Wooden knights and a secret corridor add to the magical charm of the home.
Many children dream of owning their own castle, but John Lavender – owner, designer and builder of the Highlands Castle in Bolton Landing, New York – has realized the childhood fantasy of his son Jason. After telling his (then) 3-year-old son that he would build him a castle, Lavender kept his promise, building it from scratch himself. Set in the beautiful Adirondacks and above the shore of Lake George, the stone castle sits on nine acres of land and feels as if it was torn out of medieval English countryside.
Construction of Castle Highlands began in 1982, and since then Lavender has been continuously building and renovating it to perfection. Today the structure stands at an impressive 12,000 square feet and contains 3 beds, 2.5 baths and a two-story tower seat, and an “excellent hall” with floor-to-ceiling windows that give you a picturesque view of Lake George. The castle also has a music / library room, lounge, nest and a covered terrace that gives you magical panoramic views of the lake. Lavender also incorporated a playful feel into his castle design, adding a secret corridor to the downstairs bedroom, courtyard and amusement park.
To give it a sense of old-world authenticity inside, the castle is full of antiques and collectibles every time – from beautiful furniture to sculptures to hand-carved wooden knights – that Lavender began acquiring five years before he even bought the land.
“I went out and bought antiques year after year. And I just started putting them in storage, “says Lavender.” I … committed myself to keeping the promise. [of building the castle]. “
Attention to detail was important in the design and construction of Highlands Castle, which contains more than 800 tons of stone (placed painstakingly one by one), custom woodwork and stained glass doors, all lending their ancient Gothic style. Fortunately, however, the home includes some modern amenities that make castle life suitable for the 21st century, including an open concept and up-to-date kitchen, luxurious bathrooms with a custom tiled floor, and spacious bedrooms suitable for a king or queen.
The best detail of the castle, however, is the excellent view of Lake George, which Lavender says he never takes for granted.
“A lot of people will ask the same question:‘ Do you ever like to get tired of looking at the view? Or do you ever look at it and just forget to look at it, take it, you know, just for sure? ‘And the answer is no. I want to say that I can sit here and tell you that several times a day I will be thankful only for my time that I can spend here, ”he says.