High hut makeover to increase comfort, energy efficiency
By Rob Burbank
AMC Outdoors, September/October 2010
Guests returning for a stay at AMC's Madison Spring Hut next summer will notice a roomier, more comfortable building with an enhanced "green" profile.
Workers this fall are rebuilding Madison with the aim of improving common areas and upgrading alternative energy and waste disposal systems. Situated at an elevation of 4,825 feet in New Hampshire's Presidential Range, it is on the same site as AMC's original Madison Spring Hut, built in 1888. The original structure has been replaced with various configurations over the years; the current hut was rebuilt in 1941, following an October 1940 fire that destroyed all but the stonework.
The first phase of the renovation will preserve the historic 1929 core of the hut and the stone walls of the bunkrooms, and will replace existing flush toilets with a more environmentally advanced waterless system, according to AMC Director of Outdoor Program Centers Paul Cunha. Sleeping capacity won't change, but a new floor plan will make efficient use of AMC-owned land on the Mount Madison side of the hut and will offer a more comfortable dining room and sitting area. From there, guests will take in views of the Durand Ridge-Air Line and the town of Randolph in the valley below. Cunha said renovations will comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Improvements to bunkrooms and alternative energy systems are also planned. Completion of the overall reconstruction plan is contingent upon the success of a $2 million fundraising campaign.
"Madison Spring Hut has seen a lot of years and a lot of use since the current hut was last rebuilt," says Cunha. "This new project is designed to provide a more energy efficient and environmentally sensitive hut, in keeping with AMC's Green Promise of sustainable operations. At the same time, we hope to improve the guest experience by providing more leg room and elbow room in key areas, and reducing the height of bunks in the bunkrooms." Cunha says the project has been designed to preserve and honor the historical integrity of the building.
Lumber, native white cedar shingles, and other construction materials are being purchased from local suppliers, Cunha notes. In addition, AMC has hired additional crew members from the local community to help complete the work.
Construction is set to begin in early September, after the hut closes for the season. Crews will continue to work as long as weather allows. Completion is anticipated for spring, in time for the start of the 2011 summer full-service season.
The rebuilding project was designed by LDa Architecture & Interiors, LLP of Cambridge, Mass.