With Tall Timbers on Big Boulders, Moosilauke Lodge Rises

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

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. 

Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
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.”
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
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.
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
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.
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
A view from the basement shows the combination of traditional and more modern building materials.
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
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.
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
A few of the timbers retain the striking silhouettes they had while growing in the forest.
Moosilauke Ravine Lounge under construction
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.