Fite was inspired by Mayan stonework, done completely without mortar, and built most of the structure single-handedly with typical 19th century quarryman tools. You have to walk around the site to appreciate what an amazing achievement this was - and you start to realize it probably wasn't that difficult to build many of the ancient monuments around the world. If one man can build Opus 40 in 37 years, Mayan laborers could certainly have built their ancient cities in a couple of decades.
Negotiations are on-going for the Town of Saugerties to acquire the site since the stepson of Fite, Thad Richards, who has been operating the site as a non-profit, is now of retirement age and planning for its future preservation. Here are some pictures...
As you approach the monument
The monument (thunderstorms were rolling through the area)
Stonework abutting natural quarry wall
It's impossible to get it all in one photo
An ancient stream channel fossilized in the quarry wall
Woody plant fossil material in one of the bluestone pavers
I'll write more about Catskill bluestone at some point.