Foundation hosts benefit for Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

July 22, 2015

(Banner Elk, NC - July 9, 2015) - Anyone who strolls the loop around Bass Lake, takes a horseback ride on the miles of carriage trails, or explores the stately Colonial Revival manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park makes a connection with the history of this remarkable place. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is setting out to strengthen that connection by inviting the community to join future preservation efforts at the estate during a reception on Saturday, August 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. 

The event, hosted by Kristen and Janet Cone, marks an exciting time as the Foundation undertakes a multiyear plan to protect and enhance the estate's historical and cultural value, safeguard the landscape, and impart a deeper understanding of the significance of Flat Top Manor and the surrounding landscape. At the reception, Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark H. Woods will share the vision for preservation efforts at this treasured resource listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Thanks to our Community of Stewards, the Foundation has already invested more than $1 million toward preservation of the estate,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “We are thrilled to be entering the next phase of this process, which will focus on rehabilitation and historic interpretation at Flat Top Manor, as well as landscape management and restoral.”

The reception is hosted in partnership with Lees-McRae College Summer Theatre’s performances of The Denim King, an original musical focused on the lives of the Cones. Written and directed by Janet Speer, the play tells the story of Moses and Caesar Cone's success in the textile world, the Cone sisters, who accrued one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country, and others important to the development of the estate.

“The Moses Cone story is the saga of so many American immigrants who came to this country to avoid persecution and gave back to their new world with their talents,” Speer said. “In the Cone's case, it was textiles, specifically denim, which they brought over from Nîmes, France.  The journey is perfectly set to music as this musical shows the highlights and difficulties not only in running textile mills but in building the beautiful Flat Top Manor in Blowing Rock.”

Tickets for the event are $75 and include premier seating at the 2 or 7 p.m. performance of The Denim King. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. All proceeds will benefit rehabilitation and preservation of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.  For reception tickets, call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. For performance tickets, visit or call (828) 898-8709.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Benefit Reception

When: Saturday, August 1, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Lees-McRae College, Cannon Student Center, 191 Main St., Banner Elk
Tickets: $75, includes premier seating at the matinee (2 p.m.) or evening (7 p.m.) performance of The Denim King on August 1. Call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245.

The Denim King

When: August 1-7
Where: Lees-McRae College, Hayes Auditorium, Banner Elk
Tickets: $18-$40 by seating. Visit or call (828) 898-8709.

About Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Textile magnate Moses H. Cone and his wife, Bertha, envisioned Flat Top Manor amid a picturesque mountain setting. Their dream came to fruition at what is now Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, which remains one the best preserved country estates in the Southern Highlands. It was finessed from the landscape with great sensitivity for the natural environment. With 25 miles of carriage roads, three apple orchards, two deer parks, gardens, lakes, and ponds, the estate was designed for productivity and beauty. Flat Top Manor, a three-story, 23-room house, is the centerpiece of the estate and was completed in 1901.

On the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park historic district includes more than 3,500 acres adjacent to Blowing Rock. The estate became a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1950 and opened to the public in 1951. Since then it has become one of the most visited sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway and offers a broad range of recreational opportunity for visitors.


Media Contact:

Rita Larkin
Communications Specialist
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Asheville, NC
Office: (866) 308-2773, ext. 418
Mobile: (828) 713-0711