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Replacing New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the fall-down-go-boom dept.

Earth 162

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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Glad the old bastard fell apart (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918543)

Mike Godwin called me a nazi since I goatse'd [goatse.fr] him.

Re:Glad the old bastard fell apart (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919609)

The Godwin family brought a civil war to Falena! I'm glad it is finally over!

Just what I was looking for (5, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918549)

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:Just what I was looking for (0, Redundant)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918591)

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

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918699)

And do you care about The Old Man of the Mountain?

Re:Just what I was looking for (2, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918749)

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:Just what I was looking for (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918913)

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 fair, having a rock that sort of looks like a face as your state symbol is like diving into a tub full of tits when compared to Idaho, where there's so little going on that they proudly proclaim how famous their potatoes are on their license plates. Are you kidding me? Celebrities are famous. Landmarks are famous. The starchy, underground stems of plants that are used for deep frying side dishes are not. Wow, your state vegetable is a tuber. SNORE.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919269)

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:Just what I was looking for (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919285)

No credit to Maddox [xmission.com] ?

Re:Just what I was looking for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919513)

There! Plagiarism, pure and simple, by way of the Eighth Dimension!

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920015)

You really expect AC to give a damn ?

For all we know, maybe it was Maddox himself! But more likely it was kdawson being cute.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Mateo13 (1250522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921095)

HEY! We have more than just a rock that looks like a face. We have Canobie Lake Park! And...hmm. oh! Story Land.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920177)

if hte last one fell off, i don't think its safe to build a new one, let alone a tourist attraction. This will cost lots to make safe.

Re:Just what I was looking for (2, Funny)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919905)

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

Me too. Live free and die!

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920309)

Live free OR die. Get it right or get out of our state.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920467)

Live free OR die. Get it right or get out of our state.

It was a JOKE. I know what the real saying is.

Re:Just what I was looking for (4, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920547)

Geez, I've spent all this time thinking it was "Live, freeze, and die."

*grumble grumble*

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921015)

Geez, I've spent all this time thinking it was "Live, freeze, and die."

I grew up in Maine, you insensitive clod!

Re:Just what I was looking for (3, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921197)

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:Just what I was looking for (3, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Just what I was looking for (3, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#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]

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919157)

I have not been to your fine state, so I do not have the attachment to the area you have. And architecture, like art, is highly subjective. I imagine that there will be quite the debate over this proposal, perhaps because the crumbling happened in recent memory. Perhaps if this had been proposed a few years down the road the opposition would not be so fierce. But you can not blame those who want to rebuild, as it would certainly offer economic benefits to the area. And it would not be unlike a number of man-nature hybrid sculptures around the country.As for that other architecture link, I think the question needs to be asked if any of those designs are really practical. But I leave that to others.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Captain Nitpick (16515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919815)

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:Just what I was looking for (2, Interesting)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920637)

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..?)

Set from the next Austin Powers? (2, Funny)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919963)

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.

Re:Just what I was looking for (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918801)

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

Not even to AC trolls.

Re:Just what I was looking for (1)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919419)

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... (2, Insightful)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920263)

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.

I've got an idea (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Man-made is not the problem (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Man-made is not the problem (1, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918663)

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?

Re:Man-made is not the problem (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918681)

whoosh

Re:Man-made is not the problem (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918687)

Whoosh!

Re:Man-made is not the problem (4, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919075)

Whoosh yourself. :)

Re:Man-made is not the problem (2, Funny)

mlush (620447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919257)

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?

No, he's talking about Mount Tushmore, easy mistake to make its not on many tourist maps

Re:Man-made is not the problem (4, Insightful)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918697)

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:Man-made is not the problem (2, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919703)

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).

Re:Man-made is not the problem (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Man-made is not the problem (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920725)

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.

Re:Man-made is not the problem (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918819)

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:Man-made is not the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918901)

"This explains why we sometimes think we see ghosts or Virgin Maries or even Jesus on the asses of dogs."

Hardly. A dog's ass is a dog's ass. It's because people like you are crazy, either in what they see or in explaining them. There is ZERO evolutionary advantage in seeing a face where there is none. In fact, it's likely to get you a Darwin Award in some grotesque yet amusing way.

"I would encourage you to write your congressmen and representatives to stop this wrong-headed "artistic" solution."

Yeah, because steel, rebar, and rock embedded horizontally into the remaining rock face is just SO stable and won't destabilize again or affect the surfaces and foundation later.

Either the rumble was kept completely or mapped prior to the fall. VR it, or keep the viewfinders in place, the latter which I thought was a sensible, logical, and appropriate solution. After all, if you honestly believe it is a natural phenomenon, then it was also natural in what happened, and disturbing what is there in any way is interrupting that fact and ruins the uniqueness and novelty of the original. At the very least, it's an indication of what naturally occurs, and the finite nature of even longstanding, solid materials. How do you know efforts now will screw up some other novel structure there a dozens of millenia from now?

Regardless, any direct replacement is manmade and a bastardization. Nothing changes that fact; it was not a statue created by man, or destroyed by man, which both apply to the Afghanistan example you used. If you really want people to remember, don't replicate or create an alternative, memorialize it, as in recreate it from the origial rubble ELSEWHERE but nearby. And keep the viewfinders to show where it originally was.

Anything more, you might as well recreate the whole thing in an upgraded fashion as this architect proposes, because what you're doing is no better than his slightly more advanced manmade structure. You can't replace a natural structure with a manmade one and call it the same.

Re:Man-made is not the problem (2, Informative)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919119)

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.

Tree of Ténéré (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919941)

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.

Re:Tree of Ténéré (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920355)

Drunk or not, how crappy of a driver do you have to be to crash into the only tree within 200 km?!

Re:Tree of Ténéré (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920433)

Drunk or not, how crappy of a driver do you have to be to crash into the only tree within 200 km?!

Since nobody knows who did it, how do they know he was drunk?

Maybe he did it on purpose. He probably was a muslim, perhaps he felt offended by what he perceived as an idol.

Re:Man-made is not the problem (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920595)

One key aspect of the monument was its permanence and impenetratibility.

Evidenced, of course, by the fact that it fell down. =P

Re:Man-made is not the problem (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920715)

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 Mountains. Leaving questions of "should he?" aside: why on earth would anyone want to do this?

I'd have to say yes (5, Insightful)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

How should I know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918619)

"Will a clearer understanding of the design help sway public opinion?"

          How should I know? As TFA says there's not good mockups. Maybe it'd look like an elephant's butt, so a "clearer understanding" will just reinforce people not wanting it. Maybe "clearer understanding" will have people decide it's great.

|You wouldn't know it was gone... (4, Interesting)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918621)

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:|You wouldn't know it was gone... (2, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920107)

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

Fixed.

If the stone one fell... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918623)

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

Great plan...

Leave the rubble alone (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918631)

It was rubble to begin with. Not fascinating or interesting in the least other than the way mankind has deified it. Just some shitty old rocks.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (4, Insightful)

Triv (181010) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918653)

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:Leave the rubble alone (2, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918779)

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 )

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920749)

No offense intended, but the first picture in your gallery has an uncanny resemblance to the Old Goatse in the Mountain...

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920897)

Nice photos, I've got some too on my stock photography website ( http://www.stockphox.com/ [stockphox.com] ).

If anybody's interested, it's a bunch of photos from Franconia Notch, including (actually, featuring) the basin. Very nice area. Here's the gallery:
http://www.stockphox.com/view.php?collection=6 [stockphox.com]

If you guys want to download any of the high-quality photos, here's a free coupon code (will work till the end of this month): slashdot

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919139)

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....)

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920455)

And to continue the analogy, this architect's solution for a mud-filled Grand Canyon would be to dig it out and build a theme park inside.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920027)

I am a NH native and I think it would be nice to have a tribute to the old man. Going to the Old man was a boring experience, but it could become something more. I imagine the trail going to it would be improved and if you ever have been to the area the view could not be better. Imagine the view during folliage time.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920971)

I vote fountains, and gift shops. I just hate how disconnected from civilization I get when I'm up there. I mean, I already live in NH, I don't need to get away from civilization. I've already got that problem!

Re:Leave the rubble alone (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920635)

"...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.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920789)

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:Leave the rubble alone (2, Insightful)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918685)

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?

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920847)

It just sounds like taking an area of natural beauty and sticking something big and clearly artificial in the middle of it.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

steeljaw (65872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918731)

I lived in NH for about 15 years and took many trips to Franconia Notch (which is amazingly beautiful) in my time, and I agree with your statement. What made this thing special was the fact that it occurred in nature. Honestly, it didn't really bother me that much that it fell, but it would probably bother me if they artificially remade it.. Natural wonders are neat in that they occur naturally...

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918799)

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.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (3, Insightful)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919097)

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.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919209)

Agree. Just rocks taking their place in a dynamic environment. And now contractors shall be rubbing their hands together.

I remember what happened to the Dedo de Dios (God's Finger) [elmundo.es] and what will relatively soon to the Roque del Fraile (Friar's Rock) [skyscrapercity.com] , two of the most remarkable geological symbols of Gran Canaria.

Re:Leave the rubble alone (1)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919653)

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.

This approach hasn't had a negative affect upon the business models of Disney or most Las Vegas resort casinos.

Does anyone think it still looks like a face? (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918645)

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.

Re:Does anyone think it still looks like a face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920871)

Of those that looked at the link to wikipedia and the composite before/after photo.

No, no I can't say that it does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Man_of_the_Mountain_overlay_2.jpg

Photographers VS. Structural Bullshit? (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918695)

I think I speak on behalf of all photographers when I say we would rather keep man-made crap to a minimum in our beautiful photographic world. I'm sure next they'd want to string up power lines and street lights up the mountain to power the blinking LED's on it.

Re:Photographers VS. Structural Bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919273)

I think i speak on behalf of all people that view photography when i say we're tired of cliche nature bullshit. Start figuring out how to take photos of things with man made objects in it.

Re:Photographers VS. Structural Bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27921283)

Or time the photo to when all the LEDs are blinked off.

Ironic... (-1, Flamebait)

drik00 (526104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918777)

This seems to be a great example of how people refuse to acknowledge we live in a natural world of change... the side of the mountain fails, it's nature... the planet decides to warm half a degree, and it's our fault?

j

Re:Ironic... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27918887)

And your post is a great example of someone who dissmisses science that contradicts their worldview with feable attempts to link it to unrelated events.

Oligitory comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27918793)

I for one welcome our overbearing egotistical architect overlords

Re:Oligitory comment (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919037)

Surely, this is just a way for this (unknown to me) artist to become famous of the back of a now defunct natural feature. (Or should I have said "On the face of it"?)

What? (1)

Godman (767682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919185)

Now that the rock formation is gone, its just another chunk of rock... why not find something equally iconic instead of lamenting the loss of something of vague importance...

QUICK! We have to shellac the grand canyon so it doesn't eventually decay into something not so awesome...

Time will make dust of us all anyway. I'm hearing wonderful things about photography these days.

Change happens (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919221)

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.

Oh dear... Award-winning architect (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919327)

"Award-winning architect", "...proposing a monument to replace it."

Let me translate that: some bloke wants to build a monument to his own ego, and has seen an opportunity to do just that. Of course he has to indulge in a bit of sophistry to achieve his end, but if he told the truth nobody would buy it.

God save the world from award winning architects. They have nothing but their own ego motivating them. What you or I want is insignificant in the unreal world they live in.

architects are like doorknob polishers (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919345)

The structural engineers, surveyors and craftsmen come in to construct a doorknob that works, that's safe, and that lasts. The architect is responsible for waltzing in and going hurrr let's make the doorknob square, producing some fashionable trend that is considered beautiful for about 5 years, uninspiring for 10, and then a horrible concrete monstrosity that needs demolishing for the two decades until its final overdue destruction.

I've never been in a beautiful building that wasn't at least a century old. I don't know what the fuck is wrong with designers today, but brushed metal and glass are raw materials, not necessary and final solutions for a complete design. The world is not a fucking Mac desktop.

Taking Craps on Beautiful Places (4, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (2, Insightful)

dachshund (300733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921207)

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 home, thinking "oh, there's nothing there to see anymore".

They should make it useful (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919547)

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 (2, Insightful)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919801)

The mountain died. Get over it.

Cannon Mt. (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919967)

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]

Perfect Opportunity for Improvements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920143)

While they're looking to make a replacement Old Man out of glass and steel, why not install hydraulics and a loudspeaker system so the jaw can open and bellow out a resounding "WASSUUUUUP?" across the landscape?

True story, back when I was working on a website for an un-named organization in the area (some Bureau dedicated to helping Businesses be Better) one of the people at the client had, as a joke, written a note requesting we put together some sort of animation to make the pic of the Old Man say "Wassup?" on mouseover.

I've got Super 8 footage available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920151)

From our 1962 holiday to New Hampshire, complete with my father's thumb over the lens half the time and enough jerky camera motion to make a seasoned mariner nauseous. And there's a few frames of me feeding a deer next to the old dude in the mountain.

This is a one time offer. Contact me at my gmail account for payment details.

One Word Answers (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920259)

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 another mountain on sacred Lakota land to look like a famous Lakota warrior who died trying to keep out the invaders who wanted to dig holes all over the sacred land, and claiming that this earth moving project somehow "honored" him.

Better ways to spend money. (1)

eiMichael (1526385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920289)

With as much pain as we're supposed to be in this economy, isn't there something better to spend this money on? I understand private individuals may spend their money however they damn well please, but setting up some "Old Man of the Mountain" scholarship just seems more appropriate.

Lifelong NH resident says.... (1)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920457)

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 cliff as you travelled north, it would look like nothing but random rocks until you got to the "viewing area." In that few hundred feet, suddenly a face would pop out of nowhere!

This glass monstrosity would reveal itself from 7 miles south. That's just not right.

Pass.

An Easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920529)

Hmmm, Mitt Romney is moving to New Hampshire- Maybe it's to replace the Old Man.....

Mountain Misnomer (3, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920543)

I always think it's funny when anyone mentions "Mountains" in any state east of Colorado. Buwahahaha.

Take a look at the cliff face.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920553)

It's cracked and fragmented. The whole cliff is weathering away quite quickly. And the cracks go deep.

What is the point of balancing a 'statue' on this foundation? It will be gone in less than 100 years. Anyone who thinks they can 'recreate' this shape for any length of time are just kidding themselves. But, hey, that's what we Americans do - we haven't got any concept of historical time....

Cannon is rotten (1)

jnik (1733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920561)

The additional drawings don't address the biggest problem: Cannon is one rotten mountain. It's regularly crumbling apart in pieces large and small. (Sort of the reason the Old Man fell in the first place.) I can't envision trying to build a system of tunnels in crumbly rock and then hanging a walkway out in front. Then there's the question of what happens when a boulder from above hits all that glass.

I thought they already had a replacement design? (1)

ischorr (657205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920853)

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

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

Old Man of the Mountain (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27921185)

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

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