Rebuilding the Old Man?

When the blocks of granite in Franconia Notch that formed the Old Man in the Mountain's face (finally) broke off the cliff face in the spring of 2003 (how's that for a run-on sentence?), there was a lot of discussion about what to do.

One idea was to re-build the face, but instead of using concrete or granite, architect Francis Treves suggested using glass: "the grand metaphor with this piece of glass on the mountain is it’s not really a piece of glass, it’s a piece of ice,” Treves said. The Old Man, he added, “was sculpted by the glaciers; the ice gave it birth."

When first proposed, Treves' idea was met with considerable criticism - perhaps the "loss" was too recent to have any satisfactory solution? Anyway, I was intrigued by the sheer scale of Treves' solution, if skeptical of the actual implemented result.

internal schematic

Personally, I miss the Old Man, but I am doubtful that any attempt to actually rebuild/replace the original formation would be satisfactory. My understanding is that they will/did install some carved rock blocks down in the parking lot, has anybody been to the Notch since '07?


Published by


"O Whisky! soul o' plays and pranks! Accept a bardie's gratfu' thanks! When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks Are my poor verses! Thou comes-they rattle in their ranks, At ither's a-s!" Robert Burns - "Scotch Drink" 1785

2 thoughts on “Rebuilding the Old Man?”

  1. I was there last summer and I didn't see any sort of homage to the old man, except that you could look at where it used to be. No carved rocks or anything, though.

Comments are closed.