Congratulations go to Bert this time! Yes, the answer to yesterday’s quiz is Sugarloaf Mountain, in nearby Frederick County, Maryland.
Sugarloaf Mountain is unusual; it’s a 1,282 foot high example of a quartzite monadnock — which is a small mountain that abruptly rises some 800 feet from the rolling plain that surrounds it. Sugarloaf is the tallest point in the immediate Washington, D.C. vicinity, and is a draw for climbers, hikers, and bird lovers. Likewise, it draws its share of near misses, rescues, accidents, and tragic deaths — which happened in a small plane crash on the side of Sugarloaf back in 1992.
Due to its unparalleled vistas, it was used as an observation and signal station by both the Union and the Confederate sides during the Civil War. Later it was considered as a Presidential retreat by Franklin D. Roosevelt, before the decision was made to use the more isolated Catoctin Mountain, which is present day Camp David.
But the most interesting historical tidbit involving Sugarloaf Mountain was the proposed 1924 Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, which was intended to be a scenic driving destination composed of a planetarium, restaurant, and vista overlook designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The spiraling ramp that was featured strongly in the rejected design was later incorporated into the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Much has been written about the proposal, but I found Frank Lloyd Wright’s response to the rejection of his design to be both elegant and understated:
“I have given you a noble ‘archaic’ sculptured summit for your mountain. I should have diddled it away with platforms and seats and spittoons for…expectorating businessmen and the flappers that beset them.” — Wikipedia