The Arctic Brotherhood Hall in Skagway, Alaska, built by pioneers during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s, is fronted with more than 9,000 individual pieces of driftwood. The wood is arranged in an intricate thatched pattern that might seem beyond the artistic capabilities of a bunch of gold-hungry prospectors, but it's one of the most oddly beautiful buildings we've come across. In the 120 years since, wood has become a nearly ubiquitous building material, so it takes some novel thinking—or deep pockets—to make new-age log homes stand out from the crowd. After the jump, we've got four properties that take the humble wood home into a flashier new era.
? Pictured during its 2003 construction for publishing magnate Jim Moore, this 117,000-square-foot timber-frame home didn't use driftwood for its construction. Instead, the Canadian firm Pioneer Log Homes hand-selected old-growth hardwoods from the forests of British Columbia, assembled the massive house at their Canadian headquarters, then disassembled it again, packed it up, and shipped each and every log to Walden, Colo., where the overgrown log cabin became the centerpiece of a 3,000 acre ranch. The highlight—or low-light for you treehuggers—is a 2,000-year-old, 65-foot trunk supporting the roof above the great room. Estimated cost of construction? $28M.Photos: Anderson Wise Architects
? For those in the market for a striking wood home, the Stone Creek Camp in Bigfork, Mont. offers up a modern interpretation, stacking split logs like firewood in broad walls at the rear of the house. On the reverse, there is plenty of steel and glass, but at first glance this looks like something a pioneer could have constructed on the prairie given enough time and wood. Today, it costs $19.8M.
? This Adirondack estate on New York's Upper St. Regis Lake features a 100-year-old main house with restored beech and birch bark siding, but also packs in modern features like central air conditioning, a more recently constructed five-bay boathouse, and granite kitchen. Six additional outbuildings dot the property, which was recently featured on HGTV.
? Lastly, we have a more manageable version of Jim Moore's Colorado behemoth, a 5,500-square-foot, glass-and-timber construction on New Hampshire's Squam Lake. The estate boasts 25 acres, broad views of the lake, and a slightly more reasonable price tag at $9.6M.
· Arctic Brotherhood Hall [alaska-in-pictures]
· Pioneer Log Homes [official site]
· Stone Creek Camp [Christies]
· Stone Creek Camp [Anderson Wise Architects]
· St. Regis [Adirondack Real Estate]
· Indian Portage [LandVest]