The summer residence of Dr. Nathan Oppenheim and his wife, Bertha, of New York is a different breed from the relatively modest late-nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century camps built mostly by Vermont locals along the shores of Lake Champlain. The Oppenheims purchased a farm at the head of Kingsland Bay and commissioned New York City architect and Cornish, New Hampshire, summer colonist Charles A. Platt to develop it into a substantial lakeside estate. Platt specialized in dignified country homes elegantly related to their landscaped settings. For the Oppenheims he devised a Georgian-plan house of random-faced ashlar that was quarried on-site. By selecting stone he was following a tradition for lakeshore houses from the 1780s through the 1830s, as exemplified by the grand Gideon Hawley house (c. 1800, in the adjacent state park) that was built as an inn. While echoing the substantial massing and simple dignity of its neighbor, the Oppenheim house also exhibits Platt's unerring sense of siting, proportions, and understated decorative motifs. With pedimented dormers, modillion cornices, and a handsome Tuscan porch, the house is a particularly sophisticated example of Colonial Revival that was so important in early-twentieth-century Vermont.
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