As former owners of a classic wooden boat for many years, (ours is the one with the green interior pictured above) my wife, Kelly, and I have a deep appreciation for the nautical artistry that has evolved over thousands of years … and continues to be celebrated right here on the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, at the annual Concours d’Elegance.

Next month, some of finest wooden boats in the country will be displayed on the west shore of the Lake.  Some of the owners of classics of all categories will come to compete for the prestigious Perpetual Trophies of the Concours d’Elegance, many will come with a dream to own and perhaps purchase a classic of their own, yet all will attend to share in the history, artistry, and comradery that can only be experienced at an event like this.

As an architect in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region for over 30 years, I have had the opportunity to share my own passion for creating and designing homes that may be as intricate, treasured, and respected by their owners – as the wooden boats that will be floating on the lake in August.

There is no doubt that designing homes that are built with the only finest craftsmanship and attention to detail  is very much the same thought process and respect that comes with superior boat design.  This similarity is best described in this official definition of “architectural design”

“A concept that focuses on the components or elements of a structure or system and unifies them into a coherent and functional whole, according to a particular approach in achieving the objective(s) under the given constraints or limitations.”


If there is any opportunity for you to come to Tahoe to experience this event, we encourage you to do so.  To help you understand the magnitude of this event, here’s an excerpt from the event’s website:

In 1972 a group of Tahoe Yacht Club members and friends got together to share their passion for wooden boats. From this modest beginning, the Lake Tahoe Concours d’ Elegance has grown to play a significant role in the wooden boat community, as well as the Lake Tahoe maritime community.

Since its induction in 1994 the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation has hosted the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance focusing on the continuing growth of the show, the quality of boat exhibits, the highest of judging standards and practices, and most importantly, sharing the passion of wooden boats between exhibitors and public.

Each year the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation raises money for a charitable organization which is exclusively focused in providing educational opportunities originating in the Lake Tahoe area that enhance expertise or understanding of maritime skills.”

And if you ever want to speak to an architect who is as appreciative of this nautical artistry, as he is for the intricate design of fine mountain and lakefront homes, I’d be honored for the chat.

I hope to can make it to Tahoe this August for the Concours d’Elegance, and if you have a few minutes, do visit the website and watch the video.  You’ll be packing your bags in no time!

 Contact me at any time!

James P. Borelli
Borelli Architecture
Truckee / Lake Tahoe