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Replacing New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain 162

Posted by kdawson
from the fall-down-go-boom dept.
Holdstrong writes "New Hampshire's iconic natural rock formation, the Old Man of the Mountain, fell from its mountain-side perch back in 2003. Award-winning architect Francis D. Treves is proposing a monument to replace it. His idea would feature a replica of the Old Man made out of 250 suspended glass panels and would allow visitors to enter the structure in order to gain views of the valley below. The design has received harsh criticism from the public, in part, Mr. Treves believes, due to the fact that quality images and accurate information about his design have been hard to come by. Replacing a beloved natural monument with a man-made one is sure to bring out emotions. Will a clearer understanding of the design help sway public opinion?"
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Replacing New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain

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  • by sokoban (142301) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @02:43AM (#27918549) Homepage

    You know, I was trying to come up with something about which I could be completely ambivalent and not care about one way or the other in the slightest.

    Then I found this on slashdot.

    Slashdot: News for New Hampshire. Stuff that doesn't matter at all.

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by ZiakII (829432)
      Hey I'm Plymouth, New Hampshire you insensitive clod.
      • And do you care about The Old Man of the Mountain?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Z00L00K (682162)

          I was in that area last summer, and I think that any construction shall be thoroughly considered before approved in that area.

          It's a nice area as it is, and the missing face is of course a loss, but it also indicates to us the inevitable change that exists.

          It won't be a Mt. Rushmore.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I have to admit that I've never been to New Hampshire, where the most interesting thing that state has/had going for it is the formation of a cliff that kind of looked like the face of an old man when viewed from a certain angle. New Hampshire is so boring that they literally put this arbitrary geological formation on their state coin. The "face" finally collapsed in 2003, causing many to be so distressed that they literally cried.

            WHERE'S YOUR OLD MAN NOW? New Hampshire's Tourism Industry: 0, Me: 1. To be f

            • by Z00L00K (682162)

              A decently sized stone sculpture placed in the area that does show how it did look like before it fell down would be the best thing. A stone sculpture will blend into the environment in a good way.

              A glass construction may be annoying too many people.

              For those that never have been in that area I have a few photos to view too from last summer: http://www.bedug.com/?q=gallery&g2_itemId=2890 [bedug.com]

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by DrLang21 (900992)
                This whole glass monument thing just seems like someone's attempt at a money grab. Otherwise the creator wouldn't be telling the locals that he knows better than they do.
            • I agree. This isn't some historical monument like Constitution Hall in Philadelphia, or the First Congress building in downtown New York. It's just an old rocky ledge. We have millions of them in Appalachia and the Rcokies.

              There are better ways to waste money than rebuild some old rock - like buy a couple million free McDonalds meals for the starving people in our downtowns. Or pay off 5% of the national debt so it won't be as big of a burden on our children and grandchildren. Something that matters.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by dirtylimerick (881086)
              A few things I haven't seen mentioned yet ...

              A lot of the respect and appeal of the Old Man comes from Daniel Webster's quote "Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men." Daniel Webster and his ability to debate and orate is historically more respected and revered then any ot
              • by tedgyz (515156) *

                Greatest state in the union. Deal with it.

                No doubt! I've been here 43 years since birth and I'm not leaving. I don't take it for granite.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tedgyz (515156) *

        Hey I'm Plymouth, New Hampshire you insensitive clod.

        Me too. Live free and die!

      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:52AM (#27921197) Homepage
        I'm in NH also... I never really cared much for the old man, I mean it was kind of an interesting thing to look at and I'd occasionally bring friends from out of state to see it if we happened to be going through the area where it was located.

        It didn't make me sad at all when it fell, I actually laughed because the state put that image on everything, coins, badges, logos, anything state related had the tied old man on it. Now they have to be a bit more creative when thinking up new state symbols. The face was slowly sliding apart for YEARS before it fell, there was a small crew that would add hooks and cables to the damn thing every year to keep it from sliding off, really it was just postponing the inevitable.

        Personally I like NH, the cost of living is relatively cheap, taxes are some of the lowest in the country, and the state politics (while no where near perfect) are a lot more pleasing than nearly all the other states out there IMO.

        I think the proposed glass replacement is a great idea I'd like to see more modern architecture here in the state, a visitors center would be good for tourism and a glass replacement would make the face look like a ghost, certainly better than the shapeless lump that sits up there now. I don't know why people would oppose this for ascetic or historical reasons, I mean it's not like the the old face will grow back. If you wait much longer people will forget the damn thing even existed, honestly I hadn't even thought about it for years until I saw this article.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          I live in NH too and I have glimpsed the unremarkable almost face driving by and was prfoundly unimpressed. Why don't they put up a stone face of an old man that REALLY looks like a stone face of an old man, a la Easter Island. People will drive by and say "OMG loko at THAT! is that NATURAL? Amazing! They could even put robotics in it so that the mouth could move and boom out "LIVE FREE OR DIE" to passing motorists, and maybe a winking eye too. now THAT would be worthy of coins and license plates.
          • by dwye (1127395)

            > I have glimpsed the unremarkable almost face driving by and was prfoundly unimpressed.

            Having been driven by it once, years ago, I could only agree that the road view wasn't worth seeing. However, according to a number of sources that I have read, the view from the road was not nearly as good as the view that one would get hiking near it. Certainly it didn't match an old painting of the formation that I once saw, nor the image on the state coin.

            > Why don't they put up a stone face of an old man tha

          • Maybe the giant talking stone head can give away trips to space camp.

    • by eclectro (227083) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @03:05AM (#27918661)

      I know you are a slashdot old-timer such as myself and therefore do not read the fine articles. Because I question what self-professing nerd would think that this wasn't cool [townsandtrails.com]. Even if for but a second before your environmentalist knee-jerk happens.

      • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @03:45AM (#27918855)

        No. It isn't cool. It's boring. A cooler construction similar to that is the face of the building of a local bank here. Including a whole tree *on the inside*.

        Wanna see *really cool architecture design*? Then go look at the 09 competition on this site: http://www.evolo-arch.com/ [evolo-arch.com]

        • Wanna see *really cool architecture design*? Then go look at the 09 competition on this site: http://www.evolo-arch.com/ [evolo-arch.com]

          That's not cool, it's boring. It's typical architectural ego masturbation. Like an adolescent, it declares that it is overthrowing the existing paradigm while doing the same thing as all its peers. Half of it looks like an inverted Borg as imagined by H.R. Geiger, pseudo-organic tendrils attempting to assimilate the existing rectilinear city.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Thank you, Captain, you certainly live up to your name. You did miss one important nit- I really doubt most of those designs would stay up given a slight breeze. Oh, and the few that look robust have clearly illustrated that the buildings are for nothing more than looking pretty, and have very little practical use (take the disolved looking building with tons of scaffolding, but not a single room..?)
            • by cowscows (103644)

              Ah, you could make any of those designs entirely structurally sound. Technically it's easier than you'd think. It'd just require many dump trucks full of money to be able to actually afford to build it.

      • Because all I get from this obnoxious idea is some evil villains lair.

        Honestly, does the guy not get it, that the original feature was created by nature is what made it special. Otherwise it would have been just another rock outcropping.

        The only thing missing from his idea is the ability to sprout legs and arms and go marauding across the countryside.

    • by Shin-LaC (1333529)
      What really surprises me is that the (former) rock formation is the default destination for "Old Man of the Mountain" on Wikipedia, instead of the historical figure [wikipedia.org]. When I hear "old man of the mountain", that guy is the first thing I think of.
      We need to fight the rampant New-Hampshire-centrism on Wikipedia!

      (I was going to say that it was US-centric, but it looks like Americans don't care, either.)
    • Hey, nowwwww... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Slartibartfast (3395)

      As an NH resident, well... wrong, sir, you're wrong!

      That being said, while I do care about this -- even deeply (and probably in the "Nay" camp), I can't, for the life of me, figure out why it's on Slashdot.

      • by Chabo (880571)

        My mom was at church the day after the Old Man fell. She heard one of the older ladies in the town utter the following phrase:

        "It's like nine-eleven all over again..."

        [/facepalm]

        • But, somehow, putting it on the level of 3K+ innocents' lives seems -- call me crazy! -- perhaps a wee bit over the top. For the sake of my sanity, I'll just assume she was succumbing to Alzheimer's.

          As for me, I was on a cruise. And it was actually the lead story on the in-house cable. Surprised, I was.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @08:57AM (#27920581)
      How about they build a giant monument to the concept of Pareidolia and the public fascination with seeing old men in rock formations, Elvis in potato chips, and the Virgin Mary in highway overpass stains?
    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      Yup. Back to thinking up dirty limericks.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @02:52AM (#27918589)

    Humans have an uncanny knack for finding faces in randomness. It's been said that this is an evolutionary feature. This explains why we sometimes think we see ghosts or Virgin Maries or even Jesus on the asses of dogs. But in reality, it's nothing more than our brain cleverly interpreting the random patterns into something we can easily comprehend.

    So when the Old Man of the Mountain crumbled, we didn't just lose a pile of rocks. We lost one of our conceptual markers. Like the mountain in South Dakota that bears an uncanny resemblance to former presidents, this natural monument symbolizes a very dear slice of our history. To have lost it to nature is a blow to not only New Hampshire but our own national pride as Americans.

    However simply replacing it with a glass structure is not necessarily the right thing to do. One key aspect of the monument was its permanence and impenetratibility. By replicating the shape in glass, the monument loses both aspects. It would be, in other words, better to have simply left the rubble alone.

    I would encourage you to write your congressmen and representatives to stop this wrong-headed "artistic" solution. In Afghanistan, where the Taliban destroyed centuries-old statues, they are rebuilding them in stone. So too should the majesty of the stone face be returned in stone form.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      Like the mountain in South Dakota that bears an uncanny resemblance to former presidents...

      You wouldn't by any chance be referring to Mount Rushmore [wikipedia.org], would you?

      Yep, they carve up a mountain to look like a bunch of former US Presidents, and the mountain winds up looking like a bunch of former US Presidents. Who'd've thunk such a thing?

    • by Qubit (100461) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @03:11AM (#27918697) Homepage Journal

      In Afghanistan, where the Taliban destroyed centuries-old statues, they are rebuilding them in stone. So too should the majesty of the stone face be returned in stone form.

      If someone had gone and blown up the Old Man then I would be gung-ho to rebuild it as it was, but the Old Man just let go of his own accord. He'd been up there for what -- a few thousand years? And we'd gone and given him a facelift with cables and such a couple of times already.

      If the Old Man of the Mountain finally fell down, then perhaps he should stay down where he fell. I like the idea of working in stone, as it's durable to last for another thousand years -- maybe taking the stone that fell down and building something lower-down on the slope? Part of the draw of the whole thing was the natural aspect of it. Whatever is done, I hope that they try to work with nature rather than fighting against it every step of the way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AliasMarlowe (1042386)

        If the Old Man of the Mountain finally fell down, then perhaps he should stay down where he fell.

        Agree completely. Its appeal was that it was natural, not artificial.
        Now, if something is to be built as a replacement tourist attraction in Franconia Crotch^WNotch, let's make it the "Young hottie of the mountain". This would obviously be politically correct, as it's a female replacing a male. It would also be acceptable to most males, provided the hottie is done artistically (i.e. featuring the naughty bits).

        • by Qubit (100461)

          ...let's make it the "Young hottie of the mountain"

          Ah... I think I get the plan: Putting the Old Man of the Mountain back up ourselves wouldn't be natural, no siree, but if we install a Young Hottie of the Mountain, then the Old Man of the Mountain might *ahem* rise again.

    • by eclectro (227083) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @03:13AM (#27918703)

      So too should the majesty of the stone face be returned in stone form.

      Maybe a compromise could be reached. They could rebuild the face in stone but put windows in where the eyes are. Then at night they could turn on the red lights.

      That's right. New Hampshire would suddenly become the most kick-ass state in the union.

      • Holy fuck, that is amazing.

        I don't see the problem with reconstructing something that was natural, so we can tell our kids "see, kids? This is what it looked like!"

        Now making new "old men" on other mountains that never featured such natural scapes- that'd be pushing it. There's nothing wrong with showing what it used to look like!

        That being said, I'm not sure either way will have an effect on the tourism in NH, it seems we just can't keep the MASS-holes out, no matter what. We'll do just fine.
    • think we see ghosts or Virgin Maries or even Jesus on the asses of dogs

      So... I see you too are religious and spend a lot of time checking out dogs as well. There's a club you know, we meet on friday.

      One key aspect of the monument was its permanence and impenetratibility. By replicating the shape in glass, the monument loses both aspects.

      Well then, a key aspect of remaking it out of glass will be a reflection of the fact that the old man was, in fact, NOT permanent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jesus_666 (702802)
      According to Wikipedia, the planned monument will actually "include five huge stones that, viewed from a raised platform, merge into a form that recreates the profile outline". There's even a website [nh.gov] about it, which lends a bit of credibility to that version as it's part of nh.gov.

      That glass thing is just one artist's concept.
    • In Africa there once stood what was considered the loneliest tree in the world [wikipedia.org]. People respected it and no one dared to damage it. Until a truck crashed into it [damninteresting.com] and broke it.

      The original Tree of Ténéré was replaced by a sculpture made of discarded metal parts, made by an anonymous artist. Perhaps that was much better than a planned monument.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      Worse still - the outcropping only looked like a face from one angle. If you looked at it from another, it just looked like a rock outcropping. I lived in that area for a couple of years, and the viewing location is right on a highway.

      This guy's design produces a symmetric sculpture that will look like a human face from all viewing angles. So he's not perfectly recreating the formation, but using it as a template for sticking a human-looking pile-of-glass on the side of a minor peak in the White Mou
      • by Rary (566291)

        Worse still - the outcropping only looked like a face from one angle. If you looked at it from another, it just looked like a rock outcropping.

        I was wondering about that. I couldn't find any pictures of the "face" from anything other than exactly the same angle. Are there any pictures online of the "face" from a different angle?

        Personally, I'd just put up a little panel on the side of the road at what would have been a good spot to view the "face", talking about its history and showing a picture of what was there. Then people can pull over, look at it, go "hmmm, interesting", and get on with their lives.

        • by Jon_S (15368)

          If you headed south from the viewing point before it fell, the whole image disappeared within a few hundred yards or so and it just looked like a regulr cliff. It was only the old man from a very specific viewing angle.

    • by GWBasic (900357)

      However simply replacing it with a glass structure is not necessarily the right thing to do. One key aspect of the monument was its permanence and impenetratibility.

      You do realize that it was held up with cables and cement for most of the 20th century? If it wasn't held up by the hands of man, it wouldn't have been there for me to see with my own eyes.

      The view of driving by the man is something that can't be reproduced in a mere photograph.

  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @02:53AM (#27918597)

    "Replacing a beloved natural monument with a man-made one is sure to bring out emotions. Will a clearer understanding of the design help sway public opinion?"

    Definitely. They will be more accurate with their condemnations.

  • by Bazman (4849) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @02:56AM (#27918621) Journal

    I was in New Hampshire as a tourist from England with a friend from San Diego. She knew NH had this Old Man rock formation thing, and so we went to see it. We parked the car, and wandered along the track towards the lake, eyes up on the skyline waiting for this rock formation to appear round the corner from the hillside. But it didn't. It was September 2007. We'd got all the way to the viewpoint before we saw any mention of the fact it had fallen off four years earlier.

    There were quite a few visitors there pointing at the empty space where the Old Man used to be.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PhilHibbs (4537)

      There were quite a few other idiots there pointing at the empty space where the Old Man used to be.

      Fixed.

    • by tomz16 (992375)

      I agree completely. It's like the entire state is in denial!

      I was up in NH with family last year. They still advertise the stupid OLD MAN everywhere. It's in all their tourist books, placemats in restaurants, license plates, coins, etc. etc. There is NO mention of the fact that it fell down years ago and no longer exists!

      So we figure that if it's such a HUGE deal, it's probably worth seeing and head to the right area. We walk down a brief trail from the parking lot, past a closed-down gift shop, to a c

      • by pyrr (1170465)
        Perhaps the state of NH should just close the entire area to the public, under threat of a lengthy stay in a re-education camp, and declare that the face did not, in fact, collapse. There are probably a bunch of people who would need to be "re-educated" regardless, and those who failed the program could either be quietly disposed of, or treated like all those kooks who claim the moon landing was actually performed in a sound stage on Earth. Nobody would believe them anyway! The masses could then rest conten
    • by StikyPad (445176)

      Step 1 of tourism: Make sure the place you want to visit actually exists.

      I had a similar experience when I went to visit the Stanley Hotel, where The Shining was filmed. Only after arriving and actually entering the hotel, did we realize that it was where The Shining miniseries was filmed, not the iconic film with Jack Nicholson that everybody thinks of, which was filmed on a sound stage in England. Granted, The Stanley was where Stephen King stayed for a night, and was the inspiration for the novel, and

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The old man fell when he was made of stone! Now you want to remake him with glass?!

    Great plan...

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @02:57AM (#27918625)

    Sorry for calling it "rubble", but it is. Before you get that wrong, that was exactly what made it special. It was a natural formation that had a remarkable, curious structure. You cannot "remake" that. Should Old Faithful stop spewing, are you going to replace it with a pumping structure? In what way is that special? I could dig a hole right here and install a water pump.

    What made this monument a monument was that it was a natural curiosity. Remaking it cheapens it.

    • by Triv (181010) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @03:04AM (#27918653) Journal

      What made this monument a monument was that it was a natural curiosity. Remaking it cheapens it.

      Remaking it brings in tourist revenue for a site that was so much a part of the area's character that its profile is on thousands of road signs [wikipedia.org]. NH is a small and curious state; losing the mountain man was akin to filling in the Grand Canyon with a backhoe. Not eulogizing it somehow is unthinkable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Z00L00K (682162)

        Just be careful with what you do in the area. The view is really nice, as you can see in some images I have from last summer:

        http://www.bedug.com/?q=gallery&g2_itemId=2931 [bedug.com]

        (Now I'm probably going to get slashdotted! :-P )

      • by adavies42 (746183)

        losing the mountain man was akin to filling in the Grand Canyon with a backhoe

        Not to specifically agree or disagree, but your analogy completely misses Opportunist's point: "filling in the Grand Canyon with a backhoe" would be a deliberate act. This is more like a flood filling the Grand Canyon with mud. (Causing such a flood without simultaneously killing everyone capable of caring is left as an exercise for the reader....)

      • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:02AM (#27920635) Journal

        "...losing the mountain man was akin to filling in the Grand Canyon with a backhoe..."

        Um no, you have your metaphor reversed.
        Losing the mountain man would be as if the Grand Canyon somehow naturally filled in, and you DUG IT OUT with a backhoe. Would that be impressive at all? I think not.

        I'm not sure if it comes from our increasingly transitory society and general rootlessness, but there seems to be this juvenile preoccupation with KEEPING THINGS THE SAME.

        Look, the 'balancing rock' tips over, the 'old man of the mountain' sloughs off, the Appalachians wear away. It used to be that people were so busy staying alive and fending off sabretooths that they didn't care about this stuff, it just happened. Now, when we have a basically safe society people want it and the world around it to ossify and STOP changing - witness the efforts to 'fix' various languages the way they are today, or even this obsession with global climate change. Hell, one could even point to the Baby Boomers who keep pillaging our childhoods for movie fodder, desperate to recapture 'then' and bring it to now.

        People: there is no conceivable future that doesn't include change. This pervasive change starts at the personal and extends to the climatological and geological. At some point you have to grow up and accept that it happens, adapt, and move on.

        • Personality it's the transience of natural areas like this that makes me like them so much.

          Places like that are such a beautiful representation of time. Your little flicker of life walking past trees that have been there hundreds of years, perched precariously and temporarily on rocks that have been there for thousands of years, but showing such clear signs of erosion and fall that you know that their state, too, is temporary. The whole world we even know about is a blink in the eye of the universe.

          Makes me

        • by 5KVGhost (208137)

          People: there is no conceivable future that doesn't include change. This pervasive change starts at the personal and extends to the climatological and geological. At some point you have to grow up and accept that it happens, adapt, and move on.

          Let's review: The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed. I guess there are two ways to approach this.

          1) Folks get together and say, hey, let's build a new, man-made attraction out of entirely different materials. To replace the old one. Which no longer exists. Because, ev

          • by argStyopa (232550)

            "1) Folks get together and say, hey, let's build a new, man-made attraction out of entirely different materials. To replace the old one. Which no longer exists. Because, even though we know it won't be the same, the state really could use the tourist revenue."

            Valid point, assuming resources are infinite.

            One could restate it as "Yes, the natural remarkable attraction is gone. So we're going to build something with taxpayer funds that we're going to simply assert that it is somehow interesting, and assume th

      • by necro81 (917438)
        Yes, but all the taciturn yankees in New Hampshire probably just shrugged their shoulders, saying, "well, that's a shame" and moved on with their lives. That's about all the eulogizing it needed.

        New Hampshire Yankees can be pretty fatalistic when the mood hits them, and give Buddhists a run for their money in pointing out the impermanence of things. It's kind of an odd philosophy, considering how otherwise obstinate they can be, and how enduring many of their works have been.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What made this monument a monument was that it was a natural curiosity. Remaking it cheapens it.

      I can understand that it's nothing like a replacement, but is it such a bad alternative? Rebuilding it as a stone reconstruction would really cheapen it (trying to re-create nature misses the point), but at the moment it's just a nice view that gets a number of confused tourists, right? It sounds like as good a place for a large art installation as any. Isn't the only real alternative to just leave it as a nice walking trail that will eventually fall into disuse?

    • by fyoder (857358)

      You're right about not being able to 'remake' it, but still NH should have their old man of the mountain. Perhaps do a realistic portrait in stone, like Rushmore, except of a generic old male citizen. They could have a contest for Mr. Old Man New Hampshire (no bathing suit category hopefully) and the winner could serve as the model.

    • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @04:35AM (#27919097) Homepage Journal

      I'm intrigued by the idea of this monument. It seems to turn what was once the landmark of Franconia Notch into a viewing platform to see the valley's natural beauty. And the highway that runs up through it. Er.

      The interesting part is putting it in where the original Old Man used to be, and shaping it to resemble the original rock formation. A homage without trying to rebuild, and that makes sense.

      My main quibble would be the amount of construction needed. How does the architect plan to get the materials and the machines up there and back out without causing a lot of damage to the environment? How would it be supplied with electricity and sewage? And how the heck do visitors get there? Will the current parking area be converted? And finally, is the view by itself worth it?

      I was born in New Hampshire, and so I feel some attachment to the area. If this becomes a monument to the beauty of Franconia Notch without spoiling it, then I am for it. But only if that's the case. We don't need another monument to something that the monument itself paved over.

    • It was a natural formation

      Unfortunately it hasn't been "natural" for a very long time. Since 1916 it has been held together artificially by various means - otherwise it would have collapsed many years ago.

      I can't think of any other naturally-occuring monuments, so it was unique at one time. It would definately not be unique if they rebuilt it. Widening the crummy 2-lane 40 MPH highway through that area to interstate standards would be a better use of money.
  • Of those that looked at the link to wikipedia and the composite before/after photo... doesn't the after photo still look like a face? Kinda trippy.

    Given what the face looks like, I think they should leave it alone and call it old woman of the mountain... the rename would be kind of interesting in a historical context too.
  • Deal with it.

    Why does everything have to have a monument these days? And isn't a giant artificial rock formation the antithesis of what was there originally? This reminds me of the attitude of people who have their deceased pets stuffed, or those women walking around with fake babies.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @06:06AM (#27919495)

    The Franconia Notch has been my favorite hiking spot for years. From climbing up to Lonesome Lake to walking down the Flume, I think it is the one place in all of New Hampshire to stand up to the grandeur of places such as Yosemite. Climbing up along the ridge on top of Mount Lafayette is an amazing experience. One of the trails winds up along thirty foot waterfalls. At the top and on clear days, you can see the small black plume of smoke from a railroad car making its way up Mount Washington. The cliffs on Canon Mountain are just breathtaking as you drive by and look up at them.

    The old man was just one natural attraction in a place full of them. The big problem with replacing it is that it would be like spray painting over a Da Vinci. Glass or otherwise. The old man was an amazing natural formation, but it is gone. I hope that they don't a dump over a truly beautiful place just so people can relive the past. I thought that was what pictures were for.

    • Disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dachshund (300733)

      The old man was just one natural attraction in a place full of them.

      And I think most people would agree with that, after they made the trip. At the end of the day, the Old Man was just a lump of rock. It may have been the ostensible destination that pulled people out of their apartments to take a trip to the country, but I'll bet most of them were more impressed by the journey than by its resolution. And that journey could include all of those things you mention.

      It would be a shame if people just stayed

  • While they're doing it they should dump some nuclear waste behind it. You might as well get something useful if you are going to start a major construction project in unspoilt wilderness.
  • Stop your sobbing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jonas Buyl (1425319)
    The mountain died. Get over it.
  • As a lifelong resident of NH I have already gone through the 5 stages of grieving over the loss of our state's icon. Now they want to create a zombie-like replacement? No thank you.

    Besides, the best part of that mountain is the skiing on the other side: Cannon Mt. [cannonmt.com]

  • Hubris
    Bastardization
    Self-aggrandizement

    How pathetically egocentric to think an artificial structure could replace a natural one.

    While we're at it, let's slap a dome over the crater on Mount St. Helens and build a theme park under it. It can have 57 rides -- each named for one of the people killed when it blew up.

    By the way, the comparison with Mt. Rushmore is misplaced. Those guys would probably have approved of the construction, particularly in regards with its location. The real travesty is carving up ano

  • Not only did I grow up in Northern NH, I still live within a few minutes of Franconia Notch. I even graduated from Profile High School, the closest school to the Old Man and named after him.

    What most people don't realize is that the Old Man only looked like a profile of a face from the north. From the south or from straight-on, no face was apparent. The rocks didn't form a face at all--they just happen to look like a profile when viewed from the side. That made it quite magical: if you stared at the
  • by happy_place (632005) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @08:53AM (#27920543) Homepage
    I always think it's funny when anyone mentions "Mountains" in any state east of Colorado. Buwahahaha.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwarps (2650)

      What's funny is that most NH mountains are more prominent than anything in Colorado. Colorado is on a massive elevated plain, and what counts for "mountains" are dinky hills, which we have plenty of here in the Granite state, as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by junkfish (460683)

      Appalachian are a lot older than those spry rockies mid continent. I believe they surpassed the heights of the rockies before the glacier took them out. They were mountains while the rockies were foothills.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by potat0man (724766)
      Being a New Hampshire hiker that hurts.

      Reminds me though of my Colorado friend who was bragging to me about how he hiked two 12,000 ft mountains in one day.

      Me: "Wow, what elevation did you start at?"

      Colorado Friend: "10,800"

      Me: Blank Stare

      Give me a break, in New Hampshire we have to climb 1,200 feet to get to the foot of the mountain.

      Scaling a mountain in Colorado's only impressive if you start in Nebraska.
      • Give me a break, in New Hampshire we have to climb 1,200 feet to get to the foot of the mountain.

        Well, if you think that's impressive wait till you hear this:

        My car climbed Mount Washington.

        How about them apples?

  • I thought they already had a planned replacement? I remember there being design contests, etc.

    http://www.oldmanofthemountainlegacyfund.org/ [oldmanofth...cyfund.org]

  • Now that it's fallen, can they finish I-93?

  • I think it's a silly idea.

    On my only trip through New England, I stopped at Franconia Notch park and my wife and I peered through the fog and mist to spot the Old Man. Finally we saw him, after lots of "is that it? I don't know. Over there... that's it!"

    I cannot imagine tourists doing the same to spot a sculpture or some monument put there to commemorate the Old Man.

    If the natural arches in Arches National Park in Utah fell over one day, would we want to reconstruct them? I'd say no. Nothing lasts forever.

  • I grew up in NH and spent my youth hiking and camping in the White Mountains. I like the proposed glass "old man". It is a nice memorial to the fallen face, and both the viewing platform and the internal water fall are clever ideas. If you have to hike to get in it, I would be in favor of it. However, if a road is going to be built to it, I'm not in favor. That part of the plan is not specified in the linked article, but presumably it would be car accessible. A lot of back-country territory would be s

    • If you want to access the ridge trail (which goes over the Old Man's forehead), you have to take the Aerial Tram [visitnh.gov] up. You park at the base lodge and jump on the lift. It takes about 15 minutes and is as scary as anything you'll do today (maximum distance to ground is a couple hundred feet).
  • The reason why we're fascinated by the Old Man of the Mountains is because it was shaped by nature, because it was authentic, and because it looked rugged and eternal

    It's pointless and unsatisfying to replace it with something shaped by an architect, that's fake, and looks and temporary. What does that symbolize? New Hampshire, the fake imitation state?

    It would be far better to acknowledge the artificiality and create a realistic face or faces... as was done on Mount Rushmore. Perhaps instead of carving the

  • Put a drivein movie screen where it used to be, then project a picture of the image of the Old Man onto it, et voila! C'est magnifique! C'est tres jolie!

  • Flamebait me if you must, but I'm a NH resident and the Old Man has always confused the life out of me. It was a 30 foot tall item on a 1200 peak. Tiny. It was like holding a quarter at arm's length. But you go around this state and you'd think it was the fraggin' Grand Canyon or something. And now I get to see money and time wasted trying to resurrect this pathetic icon? Wonderful.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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