Thursday, June 11, 2015

For the love of logs: the ultimate green home

Originally Published in The New Buffalo Times

Did you play with Lincoln Logs when you were a kid? In case you missed out, Lincoln Logs are still available today as the familiar brown interlocking wooden toy building kits originally invented by the brother of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Beginning with a pile of logs of varied length you would set out with childhood enthusiasm to build a simple box log cabin or even more elaborate Lincoln Log dream home. During the building process you would experience design, the joy of building, and with your fully assembled sturdy Lincoln Log home came a youthful sense of pride and accomplishment. Your childhood imagination would set the fantasy location of your log home, the fun that you would share with your family and friends along with log cabin related activities such as hiking, canoeing and fishing.


America has a long standing obsession with log homes. Along our beloved Michigan and Indiana shoreline there is deep heritage of log home building dating back to the early 19th century when loggers along the Michigan Central Railroad constructed log buildings. In the 1930s a couple of enterprising men decided to turn Michiana Shores into a log-cabin town selling $1400 getaway homes and the land for only $395!

The Log Home Council of the National Association of Home Builders recently published data indicating that more than 25,000 new logs homes are sold each year. Over the last three years r close to fifty homes with some type of log exterior were sold along the Indiana and Michigan shoreline ranging in price from $139,000 to over $1 million. These days America's passion with log homes is all grown up. There are lovingly restored and renovated vintage log homes with updated conveniences and extraordinary modern rustic homes confidently labeled as luxury, "environmentally green" and energy efficient.
There are many styles of log exterior homes. Some made of flat cut logs assembled with "dovetailed" corners, others stacked with alternating logs extending to the corners called "butt and pass" and still others clad with "half log" siding systems. And then there is what many log home aficionados call the king of all log homes. "Full round log" homes assembled in a "saddle notched" interlocking pattern made with very large logs sporting the natural round log showing through from the interior and exterior of the home.

There are numerous examples of fine log homes and in next week's issue of The New Buffalo Times we'll take you inside 11587 Riviera Drive in New Buffalo Township where you'll learn more about how modern rustic living meets luxury getaway home just a short walk from one of the finest private association beaches in the area.

Here is a sneak peek: locally known as one of the best examples of full log home construction is the Riviera Log Cabin in New Buffalo Township. Much more than a cabin this 3,800 square foot luxury residence sits on one of the highest points in the Lake Michigan Riviera Community...

Rob Gow is a writer/ photo contributor with twelve years of experience as a Realtor in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Rob is affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, KoenigRubloff RealtyGroup in New Buffalo, Michigan.  Rob Gow can be contacted at

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