FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2018
Peter Michaud, N.H. Division of Historical Resources
Well-known Moultonborough estate named to National Register of Historic Places
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is proud to announce that Lucknow, located in Moultonborough and best known as “Castle in the Clouds,” has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Its high level of integrity places it among other nationally significant mountaintop estates, including Grey Towers in Milford, Pa., Arden in Arden, N.Y. and Flat Top Estate in Blowing Rock, N.C.
Lucknow was originally owned by Thomas Plant, a self-made French-Canadian industrialist from Bath, Maine. In 1909, Thomas G. Plant Company was one of the ten largest shoe manufacturers in the country and the largest factory in the world dedicated to manufacturing women’s shoes.
Plant purchased several properties to create the more than 5,000-acre estate, which offers 75-mile views across Lake Winnipesaukee and to mountains to the west. He personally oversaw the construction of several buildings between 1913 and 1914.
The main house, a 1-1/2 story building with clay tile roof, is an outstanding example of Arts and Crafts movement architecture. Its exterior incorporates hand-cut brown, gray and salmon stone veneer with hand-hewn white oak timbers secured by mortise and tenon joinery and exposed oak pegs. The front entrance overlooks the Ossipee Mountains and is sheltered by a second-story gable-roofed porch.
Lucknow’s floorplan has not changed since it was built. The first floor’s main hall, library and dining room incorporate quarter-sawn oak paneled walls, built-in benches and Italian marble fireplace surrounds. Decorative features include carved woodwork, ornamental iron hardware, bronze lighting features and a plaster ceiling with relief wisteria flowers, leaves and vines. Painted roundels and the second floor’s seven skylights – the largest is attributed to Tiffany Studios – bring the surrounding landscape inside.
Much of the original furniture is still in place and components of the Western Electric Interphone system that connected the main building to the stable survive.
Lucknow’s landscape features also contribute to the property’s national significance. They include a two-mile entry drive and driveway with stone posts and retaining walls, gardens and lawns, a small lake, 40 miles of mountain roads and bridle paths, and terraces linked by stone steps. Family cemeteries, farmhouse cellar holes and stone walls associated with 19th century farming settlement can also still be found on the property.
Two conservation easements protect all but 67 of Lucknow’s 5,294 acres. Written agreements ensure that all of the property’s historic buildings, landscape features and acreage will be protected, conserved and professionally managed in perpetuity.
Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.
Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as educational tools and increase heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.
In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).
For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact Peter Michaud at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3583.
New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office, was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. The NHDHR’s mission is to preserve and celebrate these irreplaceable historic resources through programs and services that provide education, stewardship, and protection. For more information, visit nh.gov/nhdhr or call 603-271-3483.