper lake and the Adirondack Park Agency.
5. Reconstruct Railroad Depot and Restore Rail Service from Utica to Lake Placid
a. Next Stop! Tupper Lake A community-based effort to return the romance of
railroading to a tourism-lean Adirondack community
For many decades the sound of the locomotive whistle was a familiar one in
Tupper Lake, where a round house, shops, and a sizable rail yard developed to
make our Adirondack community the most important rail junction point between
Utica and Malone. For many years around the turn of the century Tupper Lake was
the junction of John Hurd’s Northern Adirondack Railroad and Dr. Seward Webb’s
Adirondack and St. Lawrence, the two pioneer railroads that transected the
It is some of the historical flavor and nostalgia that a group of hardworking
Tupper Lake volunteers are trying to recreate with the resurrection of the
Tupper Lake railroad station. For the past 4 years a cross section of community
residents, who were organized under the banner of “Next Stop Tupper Lake” have
been hard at work building interest and raising money to rebuild the old “Tupper
Lake Junction” train station. The new station will be a historic recreation of
Tupper Lake’s first train station built about 1895, which was razed in the 1920s
and replaced with a more austere version.
The group began its work with a petition drive and letter writing campaign,
which generated hundreds of pieces of mail and thousands of signatures of people
in Tupper Lake eager to see the train return. Resolutions of support were
collected from over a one dozen local governments in the North Country region.
An anonymous donation of $100,000 by a community benefactor permitted the new
group to purchase the 1.5 acres Junction site which had been in private hands.
Ownership was initially turned over to the then Town of Altamont, the
committee’s sponsor. The committee at that time was not in a position to take
ownership of the parcel.
The volunteers in recent years raised over $60,000 through various fundraisers,
including the sale of souvenir coffee mugs and t-shirts, all supporting the
“Next Stop Tupper Lake “logo at various membership community events. Hundreds of
people have joined the “Junction Depot Gang” and their membership fees to date
have totaled over $20,000. At the time of this writing, a new membership drive
is about to be launched.
Using old photographs, the committee member Dan Mecklenburg sketched drawings of
the first train station. They were forward to John Edwards, a former Tupper Lake
native and now a civil engineer living in Vermont, who prepared professional
drawings for the new station. The engineering details of his plan were certified
by Andy Abdallah of Architectural and Engineering Design Associates of
In 2005 the foundation of the 100-year old station was studied by a foundation
engineer, Elmer Richards of New York City and Gull Pond. That fall the committee
contracted with a north country firm, Moore’s Flatworks of Plattsburg, to extend
the 19’ wide foundation by nine feet, making the size of the new foundation 28’
by 120’. The cost was approximately $11,000.
In late 2005, “Next Stop Tupper Lake” became a not for profit corporation with
Dan McClelland as chairman, Richard Garrelts as vice chairman, Sandra Strader as
treasurer and Chiprle Bishop, secretary. Board members include Nellie Staves,
William Delair, Jim Frenette, Kathleen Lefebvre, and Dan Mecklenburg.
In the spring of 2006, the “Next Stop Tupper Lake” volunteers installed a state
of the art in-floor heating system in the foundation at the cost of $5,000 and a
six inch slab was poured atop the resized foundation (approximately $11,000 in
cost). In preparation of the slab pouring, several times that spring, high
school students were used to level and tamp the sand in the foundation area.
In a series of weekend work bees in September, 2006, framing work began atop the
new foundation, with a goal of framing and enclosing half of the new structure
by winter. The second half of the station will be erected in 2007.
The new facility which will be a replica of the old 1895-era wooden Tupper Lake
train station, which stood for many decades will not only be a welcoming place
for railroad riders on the New York State’s Adirondack rail line. It will be a
host place for hikers and bikers, snowmobilers and tourists of all sorts four
seasons of the year. It will also be home to a new Tupper Lake museum, a place
to showcase local artifacts connected to Tupper Lake’s history of railroading
and logging. A talented member of the local committee, Dan Mecklenburg, created
a scale model of the train station, in miniature detail, which had been used at
public showings around the area this past year. The model of the proposed site
has also been carried with the committee to Albany and around the North Country
in its conversations with many of this area’s elected officials. It can be seen
at the Tupper Lake Visiotr Center.
The “Next Stop! Tupper Lake” volunteers know in their hearts that the new train
station complex will be an important lynch pin in Tupper Lake's effort to
transform its economy to one, which is becoming increasingly more dependent on
tourism. It sends a clear message to the world that Tupper Lake is proud of its
railroading heritage and it wants to share that interest with the many visitors
to the Adirondack region. The committee members believe too that the creation of
a new station will encourage state leaders to look favorably on extending the
Adirondack Railroad from its current operation between Lake Placid and Saranac
Lake to a new terminus here- opening a new path for visitors to come to our
The Town and Village of Tupper Lake recognize the importance that the railroad
represented to the growth of the community in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Officials also realize the significance of this cultural resource and the impact
it revitalization can have on the local economy. The Town and the Village are
hopeful that the Adirondack Scenic Railroad will be restored Tupper Lake.
Community leaders are confident that the project being proposed will bring broad
economic success not only to Tupper Lake but all of the Adirondack Region.
b. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad has established a prominent role in the
industry by drawing nearly 700,000 thousand passengers to the area. Projections
show that ridership in the Tri-Lakes area would double in the first year of
operation when we can extend service from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake.
The rail corridor, when completed, will allow visitors and residents access to
areas of the Adirondack Park that are not accessible by road. This provides
opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking and canoeing in areas that
most people would not be able to visit otherwise. Increased recreational
opportunities will translate into longer, more frequent stays by visitors to the
area and increased sales for outfitters, guides and the hospitality industry.
The Tupper to Saranac expansion will link the new museum in Tupper Lake to the
established Olympic venues in Lake Placid. Travelers will enjoy the experience
of seeing the Adirondacks by rail and be more likely to visit the attractions at
both ends of the Tri-Lakes region.
The railroad provides a way for people with disabilities to experience the heart
of the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is continuing its efforts
to make its equipment more accommodating to passengers with special needs.
When fully operational the railroad could be used to carry freight in and out of
the region. Raw materials, packaging and fuels can be brought in while materials
and finished goods can be carried out. Removal of recyclables and refuse would
extend the life of existing landfills and reduce truck traffic on the highway
The track between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake is only part of the line that
connects Utica to Lake Placid. When the entire corridor is open for passenger
service the potential for increased travel explodes. Our estimates suggest that
we could see as many as 150,000-200,000 riders each year. The economic impact of
increased tourism to the area can be calculated by using existing data. We know
that the average visitor spends about a$100.00 per day. That would translate to
an impact of up to $20,000,000.00 on the economy of the Adirondack Region.
c. Local Benefits: The project includes the reconstruction of the old railroad
station that was located at “the Junction” in the Village of Tupper Lake. The
Tupper Lake community considers this building to be an important cultural
component, albeit missing, of the Town’s history. Rebuilding this facility will
protect an important aspect of the community’s past and will provide a unique
perspective of the area’s early growth for residents and visitors, for many
generations to come.
The plan set forth by Michael Architectural Services, P.C. proposes keeping much
of the exterior detail of the original building. The interior of the building
will be completed in keeping with the spirit of the original building but will
incorporate amenities to comply with program requirements and applicable codes
and regulations. A copy of architectural reports, including specifications and
cost estimates, are included in this proposal. Michael Architectural Services,
P.C, completed these documents between June and July of 2001. A copy of a cost
estimate to construct the building, submitted by Rosch Brothers, inc., General
Contractors, has been attached.
The Town of Tupper Lake will retain ownership of the property in perpetuity.
Both the Town and the Village of Tupper Lake will share the cost of maintaining
Perhaps more importantly, the proposed project will have significant impact on
the local economy of the region. The construction of the railroad station will
result in the immediate creation of construction jobs. The project will also
provide long term economic and employment benefits that will begin to be
realized immediately upon the opening of the facility. Community officials
anticipate that the new welcome and information center will become an area of
heavy visitor traffic, especially during the summer months. These numbers will
grow exponentially once the Adirondack Scenic Railroad adds Tupper Lake to its
Eventually, the Town and Village will need to hire full time or full time
equivalent employees to staff the center. Surrounding businesses will see
expanded economic opportunities to meet the needs of the visitors to the
community. In addition, the welcome and information center will be clearing
house of local information that can use its status as a cultural and historical
center to promote local businesses. The introduction of this center will also
stem the tide of economic stagnation that has plagued the area for years. Again,
economic activity will be directly related to the increase of visitors to the
It is anticipated that approximately 10,000 tourists per year will visit the
train depot and visitor and information center prior to the introduction of the
Adirondack Railroad. The annual number of visitors will increase to
approximately 20, 000 tourists annually once the railroad is connected. The Town
and Village are sensitive to the needs of all visitors.
Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake are all cornerstones of the Adirondack
region. Tupper Lake is the next logical connection for the Adirondack Scenic
Railroad. Although the existing rail bed requires extensive improvements before
the connection can be made, the tracks are already in place. The expansion of
the railroad to Altamont and Tupper Lake is a cost effective, logical choice
that is consistent with the overall revitalization of the Adirondack Region.
The reconstruction of the Depot will also have a stabilizing effect on the
immediate area. The neighborhood immediately surrounding the area is made up of
commercial uses, limited green space, and a recreational park. The area in the
immediate vicinity of the proposed site of the new Depot contains buildings that
are in poor and good condition. The new facility will bring an immediate
improvement in the aesthetics of the area, and will no doubt encourage
neighboring property owners to improve their properties. The Village does have
anecdotal evidence that this chain reaction does indeed take place. For
instance, the Village has undertaken a number of housing rehabilitation programs
where a number of properties within the designated target area received
improvements. It is not uncommon to observe other property owners that have not
received assistance to undertake improvements to their home. As a result, the
entire area experiences revitalization. The community anticipates the same type
of ripple effect for this project.
Finally, the new structure will be compliant with all appropriate laws and
guidelines. The architectural report completed by Michael Architectural Service,
P.C. is included in the appendix of this application and discusses this issue in
more detail. The following photograph shows the project site and surrounding
The Tupper Lake Train Depot will be open to the public immediately upon
completion of the building. The building will have regular hours, but they are
not yet set. The project team anticipates that the building will be open a
minimum of 56 hours a week, including weekend hours. The community also
anticipates utilizing the facility throughout the year to hold special
Fees: The project team does not propose any fees for public usage. When the
Adirondack Scenic Railroad eventually includes Tupper Lake on their Adirondack
run, passengers will be required to purchase tickets, but visiting the Depot
will remain free to the public.
Access will be available to the general public during normal hours of operation.
There will be no limitations to access unless a special event has been scheduled
for the facility. The primary function of the building will be:
• Welcome and Information Center for the region to help visitors find the
services they need and to promote businesses within Tupper Lake and surrounding
• Display photographs and historical artifacts of Altamont and Tupper Lake,
especially items that relate to the railroad and old depot. Home of the Tupper
Lake Heritage Museum?
• Serve as a Railroad Depot for Tupper Lake and a new stop on the Adirondack
The Town and Village, at their discretion, will prohibit uses of the facility
that are not consistent with the activities described above.
Local Benefits: The project team has contracted other train depots located on
Adirondack Scenic Railroad in order to ascertain the number of visitors that
each facility experiences on an annual basis. Based on the number of visitors
stopping at the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake depots, as well the number of
passengers that utilize the Adirondack Scenic Railroad on an annual basis, the
project team projects that they will host a total of at least 20, 000 visitors
The facility will also realize a number of visitors that already vacation in
Tupper Lake will interested in visiting the new depot to see what this welcome
and information center has to offer. While it is difficult to approximate the
number of visitors from this segment of the population, the project team is
confident that at least 5, 5000 visitors to the area will venture to the new
Tupper Lake train depot.
6. Construct multi-use recreational trail system
a. Snowmobiling: Over the past decade we have seen a rebirth in the snowmobiling
industry. Machines are built better and more reliable. Towns and Municipalities
have recognized the economic value of attracting visitors to their communities
by investing in trail groomers. Trails systems have become much improved. During
the winter, snowmobilers are now filling rooms of motels that were once empty.
Inns and restaurants have begun to see their impact.
After meeting with the local snowmobilers and motel owners and reviewing
existing snowmobile maps it was found that there were many things we could do to
encourage and facilitate this economic activity as well as addressing community
concerns. Some of those concerns are the lack of signage, inefficient existing
trail system, and the lack of trails to existing venues (food and lodging).
For any trail system to work efficiently, especially for visitors, trails must
be marked with the proper signage to accommodate their needs. At present the
local snowmobile club has been responsible to place a majority for signage,
however it is often difficult to keep the signs in place. Trails signs that are
off the beaten path are often torn down or used as target practice during the
Many of our trails are in locations that are inefficient and unsigned. For
instance, suppose a group of travelers on the railroad corridor were looking for
lodging for the night. Would they be able to find it easily or with difficulty?
Some trails are unsafe. Should our snowmobile maps direct people across the
Raquette Pond? During a snowstorm or squall visibility can drop substantially
making it very difficult to get your bearings. A slight miscalculation can send
a driver into the Raquette River Channel where the current makes for thin ice.
Thaws can also be dangerous.
Outline of Needs: Tupper Lake is fortunate to have the railroad corridor travel
through it village. At times, during the winter months, there is more travel on
this corridor than the major roads. This provides an opportunity to garner
income into the Village and create jobs provided we create the amenities for the
traveler. Connecting visitors to venues with safe, well-marked trails will
create wealth and jobs for the community.
● Create and maintain efficient, safe trails to local Venues
● Identify trail locations that are appropriate for each particular use such as
walking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiles
● Highlight wildlife and scenic viewing areas by trail locations
● Design areas of trail system for biking, skateboards and rollerblades
Accomplishments: Tupper Lake now has a developed Tupper Lake Multi-Use
Recreational Trail and Transportation Network Master Plan, the proposed Tupper
Lake Multi-Use Trail Connector will play a large role in the ongoing
revitalization efforts of our community and region.
The primary goal of the Trail Connector is to provide linkages and mobility
within the Tupper Lake community. The initial phase in implementing an overall
trail and transportation system will be the design and construction of a
multi-modal transportation connection that will connect two separate
neighborhoods within Tupper, the area known as Faust, and the Tupper Lake
This multi-modal transportation corridor follows the alignment of an abandoned
railroad corridor and a sanitary easement, conceptually identified within the
Master Plan as Junction Pass. This connection will provide a key link between
the Village Downtown and residential neighborhoods to the surrounding cultural,
recreational, and educational resources within the community and region.
Specifically, key linkages will be provided to the Raquette Pond and River
Waterfront, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the future Big Tupper
Ski Mountain Development, the Adirondack Scenic Rail Station, and the Regional
Adirondack Trail System.
The Tupper Lake Multi-Use Trail Connector (Junction Pass) will strengthen
partnerships between the Village, Town, and private stakeholders; encourage
economic development and the continued revitalization of our downtown; conserve
open space and critical environmental resources; and enhance transportation
corridors to encourage more livable neighborhoods.
7. Create Additional Youth Programs and Activities
a. Promote ice skating and other Civic Center uses.
b. Incorporate Respect and Responsibility committee into youth planning. (Mark
will provide text)
c. Hire a youth activity director (Mark will provide text()
8. Foster Municipal Communications and Cooperation
a. Concerted efforts by the Town and Village to combine services that will
eventually lead to the combining of both the Village and Town government.
b. Any revitalization of Tupper Lake needs the support of both political
parties. It is expected that each party after elections builds on the successes
of the past and continues to work in a bi-partisan way.
c. Hire a community development director who would be able to sustain his/her
position with the grants they obtain. Must be a grant writer and well rounded in
economic development experience in the Adirondack Park.
9. Improve Municipal Parks ( we need to review the items below)
a. Consider Civic Center use in overall plans for youths. Work with the Tupper
Lake Hockey Association
b. The village should assume the overall responsibilities of the Village
Municipal Park (take over the shoreline walk) (Do we still want to do this?)
c. Appoint a park planning committee to work with the Park Planner. (Do we still
want to do this?)
d. Work to incorporate use activities from the “Tupper Lake Municipal Park Use
Survey” to include sunset and scenic viewing, motor boating, canoeing/kayaking,
jet skiing, cross country skiing/snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ATV, sporting
activities, picnicking, events, fishing, photography, biking, walking, swimming,
e. Develop plans for a public beach. (Summarize work that has been done up to
this point: Ben, can you handle ?)
f. Winterize the Club House at the golf course (Text will be provided by john
g. Implementation of cross country ski trails at golf course with graded trails.
h. Create an overall plan for the sustainability of the things we accomplish on
our municipal Parks
10 Build an Astronomical Observatory “The Adirondack Observatory”
In 2000, two local amateur star gazers began to develop a plan to build an
observatory that would become a focal point for the study of Astronomy within
the Adirondack Park. In 2003, the APO was established as a nonprofit entity
[501(C)(3)]. Their vision was to open a facility that would allow local students
and the general public an opportunity to enjoy viewing the night sky from a
state of the art facility that would;
• enhance public awareness and advance the science of Astronomy,
• integrate with area schools, colleges and universities and support their
• encourage and support amateur astronomers of all generations from student to
• provide families, civic and community groups the opportunity to view the night
sky with various telescopes,
• add to the enjoyment and quality of life in the Adirondack Mountains,
• contribute to scientific discovery,
• collect historic astronomical related items,
• invite the public to hear lectures and view seminars from experts in the field
The goal would be to establish a center that is; easily accessible and open year
round, large enough to accommodate seminar groups of 25 –30 individuals fitted
with a dome for the main telescope and a retractable roof building for outside
viewing along with individual telescopes. It should be equipped with computer
stations for local and remote viewing, handicap accessible with full utilities
and the focal point for the study of Astronomy in the Adirondack Park
Progress to Date / Notable Events:
• September 18, 2006: The APO has retained Claudio Véliz, Architect (CV A) to
design the observatory. The architectural firm's design work includes
collaborating on prospective lunar and other designs with NASA and aerospace
subcontractors, as well as developing energy-efficient lighting and conservation
systems. CV A has also been commissioned to restore the telescope that was owned
by Abraham Lincoln's eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, at the Hildene Estate in
• July 4, 2006: The APO was invited to participate in the grand opening of The
WILD Center, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks located in Tupper
Lake. Telescopes were set up to view the sun, and astronomy questions were
• January 31, 2006: The Associated Press interview with APO board members Marc
Staves and Jan Wojcik entitled "Adirondacks a sky-gazer's paradise" has appeared
on many news websites, including CNN and CBS News (you can Google more copies of
• June 2, 2005 (as reported in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise by Geoff
Hayward): The Tupper Lake Town Board passed a resolution Thursday which will
allow the Adirondack Public Observatory to purchase 1.5 acres of land at the
intersection of North Little Wolf and Big Wolf roads. The land will cost the
not-for-profit organization $15,000.
• April 7, 2005: NYS Assemblyman Chris Ortloff met with the APO board of
directors to offer his support to the observatory. Assemblyman Ortloff discussed
lighting issues and briefly talked about pending Legislation in Albany. He was
pleased to hear about the efforts being undertaken by local politicians that
will support our project and he was very impressed with our fund raising efforts
• March 23, 2005: The new APO website goes live!
• June 8th, 2004: The APO holds a public session to observe the transit of Venus
across the Sun. Over 50 people were able to view the transit and will forever be
able to say..."I saw it".
• December 2003: 501(c)(3) paper work is submitted to the Internal Revenue
• November 2003: The Adirondack Public Observatory is Incorporated in the State
Project Budget by Phases:
Phase I. Land Purchase (completed)
Board Members identified land owned by the Town of Tupper Lake, located along
Big Wolf Road, as an ideal spot for the Observatory. The cost of the land was
$15,000 with a $2,000 survey cost. Other associated cost amounted to about
$3,000 for a total phase 1 cost of $20,000. The phase of the project is
Phase II. Site development and construction of the “DOME” (work in progress)
This portion of the project shall include clearing of the site, as well as
constructing the classic looking DOME that is closely associated with other
observatories, the installation of the telescopes, and the installation of other
Site Development: $22,000 (includes removal of trees, create an entry road with
“rough” parking area, water/sewer, electric, etc.)
Architectural & Engineering Fees: $29,000 (includes initial design and layout of
the project, with additional consulting during the construction phase, fees for
Adirondack Park Agency & Town approval, etc.)
Construction: $135,000(includes the concrete pour for the DOME, the roll top
observatory, and additional outdoor viewing pad, as well as the construction of
the DOME itself, paving of the driveway and parking area)
Telescopes: $226,000(includes a 24 to 30 inch “Main Telescope” for the DOME
(202K), as well as six smaller telescopes ranging in size from 8 to 12 inches
for the roll top Observatory (24K)
Other Equipment: $107,000 (includes computers, cameras, other items that will
offer remote access, etc.)
Total Cost of Phase II = $519,000
Phase III. Construction of the Roll Top Observatory
This portion of the project approximatlely $5,000 and will include the
construction of the Roll Top Roof building, which will allow larger groups to
have access to additional telescopes. The pad will be completed in Phase II
Construction: $78,000 (includes construction of the building with a special
mechanism to operate the “roll-back” roof) Total Cost of Phase III = $83,000
Phase IV – Final Construction of The Chart House
The Chart House is the final phase and will have approx. 3,000 square feet over
two levels that will include an open room for small public presentations, a
display area for items that hold historical or other astronomical significance,
a conference room, sleeping quarters for researchers & educators, plus be the
technology center. The total construction cost is $485,000
Initial Architect’s Renderings:
Board of Directors
Who we are: amateur and professional astronomers, science teachers, business men
and women from across the North Country united with one goal: to build a state
of the art facility and the first public observatory in the Adirondack Park
President: Marc Staves, , founder, amateur astronomer, Power Lineman, Tupper
Lake Electric Dept.
Vice President: Timothy Moeller, founder, amateur astronomer, NYS Correctional
Officer, Tupper Lake
Secretary: Jim LaValley, owner/broker, LaValley Real Estate, Tupper Lake
Treasurer: Mark Moeller, President, TLNB Insurance Agency
Other Members of the Board
Phil Bogdanovitch, natural resource consultant, Bay Pond Park, Paul Smiths
Gib Brown, WPTZ Meteorologist, science teacher, Ausable
Dr. Robert Dixon, Professor of Astronomy, SUNY Canton
Gordon Duval, physics and astronomy teacher, Tupper Lake High School
Carol Levy, amateur astronomer, Tupper Lake
Dr. Jeff Miller, Professor of Physics, Saint Lawrence University, Canton
Dr. Glenn Myer, director, North Country Planetarium and professor of physics,
Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Saint Lawrence
Joe Thomas, Physics & Astronomy teacher, Clifton-Fine Central School
Dr. Jan Wojcik, Director of the Clarkson University Reynolds Observatory,