Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hugh Morton and the Linn Cove Viaduct

The Linn Cove Viaduct is the most recognized feature of the Blue Ridge Parkway and an icon of the Southern Appalachians. A twelve-year debate over what path the Parkway should take over and around Grandfather Mountain led to this curving, floating engineering marvel at mile 304 of the Parkway. Although construction of the Parkway was begun in 1935, its completion was slowed by World War II. During the 1950s and 60s, work on the Parkway resumed, but progress was slow. Finally in 1968 the entire 469 mile span was completed, except for a seven mile section around Grandfather. Hugh Morton, who had inherited the mountain in 1952, successfully argued that the Parkway should go around, rather than over, the majestic and environmentally sensitive Grandfather Mountain. The 'missing link' was completed and the entire Parkway finally dedicated on September 11, 1987, 52 years after groundbreaking. I've posted previous shots and directions here and here. Click here and here for more on the interesting history of this unique section of the Parkway.  To really appreciate the Viaduct, I recommend parking at the Visitor's Center and then taking the Tanawha Trail that snakes its way underneath to get an up-close look at the engineering that went into this landmark.

Click here to read the history of the mountain from the Grandfather Mountain website.

Click here to check out "A View to Hugh," a website chronicling Hugh's photographic achievements.

Click here to visit a terrific site with numerous video interviews exploring Hugh's life (he passed away in 2006). I've linked to the page with video of a fascinating interview in which Hugh describes the fight to prevent the Blue Ridge Parkway from becoming a toll-road and from having it go over Grandfather Mountain.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! That's where I was on Saturday, it was a MAD HOUSE!!!! I'm going to be headed out that way again this week, so I can completely avoid it this coming weekend :o)


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