Crews complete exterior renovations at historic Flat Top Manor

BLOWING ROCK, NC (December 17, 2021) — After 14 months of exterior renovations, Flat Top Manor, the centerpiece of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, once again gleams from its perch overlooking Bass Lake. Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation donors and the National Park Service funded the $2.4 million rehabilitation on the circa-1901 Colonial Revival-style home completed this fall.

“Flat Top Manor is grand again thanks to the outpouring of community support for its rehabilitation,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Foundation. “The home is an iconic feature of North Carolina’s High Country and the Parkway, and we are delighted visitors today and for years to come will now see its true beauty.”

For years, peeling paint, crumbling woodwork, decaying columns, and even a boarded-up window at Flat Top Manor signaled that the former country home of Moses and Bertha Cone required repairs. In 2016, the Foundation began fundraising efforts for the exterior renovations and additional projects on the 3,500-acre estate.

To complete the transformation, crews removed columns, balusters, and windows, repairing as many elements as possible and recreating those that could not be saved. Each piece of compromised clapboard siding was removed before the entire exterior was repainted. Sustainable composite roof shingles from Enviroshake replaced the weather-worn cedar shingles. Even the beadboard ceiling of the spacious porch was refreshed.

“Not in its 120-year history has the exterior of Flat Top Manor undergone such an extensive restoration,” said Kevin Brandt, Project Manager for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “With proper annual maintenance this work should last a generation or longer.”

Architects from the Denver Service Center, the National Park Service’s planning, design, and construction management office led the restoration work. The center tackles the park system’s largest projects, including preservation of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and the Wright Brothers Memorial. The National Park Service hired Ritz Construction, Inc., to lead the onsite effort to complete the restoration. Double Hung, LLC, was responsible for the process of delicately removing and evaluating all the windows, columns, and railings. At the company’s workshop in Greensboro, N.C., the team meticulously repaired and repainted the features before returning them to their original locations on the building.

“Flat Top Manor was among the most technically challenging projects we’ve undertaken in our 24 years. It was such an honor to be involved with the restoration and preservation of such an important piece of North Carolina’s history,” said David Hoggard, owner and founder of Double Hung, LLC.

The project is one of many that Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation donors and volunteers have made possible at the estate, including the construction of restrooms at Bass Lake, clearing of vegetation on carriage trails, care of the hydrangea garden, and the installation of a fire suppression system in the manor.

“As an addition to the originally planned Blue Ridge Parkway experience, Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, and in particular Flat Top Manor, have become well-loved features of the park,” said Tracy Swartout, Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway. “We are so appreciative to everyone involved in this project. The technical expertise and passion of many combined to make this project a true partnership success story.”

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The park was owned and developed as a gentleman’s country estate by Moses H. Cone, an American captain of industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who with his brother, Ceasar Cone, brought denim production to the South with several mills based in Greensboro.

Beginning in 1897, Moses carefully created an impressive country estate featuring carriage trails, lakes, orchards, fields, forests, and even a deer park. His vision was influenced by a great regard for the natural landscape.

Before his untimely death in 1908, Moses and his wife, Bertha, constructed Flat Top Manor as the centerpiece of this idyllic mountain retreat. After his passing, Bertha operated the estate for 40 years, adhering to his original concept. The estate became part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1949.

To see before and after photos of the transformation, visit

About the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway, helping to ensure cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. To learn more, visit

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