Foamhenge is a full scale styrofoam replica of Stonehenge. It is a popular roadside attraction, conceived and built by artist, Mark Cline, that opened on April 1, 2004 in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Foamhenge was relocated to Centreville, 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 concept and materials, but needed a location for his creation. In 2004, he made an agreement with The Natural Bridge for rent-free land with the intention of attracting tourists to both sites.
Foamhenge is designed to match Stonehenge, with similarly sized pieces in the correct, astronomically equal coordinates. 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 about ten days, as opposed to Stonehenge's construction period of about 1000 years.
Social Significance and Move to Northern Virginia
Foamhenge was created as a whimsical, temporary, passive attraction, but its popularity sustained its legitimacy, and Foamhenge endured at the Natural Bridge site for over 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 and exposure to the elements. Many of the pieces had fallen into disrepair to the point that they had split apart and were being held together with temporary supports.
Foamhenge became a offbeat, subcultural favorite. It has been featured in numerous television shows, magazines, news articles and 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.
The Natural Bridge became a state park in 2016, forcing Foamhenge to close, as it was not deemed appropriate for a state park. 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 are planned to be refurbished, repaired or replaced before re-installation. Foamhenge is scheduled to debut at Cox Farms in 2017, 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- Enchanted Castle Studio
- Julie's Tacky Treasures: Foamhenge
- Megalithic Portal: Foamhenge
- Mark Cline's Foamhenge
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