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The Pinnacle

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1896. End of Cedar Beach Rd. Visible only from Lake Champlain

After finishing his term as mayor of Burlington in 1896, industrialist William Van Patten built this wedding cake of a summer camp on a red-rock cliff overlooking Converse Bay. Family friend Samuel D. P. Williams is said to have drawn up the plans. It is basically a hipped-roof two-story box topped by a hipped two-story belvedere, surrounded on the first floor by a deep porch supported on rustic stone piers. Unlike most camps, which developed from vernacular fishing camps or domestic designs built lakeside, the interior of this camp is notable as a design in the “great lodge” tradition, where there is a double-height main room on the first floor with an oversized fireplace, here lit by a second-story Palladian window that faces the lake. The house has Colonial Revival trim elements but generally shares the light wood-frame-with-clapboard vernacular of more modest summer camps. The stained wainscoting and boxed beams and paneled fireplace in the great hall are credited to the Champlain Manufacturing Company, whose designer and manager, R. C. Cottam, also created Burlington's most stylish commercial interior for the Burlington Savings Bank (CH7). Van Patten served as president of the Malted Cereal Company, vice president of Wells Richardson, and director of the Queen City Cotton Mills.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "The Pinnacle", [Charlotte, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 180.

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