With Tall Timbers on Big Boulders, Moosilauke Lodge Rises

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The environmentally sound building pays homage to nature and history on a scenic site.

Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
Huge, locally grown timbers are joined with pegs rather than nails, and more-modern construction will frame airtight windows and doors. The main floor features a massive stone fireplace built from local rock. The lower level provides additional social space, a multi-purpose room, and a library.


The new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is taking shape. Tall white pines—harvested from property owned by Dartmouth and from the Bradford, Vt., woodlands of alumnus Putnam “Put” Blodgett ’53—have been stripped of their bark but otherwise left as visible reminders of the forests they came from. The timbers rest on giant boulders excavated from the lodge site and nearby locations. With spectacular views and a rustic interior, the lodge will be comfortable, durable, environmentally sustainable, and accessible to people with disabilities.

“It’s exciting to watch a building go up that will address all our program needs and connect generations of Dartmouth people for the next hundred years or more,” says Dartmouth Outing Club Director Dan Nelson ’75

College photographer Eli Burakian ’00 has spent many happy hours hiking up to the Moosilauke summit and working or relaxing in the lodge and bunkhouses, so he was eager to take his cameras to the construction site to see how things are progressing. 

Image removed.This giant boulder beneath a gnarled tree trunk will be visible inside the lodge. “The tall pine columns are unique architectural elements,” says project manager James Pike. “This one makes it look almost as if a tree is growing inside the building.”Image removed.The new lodge is rising in the shadow of Mount Moosilauke. Pike says snow has fallen frequently enough to require daily plowing and sanding to the site.Image removed.Timbers are being notched and joined to form the structure for a standing-seam metal roof, which will allow snow and ice to slide off easily.Image removed.A view from the basement shows the combination of traditional and more modern building materials.Image removed.Timber framing is a building system that dates back hundreds of years. Moosilauke Ravine Lodge also has a rich history.  “It used to be that people rode a train to Warren and took a carriage or walked up to the lodge,” says Dartmouth Outing Club Director Dan Nelson ’75. These days, nearly every student spends time at the lodge, sharing memorable experiences with faculty, staff, and alumni.Image removed.A few of the timbers retain the striking silhouettes they had while growing in the forest.Image removed.Part of the concrete foundation can be seen from the vantage point of the Class of 1984 Crew Quarters, built in 2010, largely by volunteers, to provide living quarters for crew members working at the lodge. 
Charlotte Albright