CONCORD, N.H. – Organizers of a memorial to New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain hope this week’s groundbreaking and completion of its first phase this fall will rejuvenate interest — and funding — for the state’s fallen symbol.

The granite rock formation resembling the profile of an old man fell off a mountain cliff in Franconia Notch State Park and crumbled in May 2003.

Groundbreaking for a pavilion at the edge of Profile Lake is scheduled for Thursday. It will feature a semicircle of tall, steel sculptures, called profilers, that when viewed at certain angles, create an image of the Old Man on the cliff.

The goal is to finish it in October, in time for leaf-peeping season, Dick Hamilton, chairman of the board in charge of the memorial, said Tuesday.

“It was necessary to get part of the project on the ground now, otherwise the public would completely forget about the Old Man,” Hamilton said.

He said the hope is that once part of the memorial is built, more people will be willing to donate funds for the next two phases. Those include a series of huge granite monoliths that, when viewed from a raised platform, merge into one to create the profile, and a gateway consisting of stones held in place by cables and turnbuckles.

Hamilton said the group has raised little more than the $650,000 it had in donations and pledges late last year. A legislative effort to provide some of the money from the state failed.

Hamilton said the overall cost of the memorial would be less than the original estimate of $5 million. The group is selling engraved granite slabs in several sizes to contributors. The pavers, which range from $250 to $1,000, would become part of the park design and would be made of the same type of pinkish granite that the Old Man was made of.