Entered onto the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 1992, the John Innes Kane Cottage—originally called “Breakwater” and currently referred to as “Atlantique”—holds significance as a reminder of Mount Desert Island during the cottage era and commemorates one of the area’s best known architects, Fred Savage [1]. This Tudor style summer home is believed to be Savage’s largest cottage in Bar Harbor and one of the “best surviving examples” of his work [2].

At the turn of the nineteenth century, Bar Harbor flourished as one of the most popular summer resorts on the east coast with grand hotels and cottages constructed across the island [3]. However, with the effects of the Great Depression, World War II, and the 1947 fire [4], most of the famed cottages vanished. Today, the remaining cottages are recognized on the National Register of Historic Places representing a link to the area’s grand social past.

Fred Savage was born in the Mount Desert Island area [5], and over his lifetime he designed over 300 projects—most of which were built on the island [6]. While the Kane cottage is not the only surviving project by Savage, it has always been one of his more distinctive projects. Savage was responsible for the entire structure’s design [7] using a Tudor revival style, and although Savage is better known for his shingle style work, he did work with Tudor and colonial revival styles in multiple projects [8]. Although not  a typical Savage design, the Kane cottage became such a testament of his work that it was named in an article announcing Savage’s sudden death [9].

By Marisa Higgins


[1] National Register of Historic Places. Kane, John Innes, Cottage, Bar Harbor, Maine. National Register #92000275.

[2] Bryan, John M. “The Breakwater Cottage.” Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert. New York: Princeton Architectural Press: 2007 (202).

[3] National Park Service. “The History of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island.” Acadia National Park. U.S. Department of the Interior. accessed December 6, 2015.

[4] Edgecomb, Misty. “Savage beauty; Northeast Harbor native was MDI’s most prolific architect.” Bangor Daily News. April 16, 2002.

[5] Register #92000275; “Architectural Drawing & Early Sketches of Fred L. Savage: Drawings from the Gerrish Collections”. Mount Desert Island Historical Society. accessed October 31, 2015.

[6] Register #92000275; Bryan 2007; Roths, Jaylene B. “Fred Savage, The Cottage Builder.” The History Journal of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society II (1999): 38-53.

[7] Bryan 2007; Bar Harbor Times. “Fred. L. Savage Dies Suddenly.” February 27, 1924.

[8] “Architectural Drawing”; Roths 1999.

[9] Bar Harbor Times 1924.

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