Mountain Lakes is an extremely special community, truly a unique treasure, and this you'll note the moment you pass through the stone pillars at either end of town. You'll know it as you drive along its narrow curving roads and notice the large stucco Hapgoods — their pleasant family resemblance and yet their individuality.
The largest collection of Craftsman style homes in the United States are in Mountain Lakes. These homes were built by a developer named Herbert Hapgood who built approximately 700 craftsman homes and close to 500 Craftsman style homes still stand today. The building materials for these homes were culled straight from the land they stand on...and the character is evident in the stone chimneys, chestnut woodwork and hand hewn beams.
The period in which Herbert Hapgood designed was one of eclectic architectural styles, but his work shows a consistent debt to Craftsman architecture, tempered by a Colonial Revival influence. Craftsman architecture — now an area of growing interest and study — was one of several related styles that developed out of the English Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. Like the English movement, Craftsman architecture emphasized a simple approach to design, with an honest expression of the materials used. This truth and simplicity was a reaction against what was called the “excesses” of Victorian design. Or, as Gustav Stickley, the American proponent of the movement, stated in his monthly journal called The Craftsman, “beauty does not imply elaboration or ornament.”
This character of the community, the sense of place, is intangible. It is a unique component that the Boro passionately strives to preserve with great success. The tangible elements that represent and reinforce this sense of place are:
- The Natural Setting — Glacial terminal moraine, rolling hills, woods and lakes, boulderstone.
- The Design on the Land — The layout conceived by Hapgood and Holton, his landscape architect; landscape as the prime determinant of the original plan; emphasis on aesthetic use of topography and hydrology; design around the lakes.
- The Built Environment — Dominance of boulderstone in community buildings, foundations, walls, pillars; the houses — eclectic but with an all-important family resemblance; largely stucco with Arts and Crafts features; great congruity between landscape and architecture (simple, naturalistic and traditional).
- Continuity in Design and Lifestyle — Design integrity preserved even while the community undergoes change; newer homes fitted into the lots and layout of Hapgood’s original design; present road designs, watercourses and lakes the same as in the original community.
The details of recent real estate transactions can be reviewed here. Once you're ready for an area tour, please contact "Antoinette" Scognamiglio at 201-240-8699 and get ready to be enchanted with the beauty of Mountain Lakes!
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