Step Contained in the Fort a Dad Promised to His Son


Picket knights and a secret passageway add to the house’s magical attraction.

Many youngsters dream of proudly owning their very own fort, however John Lavender — proprietor, designer and builder of the Highlands Fort in Bolton Touchdown, New York — made his son Jason’s childhood fantasy a actuality. After telling his (then) 3-year-old son that he would construct him a fort, Lavender delivered on his promise, setting up it from scratch himself. Nestled within the stunning Adirondacks and overlooking the coast of Lake George, the stone fort sits on 9 acres of land and feels as if it was plucked from a medieval English countryside.

Building on the Highlands Fort started in 1982, and ever since, Lavender has been within the course of of continually constructing and renovating it to perfection. Presently, the construction stands at a powerful 12,000 sq. ft and options 3 beds, 2.5 baths in addition to a two-story tower sitting space, and a “nice corridor” with floor-to-ceiling home windows that provide you with a picturesque have a look at Lake George. The fort additionally has a music/library room, sitting room, den and a lined terrace that provides you magical, panoramic views of the lake. Lavender additionally integrated a way of play into his fort design, including a secret passageway to the downstairs bed room, patio and leisure room.

To present it a way of old-world authenticity on the inside, the fort is full of antiques and collectibles at each flip — starting from stunning items of furnishings to sculptures to hand-carved wood knights — that Lavender began procuring 5 years earlier than he even bought the land.

“I went out and bought antiques yr after yr. And I began to only put them in storage,” Lavender says. “I … was committing myself to meet the promise [of building the castle].”

Consideration to element was essential within the design and development of Highlands Fort, which options over 800 tons of stone (positioned painstakingly one after the other), customized woodworking and stained-glass doorways, all lending to its vintage Gothic model. Fortunately, nevertheless, the house does embrace some fashionable facilities that make fort life appropriate for the 21st century, together with an open idea and up-to-date kitchen, luxurious loos with customized tile work, and spacious bedrooms match for a king or queen.

The most effective element of the fort, nevertheless, is the unrivaled view of Lake George, which Lavender says he by no means takes with no consideration.

“There’s lots of people will ask the identical query: ‘Do you ever like get uninterested in trying on the view? Or do you ever not have a look at it and simply overlook to take a look at it, take it, you already know, simply with no consideration?’ And the reply isn’t any. I imply, I can sit right here and let you know that a number of occasions a day I’ll give thanks only for my time that I’m in a position to spend right here,” he says.



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