National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Flat Top Estate
Reference Number 13000978
State North Carolina
County Watauga
Town Blowing Rock
Street Address Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI), from milepost 292 .8 to 295.5
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 12/24/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture, Industry, Landscape Architecture, Social History
Link to full file
The historic district comprised of Flat Top Estate, now Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, is significant at the state level under National Register Criterion A as an example of a Country Place era estate. At Flat Top, Moses Cone established a gentleman's country retreat in the style of those established by American captains of industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The historic district is one of the largest and best preserved country estates in western North Carolina, incorporating a large manor house surrounded by orchards, pastures, meadows, lakes and other constructed water features, roads, and forests. The historic district is also significant at a state level under National Register Criterion B in the area of industry for its historic association with Moses Cone, who revolutionized textile manufacturing in the South, and particularly in North Carolina, during the late nineteenth century. In partnership with his brother Ceasar, Moses Cone reorganized the marketing of textiles by southern textile mills and introduced the manufacture of denim in the South. The entrepreneurial efforts of Moses Cone during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries throughout the southeast region affected this industry throughout the country. The historic district is nationally significant under National Register Criterion C in the area of landscape architecture for the planning of the estate, in particular the extensive network of carriage roads and associated plantings designed by Moses Cone. The carriage roads are among very few such systems in private estates ofthis period in this country; represent extensive and careful design and planning; and remain nearly intact today. The historic district also includes the Colonial Revival style manor house, significant at the state level in the area of Architecture. The association of the Flat Top Estate Historic District with the Blue Ridge Parkway, and its role as a recreational area along the parkway, are not considered as part of this nomination. The structures of Flat Top Estate are closely related to the surrounding environment. Archeological remains, such as trash pits, privies, wells, and other structural remains which may be present, can provide information valuable to the understanding and interpretation of the contributing structures. Information concerning land-use patterns, agricultural practices, social standing and social mobility, as well as structural details, is often only evident in the archeological record. Therefore, archeological remains may well be an important component of the significance of the structures. At this time very limited investigation has been done to discover these remains, but it is likely that they exist, and this should be considered in any development of the property.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria