Saturday, August 13, 2011

War Memorial Tower Atop Mount Greylock

My next order of business was to visit the War Memorial Tower. A plaque informed me that it was built between 1931 and 1933 and dedicated before a crowd of 1200 people assembled on the summit (it must have been quite crowded up there). It was intended to stand as a beacon for peace, with its light beaming for miles from the atop the highest point in Massachusetts. I've seen the tower from atop Berlin Mountain in New York state, but only during the daytime. I've never seen it lit up at night:

I entered the base of the tower and was impressed by the beautiful rotunda with its elaborately painted ceiling:

The walls bore dedications to fallen war heroes:

One more look at the lovely ceiling before I began climbing the spiral staircase:

The stairs began in a narrow tube:

Which then opened up to a steel spiral stairway filled with people climbing up and down:

It was a shorter climb than the Pilgrim Memorial in Provincetown, though there were more people:

When I reached the very top, I could look out through the windows at the surrounding countryside. Plaques informed me what I was seeing. This is looking west toward the Hudson River Valley, The Taconic Mountains, the city of Albany and Berlin Mountain, all in New York:

Looking north toward the Adirondacks of New York, the towns of Williamstown and North Adams (Massachusetts) and the Green Mountains of Vermont:

Looking south toward the town of Cheshire, the Berkshire Mountains, Onota Lake, the city of Pittsfield (all in Massachusetts) and the Catskill Mountains of New York: By the way, that's Bascom Lodge below us, my next stop about which I'll post tomorrow:

This is looking east toward Mount Monadnock, Mount Wachusett, the town of Adams and the Hoosic River Valley:

And then I descended the spiral stairway. It was not as empty as it appears here. There were people climbing up and going down. The adults were courteous but the children expected everyone else to get out of their way:

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