A walking tour of Lake George, featuring figures of local history and Q-code triggered videos via smartphones are now underdevelopment for the popular resort village. Also envisioned is a vibrant display of abstract shapes in vibrant colors, projected on downtown buildings.
As soon as next year, visitors to Lake George may, in daytime, experience an innovative interactive walking tour that presents local history, and by night see the downtown streetscape illuminated with a colorful, shimmering array of animated lighting displays.
Village officials decided this week to move ahead with plans to pursue a proposal by Dunham Studios of Pottersville to create a trail of historical figures through the village that portray the rich history of Lake George, and perhaps the theatrical lighting, if the project budget permits.
Initial plans call for a dozen or more “marquettes” of influential historical figures. Using their smartphones, tablets or cell phones, visitors could be instantly drawn into dramatic historical videos or narratives on their electronic devices, Clarke Dunham of Dunham Studios said Aug. 5.
“These marquettes, spread through the village, would tell stories about the history, and their costumes might change with the season,” Dunham said. “The idea is to make Lake George more than the destination than it is now — to give the village a more cultural slant — bring history forward and bring it to life.”
High-powered theatrical lights projecting vibrant colors onto facades of Canada Street buildings, could be animated or morphing with a compelling visual effect, Dunham added. Such lighting could also illuminate the trees in Shepard Park, he added.
These streetscape and lightscape concepts were enthusiastically endorsed by village leaders as they unanimously approved Aug. 5 applying for a state $442,000 grant, $221,000 of which would be paid by local taxpayers, to fund the first phase of the project. The remaining $221,000 would be split evenly between the town and village budgets, Mayor Bob Blais said, except for any money received for the project from Warren County. The town and village of Lake George have a request for $50,000 in county Occupancy Tax funds now pending for the streetscape project.
Phase Two of the project could add another dimension — literally.
Subsequent work could involve projections of realistic images on multi-faceted surfaces and sculptures that make figurines look three-dimensional and animated, Blais said.
He said that plans were being developed to project images, appearing three dimensional, of historic buildings on the existing streetscape, to dramatically display the local architecture of a century or more ago.
Dunham said such projected three-dimensional imagery could be abstract cascading animations, in bright colors, to mesmerize visitors and residents alike.
Village leaders said this week that such high-technology visual displays have been used in cities elsewhere, and they’ve become national attractions.
Blais said such a three-dimensional displays were planned for projection onto the Fort William Henry Hotel as part of Phase 1 of the project, but when cost estimates reached $1.2 million for that aspect, it was postponed for the second phase.
The walking tour would begin in the center of Blais Park, where a figurine of Seneca Ray Stoddard, a renowned Adirondack photographer of the late 1800s and turn of the century, would invite visitors to take a historical excursion through the village.
Another marquette of an antique train would be near the historic former D&H train station across from the village’s steel pier. The image would be complete with a train crew, inviting people — through their smartphones — to enter the new Charles Wood Park, Dunham said. Q-codes and text codes could trigger the video animation and audio, he added.
Another figurine of Alfred Stieglitz — a prominent summer resident of Lake George in the early 1900s — could be on the wall of the historic building at Kurosaka Lane, surrounded by his photographic equipment, Dunham said.
Also planned is another, larger interactive display. In Shepard Park near the historic Old Warren County Courthouse, a life-size marquette of the first passenger car on the bygone Prospect Mountain Cog Railway — and rail workers and passengers — would also dramatically convey local history, Dunham said.
“It’s my goal through this project to revive Lake George’s heritage,” he said.