Foamhenge is a full-size replica of Stonehenge, made entirely of styrofoam. Conceived and built by artist, Mark Cline, this popular roadside attraction opened on April 1, 2004 in Natural Bridge, Virginia. It closed in 2016 and was relocated to Centreville, in Fairfax County, Virginia in 2017.
Design and Construction
Foamhenge was created in 2004 by Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studios as an April Fool's stunt to generate tourism. The idea for Foamhenge came to Mark in 1998, when he was inspired by 16-foot-tall (4.9 m) foam blocks that he saw at a local insulation manufacturer. Mark had the idea and the materials, but he still needed the location. In 2004, he made an agreement with The Natural Bridge for rent-free land with the intention of attracting tourists to both sites.
Foamhenge's design is modeled to match the original landmark, placing similarly sized pieces in the correct, astronomically equal positions. The 'stones' are composed completely of styrofoam and painted gray. Each piece is stabilized with an embedded 2.5-inch-diameter (6.4 cm) pipe, extending from the top, through the piece and anchored into a concrete footing below. The entire structure was assembled in ten days.
Social Impact and Move to Northern Virginia
Foamhenge became a roadside favorite, appearing in many television shows, news articles and featured on numerous websites. As of January 2017, Foamhenge had an average score of four out of five stars from 285 reviews on TripAdvisor. Cline considers Foamhenge his greatest achievement to date.
Foamhenge was created as a whimsical, temporary, passive attraction, but, because of its popularity, it remained intact at the Natural Bridge site for 12 years. This was far beyond Cline's original lifespan expectations for Foamhenge. By 2015, the foam structure had deteriorated markedly due to the temporary nature of its construction. Many of the pieces had fallen into disrepair to the point that they had split apart and were being held together with temporary supports.
The Natural Bridge became a state park in 2016, forcing Foamhenge to close. The structure was dismantled on August 30, 2016 and placed in storage at Cline's studio. After receiving over fifty inquiries from across the United States, an agreement was made to relocate Foamhenge to Cox Farms, a popular, 116-acre (47 ha) family farm, near Centreville, VA, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The pieces will be refurbished, repaired or replaced before re-installation. The re-opening of Foamhenge at Cox Farms is scheduled for 2017, preferably by the start of the farm's 'Fall Festival' in September.
- "Foamhenge". Roadside America. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Lohmann, Bill (August 29, 2016). "Foamhenge finds new home at Cox Farms in Fairfax County". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
- Adamiak, Jessica (August 2011). "Foamhenge, Natural Bridge, VA". Travel + Leisure Magazine. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "Foamhenge - TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights". Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Carlson, Peter (April 24, 2006). "Jurassic Lark". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- Harlan, Susan (25 August 2015). "Foamhenge, Stonehenge's unholy twin, guards its mystery in byways of Virginia". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Enchanted Castle Studio
- Julie's Tacky Treasures: Foamhenge
- Megalithic Portal: Foamhenge
- Mark Cline's Foamhenge: Foamhenge
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