We took a quick hike up Hurricane Mountain last week, and noticed what appeared to be new damage to the roof of the tower.
It almost looks like a section of the roof has been peeled back. Here is a close up.
My first thought when I saw this was that one of these nasty spring thunderstorms was the likely culprit. But without knowing exactly when it happened, it is hard to tell.
For comparison, here is a photo we took when we hiked it back in February of 2010.
The fate of the Fire Tower has been a debate in recent years. Hurricane Mountain is a declared wilderness area, and as such, the fire tower is a non-conforming structure.
So it was targeted for removal.
But the Adirondack Park Agency, after listening to public input, decided to take the rare step to designate the ground under the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower (as well as the ground under the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower) as historic. This “historic” designation gave the towers a reprieve from removal, so to speak, and was signed off on by Gov. Patterson before leaving office.
A historic designation also allows for the restoration of these structures.
As you can see from the photos, even without the apparent new roof damage, the tower is not in the best of shape. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is done to repair or restore it. I am unaware of any efforts currently in motion to attempt this, but the “Friend’s of Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower” appear to be in the process of organizing to do just that.