Photos courtesy of Gary and Kelley Uvanni
For the moment, the Septa Lodge is the Adirondack getaway of Kelley and Gary Uvanni. Full of authentic decor dedicated to local history and located 40 miles west of the Uvannis’ primary home in Syracuse, New York, the lodge occupies a quiet piece of land among the 6 million acres spanning the Adirondack Mountains. And while it’s the couple’s summer home now, this rustic retreat sits ready for the day when Kelley and Gary retire.
Kelley: If you’re not familiar with the Adirondacks, they’re in central New York. There are 46 high peaks, primarily around Lake Placid; we’re just south of there.
We built this place three years ago, and it’s our third home up here. (Third time is the charm!) We started with a log home 15 years ago, which we built from the ground up and owned for 10 years. Then we had an opportunity to buy on the lake, so we moved into a house which was already in the family. We were there for about two years before we found a piece of land and decided to build from the ground up again. It’s our second home now, but we designed it with the intention to move here.
It’s Adirondack-y, if that’s a word. Very rustic, a lot of birch and stick work and animals. There’s also some Native American decoration inside because of the Iroquois who settled here. You can’t farm because the growing season is too short, but there is plenty of fishing and hunting. In fact, the Iroquois showed the European settlers where to fish and how to hunt. The living was brutal, but it was possible.
Gary: I believe our home would be considered a timber frame hybrid. We found a design on the internet, and then we tweaked it with an architect. There’s a lot of custom work inside – we have a craftsman friend up here, so we worked with him give the house a lodge look and feel. The walls are all skip trowel, which is a rough texture.
Kelley: Everything in this cabin has meaning. There’s a story behind every piece, and it’s all tied to local history. This is our hobby – this is what we do.