We made a giant gnome because: there were gnomes on the very first miniature golf course created by Freida Carter on Lookout Mountain in 1927; we wanted something big to attract attention from the Hudson River walkway, bike way, and West Street and last--we love garden gnomes and we needed a one for our Goofy Garden
Following the Goofy Garden theme, our gnome was made to look like he was made of flowers and leaves. After we finished, we discovered that at a mere 13' 6” tall, he was the worlds biggest garden gnome.
When Pier 25 was torn down for rebuilding several years later, we saved some beautiful bits of Goofy Garden Golf, including our giant gnome, who had come to be known as Chomsky. We packed him into a U-Haul truck and brought him upstate where he was stored in a shed.
When we built Homegrown Mini-Golf we knew we had found the perfect new home for Chomsky, welcoming all those who travel on Route 209, and becoming a permanent part of the tradition of American Roadside Colossi. Working with the fabricator John Huchison, we transformed Chomsky into concrete, which qualified him for a Guinness World Record (since that's what "real" garden gnomes are made of).
In order to award a world record, Guinness rules require an official measuring event with witnesses that are either experts in the field or personages of repute (such as “local members of parliament” they helpfully suggest). We thought about it and we were lucky to gather an impressive group of eminently qualified witnesses:
Guinness also requires media coverage to verify that the event has taken place, so in 2005, amidst much hoopla, we held our measuring event. In 2006 we received our official Guinness World Record certification, and were even listed in their published book for 2007 and 2008 with a picture.
In late spring of 2010 we heard some disturbing news--that a group at the University of Iowa had decided to top our gnome by building one that's 18 inches taller. Just when they were finishing theirs and applying to Guinness for a new world record, they were informed by Guinness that a group in Poland had recently completed a gnome more than 36 inches taller than Chomsky! They were beat before they even finished. But because the gnome in Poland is made of fiberglass, the IU calls theirs the World's Largest Concrete Gnome.
Well, we've decided to call ours the World's Cutest Gnome and or sometimes the First World's Largest Garden Gnome.