Minding One’s Manors

Article Published: Feb. 6 | Modified: Feb. 6
Minding One’s Manors

Moses Cone Memorial Park, including the historic manor house, is now on the National Register of Historic Places — but getting there wasn’t easy.

Photo by Lindsey Hamby

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock recently met a lengthy list of criteria to be officially recognized as a part of the National Register of Historic Places.

“This is a milestone that makes official the significance of the estate and manor house,” Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, said in a news release. “We feel a great deal of satisfaction that after working with parkway staff and leadership for more than 14 years toward this goal, the important historic and cultural significance of the estate has now been officially recognized.”

For a property to be considered as an addition, it must be at least 50 years old and must still resemble its original look, according to the National Park Service.

Significance of the structure also plays into the decision.

The property must be deemed to be associated with events that were important to the area’s past.
The historic district of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is significant as an example of a Country Place era estate and because of its historic association with Moses Cone, who, in partnership with his brother, Ceasar Cone, revolutionized textile manufacturing and introduced denim production in the South, according to a news release.

Nominations for the list can be submitted by property owners, historical societies, preservation organizations, government agencies and other individuals or groups.

Later, local governments solicit public comment.

A state’s historic preservation and National Register review boards also review proposed nominations. The length of the state process varies but will take a minimum of 90 days, according to http://www.nps.gov.

Complete nominations, with certifying recommendations, are submitted by the state to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for final review and listing by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service makes a listing decision within 45 days.

Landing a listing on the register provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural or archaeological significance based on national standards used by every state, according to a news release.

This also opens up the possibility of Moses Cone Park receiving federal preservation grants for planning and rehabilitation, as well as preservation easements to nonprofit organizations.

“Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is a significant recreational and cultural asset on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and this important designation will help us fulfill our responsibility and desire to protect and interpret this beautiful estate as it deserves — as one of America’s important landmarks,” Mark Woods, superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, said. “The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation encourages anyone who has an interest in the future of the estate to become a member of the foundation’s community of stewards.”

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