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Monadnock Trails Report 10.20.12
“If the rain comes they run and hide their heads…”
I’m sure you know the rest of that Beatles’ gem. And with the rain falling today, the trails are fairly quiet. Likely overnight thunderstorms may light up the skies over Monadnock before the rest of this weather system pushes out for the weekend.
A cloudy morning will greet hikers on Saturday, in addition to gusty summit winds. However, the day will improve by afternoon.
Sunday may bring a morning shower to the Region, but otherwise it looks like a favorable, but colder day.
Temperatures at the base of the mountain may reach into the 60′s on Saturday and will drop into the lower 50′s for Sunday.
The trails will remain wet in areas through the weekend, despite the warmer temperatures. We’ve had a few hikers who needed assistance getting off the mountain in the past week after falling on the trails. There are now wet leaves to add to the slickness of the terrain. Visitors to Monadnock will need to take extra care, especially coming down the mountain, over the next few days.
We are past peak foliage, but there is still some color to see!
Monadnock-Did You Know?
A road to Monadnock’s summit was proposed in 1940. The proposal was discussed at public hearings in 38 towns in New Hampshire and Massachusetts by the Monadnock Region Association; a 10 member economic development group. The only supporters of the road were the elderly. The initial plan was to continue the Old Toll Road to the summit, but it proved too difficult. There was an attempt made to build the road from the Dublin side, but the town passed a resolution opposing the roadway. The local opposition to the project eliminated it and it has not been seriously discussed since. Thankfully, now that the upper elevations are protected lands, owned by the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Town of Jaffrey. The acreage is leased to the State of New Hampshire for management and maintenance.
The Monadnock Building
Did you know that Monadnock is home to three restaurants, a bank, a barber shop, and 300 business suites? Not Mt. Monadnock, of course, but its namesake building in downtown Chicago!
The Monadnock Building was completed in 1893 and, at the time, was the largest office building in the country!
The building is located at 53 West Jackson Boulevard and was named after our beloved Mt. Monadnock by its Boston-based developers. Like the mountain it is named for, the building is also home to some notoriety, including being the tallest commercial iron frame building with a load-bearing masonry exterior wall ever constructed and implemeting the first portal system of wind bracing in America. The first ever structural use of aluminum in building construction was utilized in its staircases and it is said that the northern half of the building may be the tallest structure ever built that is primarily supported by brick walls.
I also learned that Mt. Monadnock is not the only New England peak associated with this building. Originally, the “skyscraper” was meant to house and operate as four separate office buildings within the structure. Each office would sit on its own lot and would have its own entrance, elevators, heating system, and name; “the Monadnock”, “the Kearsarge”, “the Katahdin”, and “the Wachusett”. In the end, the building would take on only Mt. Monadnock’s name.
The building was remodeled in 1938 in one of the first major skyscraper renovations in history. It would be restored again in 1979 receiving an award by the National Trust For Historic Preservation for the project in 1987.
This notable building was named a Chicago Architectural Landmark in 1958, the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and is part of a National Historic Landmark designated in 1976.
In August, my wife and I finally “climbed” to the top of Monadnock! After failing to visit the Monadnock Building during previous visits to the Windy City, we found the building while walking through downtown Chicago and took the stairs to the top of the building! Aside from some funny looks and a few “can I help you?” offers, we were largely unnoticed. We also looked even more out of place in our street clothes as there seems to be a lot of law offices in there, especially near “the summit”. Unfortunately, because we were in the center of the building, the only way for us to get a view of any kind was to go in to an office, but we did not want to intrude on any unsuspecting businesses. However, at the top of the 18th floor where the stairs physically came to an end, I was able to reach up with my phone and grab a photo of the view!
Yea, my wife and I like the climb and the view from our Monadnock better, too. But, we were able to get down from the top via the method that hikers are constantly asking for here…the elevator!
No word on whether this is the most climbed building in Chicago…
About Patrick Hummel, Manager of Monadnock State ParkMy name is Patrick Hummel (@phummel3165) and I am the 8th Park Manager in Monadnock State Park’s history. I began as a seasonal employee at the Park in 2001 and took over management duties in 2008. I grew up in Jaffrey, in the shadow of Mt. Monadnock, establishing a fascination with the mountain at the age of 6. When not managing at, hiking, talking about, or thinking about Mt. Monadnock, I enjoy hiking other mountains and traveling. I also enjoy non-fiction reading (mostly), Civil War history, and have come to the acceptance that I will never be the starting first baseman for the New York Mets. I am also an avid music fan with a former career in radio and tour management. I live at the base of Grand Monadnock with my loving and patient wife and our three dogs, who are not allowed on the mountain. View all posts by Patrick Hummel, Manager of Monadnock State Park →
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