Mt. Greylock's War Memorial Tower Gets $2M for Repairs

Published Dec 20, 2014

A friendly park ranger near the Memorial Tower on Mt. Greylock ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

A friendly park ranger near the Memorial Tower on Mt. Greylock ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The State of Massachusetts has closed the War Memorial Tower and its 89-steps atop Mt. Greylock for renovations until August 2016.

According to one Massachusetts website, "The memorial was dedicated in June 1933 as a tribute to courage, endurance, loyalty and self-sacrifice, wherever these qualities have been shown, by the state's men and women in the uniform of the state or nation.

"Mt. Greylock became Massachusetts' first wilderness state park, acquired by the Commonwealth in 1898, to preserve its natural environment for public enjoyment.

"Wild and rugged yet intimate and accessible, Mount Greylock rewards the visitor exploring this special place of scenic and natural beauty.

"At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. Rising above the surrounding Berkshire landscape, dramatic views of 60-90 miles distant may be seen. "

The view from Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The view from Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation plans to spend $2,000,000 on the War Memorial Tower atop Mt. Greylock, near Adams, for repairs and improvements.

The path of the Appalachian Trail on Mt. Greylock will shift a bit during the repairs made to the Memorial Tower. ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The path of the Appalachian Trail on Mt. Greylock will shift a bit during the repairs made to the Memorial Tower. ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The project has been made possible through $1.2 million in funding provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and an $800,000 federal Scenic Byways grant.

For a period of time during the improvements to the Memorial Tower, the Appalachian Trail's path will be adjusted, but that will not change the Trail's official length for 2015 from 2,189.2 miles.

The project will be opened up for bids in the spring of 2015. Construction is expected to begin in June of 2015, with an anticipated completion date of October 2016.

According to iBerkshires.com, a number of improvements are included in this project:

o Repairs to the beacon at the top of the tower, including replacing six metal halide lamps with 12 LED clusters. Katsoufis said attention will be paid to achieving the right color temperature of the new lamps, and that the beacon will appear to be as bright as it is today.

o Electrical system improvements to include new LED fixtures inside the tower.

o Accessibility improvements to eliminate barriers for all those wishing to visit the memorial.

o Commercial-grade dehumidifiers and fans.

o A new cap for the spiral stair rail.

As the dust flies atop Mt. Greylock, stop by the simply fabulous Bascom Lodge. They're open for overnight stays, good meals and fabulous views from late-May until later in October.

Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The fastest way down from the Mt. Greylock Memorial Tower is by hang-glider. ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The fastest way down from the Mt. Greylock Memorial Tower is by hang-glider. ~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The hike up Mt. Greylock is much more strenuous than descending back to the valley below on a hang glider.

For the rest of us, there's a pretty road both up and down that's open seasonally.

Take a hike or a drive. Go for the view, a meal or to spend a night or two at the lodge. Go to try to break your neck jumping off a cliff holding on to a stick attached to a fancy sheet.

Whatever path you travel up or down Mt. Greylock, add this spectacular spot to your bucket list and spend some time on the highest hill in Massachusetts.


Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Closings, Closures, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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